Posts Tagged ‘first principles’
April 5th, 2010 at 4:50 pm
Fighting the Good Fight

The defining battle in the war of competing political philosophies today is the one being waged between proponents of large and small government.  Clifford Asness makes a sterling contribution to the latter in his essay, “The Way Forward for Republicans, Tea Partiers.”  A sample:

We must beat them by repeatedly making the hard arguments as to why liberty works and why it is the moral choice.

We must win by explaining, no matter how long it may take and hard it may be, that free people acting in a free market is what this country stands for, is the only ethical way to live, and happens to be the greatest anti-poverty and civil rights program on earth. This is harder than saying “here’s some free stuff, now vote for us forever or you’ll lose it.” But, it’s the right thing to do for America, and even the right thing to do politically. If the other party is trying to hook the American people by pushing drugs (entitlements and such) on them, we won’t win elections by pushing slightly less attractive drugs!

The disadvantage to this approach is, again, it’s far harder. It does not fit well in a sound bite. It requires faith in our audience. I think the American people are ready for it, and will reward the party that shares the truth with them. I think so no matter how much more complex the truth is than simpler feel-good lies.