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« "He wanted me to hush..." | Main | Your Daily Dose of Optimism: America The Epicenter »

Tuesday, 31 January 2012


yeshiva son
The thing that bothers me is the bald faced lies. If he was telling the truth, I wouldn't care that much about his spending, his "carpet bombing" tactics, or that the GOP establishment is shilling for him. I would be okay with that. But he is lying and lying and no one (with the exception of Wolf Blitzer that one time) is calling him on it.
Mannie Sherberg
A bit of American history might be useful here. In the first half of the 19th century. American politics were dominated by two parties: the Democrats and the Whigs. The Whigs were a significant force -- the party that boasted two of the era's greatest statesmen, Daniel Webster and Henry Clay, and the party that stood for small business and transcontinental development. In the 1850s, the party splintered over the urgent issue of the spread of slavery into the western territories. Some Whigs drifted into the Democratic camp, many others joined the newly-founded Republican party. By 1860, the Whig party was as dead as a dodo, and Abraham Lincoln, who began his career as a proud and committed Whig, was elected president not as a Whig but as a Republican. Twenty years earlier, you probably couldn't have found a single American who even dreamed of the Whigs vanishing into thin air -- yet that's exactly what happened. I think we may be on the verge of something comparable. If Romney becomes president and proceeds to break conservative hearts, I believe we may see the founding of a truly conservative third party which will, in a few years time, replace the Republican party, which will in turn fade away. This will leave our country with two genuinely different parties -- a Democrat party which, if it is honest, will rename itself the Socialist party -- and a conservative party which might aptly be called the Freedom or the Independence party. That would fit in nicely with Hayek's thinking; after all, if Socialism is the road to serfdom, then what better name for the party that opposes Socialism than the Freedom party? The names, of course, don't really matter. What matters is that we have a party in opposition to the Democrats that truly stands for something. In the 1850s, the crying need was for a party that clearly stood against the expansion of slavery on American soil -- and the Republicans emerged to fill that need. Today, the need is for a party that clearly stands for smaller, less intrusive government and greater individual opportunity and responsibility. I, for one, am becoming increasingly doubtful that the Republican party as now constituted is up to the task. We may be very close to the time when enough Americans agree with that estimate -- and decide to found a genuinely conservative party to replace the party that had its chance but failed to do the job. This may strike some readers as implausible, but we live in historic times, and only one thing about history is absolutely certain: History never fails to surprise.
Mannie, let me be the first to join your (our) Freedom Party. I have a feeling this might just catch on....
And when it does, remind me to remind everyone that it started right here at BtB, with your astute history lesson. Todah rabah.

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