Quotation of the Day…

by Don Boudreaux on November 8, 2011

in Politics, Reality Is Not Optional

… is, perhaps, my single favorite quotation ever; I offer it on this (off-year) election day in America.  It’s Mencken’s 1929 “Note on a Cuff,” reprinted on page 153 of his A Mencken Chrestomathy:

The saddest life is that of a political aspirant under democracy.  His failure is ignominious and his success is disgraceful.

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{ 167 comments }

Greg G November 8, 2011 at 7:27 am

Is there some other method of selecting political leaders that you prefer to democracy?

Randy November 8, 2011 at 9:38 am

A “political leader” is a person with a leading role in a political organization. He or she is not a person who “leads” the rest of us, no matter how many times they tell us that they do.

BZ November 8, 2011 at 11:43 am

A constitutional republic would be an improvement.

Pete Wenzel, Esq November 8, 2011 at 6:45 pm

From a legal standpoint, that defines this country. Foolish voters however, persist in calling it “democracy”, and given time and the proper lack of interest, it will surely degenerate into one as it’s doing now. For instance, I live in Missouri, and I’m subject to the whims of voters of other states because of federal laws and mandates. That’s how a democracy works (or doesn’t).

Greg G November 8, 2011 at 7:22 pm

Pete

I was not suggesting that we are not still a constitutional republic. Constitutional republics exist on a spectrum from less democratic to more democratic. At the founding, virtually all political power in this country was limited to property owning white males. Today we are indeed much more democratic than that. I think election day is a good time to celebrate that kind of “degeneration”.

vidyohs November 9, 2011 at 6:04 pm

“I think election day is a good time to celebrate that kind of “degeneration”.”

I see no virtue in being politically correct and agreeing that every one is equally able to make wise decisions on leadership.

The reason I see no virtue in it is because I see no evidence that the majority of people in the United States of America make wise decisions about much of anything.

We just had a financial crisis caused by an amazing number of those “voters” who were stupid, or greedy, enough to ask for a loan when they knew they couldn’t pay it back.

I could go for hours on the idiocy of the public; but, instead just let me quote an industrialist regarding the American people, “No one ever went broke under estimating the intelligence of the American people.”

I think the vote should again be restricted to people who can demonstrate that every dime that goes to their self support, and the support of those they are responsible for, comes entirely from their own efforts, and not one dime from any outside source, public, private, or family charity.

Letting people who live on public charity vote on public charity is an insane idea that was recognized all the way back to ancient Greece, why do we have to be stupid enough here in America to think that it will benefit us in any way. My God, the evidence is conclusive that it is insane and causes the very degeneration you seem to celebrate.

Greg Webb November 8, 2011 at 9:59 pm

Thanks, Pete. It good to see someone correctly say that the country if a Constitutional Republic. One with expressly enumerated limitatations on the federal government’s power. It’s also nice to see another attorney on this blog.

vidyohs November 9, 2011 at 11:27 am

I am sorry sir, but I am 70 years old now, and I am always amused to read people saying things like, “given time and the proper lack of interest, it will surely degenerate into……”.

I have new for you partner, the degeneration happened a bunch of decades ago, and the proof is there in documented history, history that I lived and suffered.

But, I know you mean well, just please recognize that your job is not to prevent the loss of freedom, that already happened., your job is to work with other like me and restore freedom.

Greg G November 9, 2011 at 5:29 pm

vidyohs

I am interested to know how many decades back was the period before the degeneration of freedom?

I also find it interesting that no one else wants to speak out against the idea of a military coup suggested by Brad K but many are eager to denounce democracy.

Greg Webb November 9, 2011 at 5:48 pm

I also find it interesting that no one else wants to speak out against the idea of a military coup suggested by Brad K but many are eager to denounce democracy.

Do you find it interesting because it confirms your bias? Should you not think more about that before making an obviously-wrong implication?

I, and all libertarians that I know, oppose military coups, dictatorships, and authoritarian and totalitarian regimes in general. I don’t know of any libertarians who oppose government that is properly and clearly limited in the form of a Constitutional Republic. Also, the libertarians that I know oppose pure democracy because of the history of the French Revolution.

vidyohs November 9, 2011 at 5:54 pm

@Greg Webb,

This non libertarian opposes democracy not because of the French revolution but because of the history of the United States of America.

Greg G November 9, 2011 at 5:56 pm

GW

Thanks for that reply. Glad to hear it. Actually the reason I found it interesting is that I DIDN’T expect it. I am not advocating “pure” democracy.

vidyohs November 9, 2011 at 6:07 pm

@Greg G,

How many decades, oh about 15 for sure.

Who is Brad K? And, where does he advocate a military coup?

There is a difference between a military coup, and an armed revolution, are you sure you know which you or Brad K mean?

Greg G November 9, 2011 at 6:54 pm

vidyohs

Your ideas would be frightening if they weren’t too crackpot to have any chance of attracting real support. I am confident the number of people nostalgic for 150 years ago is vanishingly small. At least you are honest enough not to call yourself a libertarian.

I am curious as to how you earned your money without relying on anyone else?

vidyohs November 9, 2011 at 7:54 pm

“I am curious as to how you earned your money without relying on anyone else?”

Sheeesh another one of those you are, eh? And, you call my ideas crackpot. It is to laugh.

Please O’wise one, point out exactly which idea of mine is crackpot.

The idea of preventing idiots, fools, the nonfunctioning, the leeches, the parasites, the lazy, and the comatose from entering a vote in the affairs of man? Ooooooh now there is a crackpot idea, eh?

The understanding that there is a difference between a military coup and an armed revolution of the people. Ooooooh, now there is a crackpot idea.

The idea that only those who provide the wealth should have a say on how the wealth is used? Ooooooh, now there is a totally crackpot idea, eh?

So what about 150 years plus ago is it that I am regretful we don’t have today? I am regretful that we lost the republican system of the people who provide the wealth of a nation are the ones who decide how the nation conducts its affairs, and all the other can nots and will nots sit on the back row and keep their mouths shut as long as they have their hand out. Ooooooh, now there is a crackpot idea, eh?

Greg G, you might call it democracy with meat on its bones, some substance, instead of this insane shit we have today where losers like Jackson and Sharpton can make themselves rich guaranteeing that other losers get government cash that they then give to Jackson and Sharpton. What a wonderful world.

A Russian arrives in New York City as a new immigrant to the United States . He stops the first person he sees walking down the street and says, “Thank you Mr. American for letting me come into this country, giving me housing, food stamps, free medical care, and a free education!”

