Saturday, October 23, 2004

LRC picks
The Cold War fraud

Eisenhower vs. Bush

Can anybody get through to Bush’s Christians?

The foot-in-the-door draft

First they came for the doctors and nurses - oh, but now war will be so much fun! It'll be just like Hawkeye, Trapper and Hot Lips on 'MASH'!

Various and sundry
On the Libertarian choice of candidate:
What about the Libertarians? Here we come to a post that’s liable to garner some hate mail. But as Morpheus tells Neo in The Matrix, "all I’m offering is the truth."

I have sometimes wondered if the Libertarians secretly wish to fail as a party. At least, that they have a surprising blind spot on what it is going to take for a Libertarian to get on the national radar screen.

At their national convention in Atlanta last spring, they had an opportunity to nominate a man with millions of dollars of his own money to spend: Aaron Russo. Russo, easily the most experienced and outgoing of the three Libertarian candidates this go around, had worked in Hollywood and had a lot of connections in the entertainment industry. He might have become a Libertarian Ross Perot (minus Perot’s penchant for nuttiness), capable of buying airtime on national television to promote the Libertarian message on his own infomercials.

Instead they nominated a computer programmer and consultant from Texas named Michael Badnarik. Now don’t get me wrong. Badnarik is doubtless a smart guy. He is knowledgeable about the Constitution, having written a book on the foundations of our freedoms and designed an eight-hour course on the subject. Under better circumstances he could have been the right candidate. But when all is said and done, he doesn’t have any money. Not compared to what is needed to run a campaign capable of garnering attention outside late night talk shows. He wasn’t the right candidate. Russo was. Thus once again, on Election Day the Libertarians will end up invisible. This time they will have done it to themselves. They don’t seem aware that writing books and simply waiting for the public to read them and wake up to arguments doesn’t cut it. The public isn’t that literate. Most people – most are government school graduates, after all – need someone to lay the issues out for them, preferably in a way that is lighthearted and entertaining, or doesn’t seem to be too demanding. Russo, I am convinced, could have done that. Badnarik hasn’t.

Reason does not win elections. Money and powerful connections do. Which is why I do not expect to see a Libertarian president in my lifetime. But a few Russo infomercials could have made a few people think, and kept the LP from the invisibility now guaranteed to it.
And:

I wonder how many people realize that UN-backed "observers" will be monitoring this election in several states, almost as if the U.S. had already become a third world banana republic.
On Jacques Derrida:

He never had the following in his native France that he achieved here. Derrida’s death did come to the attention of France’s President Jacques Chirac, however. The other day a reader sent me the following tongue-in-cheek comments made by the French President: Jacques Derrida died the other day "if indeed ‘death’ can be said to mean anything beyond the biases of culture, language, religion and philosophy."

Chirac continued, "Of course, we can’t assert anything positively about Monsieur Derrida’s recent failure to exist. We can’t even state that he ever did exist, since he may have been a mere metaphysical projection of our own prejudices against absolutes. However, in as much as we may categorically claim anything – Monsieur Derrida will not likely be showing up for work tomorrow. Although, who is to say?

"Monsieur Derrida bequeathed a magnificent legacy to the global intellectual community. He has provided us all with the intellectual infrastructure to prevent us from seeking after truth. Thanks to him we know it is fruitless to assert anything with conviction, or to say that any ideology is less true than any other. They are all equally trifling. Their value, if any, lies only in the sport they provide for college professors."
Of course Catholics and other believers say he still exists, though where exactly is anybody's guess.

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