Wednesday, March 26, 2014

American Enterprise: James Pethokoukis: The New Marxism

AEI: Opinion: James Pethokoukis: The New Marxism

Winston Churchill famously said, "Democracy is the worst form of government except for all the rest." This logical form can be applied to other systems as well.

It works fairly well in economics, e.g., "Capitalism is the worst economic system except for all the rest."  Capitalism has many forms.  In one, Laisssez-Faire economics, government has no role in the economy and all capital is controlled by the private sector with no rules on how to operate. Whatever government exists is funded by trade tariffs.  This form was found seriously wanting and discarded at the end of the 19th century.

The beauty of capitalism, in whatever form, is that individuals are not guaranteed wealth.  They have to earn it.  This incentivizes them to get a good education and be productive in life so that they don't need public assistance to take care of them.  In a good capitalist economic system, as many people as possible are able to get the skills needed to be productive and successful in life.  Liberals, Conservatives, Progressives and Socialists have been arguing about this at least since the New Deal.

Even Socialists in Europe and in America now acknowledge that capitalism and private enterprise are here to stay.  The Marxists have lost, so the question now is what type of capitalist economic system should we have. I went into this on my blog yesterday but as a Liberal I believe in liberal capitalism or liberal economics.  Some on the far-left would call this "Neo-Liberalism" (because it is not Socialism). But it is is an economic system where, ideally, everyone has an opportunity to attain the  education needed to succeed in life.

In such a system, the role of government is to protect workers and consumers not from themselves but from predators who would hurt them and to help people who fall though the floor of the system.  The  safety net exists to give them temporary financial relief and a hand up.  This is the outline of liberal capitalism.

American Thinker: Opinion- Brad Lips: A Populist Libertarian Movement?

Source: American Thinker: Opinion- Brad Lips: A Populist Libertarian Youth Movement?

As a member of Gen-X, I see two growing movements in American politics, both anti-big government. On the right, the young libertarians seem to be anti-government all together.  Both young liberals and young libertarians want the freedom to live their own lives and make their own economic and social  decisions without interference from big brother.

The polling data show that young adults are now voting Democratic overwhelmingly but they aren't voting in favor of bigger government and higher taxes.  In a lot of cases, they are voting against Republicans whom they see as intolerant.  They vote for Democrats whom they see as tolerant and liberal on social issues and not seeking to expand the Federal government and raise taxes.  This is a huge opportunity for the Democratic Party to advance Jack Kennedy's vision of an America with economic and personal freedom for all.

The Republican Party also has an opportunity, now, with the young libertarians on the right, if they can ever stop shooting themselves in the foot (or run out of toes) and divorce themselves from the Christian Conservatives and Neoconservatives.   It should be easy for them to convince the electorate that they  hate big government and don't want to expand it or raise taxes.  It will be much more difficult for them to convince the electorate that they believe that Americans should have the freedom to manage their own lives.

The capture of the GOP by the right-to-life movement indicates a strong tendency toward theocracy in which the religious principles of a few constrain the behavior of all.  The party seems hell-bent on imposing Christian sharia on America.  To be competitive for the youth vote, the GOP will have to move toward a libertarian philosophy and say, "No," to the Neo-Right.  They could then become a more truly conservative party that would be competitive with the Democrats for young voters.

The future of America is young people who build their own businesses and work for new businesses that look much different from American businesses of the past.  They want the freedom to run their own business and personal affairs.  The Democratic Party and Barack Obama have already figured that out. The Republican Party hasn't gotten the message yet and is still nominating people who can't get elected outside of the Bible Belt and rural America.  They need to get this message and bring in the libertarians, if they want to stay in business.  If they don't, the Democratic Party will end up governing most of the country.
Source: Young Americans For Liberty: Ron Paul- Speaks At The YAL 5th Annual Conference

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

The Federalist: David Corbin & Matt Parks- Publius And The Progressives

I see two dominant political factions in the Democratic Party today.  The first is the FDR/LBJ progressives, who are not Socialists but real Democratic progressives in the best sense of the word. They believe that we should have an essentially free market economy that works for everyone and that there should be social insurance for people who fall through the cracks of the capitalist private enterprise system.  They believe in a big centralized government and tend not to trust the states but they also believe that there are limits to what government can do well for people.

The second is the JFK/WJC or Bill Clinton Liberals who are called New Democrats.  They believe that the safety net should just be there for the people who really need it.  They like the idea of states being able to run their own social insurance programs  and that these programs should primarily empower people to take care of themselves. These are the economic philosophies of the two factions.  They have been the dominant factions in the Democratic Party for over eighty years and the basis of the party's dominance over that period of time.