The passerby says, “You are mistaken, I am a Mexican.”

The man goes on and encounters another passerby. “Thank you for having such a beautiful country here in America .”

The person says, “I not American, I Vietnamese.”

The new arrival walks farther, and the next person he sees he stops, shakes his hand, and says, “Thank you for wonderful America !

That person puts up his hand and says, “I am from Middle East . I am not American.”

He finally sees a nice lady and asks, “Are you an American?”

She says, “No, I am from Africa .”

Puzzled, he asks her, “Where are all the Americans?”

The African lady checks her watch and says, “Probably at work.”

Greg G November 9, 2011 at 8:18 pm

vidyohs

Oh I see. You are one of the “real” Americans who wants his country back. Well you are going to have to share it. Get used to it.

And how is it that you “provide the wealth”?

Anonymous November 9, 2011 at 8:32 pm

Greg G, I think Vidyohs’s point is that those who work should not have to pay for those who won’t. The old adage is “no work, no eat.”

vidyohs November 9, 2011 at 9:12 pm

@Anonymous

Ooooops you just joined the ranks of Greg G’s crackpots.

Anonymous November 9, 2011 at 9:18 pm

LOL, Vidyohs! Only useful idiots to the state have called me a crackpot.

vidyohs November 9, 2011 at 9:22 pm

@Greg G,

I think what motivates you to come here to the Cafe and express the looniness you do, is your fear.

Who is going to feed you when your caretaker dumps you?

Greg G November 9, 2011 at 9:41 pm

vidyohs

Actually I don’t have any kind of caretaker. I live on the money I saved while running my own business for 35 years. How is it that you “provide the wealth” that feeds you again?

Anonymous November 9, 2011 at 10:05 pm

Greg G, So you admit that you are one of those evil 1%ers!

Greg Webb November 9, 2011 at 10:07 pm

Vid, I always thought that you were one of those radical libertarians.

vidyohs November 10, 2011 at 7:27 am

@Greg G

I make my money the way I ask others to make it. I provide useful service to others by contracting my knowledge, skill, and experience, and investing in my future.

I am qualified to vote in my utopia.

But you denying you have a caretaker is unbelievable, after all you are a looney lefty and anything logical is out of your realm.

Greg G November 10, 2011 at 8:26 am

vidyohs

So we have to go back 150 years to find the level of “freedom” that you seek. Good to know. Before I read that I thought Nickolai was simply raving.

I never doubted that you “would be qualified to vote in (your) utopia.”

vikingvista November 8, 2011 at 12:07 pm

Less democracy is better than more democracy. And no, the opposite of democracy is not autocracy.

Brad K. November 8, 2011 at 10:22 pm

There is always the military coup. Seriously, other than arriving at mutual consensus to elevate a leader to authority, the alternative way to put your own chosen candidate in power is to seize control from the previous leader.

Inherited forms of government beg the question of whether the next leader is anyone’s favorite, and often the abilities and aptitudes, let alone compassion and responsibility, of the inherited throne are dubious at best.

Greg G November 9, 2011 at 8:28 am

Brad K.

“There is always the military coup.”

Where is your Pinochet when you need him?

Methinks1776 November 9, 2011 at 8:58 am

Or Castro or Nasser or Qadaffy, eh? The left’s obsession with Pinochet is pathological, considering the rivers of blood that flowed at the command of their preferred dictators.

Greg G November 9, 2011 at 9:12 am

How about no military coup or dictatorship at all? Democratic methods, for all their shortcomings, are better than any form of dictatorship of the right or left.

vikingvista November 9, 2011 at 11:29 am

Individual sovereignty is better than the forceful imposition of either democracy or dictators. Frankly, I don’t care if a tyrant’s actions against me have some measure of popular approval or not.

Nikolai Luzhin, Eastern Promises November 8, 2011 at 7:53 am

Don

you comment shows just how sick you are.

You and Mencken pray every night to enslave Black people and to return to Charleston on December 31, 1860.

Lincoln is the person toward whom Mencken is aiming. You hate Lincoln for freeing the Slaves by the greatest act of any American President, the Proclamation.

To those not familiar with Mencken the phrase “political aspirant under democracy,” is code for Lincoln.

You live and breath The Cause.

you are a sick sick racist, an ugly awful man

Jon Murphy November 8, 2011 at 8:06 am

Just because you’re a racist, Nik, doesn’t mean we all are.

Michael November 8, 2011 at 8:15 am

DNFT.

kyle8 November 8, 2011 at 8:25 am

well you have now proven beyond all doubt that you are an unserious troll. We will now treat you as the evil idiot that you are. Go away stupid troll.

Nikolai Luzhin, Eastern Promises November 8, 2011 at 9:09 am

kyle8

if you think Mencken amounts to anything you too are a racist

Ken November 8, 2011 at 9:30 am

Still here, Li’l Nicky. Still Catholic. Still evil. Still want to take my head?

Josh S November 8, 2011 at 10:38 am

Ignore him. Eventually he’ll get tired of reading his own comments.

John November 8, 2011 at 11:25 am

I humbly recommend to our host that this ranting bozo be banned. Or, a way to filter out his diatribes would be nice.

Jon Murphy November 8, 2011 at 11:26 am

I’m hoping one day his head will explode. Kind of like in that movie, Scanners

Everett November 8, 2011 at 12:10 pm

Nah, he makes for some entertainment. You can’t take the nut seriously.

Nikolai Luzhin, Eastern Promises November 8, 2011 at 7:17 pm

The fact is, I think all people who are not politicians should be treated like slaves, not just Black people. That is the ONLY fair kind of society.

Because of my superior intellect, charm, wit, and good looks (and please do not forget that I have many, many diplomas and have mastered many, many subjects, economics being only one), it is natural that I should be one of those political leaders; it is good and right that I should rule and that all of you should be my subjects. That is one of the reasons I am on this board: to ask for money for my campaign.

Though Don might not contribute, I know I can count on everyone else’s support.

Dan J November 8, 2011 at 10:54 pm

Read on about Lincoln…. Lincoln was a lawyer who assisted in sending saves back to their owners… And is quoted on not giving a rats ass about existnce of slavery compared to keeping the union together. There is much more, but you can start there and bring your idol down from his gravity defying perch.

Jon Murphy November 8, 2011 at 8:05 am

It’s not an argument against Democracy. In fact, it’s an argument for it. By removing the glory of politics, in theory, you remove the ambitious people from seeking office (see Plato’s Republic).

