Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Tonight's links of interest

Stolen election rebutal

More stolen election rebutal.

Non-jesus voters

Good advice Dems, I'd listen.

Voting is compulsory in Belgium?

An RDF visualizer, hmm.

Kick the oil habit in 50 years?

Oil prices drop.

Sore loser laundry list.

Seymore Hersh: hard left ideologue. So what else is new?

Bush voters are stupid, ignorant and hypocritical... Classic liberal condescension. I hope they keep it up.

6 comments:

John Scalzi said...

You write:

"Classic liberal condescension."

As I note on my own site, this particular "classic liberal" has been registered independent since he was able to vote and this last election voted for some Republicans in the last election (as well as some for some Democrats and an independent). You've simply assumed that anyone who is against Bush is a straight-ticket liberal, which is a pretty ignorant thing to do. But I suppose that would just go to prove my point.

Eric Simonson said...

Independent. Were any of those Republicans conservative? I suspect not.

Why is it that virtually every self labeled independent and moderate seem to hate conservatives and support liberal candidates?

I have a theory that it involves some self delusion about being 'above it all'. As an independent you are able to say you are more objective than all the other 'partisans'. Except that there doesn't seem to be much difference in partisanship.

Oh well.

John Scalzi said...

Re: Conservatives --

Actually, yes, some of them were. And if you go back in my voting record to when I lived in Northern Virginia, you'll find I was an enthusastic voter for Frank Wolf, who is deeply conservative (here's an endorsement of Wolf from the Washington Times: http://washingtontimes.com/op-ed/20041021-100641-3877r.htm), but whom I believed came to his positions through sober reflection rather than being a partisan hack. I disagreed with a number of his positions, particularly socially, but I thought (and still think) that he was an honorable man and an able represntative. Had I continued to live in Northern Virginia, I would have happily voted for him again.

Lest you think I'm just saying this now when it's cheap and easy to do so, I refer you to an archived entry from my Web site, dated August 18th, 2000 (http://web.archive.org/web/20010920021532/scalzi.com/whatever/w000818.html) in which I say the following:

"Mr. Wolf and I don't see eye-to-eye on a some of my hot button issues (he'd never get my vote for President), but here's the thing: He's not a brainless, party-line apparatchik who only does what his overlords tell him to do. He appears to have a well-developed sense of personal honor and ethics, which he follows even at the expense of his party's politics. And he's also on the House Subcommittee on Transportation, which helps keep my local roads smooth and pothole-free. In short, a decent man, a useful public servant, and someone who has never done anything not to deserve my vote."

You say:

"I have a theory that it involves some self delusion about being 'above it all'. As an independent you are able to say you are more objective than all the other 'partisans'. Except that there doesn't seem to be much difference in partisanship."

It's an interesting theory, and like most theories, it's largely wrong.

I'm not at all objective in my vote -- no one is, nor should they be, since a vote is inherently a subjective thing. Nor am I under the delusion I am "above it all," otherwise clearly I wouldn't vote. However, my own subjective decisions as to what is useful to me politically don't completely track with either party; therefore I vote however I please. I vote for conservatives less often than I vote for non-conservatives, to be sure, and for various reasons I have have a hard time imagining a scenario in which I give my vote for president to a social conservative. But when it suits my purposes and inclinations, I have no problem pulling that lever for a conservative in other positions.

So much for your theory, at least as it applies to me.

Eric Simonson said...

Thanks for responding, John. I didn't expect it, but I did mean to check back at your site to see if you had.

Kudos to you for supporting a Republican. But even you admit that you are a lefty.

"You know, every time I write something that slams the GOP and exposes my own native lefty leanings, I wonder if'n I ought not just pack it in, renounce my supposedly independent leanings, and register as a Democrat. I don't for two reasons... " What is it about Frank Wolf's policies that would differ from George Bush's policies as President that makes you support him?

I too lived in a trailer growing up. I'm still not all that well off though, but I did get a tax cut. On principle I think it's always better to give people back their money so that they can spend it themselves as they see fit rather than by the self-appointed guardians charting the course of our economy for us.

"The goverment won't necessarily spend my money more wisely than I could, I'll be the first to admit. However, it can do it more effectively, and they can do more good than I could do on my own, so long as the right people are guiding it with the right policies."If they won't spend it more wisely how can you say they will spend it more effectively?

John Scalzi said...

You write:

"Kudos to you for supporting a Republican. But even you admit that you are a lefty."

I certainly am socially lefty, although even that is not a straight-line ticket (I support the death penalty, for example, don't have a problem with gun ownership, and have other prominent streaks of not-lefty). I am fairly traditionally right on fiscal, military and international issues -- rather more so on the fiscal front, in my opinion, than Bush's administration.

"What is it about Frank Wolf's policies that would differ from George Bush's policies as President that makes you support him?"

The difference is in personality and implementation. In a basic sense, I trust Wolf to have given his positions thought and to be able to work pragmatically and with good will with others who disagree with him and his goals, neither of which I get from Bush and his administration. I'm a big fan of pragmatic action on either side of the aisle.

"If they won't spend it more wisely how can you say they will spend it more effectively?"

Economies of scale. By "wisely" I mean that some of the money I send in taxes will be used for things I think are foolish. However I am willing to subsidize some of things I think are foolish to get the things I think are not (at least until the next election), and to which the gov. can more effectively apply my taxes (and others' taxes) than I would be able to apply the money individually.

Incidentally, these guardians are not "self-appointed" -- they're elected. One of the great fallices of the modern right is the idea that taxes are inherently evil or that people will always apply their money in ways that are effective for the common good. To flip this around, the stereotypical liberal wouldn't spend his money on defense but relies on a strong military for his liberty. Taxes are an acknowledgement that there is a common good, which needs to be supported.

Eric Simonson said...

Personality and implementation? C'mon, the left will demonize any Republican that tries to implement what he thinks is right for the country. There is no bipartisanship forthcoming from Democrats in Washington unless it is compromise in their direction. Which I think Bush has already done too much of.

As for economies of scale, I am not willing to subsidize policies that are antithetical to freedom, i.e. economic freedom.

The real issue here is who makes the decisions, not so much about how wise it is or is not on any particular issue. Because everyone is capable of making both good and bad decisions. When the government makes the decision for you it is essentially assuming that it has more information about your situation than you do and that you are not capable of making that decision yourself.

Do you have any examples of the government making better decisions than you can about your own life?