Some Advice To My Conservative Friends

So about half the blogs I read are conservative; I tend more to the milblogs and libertarian-conservatives than to the red-meat folks (I thought Robert Stacy McCain’s reprise of Jeff Goldstein’s full-throated whine about how unfair liberals are was as lame as the original), who I find as unattractive in their own way as the netroots crowd I have so little respect for.

And it’s interesting to watch the tone of the conservative blogs shifting as Obama proves himself to be vulnerable – less competent than he showed in his campaign, struggling to match postpartisan rhetoric with partisan hardball politics. They’re getting their backs up, and I think that’s kinda nice – I believe in dialectic, and in the power of strong debate to shape good policy.

But – what I’m seeing in this rising tide of conservative confidence is relatively stupid chestbeating.

Look, I consider myself to be pretty darn close to the political center. I like liberty, but also like clean air. My political allegiances are unsettled at best right now, and I’d bet a pretty decent dinner at a trendy LA restaurant that a lot of American’s are today as well.

Events could drive us one way or the other – Obama could have a massive failure in the Middle East, or we could see a string of successful terrorist attacks in Europe that peeled our allies away from us, or there could be real peace between Israel and it’s neighbors. Obama’s fumbling with the financial system could trigger a massive collapse, or could work beautifully and we could suddenly return to stability. But I’ll bet that things are not so completely clarified for us, and that we’ll continue our uncertain ways for the next few years.

So what do the conservatives do? I’ve talked to Andrew Breitbart, who thinks (with some legitimacy) that middle-aged white guys wearing power ties occupy far too much of the mindshare of the conservative movement. Sure, I’ll buy that.

But conservatism needs two things in a big way right now. The first is to have some plans; what – with some meaningful exactitude – would conservatives do about the straights we are in right now? About the financial crisis, about the global recession, about the challenges of globalization which – as Neil Stephenson famously said “…has taken historical inequities and smeared them out into a broad global layer of what a Pakistani brickmaker would call prosperity.” Yes, the free markets improve overall prosperity, but what do you – as conservatives – propose to do about the ‘decent jobs’ that are gone and not coming back? And I get it that the answer is ‘nothing’ – but then what’s the case for conservatism for the family in Fresno or in Tacoma that isn’t participating in the global information/financial elites that globalization has truly created?? About the crisis between the West and Islam? About the rise of China and the demographic decline of Europe?

The second is to remind people why liberty matters. It seems on a gross level that the modern conflict between liberalism and conservatism ought to be between freedom and fairness, and that ideal society is the one that manages balance both. (think Weber) But right now, everything that’s being discussed is class envy and real insecurity.

Someone needs to stand up for liberty, and do it in the context of real societies, not Heinlein’s loonies. It’d be nice to see conservatives take up that mantle.

-

24 thoughts on “Some Advice To My Conservative Friends”

  1. bq. The second is to remind people why liberty matters. It seems on a gross level that the modern conflict between liberalism and conservatism ought to be between freedom and fairness, and that ideal society is the one that manages balance both.

    I think we had that here, at least as good as the world has done so far.

    The thing that you and Breitbart are not asking/saying is what if the question of:

    bq. …Obama proves himself to be vulnerable – less competent than he showed in his campaign, struggling to…

    is NOT the right one. What if he is and his intentions are malevolent? What if all of us redneck rubes in flyover country that were concerned he *_WAS/IS_* the Manchurian Candidate (really the Sorosian Candidate, but it works out the same)? You know, the guys that the “…middle-aged white guys wearing power ties…” who “…occupy far too much of the mindshare of the conservative movement…” sneer at and belittle very chance they get? What if Christo Buckley, Condi Rice, Gen. Powell et. al. got it exactly *_WRONG_*? Hmm? What then?

    Go back and look at the evidence that you refused to examine before – Uncle Frank, Rev. Wright, the Alinski-ism, his ties to the socialists and CPUSA in Chicago – even that pesky birth certificate that NO ONE, NO ONE has ever seen. Do the due diligence. Please, come back and be able to PROVE to me I am wrong. But you must prove it. Just argument will not cut it at this juncture.

    And this:

    bq. …propose to do about the ‘decent jobs’ that are gone and not coming back? And I get it that the answer is ‘nothing’…

    is just disingenuous and I hope you know it. We would hope to take the country back and unwind the disastrous policies that are being implemented.