Was Winston Churchill advocating slavery when he said “Democracy is the worst form of government, except all others that have been tried.”?

Greg G November 8, 2011 at 8:13 am

Jon

Churchill sought office. He both won and lost. Does that make him “ignominious” and “disgraceful”?

And I hope and trust you aren’t really advocating the kind of republic Plato wanted.

Jon Murphy November 8, 2011 at 8:47 am

No. I guess my point is that is politicians are constantly under attack for both successes and failures, it’ll keep the really ambitious ones out of the fray.

Imagine, if you will, a society where they only way to advance is through political favor (like the former Soviet Union or feudal Europe). In a society like that, anyone wanting to get ahead would need to go into politics. This would lead to your Rasputins and your Otto von Bismarks, your Machievellis, your Maos.

In a democracy, where Representatives are constantly under fire for what they did or didn’t do, where the glory of being elected restrained, it will limit those who go into politics. Of course, you still get ambition (the Kennedys, the Bushs, the Roosevelts), but it is more constrained.

Does that make more sense?

Plato’s Republic is a fun philosophical game, but it’s an allegory.

Greg G November 8, 2011 at 8:59 am

Jon

Still not sure I am understanding what you mean. Are you saying that, if there is a stigma attached to politics, that will have the beneficial effect of scaring off overly ambitious people?

If so, I don’t agree. Even if you do scare off those motivated by a sense of seeking honor, you will still be left with those who seek naked power.

Jon Murphy November 8, 2011 at 9:04 am

Of course, Greg. Power will always attract parasites (thus the argument for limiting power, but that’s a discussion for another time).

Let me try to explain it like this:

Imagine you are Steve Jobs. You have a gift for the oratory and can think outside the box. You think to yourself “Computers are the wave of the future. Should I go into politics and use my influence to create conditions favorable for the computer industry to grow, but I will face rivals who will smear me and ruin my good name, or should I open my own company and make my fortune there and be respected (if I make a good product).”

That making any more sense, or am I just talking in circles?

Greg G November 8, 2011 at 9:09 am

I still have to disagree Jon. If you convince the best people they don’t want to go into politics, the result will be second rate political leaders or worse.

Jon Murphy November 8, 2011 at 9:11 am

Fair enough Greg. I think I need to think about what I want to say in a better way and come back to this.

Do you at least see my point about limiting ambition, or should I just rewrite my whole article?

I guess I want you to see this is not an attack on democracy.

Nikolai Luzhin, Eastern Promises November 8, 2011 at 9:11 am

you do scare off those motivated by a sense of seeking honor, you will still be left with those who seek naked power.

kiss of death Greg

your right—your get it

this people have no idea about what they are writing

Jon Murphy November 8, 2011 at 9:19 am

“Even if you do scare off those motivated by a sense of seeking honor…”

Honor is doing the right thing, regardless of what people think. Honor is being the good Samaritan. Honor is helping a friend in need. Honor is allowing your daughter to “make you look pretty” and then taking her out for ice cream. Greg, you know what I am talking about. I am sure you are an honorable person.

I’m not sure an honorable person would care too much about his reputation. I think a person seeking to do good will still go into politics. I mean, you do still have good-hearted politicians, regardless of their politics. I’m not sure you would scare off the honorable. Maybe some, sure.

Greg G November 8, 2011 at 9:21 am

Jon

I do not see you as attacking democracy in favor of something more autocratic. But I do see the kind of rhetoric in the original post as undermining confidence in democracy in a way that could lead to something far worse.

Nikolai

Thanks anyway but I’m doing OK here. I think you are creating more heat than light.

Greg G November 8, 2011 at 9:30 am

Jon

I would be more inclined to describe the kind of, doing the right thing, that you describe as character. Honor does have more to do with reputation. The military inculcates a sense of honor and reputation very effectively. Most in the military have a powerful sense of honor. But they still love their medals.

Nikolai Luzhin, Eastern Promises November 8, 2011 at 9:34 am

Thanks anyway but I’m doing OK here. I think you are creating more heat than light.

No, I just set them up for your kill shot

Jon Murphy November 8, 2011 at 9:45 am

I see where you are coming from Greg. I may not agree, but that is a rational argument.

Greg Webb November 8, 2011 at 11:58 am

Jon, your analysis is on point.

Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely. Even the most honorable and intelligent politician may be corrupted by power. The likelihood of this corruption rises with the amount of power that he or she has.

Regressives believe that government power can be used for good. Libertarians agree, but also wisely note that government power can be used for great evil as it lessens the rights of the individual citizens relative to the needs of the state.

The Founding Fathers understood this as well and designed a Constitution that expressly limited the federal government’s power; guaranteed certain individual liberties considered fundamental to a free people; and separated powers, created a federal system, and established other checks and balances to thwart the centralization and expansion of the federal government’s power. The Regressives reject this by saying that the Constitution is vague and is subject to reinterpretation depending on what a majority feel, but this violates the amendment process, which was intentionally made difficult.

The key is that power tends to corrupt. So, even the most honorable politician will likely be corrupted by power. And, those most likely to run are those who want that power, which means they probably should not have it. The Founding Fathers knew this would happen and that is why they set the factions against one another so that one faction or another could not get so much power as to cause great harm.

I vote. I vote for the least bad candidate in each election. I also ask each candidate what he or she intends to do once they have that power. They all tend to be vague in their answers because they do not want to be held to account if they deviate from that. Ask anyway. Choose wisely. And, hope for the best but expect the worst from any politician.

yet another Dave November 8, 2011 at 5:08 pm

If you convince the best people they don’t want to go into politics, the result will be second rate political leaders or worse.

IMO we’re already there and have been for a long time, with the worse outnumbering the second rate.

That wouldn’t be so much of a problem if the government was dramatically less powerful, so the solution is obvious enough. Implementing the solution is a whole different animal.

Ken November 8, 2011 at 9:31 am

Ask the Anzacs at Gallipoli whether Churchill was ignominious and disgraceful.

Randy November 8, 2011 at 10:03 am

Amen to that.

Nikolai Luzhin, Eastern Promises November 8, 2011 at 8:53 am

Jon Murphy

you are beyond being an idiot.

the glory of politics is the whole sweep of history, or Modernity. Mencken hated it and especially hated Democracy.

Washington and Franklin were, in Mencken and Don’s eyes, a disgrace.

