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Why I fear John McCain
Posted by: Jon Henke on Thursday, June 01, 2006

Jim Henley notes my post on third party agitation and writes...
Henke thinks the current politician most likely to succeed as the insect of an afternoon’s third force is John McCain. He’s surely right about this, and McCain is one of the least libertarian politicians going.
McCain has a Great Man complex
I won't argue that McCain is very libertarian, but I do think he’s more libertarian than, for example, President Bush. That is, perhaps, damning with faint praise. My fear of McCain rests on different grounds, though.

My impression is that McCain has a Great Man complex. That is, he has some laudable tendencies, but he’s often willing to abandon them when he thinks he has a Good Idea. And why not? He’s a Great Man, and Great Men get things done.

That would explain, e.g., the way he throws the 1st ammendment under the train when he gets sufficiently irked about a ”problem” (campaign finance, clean government, etc) or why he frequently goes maverick on various issues with no apparent ideological principle in mind.
I fear politicians who believe their Grand Ideas trump healthy skepticism
I fear McCain, not because he’s got a worse voting record than many other candidates, but because I fear politicians who believe their Grand Ideas trump healthy skepticism. (tangentially: if somebody would like to apply this same calculus to Bush and Iraq, be my guest.)
 
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Jon, I’m glad we’re back to agreement on something. My comments here, a few weeks ago:
McCain seems to have a "great man" complex, and such people are capable of doing just about anything.
There’s no possible way I’d vote for McCain. I fear him too much.
 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
Then we’re on the same wavelength. I’ve been warning about the dangerous trend towards a "Great Man Theory" of good government from both parties...
For whatever reason, the Democrats — and, increasingly, the Republicans, as well — have adopted a Great Man Theory of Good Government: all we have to do is get rid of this current President for one of our own and this government, this "dangerous servant and a fearful master" (George Washington), will be just fine.
And...
The correct libertarian argument is that the problem is neither Republican nor Democratic — it is structural. The other parties are claiming the corruption stems from their opponents, while libertarians point out that the new boss will be the same as the old boss. The Great Man Theory of good governance is wrong.
We appear to be in the electoral minority.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.qando.net/
Jon,

We might disagree on global warming, but certainly no argument here.
 
Written By: IR
URL: http://
McCain-Feingold.

I wish the VC still had him.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
I wish the VC still had him.
That’s just cold.

BTW, the "VC" never had him.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
NVA is a little too obscure to younger readers, I thought. I figured more poeple would get the meaning of VC.
"That’s just cold.

BTW, the "VC" never had him."
Cold. Yes. But not colder than I am.

The man took an oath to protect the Constitution, I’ve heard tell from you that you did too.

So have I. Not with the military, the NCA’s far too likely to cough up an order I couldn’t obey.

If the FCC had come down differently, how the hell could I have stood still when the blogger’s started to go to jail?

Or worse, be quiet?

Goddamn McCain to hell and the horse he rose in on.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
Henke wrote:
"I fear politicians who believe their Grand Ideas trump healthy skepticism"
Too bad you can’t keep that skepticism for when scientists climb in bed with the poltiicians.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
I will waste my vote on a 3rd party not sure which yet but I will never say that I wish McCain was still a POW...never!

btw..I’m kinda hoping either the libertarian or constition parties get enough general election votes (what is it 15%?) to get in on public funding and debates for the next after election. Even tho the next is just mid-term it would help for the real one.
 
Written By: SkyWatch
URL: http://
(tangentially: if somebody would like to apply this same calculus to Bush and Iraq, be my guest.)
Softballs, man. I mean after all, didn’t God want GWB to be president? Game, set, match.

Cheers.

++++++++++++
NVA is a little too obscure to younger readers, I thought. I figured more poeple would get the meaning of VC.
Well good thing you didn’t use “Charlie”. Young readers would definitely be confused…

Who’s Charlie, and how did he have McCain? What? Is Charlie some gigolo out of Tempe or something???

Come on.

Wow, Tom. I’m no fan of McCain… but wow!! Wishing that John McCain remain captive and tortured!?!?

More of that nice guy shining through, huh?
 