  2. Contra Robohobo…

    So what if Barack Obama was “the Sorosian Candidate”? Does he seem like the kind of man who stays bought? So, he’ll do whatever he wants, won’t he? And that’s what his supporters, who turned out to be a majority of the electorate, voted for. The system worked.

    Rahm Emanuel, his chief of staff, seems to be thoroughly corrupt (link). Does it matter? Does anyone think he has a head full of wise and good ideas he’d be pursuing if he wasn’t bought and paid for? It may even be beneficial for him to be on the take: it gives him something in common with the crooked legislature as well as his “Chicago way” boss.

    Is Barack Obama president? In practice he is, and I assume so legally as well. There’s no evidence that I know of to the contrary.

    Nothing hangs on it. The position of Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State is so odd in the light of the Emoluments Clause that the White House team is in the same sort of legal half-light regardless of the President’s birth certificate.

    As the American President rightly said: he won, and that’s what counts.

    The deaths and the debts are real. The rest is a clown show. Relax and enjoy it.

  3. I see Robohobo and Mr Blue are following in the proud tradition of political analysis which provided us with in depth commentary on why Dick Cheney existed as Vice president only serve the interests of the oil companies and Halliburton, and why Bill Clinton murdered Vince Foster.

    At any rate, Marc, I agree that we’re not seeing nearly as much quality discourse even out of the serious Republicans, as I’d like to see. I’m not quite at the slash my wrists level of despair, though, because I think in some part this is structural. At the Administration level, the Republicans had a good long run. They got done what they were able to get done, and they ran into the stone wall on the rest of the things they merely wanted to get done.

    It’s going to be a while– a few years, I’d think– before they can really formulate new ideas, try them on for size in lower levels of government, and collectively generate new ideas at a national party level. That sort of thing just takes time, because even in spite of the existence of national-level party strategists, there is a necessarily uncoordinated aspect to this internal restructuring as well. Even the national-level strategists are depending on the lower politicians to come up with ideas that they can then observe and select.

    It sure as hell looks like bitter amateur hour for the time being, though.

    But rest assured, four, eight, twelve years from now, the Democrats will be in essentially the same position of having done everything that the larger body politic will allow them to do, and the Republicans will be looking comparatively fresh.

    I can only hope the evangelist movement will have been kicked to the curb by then, but I doubt I’ll be that lucky.

  4. Conservatism is still choking on many years of hubris and hypocrisy from its leadership. If nothing else, the republican party since the 94 upheaval have been a case study in what conservatives have always warned about the corrupting influence of the Beltway.

    Looking to DC for conservative leadership is like looking for diet tips at Burger King. Conservatives have a huge problem in that the message may be sound (if currently rather incoherent) but the messengers are compromised. Not only will the country not take seriously republicans claiming fiscal discipline and small government when they have spent 8 years deficit spending and expanding government, but worse, the leadership is _still_ less interested in conservative revolution than in retaining their own power base, which is tied tightly to pork, graft, and big government. The old boy network still holds that incumbent protection is the only issue that crosses party lines. Nobody is going to blow the whistle on anybody else lest their own position be threatened. If there is an answer, it will have to come from outside DC.

    The message _badly_ needs to be told. The Obama story is that the private sector has failed and huge new government controls and regulations are needed. The response is obvious but rarely heard- there has been regulation but it has failed, and until we get to the bottom of why it failed more regulation is just so much waste of time. Regulation has failed because of corruption. Nobody investigated Madoff because he was a big rich campaign supporter and somewhere along the line some nameless pol (or several) called the dogs off… or else they didn’t need to because such a level of good ol’ boy had been established that the regulators simply knew better than to go after someone with any power or influence. The same can be said of Freddy and Fannie and all the rest. More laws don’t help if you don’t enforce the old ones.

    Conservatives badly need to point out the failures of _government,_ and how their interference in the market has helped cause this. It needs to be pointed out that the government isn’t a referee any longer, they are a quasi-player, and the consequences of that have been grave. The solution is to get Washington back into the role of anti-trust and leveler of playing fields so companies cant get too big to fail. Then they can be allowed to fail and the market forces can work. Going down our current road is self-fulfilling, because when government fails it will require more government. Somebody has to derail that train.

