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David Mamet, George McGovern and Free People
Posted by: Jon Henke on Wednesday, March 12, 2008

First, George McGovern says he has "come to realize that protecting freedom of choice in our everyday lives is essential to maintaining a healthy civil society."
Why do we think we are helping adult consumers by taking away their options? We don't take away cars because we don't like some people speeding. We allow state lotteries despite knowing some people are betting their grocery money. Everyone is exposed to economic risks of some kind. But we don't operate mindlessly in trying to smooth out every theoretical wrinkle in life.

The nature of freedom of choice is that some people will misuse their responsibility and hurt themselves in the process. We should do our best to educate them, but without diminishing choice for everyone else.
I'm also keeping my eye out for a pro-freedom essay by Bearded Spock
Now, David Mamet goes and suggests that maybe free people can better organize their lives and their society than can a central government.
The conservative president in [one of David Mamet's plays] holds that people are each out to make a living, and the best way for government to facilitate that is to stay out of the way, as the inevitable abuses and failures of this system (free-market economics) are less than those of government intervention.

I took the liberal view for many decades, but I believe I have changed my mind.
It's a bit surprising, albeit gratifying, to see those two recognize these ideas now. Still, I'm also keeping my eye out for a pro-freedom essay by Bearded Spock.

Mamet goes on to write a few more very cogent things...
I found not only that I didn't trust the current government (that, to me, was no surprise), but that an impartial review revealed that the faults of this president—whom I, a good liberal, considered a monster—were little different from those of a president whom I revered.
[...]
But if the government is not to intervene, how will we, mere human beings, work it all out?

I wondered and read, and it occurred to me that I knew the answer, and here it is: We just seem to. How do I know? From experience. I referred to my own—take away the director from the staged play and what do you get? Usually a diminution of strife, a shorter rehearsal period, and a better production.
[...]
I recognized that I held those two views of America (politics, government, corporations, the military). One was of a state where everything was magically wrong and must be immediately corrected at any cost; and the other—the world in which I actually functioned day to day—was made up of people, most of whom were reasonably trying to maximize their comfort by getting along with each other (in the workplace, the marketplace, the jury room, on the freeway, even at the school-board meeting).

And I realized that the time had come for me to avow my participation in that America in which I chose to live, and that that country was not a schoolroom teaching values, but a marketplace.
There are many problems in the world, many things of which we should disapprove, many things we should seek to change. But government is force, and force should rarely be a tool of quick resort. (story via Glenn Reynolds)
 
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I look forward to seeing the directorless performance of his next play.
 
Written By: Retief
URL: http://
McGovern had a piece in the WSJ a few years back describing the difficulties he had trying to run a business (a restaurant I believe) after he left politics.
All the reporting of stuff to OSHA, Labor Dept, etc. etc. was killing his business. He wished he had had this experience before he went into politics.

It took McGovern longer than it should have, but this points up why the President must be at least 40 years old.
 
Written By: Neo
URL: http://
Maybe we should require that Congresscritters be at least 30???

It was an interesting journey to read. I have to wonder why it takes people so long to see the obvious.
 
Written By: Keith_Indy
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
Maybe we should require that Congresscritters be at least 30???
Senators are already required to be 30, Representatives 25.
I look forward to seeing the directorless performance of his next play.
If there were a script and blocking to life, maybe you’d have a point. Life is one-take, no rehearsal improv.
 
Written By: Steverino
URL: http://
McGovern had a piece in the WSJ a few years back describing the difficulties he had trying to run a business (a restaurant I believe) after he left politics.
All the reporting of stuff to OSHA, Labor Dept, etc. etc. was killing his business. He wished he had had this experience before he went into politics.
This points to a Republican advantage: buisness expereince prior to political office. The Donkey Party opts for the lawyer route . . .
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
Senators are already required to be 30, Representatives 25.
I think that assumes that our illustrious representatives actually believe everything they are saying. I suspect that many are saying and doing what they think will keep them in office another 2/6 years.
 
Written By: Curt
URL: http://
I think that assumes that our illustrious representatives actually believe everything they are saying. I suspect that many are saying and doing what they think will keep them in office another 2/6 years.
Please explain what this has to do with the age requirements for the office, as listed in the Constitution.
 