Jefferson was disgraceful for making the Louisiana purchase.

Lincoln for having freed the slaves was the most evil man in history.

Teddy and Wilson, especially Wilson, for having won the Great War (Mencken had opposed America’s entry into World War I; he was ardently pro German).

And true evil: FDR and Truman (as well as RR).

But the really funny thing about both is there love of Confederate Soldiers. Here is Mencken on Lincoln:

The doctrine is simply this: that the Union soldiers who died at Gettysburg sacrificed their lives to the cause of self-determination—”that government of the people, by the people, for the people,” should not perish from the earth. It is difficult to imagine anything more untrue. The Union soldiers in that battle actually fought against self-determination; it was the Confederates who fought for the right of their people to govern themselves. What was the practical effect of the battle of Gettysburg? What else than the destruction of the old sovereignty of the States, i.e., of the people of the States? The Confederates went into battle free; they came out with their freedom subject to the supervision and veto of the rest of the country

What freedom? Why the freedom to own slaves

Now, Don has one final problem, about why he can’t stop what you people call trolls.

Mencken wrote, “I believe in the complete freedom of thought and speech — alike for the humblest man and the mightiest, and in the utmost freedom of conduct that is consistent with living in organized society.” If Don censors his critics he rejects his idol. So Don has to take this arrows of truth in the chest.

Fred November 8, 2011 at 8:59 am

It is a common misconception that Lincoln started a war to free the slaves.
That is not true.
Secession was motivated by slavery, however the war was not.
The war was to “preserve the union”, to destroy any notion of state sovereignty, and to impose federal dominion over the states.
The argument that Lincoln set out to free the slaves is flatly false.

Nikolai Luzhin, Eastern Promises November 8, 2011 at 9:15 am

Fred

You are absolutely correct

But, along the way, Lincoln came to realize that, in the end, it was about freeing the slaves, he did it, and thank God above he did for that act made the country into a Nation and propelled us forward

Fred November 8, 2011 at 9:35 am

I for one do not accept the premise that slavery would still exist if the Confederate States were allowed to secede.
Such a system is simply not economically viable in the industrial age, and I believe it would have gone away just as the oxen pulled plow went away.
I do believe that, had that war not been fought, the federal government would not be nearly as powerful as it is, and that we would all be more free as a result.

Josh S November 8, 2011 at 10:41 am

Racial apartheid could and did last well into the 20th century in the USA. It would have lasted even longer without the Civil War, so I doubt black people would have been more free, at least not in the CSA.

Darren November 8, 2011 at 3:09 pm

freeing the slaves

I’m sure it would have taken longer without the war. The issue is how much longer and whether it was worth 620,000 lives. Some say yes, some say no.

vikingvista November 8, 2011 at 4:02 pm

“Some say yes, some say no.”

What do the dead say?

Nikolai Luzhin, Eastern Promises November 8, 2011 at 10:08 am

I read you comments below about the end of slavery in the South, etc.

Sadly, you have to put in the clueless camp.

Slavery in the South wasn’t about economics. There is no economic argument against Slavery. Any economist will tell you that slavery is the best and cheapest way to buy labor and all we are talking about is the division of income.

Look at the entire history of race relations in this Country. It is not about economics; far deeper and darker aspects of human nature drove the South and Slavery and those forces were not about to go away—they still exist and drive this Country. In the nights and days after Obama’s election I must have heard 200 “Countians” here refuse to accept a Black man as being President. Look at the Racism against Obama.

Fred November 8, 2011 at 10:15 am

Any economist will tell you…

That is not true. Incentives matter. Slaves do not have the same incentives as someone who is voluntarily performing labor for a wage.

I can guarantee you that slaves would be far less productive than paid employees.

In competitive markets, even in the South, those who employed paid labor would out-produce those who used slave labor.

Those who used slave labor would have to switch to paid labor or go broke. That’s how competitive markets work.

Either way the result would be the end of slavery.

Jon Murphy November 8, 2011 at 10:15 am

“Any economist will tell you that slavery is the best and cheapest way to buy labor…”

Sweet, another quote to add to the file.

And any economist will disagree with you. That’s why Krugman wrote an article about how slavery was dying in the South long before the War due to high costs. That’s why the British stopped importing slaves long before a law was passed. That’s why Europe stopped using slave labor long before it became outlawed.

You really should either a) stop talking or b) read a history book.

Darren November 8, 2011 at 3:10 pm

Look at the Racism against Obama.

And if Cain is the Republican nominee, you’ll get to see the racism against him.

GAAPrulesIFRSdrools November 8, 2011 at 9:31 pm

Except Obama isn’t the first black President, he’s the first biracial President. Can’t wait until the left blames his failures on his “inner whiteness”.

vikingvista November 8, 2011 at 9:55 pm

“he’s the first biracial President”

That’s not true. James Garfield was part French.

kyle8 November 8, 2011 at 11:51 am

Don’t feed the troll, he is just an unserious idiot. There is no profit in trying to argue with a silly name calling creep.

Jon Murphy November 8, 2011 at 11:55 am

At this point, I just want to keep him talking. I’m adding the stupid stuff he says to the file of dumb things people say. It’s for a book I am writing.

vikingvista November 8, 2011 at 12:22 pm

There is something useful about such anecdotal evidence for why democracy is undesirable.

Jon Murphy November 8, 2011 at 9:00 am

You really do love your Kool-Aid, don’t you?

“Markets are created by Government.”

That’s all I gotta say.

Adam November 8, 2011 at 8:09 am

Wow, the level of ignorance you have to reach to post the utter drivel that is the second post is quite remarkable. Yes, as everyone knows, Don Boudreaux is big on racial collectivism. It just oozes from every post. (rolls eyes)

Greg G, libertarians don’t want to do away with democracy, we want to remove decisions from the political sphere. In other words, we don’t want politicians (however they’re selected). to be deciding things for us and imposing things on us. Obviously, if we absolutely have to have politicians making rules, it’s best – or least bad – that they be elected.

That quote is awesome. I’ll have to drop it into casual conversation every now and then. :)

Greg G November 8, 2011 at 8:19 am

Adam

“If we absolutely have to have to have politicians making rules…”

How do you have democracy without politicians making the laws? Laws are the most important rules we have.

Fred November 8, 2011 at 8:40 am

Limiting the scope of law is not the same as no law.

For example politicians have no business dictating to me what kind of light bulb I may purchase or how much water may flow through my shower head.