  5. Armed Liberal:

    … what – with some meaningful exactitude – would conservatives do about the straights we are in right now? About the financial crisis, about the global recession, about the challenges of globalization which – as Neil Stephenson famously said “…has taken historical inequities and smeared them out into a broad global layer of what a Pakistani brickmaker would call prosperity.” Yes, the free markets improve overall prosperity, but what do you – as conservatives – propose to do about the ‘decent jobs’ that are gone and not coming back? And I get it that the answer is ‘nothing’ – but then what’s the case for conservatism for the family in Fresno or in Tacoma that isn’t participating in the global information/financial elites that globalization has truly created?? About the crisis between the West and Islam? About the rise of China and the demographic decline of Europe?

    I hope people will discuss these questions a lot in this thread, along with “why liberty matters”, regardless of whether people agree that to answer these questions and sell the answers is the immediate, pressing business of the Republican Party.

  6. Mark, #5:

    The message badly needs to be told. The Obama story is that the private sector has failed and huge new government controls and regulations are needed. The response is obvious but rarely heard- there has been regulation but it has failed, and until we get to the bottom of why it failed more regulation is just so much waste of time.

    Another under-reported aspect is that the European regulated economies are suffering horribly right now, too.

    What exactly does it say about the systems we are trying to emulate, here, if they’re doing as badly or worse than we are?

  7. Is there a section of the Constitution i’m not familiar with that gives the President the power to guarantee automobile warranties?

  8. MV: It’s worth noting that European economies are not allowed to gamble quite the same way we are…. unless it’s with AAA rated assets. Our bad ratings screwed up their system.

    Mark, I’m with you on most of this corruption is the problem. Unfortunately, show me a politician who has balls to take on corruption, and I’ll show you a politician that has no job (or at least, doesn’t have the power to enact change). I’m not sure how to rectify the situation at this point.

  9. Elections. We get the government we deserve. I think there is traction for a Non-Partisan Anti-Incumbent Party.

  10. I think one thing being overlooked is that the Internet is causing the internal/external voices to be all jumbled together.

    The Republican party really needs to spend another 4-8 years retooling before they can be competitive again. They need to pull together their plans and platform, eliminate out the entrenched gravy-train feeders and their support structure, etc. etc.

    That inherently means a lot of chest beating as various factions compete to define the ideological ruleset of the party. A party needs a base of support and a coherent, defined platform as a backbone before it can compromise and play in the center (you have to have something to give away in order to compromise, and something you can’t give away in order to avoid simply being absorbed into the other side).

    Thanks to the Internet, all this wonderful, formerly internal, behind closed doors activity is now out in the open for everyone to see. And comment on. And join in.

    It seems to be rather like having a family argument but with the neighbours not only listening in on, but jumping in and taking sides.

    I sometimes wonder if the Internet is going to kill the ability of large multi-polar organizations to be able to maintain any real semblance of unity and coherence, given that all their internal factional disputes are right out in the open, available for the outside world to jump in and start prying on the fault lines.

    It’ll be fun to see how (or if) the 4 major factions in the R’s manage to pull together. The only major disaster would be if the Dems come apart before the Reps get back together.

  11. I’m actually at a loss, but I guess a discussion might be useful. I can see how one might think there’s “traction for a Non-Partisan Anti-Incumbent Party” but in fact such a party would be a contradiction in terms, and there has never been a third party movement that garnered more than single-digit percentages, with the exception of the Bull-Moose “party,” which wasn’t really a party without T.R.. Well, not since the Republicans replaced the Whigs, anyway.

    The primary dynamic that allows third parties to change the political context is that they have to cost the major party that’s closest to them victory in at least two consecutive election cycles. In general most third parties have been unwilling to pay this price.

    But there are things rather unprecedented about the current situation, although not quite analogous to the Civil War era.

    A number of years ago I posted something about the rise of “Totalitarianism 3.x” with the suggestion that a new and updated version of liberalism (call it Liberalism 3.x) would be required to defeat it. I’m no longer certain that Al Qaeda and its allies really represent a new form of totalitarianism, so much as a different manifestation of older forms. Moreover, I’m not sure there is such a thing as Liberalism 3.x. There certainly doesn’t seem to be much of a taste for what that would imply.

    But I’m fairly clear about one thing: Just about everyone is operating out of an assumption that the finance industry is an indispensable prime mover in the economy. The most successful eras in US history did not make that assumption. Rather they assumed that the prime mover involved the opportunities afforded “regular Americans” to get their hands on productive capital, and use it to produce tangible goods that embodied creative insight and invention. The finance industry benefits from such movements, and may even contribute to them, but it’s not capable of leading them. It does not, and never has, produced anything “tangible,” and the emergence of the ghostly “credit default swaps” is a profound illustration of this handicap. It’s a cannibalistic form of “creativity.”