Written By: Steverino
URL: http://
Please explain what this has to do with the age requirements for the office, as listed in the Constitution.
I believe it called "coming of age." It often comes in phases.
 
Written By: Neo
URL: http://
When I read Mamet’s piece this morning, I couldn’t help but remember a former co-worker who had worked for Goerge McGovern’s campaign in 1972.

He once told me how he had canvassed across Phildelphia in support of McGovern, only be be given a lesson in politics that he never forgot.

Seems that more than one registered Democratic voter that he sought out had an address to an empty lot. Many of these empty lots had obviously been empty for some time, so he wonder just how they could possibly had voted in the previous elections, as voting records showed.

I think he may be a Republican now.
 
Written By: Neo
URL: http://
McGovern has always been caricatured. He was a South Dakota pragmatist, a progressive who never felt comfortable with the radical left, the hippies supporting his 1972 campaign, or ideological zeal. He built the South Dakota Democratic party in the 50s essentially going from house to house, helping farmers with chores, sitting down over coffee and talking about their issues. He always had a rather conservative personal side, and certainly was distrustful of too much government power. I think you have to understand the northern plains to really understand McGovern.
 
Written By: Scott Erb
URL: http://faculty.umf.maine.edu/~erb/blog.htm
All the reporting of stuff to OSHA, Labor Dept, etc. etc. was killing his business. He wished he had had this experience before he went into politics.

It took McGovern longer than it should have, but this points up why the President must be at least 40 years old.
The problem of course is not having lived in the real world. Being 40 is no answer to that problem. Had McGovern been out here with the rest of us slobs, does anyone really think he’d ahve been the left leaner he is?



 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
But government is force, and force should rarely be a tool of quick resort.
The most succinct definition of government that I ever heard was that ..
government has the monopoly on the use of force
The more I thought about that, the more I realized that if everyone thought that way, it would clear up a whole bunch of stuff.

Like blaming Bush for the war. If you plainly realized that Congress has given Bush "any and all meaning necessary .." you would have realized that, in these government terms, this is the kitchen sink and all that goes with it. This wasn’t some ceremonial event, but a life and death event. Perhaps Hiliary would have read that NIE (which said almost nothing) and the PDB about bin Laden (which Tom Kean said contained almost nothing) and realized that we (Bush and the Congress included) really knew nothing, and the effort to go to war was really meant to fill that vacuum.

Too many folks seem to think that being President is one big photo-op.
And as Paul Krugman points out “hope is not a plan.”

 
Written By: Neo
URL: http://
Too many folks seem to think that being President is one big photo-op.
And as Paul Krugman points out “hope is not a plan.”
Somehow I expect him to chainge that view in the general election . . .
 
Written By: Don
URL: http://
"The problem of course is not having lived in the real world. Being 40 is no answer to that problem. Had McGovern been out here with the rest of us slobs, does anyone really think he’d ahve been the left leaner he is?"
Explain, then, all the business executives and owners who are lefties? The denial of reality is the world’s most active religion.

 
Written By: Grimshaw
URL: http://
Grimshaw:
Did they come up themselves, or did Daddy hand it to them? The reality is that the ones of which you speak have been long outside the real world, as well.


Anso, Erb:
McGovern has always been caricatured.
Likely because he made the job of the people making him a caricature, so easy. The transition from the real McGovern to the caricature wasn’t so long a tip.



 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
In an era when conservatives have championed warrantless wiretaping of American citizens and indefnite detention of American citizens, Mamet simply comes off as another Dennis Miller wannabe.

To wingnuts, Americans have more to fear from OSHA than any other government agency. And the Consumer Product Safety Commission is next to Satan.
 
Written By: mkultra
URL: http://
To wingnuts, Americans have more to fear from OSHA than any other government agency. And the Consumer Product Safety Commission is next to Satan.
mk, your grade of nonsense is slipping badly. This is some of the most hyperbolic and preposterous stuff you’ve posted in a while.

You just go right and there and find yourself someone, anyone, left or right, who fears OSHA more than the IRS. OSHA consists of clueless busybodies that don’t know the meaning of "cost-benefit", but their ability to inspire fear is limited to small businessmen who can lose their companies if the busybodies are not mollified. And it’s usually not too hard to mollify them; just often more expensive than it should be.