However there is a place for law when it comes to acts that would harm another individual’s life, liberty or property.

My choosing a 100W incandescent light bulb or a shower head that allows more than 2.5 gallons per minute is nobody’s business but my own.

Randy November 8, 2011 at 10:04 am

+1

GAAPrulesIFRSdrools November 8, 2011 at 3:45 pm

+2, Well said.

Greg Webb November 8, 2011 at 10:02 pm

Hear, hear!

Randy November 8, 2011 at 1:26 pm

Laws are not the most important rules we have, though certainly the politicians who make them like to think they are important. For example, we have a rule that people have to agree before the transaction can occur. Its a damned important rule, and yet the politicians refuse to follow it. They’d rather make their own rule that says they can do whatever they damn well feel like doing.

Nikolai Luzhin, Eastern Promises November 8, 2011 at 9:03 am

Adam

Your level of ignorance is utter drivel. You, obviously, have never thought through what Mencken wrote and said.

First, he wanted to do away with Democracy—he hated it. He wanted to return to Charleston on December 31, 1860. It is right in the passage I quoted, above.

He wants the old sovereignty of the States and, with it, slavery.

But don’t take my word. Don has spent his lifetime reading Mencken. Let him explain what sort of a world he and Mencken want. Don wants lilly white neighborhoods, segregated schools, and no black people at the lunch counter. Ask him and he will tell you that is true.

If he denies such, he can answer my post right here.

He has been asked where he stands on the law. What are his answers.

Jon Murphy November 8, 2011 at 9:06 am

“Markets are created by the government”

-Nikoli

Nikolai Luzhin, Eastern Promises November 8, 2011 at 9:17 am

true and they can use all their powers to end them at any time (e.g, War of Drugs)

HaywoodU November 8, 2011 at 9:30 am

Where and when is your stand-up? That’s gold!

Fred November 8, 2011 at 9:44 am

There is no market for illegal drugs?

Jon Murphy November 8, 2011 at 9:45 am

Right, ’cause the War on Drugs, after 30 years, is clearly won.

As is the war on media piracy.

And the war on lunchroom trades

BZ November 8, 2011 at 12:11 pm

Don’t forget the war on poverty. :/

vikingvista November 8, 2011 at 12:24 pm

Hilarious. Can you get him to admit that voluntaryism is created by force?

Nikolai Luzhin, Eastern Promises November 8, 2011 at 9:08 am

Adam

Can the government make it illegal for you to refuse to do business with a Black person because they are Black, Yes or No?

Can the government make it illegal for you to refuse to sell your home to a Black person because they are Black, Yes or No?

Can the government make it illegal for you to refuse to make a loan to black person because they are black. Yes or No?

txslr November 8, 2011 at 10:14 am

Seems like a set of silly questions. Of course they CAN, because they have. Should the government do so? I don’t think so – freedom of association and all that. Now, anyone who would engage in this behavior is reprehensible and deserves to be excluded from polite society. That does not mean that we should make it illegal, however. You have a right to be stupid, nasty and mean.

I will refrain from pointing out that you are living proof of this last point. That would be impolite.

Nikolai Luzhin, Eastern Promises November 8, 2011 at 9:30 pm

txsir

fundamental questions about human rights are silly.

these are the tools used to segregate the united states

the most powerful were deed restrictions that prohibited the sale of property to black people (hence, in my lifetime there were lilly white “cities” within the county where I live). it was illegal for black people to live in such cities (and hence attend their schools). Before 1964, most businesses in my city refused to hire black people, except as janitors.

polite society were the people who promoted such

txslr November 8, 2011 at 10:53 pm

Those were not fundamental questions about human rights. They were questions about the governments’ capability. The answers were obvious, hence the questions were silly.

The question you do not address has to do with the
limits on the government’s right to use force to get people to do things the government has decided are good. I believe that people have a right to be wrong – to do things with which I disagree, perhaps vehemently. At least in large part this comes from tolerance which arises from the understanding that I could be wrong. Unlike you, I don’t believe that I know with certainty the way other people should live. I may try to convince them that they are wrong, but unless they are attempting to coerce or deceive I will not support the use of force to suppress or alter their behavior.

You, on the other hand, are quite certain that you have all the answers, that there is no chance that you are wrong, and that you are thus justified in using violence to accomplish your goals. You are intolerant, as are all who are certain they are in possession of The Truth.

“I beseech you, in the bowels of Christ, think it possible that you are mistaken.”

W.E. Heasley November 8, 2011 at 8:53 am

“The saddest life is that of a political aspirant under democracy. His failure is ignominious and his success is disgraceful“. – Mencken

Most excellent quote.

Possibly Mencken observation of “His failure is ignominious and his success is disgraceful” is connected to this observation which surely could be associated with many politicos and the root of their failure and disgraceful success:

“He is a self-made man and worships his creator.” – John Bright

Becky Hargrove November 8, 2011 at 9:16 am

Perhaps the task of the political aspirant would not be so sad, if the job were a job of persuation for the causes that we could all vote on directly. The political person could travel and try to convince us what we “should” vote on rather than blindly hope he or she would “stand” for.

Randy November 8, 2011 at 10:08 am

+1

And I add that this is how a market functions. Persuade me that your product has value to me and I might buy it if I don’t have other more valuable priorities. That is the specific problem with our current political organization – they demand that their priorities must be paid for ahead of the priorities of the people they rule – and they have some truly screwed up priorities.

Nikolai Luzhin, Eastern Promises November 8, 2011 at 9:46 am

For all you pro Mencken types

He opposed WWII, Do you?

Did you know that he wanted to restrict internal migration by race during the War and that he did not want Black Americans to come and live in Baltimore and work in the Defense Industry?

txslr November 8, 2011 at 10:15 am

The past is a different country. They do things very differently there.

Randy November 8, 2011 at 10:16 am

WWII; I don’t think that American involvement in WWII was necessary. FDR and others just wanted it, and were willing to sacrifice hundreds of thousands of common people for their cause.

Baltimore; I don’t have any problem with other races. I do have a problem with some cultures. If, for example, the town I live in were inundated with progressives, I would likely choose to move.

GAAPrulesIFRSdrools November 8, 2011 at 3:47 pm

If, for example, the town I live in were inundated with progressives, I would likely choose to move.

You’d have to. They’d quickly get together and pass a municipal ordinance to sieze your property.

Jon Murphy November 8, 2011 at 10:19 am

A) no he didn’t
and
B) you’re a racist idiot.