    So I think we need to get our priorities straight. And just to toss something into the mix, how about a new housing technology that actually produces living environments suited for human-scaled activity, what R.B. Fuller used to call “livingry?” There are a lot of constraints that have blocked development of such an industry, but maybe it’s time we tried getting out of the boxes?

    God help me, I said that out loud didn’t I?

  12. To be clear- the the idea for anti-incumbent movement wouldn’t actually be a party (bad choice of words), simply a commitment to vote against whomever is the incumbent on the ballot regardless of ideology. There would be no fielding of candidates.

    We have allowed ourselves to develop an increasingly powerful political class, something the Fathers warned about. Unfortunately the levers of power that limit the powers of politicians are largely in politicians hands (hardly surprising, but in a sense it should be given our history).

    Given that these people know better than anyone the value of a binary system for entrenching even the most egregious offenders in our hyper-polarized nation, the only real threat to their power is a wholesale movement to throw ALL the bums out.

  13. From me:

    bq. …sneer at and belittle very chance they get…

    Referring to the elitists – of all flavors.

    MV just proves my point for me:

    bq. …we’re not seeing nearly as much quality discourse even out of the serious Republicans…

    Who says the conservative movement that survives will be the GoP?

    But you prove my point of how you offer your viewpoint to us rubes, etc.

    Ho Hum.

    mark b @14 – I am good with that and have advocated the same for some time now.

  14. Obama’s presidency is going to be interesting. Really, when was the last time president was judged by a major legislation 30 days into his office? Even if the Obama plan works 100% (hypothetically speaking) if the jobs don’t recover to certain segments of the population, we could be looking at a republican majority in 2012.

    And then, if they don’t deal with the growing problems, it could be back democratic control (or another party) by 2016.

    Let’s face it, politicians are playing the CYA game. It’s why the democratic party is forwarding some non-essential programs now (tying to appease those who write the checks). And it’s why the republican party refuses to put forth their own budget (they cannot propose a solution that will seriously function AND appease their electorate).

    And neither side wants to take a hard look at medicine or social security… despite the fact that it’s a time bomb waiting to happen.

    I don’t know. It’s an interesting time right now, and there’s no crystal ball to predict the future. And it would be equally interesting if McCain were elected.

  15. Armed Liberal’s original post is on a high level. The thread that followed is not. Maybe it isn’t only the elite of the Republican Party that’s exhausted and out of ideas, but the mass of potential supporters too?

    I agree with Beldar, who is back posting (yay!) (link):

    If one ignores the Obama Campaign’s rhetoric and the Obama Administration’s rhetoric, and instead focuses on the Obama Administration’s actual domestic proposals and actions, then without any doubt, the simplest, most consistent, most principled, and most conservative approach any Republican leader, state or federal, can have taken since the Obama inauguration has been to oppose the Obama adminstration. There may be a few exceptions, but they’re trivial. The best way to get things right as a conservative on matters of domestic policy, in other words, has been to presume that Obama is absolutely wrong in every respect, and vote against him. When the leaders of our country are marching us off a fiscal cliff, then simply being against what they’re proposing is indeed an adequately comprehensive political philosophy, at least until we’ve backed away from the cliff.

    But even if Armed Liberal is wrong about what the Republican Party needs now, right now he’s still got a darned good point on what it will need soon:

    And I get it that the answer is ‘nothing’ – but then what’s the case for conservatism for the family in Fresno or in Tacoma that isn’t participating in the global information/financial elites that globalization has truly created?? About the crisis between the West and Islam? About the rise of China and the demographic decline of Europe?

    The second is to remind people why liberty matters.

    I’ve got definite ideas on what ought to be done about some of the issues Armed Liberal raises, which I won’t belabor anybody with again. The Republican Party, the American conservative movement and (in part) consequently the American mainstream have ruled out answers like that on the onslaught of Islam, the decline of Europe and the rise of China.

    But then, what is the “conservative” answer?

    Why does it make sense in terms of liberty and why liberty matters?