I also challenge you to find a single "wingnut" that considers the CPSC as "next to Satan". They’re busybodies too, but not even as meddlesome as OSHA. Their legacy is toasters that don’t toast because if they did then one in a hundred million might catch a house on fire when some idiot used them wrong.

I realize it probably got under your skin for one of your former allies to throw in the towel and admit that your entire philosophy is completely at odds with the real world. But hey, that’s the breaks. It doesn’t mean you have to post nonsense to keep from addressing his points. It just shows desperation on your part.

Just relax. Maybe someday you’ll follow him.
 
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
I look forward to seeing the directorless performance of his next play.
Good one, Retief! I had the same thought myself.

I’m sympathetic to Mamet’s journey and I like his work, but some of the thinking in the article seemed sloppy, like equating Bush and JFK for Plamegate and the Bay of Pigs. Huh?

Then there was one good line:
...but any of us who has ever been at a zoning meeting with our property at stake is aware of the urge to cut through all the pernicious bull***t and go straight to firearms.
 
Written By: huxley
URL: http://
Boris:
McGovern has always been caricatured.
Self-caricature.

A few years ago McGovern got to praising Henry Wallace during some anniversary of something to do with Wallace, the Soviet dupe who was FDR’s Vice President for one term, dropped in favor of Truman for the election of 1940.

Wallace ran for president as the candidate of the Progressive Party in 1948.

I think that Wallace proposed something along the lines of "give the Soviets whatever they want." McGovern had similar inclinations.
 
Written By: Martin McPhillips
URL: http://mcphillips.blogspot.com/
mk, your grade of nonsense is slipping badly. This is some of the most hyperbolic and preposterous stuff you’ve posted in a while.
sniffing the ink of the markist worker party newsletter and rolling your tobacco with it will have that effect. It does wear off without permanent injury.
 
Written By: capt joe
URL: http://
To wingnuts, Americans have more to fear from OSHA than any other government agency. And the Consumer Product Safety Commission is next to Satan.
To the Left, a single procedure denied due to risk by Cigna is unforgivable. But tens, hundreds of thousands of procedures, medicines and treatments denied by the FDA due to risk is...unimportant.
 
Written By: Jon Henke
URL: http://QandO.net
"Did they come up themselves, or did Daddy hand it to them?"

Gates, Soros, Turner, ...
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
indefnite detention of American citizens
Post a list of all of em will ya, I’d like to write to them and ask them how it’s going, maybe send them some care packages as a humanitarian gesture.
 
Written By: looker
URL: http://
In an era when conservatives have championed warrantless wiretaping of American citizens
And when exactly did they do this?
I’m geting damned tired of this lie being spread, and I’m calling you out.
When, where, and who.
Specifics, MK.

 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
Soros.... is American?
 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
"Did they come up themselves, or did Daddy hand it to them?"
Both, of course. There are plenty of self-made left-leaning business people out there. Warren Buffet, to name one prominent one (based on his tax views).

My comment -The denial of reality is the world’s most active religion- was not directed at you, bithead. It’s one possible explanation for self-made lefty business people. Other reasons include guilt, an unwillingness to think deeply about the world, and luck.



 
Written By: Grimshaw
URL: http://
"Soros.... is American?"

According to Forbes;

http://www.forbes.com/lists/2007/10/07billionaires_George-Soros_L9II.html

And secinfo.com
http://www.secinfo.com/dS3tw.42n.htm#3ca

Does it matter?
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://
Still waiting, MK.

 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
y comment -The denial of reality is the world’s most active religion- was not directed at you, bithead. It’s one possible explanation for self-made lefty business people. Other reasons include guilt, an unwillingness to think deeply about the world, and luck.
An interesting thought, Grimshaw, and one I’m sorry to say I missed seeing before.

And MK, I’m still waiting.

 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://bitsblog.florack.us
To wingnuts, Americans have more to fear from OSHA than any other government agency. And the Consumer Product Safety Commission is next to Satan.
yeah, you’re from the reality-based community, alright... I actually force my kids to eat their plastic toys. That’s how hardcore I am.

You have a Kos blog, right?
 
Written By: rob
URL: http://

 
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