Jon Murphy November 8, 2011 at 10:19 am

That was in response to Nik, not you two

kyle8 November 8, 2011 at 11:52 am

dont feed the troll Jon, he went way over the line in saying that Don wanted black people enslaved. Just ignore him now, no need to waste anymore time.

Eventually their true nature always comes out.

Randy November 8, 2011 at 1:52 pm

Funny thing… that was “over the line” of course, but I’ve become so used to hearing the “you’re a racist” line from Progressives that it doesn’t even register any more.

Jon Murphy November 9, 2011 at 7:17 am

I always thought it was their version of “good-bye” because every conversation ends with it. :-P

Nikolai Luzhin, Eastern Promises November 8, 2011 at 10:18 am

More evidence of Don’s racism (Why does he never quote the Mencken diary?):

“The [Mencken] diary also reveals a man who was shockingly anti-Semitic and racist, to the point where his stature as a giant of American letters may be in danger.

There had been frequent nuances of anti-Semitism in Mencken’s published correspondence, but friends who survived him, many of them Jewish, said, ”This could not be true.”

But it is true, as the diary abundantly proves.

For example, Mencken slurs two great journalists, Walter Lippmann and David Lawrence. In noting that Harry Truman had referred favorably to them and a third columnist, Frank R. Kent of The Sun, he wrote: ”I think Kent did not enjoy being bracketed with two Jews.”

He wrote that the exclusive Maryland Club, in Baltimore, had had only one Jewish member, and when he died, ”There is no other Jew in Baltimore who seems suitable.”

In another passage, he expressed satisfaction that a resort he had visited barred Jews. He was concerned when some Jews moved into his neighborhood. In the unedited version, he referred to two Baltimore Jewish businessmen as ”awful kikes.”

Indirectly, Mencken showed a monumental indifference to the Jewish experience through his obsessive, lifelong devotion to everything German and his hatred of everything British.

Jon Murphy November 8, 2011 at 10:21 am

I love this. Realizing he is outgunned, Nik just starts shooting off random words in the hope something sticks! Facts be damned! Truth be damned! I am right because I speak for the people and anyone who disagrees with me is a racist!

Fred November 8, 2011 at 10:25 am

I understand.
Because Einstein was a socialist, if I reference him on the subject of physics, I must be a socialist.
If I think Jay Leno is funny I must share his passion for cars.

Dude, you’re brilliant!

Jon Murphy November 8, 2011 at 10:28 am

If I like Walt Disney, I must be an anti-Semite. If I listen to Michael Jackson, I must be a pedophile.

Economiser November 8, 2011 at 10:29 am

Don’t be ridiculous. Jay Leno is not funny.

Fred November 8, 2011 at 10:30 am

I take it then that you don’t have a passion for cars.

Jon Murphy November 8, 2011 at 10:34 am

Or maybe just doesn’t like big-chinned men

Josh S November 8, 2011 at 10:43 am

Ain’t nothin’ wrong with a manly chin.

GAAPrulesIFRSdrools November 8, 2011 at 11:31 am

Jay Leno doesn’t have to be terribly funny. Letterman is his competition and he is just a bitter twit. All Leno has to do is be mildly amusing, and he looks like a comic genius.

Josh S November 8, 2011 at 12:34 pm

So is FDR’s racism evidence of your racism?

GAAPrulesIFRSdrools November 8, 2011 at 4:12 pm

Sounds like Mencken would fit right in with the rabble of “occupy”.

Funny how that works. A dead guy who lived a long time ago, grew up when prejudices were more widely accepted, and didn’t have World War II to enlighten him, and who can’t defend himself has every thought and utterance invalidated by his anti-semitism.

OWS on the other hand isn’t the least impeached by its “rich jewish banker” rants.

As always, everything is OK in the pursuit of statism.

nailheadtom November 8, 2011 at 11:06 am

Wasn’t it the sainted FDR that interned the US citizen Japanese during that little confrontation in the 1940s?

Jon Murphy November 8, 2011 at 11:10 am

My British uncle (he’s not related by blood, but a very close family friend of my grandfather) used to call it “the commotion across the river.”

GAAPrulesIFRSdrools November 8, 2011 at 11:32 am

Executive Order 9066, right?

Jon Murphy November 8, 2011 at 11:38 am

Right. On top of Japanese Americans being interned, some German-Americans, Italian-Americans and Jews were interned.

GAAPrulesIFRSdrools November 8, 2011 at 1:33 pm

Indeed, baseball players Joe & Dom DiMaggio’s father was among them. (I think there was a third brother, too, but can’t remember and am to lazy to google).

brotio November 9, 2011 at 12:55 am

Guido

:P

Invisible Backhand November 8, 2011 at 12:43 pm

Big congratulations to Krugman and Rogoff, the only economists to make the Worth “100 most powerful people in finance list”

http://worth.com/index.php/component/power/?view=all

GAAPrulesIFRSdrools November 8, 2011 at 1:36 pm

Talking about finance isn’t being “in” finance.

Brandishing accolates from “worth” is like quoting “Prevention”‘s favorite doctors. In a word, meaningless.

Invisible Backhand November 8, 2011 at 1:57 pm

You’re just bitter because you can’t do LIFO any more.

GAAPrulesIFRSdrools November 8, 2011 at 4:40 pm

Who said that’s my complaint? (Its not. no matter what method you use, inventory is an estimate)

Then again better to be bitter for a reason, than stupid.

Invisible Backhand November 8, 2011 at 6:12 pm

I do know SOX didn’t happen because of IFRS.

Blackhand 20019 November 9, 2011 at 1:55 pm

So if he uses either the FIFO or GTFO systems will get you out?

You nannies are always spouting nonsense like cars should be replaced with mass transportation. It’s hard to reach the drive-through window at McDonald’s from a speeding train, let me tell you.
You say cars are dangerous. I say it’s safer to drive home when you live in the 20019 zip code than it is to walk there, especially at night.
You say cars are wasteful. Wasteful of what? What was Oil doing for us sitting in the ground for millions of years.
You cry about cars causing pollution. A hundred years ago D.C. streets were ankle deep in horse crap. What kind of pollution do you want? I’d rather die of cancer at eighty than from typhoid fever at nine.

Jon Murphy November 8, 2011 at 4:49 pm

Finance is to Economics as Biology is to Physics

GAAPrulesIFRSdrools November 8, 2011 at 10:01 pm

“I do know SOX didn’t happen because of IFRS.”