    If the answer amounts only to anti-liberal rhetoric backed only by an incoherent pile of “everybody knows” legacy conservative positions (such as: Russia must continue to be the enemy, because it was all the way back to Reagan’s day), then Obama and the Left may wind up being more correct or at least more useful to the Republic, because, just by being in office they will be forced to engage with real problems.

    Maybe Obama’s approach to a declining Europe is the best possible, within the restricted scope of ideas that can seriously be considered in the political mainstream. Maybe serial diplomatic gaffes are harmless. (I think that they are harmless, which is why I don’t criticize them – who really cares about Gordon Brown’s DVDs?) An inward-looking unwillingness to take seriously what Europe needs (in contrast to George W. Bush, who was all too willing to act without reward) might be a Good Thing.

  16. If I were appointed the grand poobah of the Republican Party tomorrow, I’d be pushing hard to make sure that taxes are clear and transparent. No carbon trading: instead, a surcharge on the electric bill and gas tax charged at the pump if we’re going to go there. Also, end mysterious “below the line” payroll taxes (such as the “employer share” of FICA) – your “base pay” should be your total cost to your employer, with all expenses detailed on your paycheck, including such things as workman’s comp, etc.

    Taxes and government regulation costs should club you over the head, so you know what you’re paying for. This is the only way people will be informed.

    This is all part of “transparency” – and is a required part of “Pigovian” tax schemes that are intended to change behavior.

    One thing I learned in China is that when taxes are hidden, people see themselves as “subjects” rather than “citizens”. If people see the government as a big fountain of money, they don’t “own” it – it “owns” them. If we’re to move from subjects to citizens, we have to start with the idea that government is a service we’re paying for, not a Crown that grants us boons.

    China actually has rather high taxes, but they’re arranged as “employer side” payroll taxes, with a rather low employee-side income tax. But few Chinese are even aware they pay taxes beyond the employee-side taxes, unless they own a business or are involved with payroll.

  17. The recent Republican budget counter-proposal is a good example of what not to do and how not to do it. AL’s suggestions seem pretty good to me.

    It’ll take the conservatives some time to find their feet, however – the lack of unity that was a problem going into the election remains one. Obama is doing a fine job reminding the various factions of the conservative movement why they need each other, however, and looks set to continue doing so. That will help.

    From a movement/organization point of view, the most important thing to do right now is to leverage that gift, while fixing 2 things: the connections with allied interest groups and the party roots, which are badly decayed, and the movement’s ability to grow and promote a diverse range of appealing leaders. If that is undertaken, the chest-beating can continue, because there’s no point wasting energy on it. It will take care of itself once a real cadre with their act together is ready to lead and mobilize.

    Without that, the Rightroots folks aren’t going to be able to make much difference, anyway. W’s term as President was an excellent illustration of that.

    The best thing they can do is help to highlight good policy ideas, so they reach the mainstream faster. Right now, the conservative think tank are sucking some wind. A refresh will take time, but blogs can help a lot there. They could also play a big role by working within the areas and causes they believe in to build connections within the movement, and communication options that reach beyond the same media that worships Obama.

    No, the Rightroots aren’t doing a great of job of that just yet. In large part because there have been no calls to action beyond repetition of party talking points (the same failed strategy that hasn’t drawn that much blogger interest for several years now), and no communication of any overarching purpose they could buy into and find individual ways to contribute to.

    Jimmy Carter II/ Obama seems to have a pretty excellent sense for doing the wrong thing, and is not all that impressive as a leader. As long as the conservatives can stitch themselves together in 12-18 months, events look like they’ll be there waiting.

    The stitching together is still a rather big if, however.

  18. Marcus Vitruvius:

    I see Robohobo and Mr Blue are following in the proud tradition of political analysis which provided us with in depth commentary on why Dick Cheney existed as Vice president only serve the interests of the oil companies and Halliburton, and why Bill Clinton murdered Vince Foster.

    Not really, but my other post, in which I included links, got held up (I assume because of the links), leaving only my off the cuff reply to Robohobo, with a last line I’ve changed my mind about. It was too harsh.

    I do think there’s no point for conservatives to try and settle on positive plans that all on the right must agree to, at this point. Democracy worked, the people’s choice won, as he said, this is his moment (link), when he can and if he wants a great legacy must drive straight for what he truly wants and believes in, and he is doing so. What he wants is inimical to conservatives values, so Republicans have to yell STOP! in vain. That’s the gig for now, anything else has to come later.