Written By: PogueMahone
URL: http://
You need a Great Man, because such a fellow brings change. The only ones who should fear a Great Man are those who believe in the status quo. Do you believe in the status quo that spending must increase and the government must expand?

American politics has 2 parties both of which feel the only way to operate is to spend themselves into trouble and then spend even more on their way out of trouble. The parties have the common philosophy that big spending is government. One believes borrowed money should be spent and the other believes taxed money is more proper. Healthy political cynicism has got you to this point, the politicians know that if they give people money those people will vote for them.

Only 50% of your population votes, the rest are more than healthily skeptical that they will derive any benefit from voting. You need a great man to mobilise everybody to either hate him or love him, you need ideas to shake up this status quo.
 
Written By: Unaha-closp
URL: http://
The only ones who should fear a Great Man are those who believe in the status quo.
Ummm ... tell that to the victims of Mao, Lennin and Stalin.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Ummm ... tell that to the victims of Mao, Lennin and Stalin.
Okay

Dear Tsar, Trotsky and Emperor of the Sun,

Your time had come, you were judged to be useless incompetent leaders ruining the land. In all probability you would have wasted lives on vainglorious campaigns and not give a damn about how many you sacraficed. If your successors had been more like Mandela, Washington or Gandhi I could use your dethronements as examples of why removing corrupt incompetency is a good thing, but lucky for you your successors were 3 true monsters so now decades later you are raised as examples of why a status quo should be maintained.

Kindest regards UC


PS - I would still have executed each and every one of you.
 
Written By: Unaha-closp
URL: http://
"Wishing that John McCain remain captive and tortured!?!?"

That would be a far, far better thing for the country than him spearheading the derogation of the 1st Amendment. It’s more important than he is.

And he doesn’t get that.

Pogue, I am a nice guy to people who don’t plan on thieving what is mine by right. McCain is in the other category.

Yours, TDP, ml, msl, & pfpp
 
Written By: Tom Perkins
URL: http://
You need a Great Man, because such a fellow brings change. The only ones who should fear a Great Man are those who believe in the status quo.
... because the status quo is always worse than whatever comes next?
 
Written By: OrneryWP
URL: http://
Mc Cain libertarian? Who are you kidding? This is as wacko as your comments on global warming. Barry Goldwater might have been a libertarian Republican, if there ever was such a politician. I can honestly say and believe that Mc Cain is no Barry Goldwater. The guy is pro taxes, anti abortion and pro big government. Ok, so he wants to eliminate the deficit, but, at what cost? Where is the libertarian in all of this?
 
Written By: Orlando Armaswalker
URL: http://
Mc Cain libertarian? Who are you kidding?
Nobody is arguing that McCain is libertarian. Merely that he is more libertarian than George W Bush, which is damning with faint praise. Next time, please read for comprehension.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.qando.net/
George Bush was and is for lower taxes, he’s for economic growth to balance the budget, Mc Cain is for higher taxes to allow government growth to balance the budget. On that issue alone, Mr Bush is more of a libertarian than Mc Cain. Mc Cain IS NOT more libertarian than Mr Bush. They agree on big government and abortion issues and are libertarian neutral on most other issues. The reason Mc Cain lost to Mr Bush in 2000 was over the [the then proposed income] tax cut.
 
Written By: Orlando Armaswalker
URL: http://
Without a cut in spending, there is no cut in taxes. There is merely a shift in the time at which they are paid. On the spending front, Bush has been an unmitigated disaster. His tax cuts may or may not be useful, but they certainly have not reduced spending.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.QandO.net
Sorry, Jon, I’m not getting it either. How is McCain more libertarian than anybody, including George Bush?
 
Written By: Xrlq
URL: http://xrlq.com/
I have a pretty low estimation of Bush’s libertarian tendencies. Apparently, it’s lower than your estimation. Since Bush has flatly refused spending restraint, his tax cuts don’t count for much. Since Bush signed McCain/Feingold, that’s a wash.

I believe that McCain would exercise more Executive restraint in the WoT than does Bush. Unlike you guys, I wonder how Bush could be seen as more libertarian than just about anybody.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://www.qando.net/

 
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