Yeah, gotta love SOX. I know my former “superiors” at the four-lettered big 4 firm laughed all the way to the bank after its passage. The year after SOX passed they were charging twice the rate the year for “associates” as the year before.

Now we have the position of the “big 4″ solidified even more than before ( as TBTF and a quadropoly) and a PCAOB that releases largely redundant standards and performs examinations that accomplish nothing. It has however become a nice place for former Big 4 managers and senior managers that want to give up the busy season grind and lawyers who think they are accountants and auditiors. (REGULATORY CAPTURE ALERT. )

However, if you knew anything about SOX, you’d know it is largely the enactment of the “Treadway” commission ideas (first published in 1992). It was the pushed because it provided cover for a response to the “don’t just stand there, do something” impulse of Congress, who had no clue what happened and no clue what to do.

Ironically, a former PCAOB member Charles Neimeir, is adamantly against IFRS-the big cheerleaders are-you guessed it-the Big 4.

In short, SOX is a solution in search of problem. It surely didn’t stop all the bank failures, Circuity City, AIG, Fannie, Freddie, or Bernie Madoff.

Then again, GAAP had nothing to do with Societe General or Parmalat.

No concern yourself with things you are of more immediate concern to you, such as directing your excrement to an appropriate porcelain receptacle, rather than sullying these premises.

SmoledMan November 8, 2011 at 3:37 pm

Can the racist fool be banned?

muirgeo November 8, 2011 at 3:50 pm

Actually the saddest life is one like Mencken’s. A complainer, a whiner, a misanthrope on the sidelines pointing out how wrong everyone else is while he offers no positive suggestions and doesn’t lift a hand to help. The saddest life comes from feeling you’ve contributed so much because you’ve made so much money or pointed out all the flaws of life while actually adding nothing productive to society. Making non-sensical statements about democracy without offering any suggestions on how some one as well considered as him might actually improve things is less than useless.

Anyway I’m off to attend the delivery of a premature baby… I wonder what kind of advice a Mr. Mencken might have for me as I make decisions and attempt procedures that may have profound effects for this infant’s whole life. I am just glad for the wise politicians who saw fit to fund government research leading to development of artificial surfactant that will likely make all the difference in the world to this baby.

GAAPrulesIFRSdrools November 8, 2011 at 4:28 pm

So, muirbot, you do OB-GYN?

A one percenter? Where can we assemble the mob?

vikingvista November 8, 2011 at 9:59 pm

“So, muirbot, you do OB-GYN?”

He said “attend”. Surgeons would’ve devoured that creep in residency.

Jon Murphy November 9, 2011 at 7:16 am

Although, if it is your child, congrats!

brotio November 10, 2011 at 12:34 am

Who ever the child was born to; if it was born breathing, it has a higher IQ than our Dear Ducktor.

GAAPrulesIFRSdrools November 8, 2011 at 4:34 pm

The saddest life comes from feeling you’ve contributed so much because you’ve made so much money or pointed out all the flaws of life while actually adding nothing productive to society.

That sounds a lot like politicians to me. I’m no fan of HLM, because he allowed skepticism to be cynicism and nihilism isn’t an answer-but he didn’t rely on conscripted money to make a living.

I’d still rather deal with a whiner than a fraud who claims to have solutions, while still whining. You’re all soft!! I’m off to another vacation and have to tee up. Cheeves, gas up Air Force one!

Jon Murphy November 8, 2011 at 7:25 pm

It is also important to note this about a democracy:

Every election is a choice between a giant douche and a turd sandwich. After all, those are the only people who suck up enough to make it in politics

Greg G November 8, 2011 at 7:35 pm

You are welcome to take Don’s advise and not vote then.

Jon Murphy November 8, 2011 at 7:57 pm

I vote 3rd party

Greg G November 8, 2011 at 7:59 pm

So then there is more choice.

Greg Webb November 8, 2011 at 10:16 pm

But, normally, not good choices. So, you seldom vote for a candidate. Rather, one is always voting for a candidate in order to keep some other damn fool our of office. Much like the upcoming Presidential election when a majority is likely to vote out President Obama, which means that they have to vote for his opponent in oder to achieve the desired result.

Jon Murphy November 9, 2011 at 7:15 am

Right. Voting is hardly ever for a candidate but against one.

Greg G November 9, 2011 at 7:39 am

So then why not run for office yourself? Many people here seem to think that they are entitled to have someone do a better job than than current politicians are doing. But they are totally unwilling to consider doing that job themselves. They want someone to do it for them – exactly the way they think it should be done. Now that is a sense of over entitlement for you.

Randy November 9, 2011 at 9:45 am

Greg G: “So why not run for office yourself?”

Because I’m not a politician. And I am not such a fool as to believe that the best way to stop the exploitation is to become a part of it. I think that the best way to stop it is a simple campaign of disrespect.

Randy November 9, 2011 at 9:49 am

Greg G: “Now that is a sense of over entitlement for you.”

Entitled to what? Politicians exploit people. Speaking as one of the people that politicians exploit, that’s not a “job” that I want anyone to do. I put up with it because I have to and that’s the end of it.

Greg G November 9, 2011 at 10:00 am

Randy

Entitled to have someone else do the work of doing the job better without having to make that effort yourself.

Who would compel you to exploit people if you got elected?

And how is that “simple campaign of disrespect” working out as a solution?

Randy November 9, 2011 at 10:43 am

Greg G

Re; Who would compel you to exploit?
A political organization is an organization that exploits. You can’t be a part of an organization without being a part of what it does.

Re; And how is that “simple campaign of disrespect” working out as a solution?
Some success. We now have a Tea Party and the OWS folks participating. Admittedly the targeting is a bit random so far. And, of course, there is no viable alternative. We can’t force them to quit, but we may be able to shame them.

Greg Webb November 9, 2011 at 10:57 am

So then why not run for office yourself?

1. Power tends to corrupt. No fallible human being is perfect and is likely to fall to temptation over time. This tendency is noted in history and literature. In the Lord of the Rings, Gandalf, the good grey wizard, momentarily holds the ring of power and immediately realizes that he, with the best of intentions, would do great evil. He decides to let the least harmless person he knows, Frodo Baggins, take the ring back to the mountain where it could be destroyed. And, even Frodo was going to fall to the ring of power’s temptations at the end.

Greg G, libertarians do not expect politicians to be perfectly good and noble (even if they personally were running the government). That is the naive view of human nature that is frequently espoused by those who believe in big government. Libertarians, on the other hand, understand human nature, accept it for what it is, and devise schemes of government where power is limited and factions fight each other in order to keep any one faction or few factions from gaining permanent control of the government.

