Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Incredibly Stupid Statement of the Day, 05/29/07

Wow. Just ... wow. Over at The Wide Awakes:

Voting is the ultimate exercise of personal freedom.

WTF? When you vote, it's usually over one of three things:

- Who is going to govern you (and everyone else). Now, perhaps you think that you (and/or others) need to be governed ... but even stipulating, for the sake of argument, to that proposition, necessity doesn't magically turn an exercise in submission into an exercise of personal freedom.

- What rules you (and everyone else) are going to be bound by. Once again, it's possible that you think there should be limits to freedom, and that the best way to decide what those limits are is a referendum ... but once again, we're talking about an exercise in reciprocal restraint, not an exercise of personal freedom.

- Who's going to pay for all this governing nonsense and how (i.e. taxes, bond issues and such). I suppose that voting "yes" on a measure to repeal a tax or "no" on a new tax or a tax increase might resemble an exercise in personal freedom (setting aside the question of whether or not the voting implies consent to the tax if the election doesn't go your way, and what that says about your mindset) ... but it really seems a lot more like a mass dine-and-dash episode in which everyone tries to stick everyone else with the check.

"Ultimate exercise in personal freedom?"

Making love with someone similarly inclined would certainly make my short list.

Taking my money to any store I choose and buying whatever I want there would too.

Voting? Um, no. Hell no, not even if I get to dip my finger in purple ink and ululate for the camera afterward.


It is difficult to know what [a hypothetical President] Gore would have done after 9/11 but I think it more than possible that he would have lobbed a few cruise missiles at Afghanistan trying to take out Bin Laden and gone the United Nations route.; sanctions, resolutions, and words of solidarity couched in the usual apologetic tones of "So sorry we can't do anymore." Regime change would have been off the table. And Bin Laden would not only have been free and on the loose, but hugely emboldened and the biggest hero in the Arab world since Saladin.

In other words, pretty much what we have now, but cheaper by 3,000-odd American lives, uncounted Iraqi lives and hundreds of billions of US taxpayer dollars. Perish the thought.

The post is generally interesting and sometimes thought-provoking, though, and it's about Bryan Caplan's new book, The Myth of the Rational Voter: Why Democracies Choose Bad Policies (let's see if that automated Amazon thingie does its duty here -- if not I'll come back and manually link). Caplan is a libertarian ass-kicker of the first water ... see his home page for all kinds of good stuff, and don't miss the Libertarian Purity Test (153 ... I am not worthy).

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