    Also, as long as genuine pro-reform Republicans can’t get to the top in the federal legislature, they’re in no shape to make a positive case and line up the party let alone the country behind it. Maybe there’ll be some new faces in 2010 (though maybe not), and if so then, in the context of a changed balance of power, conservatives could demand a more positive articulation of conservative values, with some chance that the demand might be met. Till then, Obama rules OK.

    Armed Liberal:

    Someone needs to stand up for liberty, and do it in the context of real societies, not Heinlein’s loonies. It’d be nice to see conservatives take up that mantle.

    Can it be taken up by someone interchangeable with Trent Lott? Or is it absolutely essential to get some different faces in key positions?

  19. Treefrog:

    The Republican party really needs to spend another 4-8 years retooling before they can be competitive again. They need to pull together their plans and platform, eliminate out the entrenched gravy-train feeders and their support structure, etc. etc.

    That’s an inward-looking thought. The United States of America is already in an economic crisis that the Democrats are turning into a systemic crisis. The country needs an opposition, and therefore its incumbent on the Republican Party to do something useful for the country despite the weak state of the party.

    I think the party is up to opposing, but not much more, and opposing very bad measures with serious long term consequences is useful work, so that’s what the party ought to do.

    True, you can’t beat something with nothing. The party should come up with some positive ideas. And we should discuss that.

    But the electoral cycle is such that the Republicans aren’t going to win anything in the near future anyway. This is the flood tide of Democrat power and partisan ambition.

    Treefrog:

    Thanks to the Internet, all this wonderful, formerly internal, behind closed doors activity is now out in the open for everyone to see. And comment on. And join in.

    It seems to be rather like having a family argument but with the neighbours not only listening in on, but jumping in and taking sides.

    That’s an embarrassing situation, and I guess discreditable for me as one of the neighbors butting in.

    But in the first place there’s no remedy for public discussion now.

    And in the second place the recently concluded period when important discussions in the Republican party were conducted only in private by like minded elites who seemed to listen to wealthy contributors (like employers of illegal labor) and not to their electoral / activist base produced uninspiring results.

    A typical product of that period was George W. Bush’s decision to nominate Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court. The conservative public was shut out, its views were not wanted, and conservatives couldn’t understand what was going on or how it was supposed to relate to the principles they wanted the Republican Party to champion. “Confirm them!” became … “confirm … some of them” … ? … Conservatives were dismayed, bewildered and demobilized.

    When the party leaders did what they liked, favoring their good old buddies and raking in the contributions, was there really a better process in place for deciding what the Republican Party ought to stand for than there is now?

  20. When the party leaders did what they liked, favoring their good old buddies and raking in the contributions, was there really a better process in place for deciding what the Republican Party ought to stand for than there is now?

    Well, once upon a time the party leadership were supposed to be picked and backed at a more local level to try and prevent this precise weakness, didn’t always work, but it did work sometimes.

    The new, more transparent process definitely has advantages, the era of the cabal of crusty old dried up geezers deciding the course of the world from smoke filled rooms is over. But let’s not kid ourselves that the new process isn’t going to alter how parties form, reform, and set ideologies.

    For example, not all mobs are equal, the purists and zealots of all stripes are always going to care more, pay more attention, and therefore exert more influence than the moderates.

    Another mob democratic problem is what I call the averaging effect. You’ve seen those surveys where they pick a subject and find out what the ‘average’ American wants to do and it proves to be inane and unworkable (they want to raise spending and lower taxes or something like that), and people sigh and shake their heads at how stupid people are.

    Actually, most people have individually coherent plans, some want to raise both, others lower both, still others raise parts and lower other parts, etc etc. When you go through and mathematically average it all out as if they were independent variables though you often end up with an unworkable strategy.

    Energy policy is a great example of this in action. The government is making decisions on conservation, fuel efficiency, oil exploration and refining, alternative energy, and whatnot on a case by case basis as if they were independent variables instead of all tied together. The result is an incoherent mess.

    The elder statesman approach mitigated this by providing a sort of representative democracy within the representative democracy.

    Trust me, I have no sympathy whatsoever towards the European approach of giving the masses a Fisher-Price democracy set to amuse themselves with whilst the important people make the real decisions elsewhere. But, along with the benefits, the everything out in the open approach is going to have places where things will just operate differently than they used to, and some places where it’s going to have some really nasty side effects.

    The real trick is going to be telling which is which.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>