2. According to Rep. Pete DeFazio, fund raising takes 80% of his time. Most people who practice ethics find it difficult to raise funds in our political environment where so many want to “buy” government subsidies and regulations designed to limit competition.

3. Most people are too busy making a living and taking care of their families to want to run for office. Libertarians wish that those seeking office would similarly spend their time rather that childishly thinking that they can change the world through legislation.

They want someone to do it for them – exactly the way they think it should be done. Now that is a sense of over entitlement for you.

That’s exactly what big government advocates want. Instead of working to better themselves and their families, they seek to use government power to enrich themselves and their political cronies at the expense of those of us who are minding our own business and being productive.

Greg G November 9, 2011 at 11:30 am

GW

I understand what you are saying but if your view is so cynical and fatalistic where does all the outrage come from? It sounds like you are saying there is little chance it could be any different. If that is the case, then why invest so much energy in feeling it should be different?

Jon Murphy November 9, 2011 at 12:03 pm

“So then why not run for office yourself?”

I did run for office. City councilor. Election was yesterday. I got 3 votes and one of them was mine.

Greg Webb November 9, 2011 at 12:04 pm

I understand what you are saying but if your view is so cynical and fatalistic where does all the outrage come from?

My view is not cynical nor fatalistic, and I am not outraged about anything. Cynicism, fatalism, and faked outrage are all characteristics of big-government advocates. I am realistic in my assessment of human nature and tendencies.

It sounds like you are saying there is little chance it could be any different.

Nope. As Ben Franklin so wisely replied when asked what the Constitutional Convention had given the country, “A Republic if you can keep it.” He knew that the forces of big government would continue to seek to reduce individual liberty and would do so in this country as it does everywhere. So, everyone who believes in liberty and limited government must always resist the forces that would take us back to big government rule anyway they can.

I intend to keep the Republic. We have gone to far down the big government road and I am assisting in slowing and eventually reversing the current big-government trend that began with the regressive movement.

If that is the case, then why invest so much energy in feeling it should be different?

That is not the case. Even if it were, liberty is always worth fighting for. Also, see comment immediately preceding this one.

yet another Dave November 9, 2011 at 2:31 pm

Many people here seem to think that they are entitled to have someone do a better job than than current politicians are doing.

That conclusion strikes me a bizarre. With the possible exception of muirgeo I’ve not seen anybody indicate such an attitude here at the café. Wanting politicians to do less does not imply any sense of entitlement.

The rest of that post goes downhill fast into pure unsupported speculation.

muirgeo November 8, 2011 at 9:58 pm

“The saddest life is that of a political aspirant under democracy. ”

And from this we can conclude a political aspirant under communism or some other totalitarian system is less sad then the democratic aspirant.

Real helpful Mr Mencken… thanks for that.

GAAPrulesIFRSdrools November 8, 2011 at 10:05 pm

He said saddest not most evil.

Randy November 9, 2011 at 5:40 am

That is an interesting thought, which prompts me to conclude that the problem with Mencken’s statement is that it isn’t true. The truth is that the political class does quite well for itself in this country. Those who run for office are just a small part of the organization, and for those who run for office and lose there is always a well paid easy job for them somewhere else within the organization. Meanwhile those of us who do something useful for a living have to work for an additional 10 to 20 years so that these assholes can have their titles and mansions.

Marx was not entirely wrong.

Blackhand 20019 November 9, 2011 at 2:37 pm

George-

Success requiring force and power be used on your fellow men and creatures is disgraceful. By using M.A.M.A.S. midwives for ones birthing needs, many are free to bypass the Dr. Jekylls one gets by training with cadavers.

Are not M.D.’s for the most part exceptional veterinarians? Are not veterinarians coerced into silence while most of the nations urban animals are kidnapped and delivered to animal death camps that are coldbloodedly misnamed pet shelters?

No libertarian wants the state monstrosity product called Animal Control, yet you would defend to our death, the states’ right to provide it and the legitimacy of state force being used against property owners to pay for this unwanted service.

I am asking you to consider that individuals will spontaneously cooperate to find a better way to deal with God’s creatures. I am pleading with you to rescind your sanction given to the Thugs-Du-Jour to intrude upon private problems and create a living hell on earth right before our very eyes.

Carter.

Henri Hein November 9, 2011 at 3:44 pm

Cannot reply above, so doing it here at the bottom:
“Right. Voting is hardly ever for a candidate but against one”

Yes, but that is a feature of the American duopoly. It is different in other democracies.

Jon Murphy November 9, 2011 at 3:54 pm

True. And one of the reasons I vote 3rd party. It signals to the establishment I am happy with neither party. History has shown how important 3rd parties are in America.

Henri Hein November 9, 2011 at 3:59 pm

Jon,

I am totally with you. The US would be much better off with a viable 3rd party.

I have always thought so intuitively, and was excited when I saw Gordon Tullock prove it logically. With two parties, there is no reason for either of them to cater to niche positions. With three parties (or more), the dynamic shifts so that it does become worthwhile.

Jon Murphy November 9, 2011 at 4:05 pm

Right, and in US History, you have seen some 3rd parties get big and the majority parties adopt their stances: the Muckrackers, the Prohibition Party, the Free Soil Party, the Republican Party (yes, it was once a 3rd Party), and now with the Libertarian Party and Independent Party

vikingvista November 9, 2011 at 6:49 pm

The argument is that having three rather than two parties splits the popular positions, resulting in victory for less popular minority positions.

However, the very idea that any sort of state democracy elevates the most popular positions, or even that the notion of a most popular position is meaningful, is dubious. Therefore, if there must be some form of coercive democratic decision making, the solitary goal shouldn’t have anything to do with the issues being decided. The goal should be to disempower state institutions. In that light, the added political uncertainty of three way elections may be more threatening to an established political class.

Henri Hein November 9, 2011 at 3:54 pm

Greg,

“Laws are the most important rules we have”

Yes, and law is discovered, not made. In the words of another wise man, Coolidge:

“Men do not make laws. They do but discover them. Laws must be justified by something more than the will of the majority. They must rest on the eternal foundation of righteousness. That state is most fortunate in its form of government which has the aptest instruments for the discovery of laws. “

Jon Murphy November 9, 2011 at 3:57 pm

And that, Henri is the difference between law and Law.

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