The people who are called Liberals and Progressives in America would probably be Conservatives in Canada or Britain and their center-left parties would look like our far-left parties, which brings me to my next point.  The Democratic Party changed in the mid and late 1960s as more baby boomers came of age and became Democrats.   The New-Left in America, today, is made up a lot of boomers and their kids.  They staffed the Occupy Wall Street movement. This far-left movement combines both socialist and anarchist (when they see certain laws as unjust) leanings.  They want a government large enough to see that no one is rich or poor, that we are all the same even if some of us are more productive and skilled than the rest.

The MSNBC talk lineup (is there anything else on MSNBC these days?) gets labeled as "progressive talk or progressive voices" when they are not ( and they sure as hell ain't liberal either!).  In actuality, they (except for Ed Schultz and to a certain extent Larry O'Donnell) speak for the Occupy Movement and the New-Left in America.   The rest of them, Rachel Maddow, Chris Hays, and Melissa Harris-Perry are, I'm sure, fine decent people but they are whacked out New-Leftists.  There are no limits to what they believe the government, especially the Federal government, can do for people.  They essentially believe that Americans should want to (and consider it an honor to)  pay Uncle Sam as much in taxes as necessary to take care of all us.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

The New Republic: Issac Chotner: ‘Ross Douhat Column on Young People: Individualism & Liberalism’

Source:The New Republic- I guess this would be young people in America.

This just in: the Far-Left in America (The New Republic included) doesn’t like anything that Ross Douhat or any other Conservative or real Liberal has to say about anything. If you don’t believe check out Issac Chotner’s column at The New The New Republic,  if you don’t mind paying for what you read. I guess some Socialists in life believe that not everything in life should be free.

This blog talks a lot about labels, especially what they mean in politics.  Thus, when I read a column in the  New Republic, that no longer looks like that great liberal magazine that once questioned the influence of governmental power in personal and economic lives, but now post columns that support both the welfare state and the nanny state, I feel the need to reply.

Young people love big government?  Do you really see a call for higher taxes, more centralized government  programs, and expansion of the war on drugs from young adults?  Do you hear them saying that legalizing same-sex-marriage would be a horrible mistake that would ruin our national moral fiber, that we not only need to outlaw same-sex-marriage but outlaw homosexuality all together?  Are they saying that privacy is dangerous and we need to prohibit not only currently illegal drugs but also currently legal drugs, e.g., like sugar, caffeine, alcohol, and tobacco.

The polling data from my Generation, X, and Generation Y show that big government is not popular with these people.  They want the freedom to make their own decisions.  They don’t want a nanny state trying to run their lives for them or a welfare state making most of their economic decisions for them.

Medicare, Social Security, Unemployment Insurance, help for the needy, public education, etc., such government programs at one level or another have always been popular and I imagine that they always will be.  These are social insurance programs for people who need them.  They intrude into personal space much less than a welfare or nanny state that seeks to manage the life of every citizen.

The future of American politics lies with the Ron Paul Libertarians on the Right, who may save the Republican Party from itself and eventually take control of it, and want government almost completely out of our lives, and the Brian Schweitzer (former governor of Montana) liberals on the center-right who believe in the safety net with equal rights and protections for all Americans, including  personal choice and autonomy over our personal lives.  Neither of these groups wants the government to try to run our lives for us.

However, the Bernie Sanders Socialists and the Social Democrats on the far-left have their supporters and followers.  They, and the real welfare-staters, want to see a big, centralized, social democratic  government in this country. But they aren’t a governing faction and will never be as long as they are putting down private enterprise and capitalism and trying to convince the middle class that they are under-taxed and that government simply needs more of their hard earn money. 

You can also see this post at FRS FreeState, on WordPress.

Mundane Matt: Video: Is Fred Phelps Dying? The Leader of the Westboro Church

I'm not going to say that I hope that Fred Phelps is dying (at least not in public).  That would simply not be the polite thing to do.  It is not consistent with our social mores to wish people to die.   You might think the world would be a better place if a certain person were dead, and Fred Phelps is the perfect example of such a person, but anyone who considers themselves civilized cannot publicly wish such a person to die.

But Fred Phelps dying.  If his organization goes out of business as a result, that would definitely be a great thing, not just for homosexuals or homosexual military personal but for the military in general and for anyone who hates bigots and bigotry.  It is indisputable that without Fred Phelps and his group, the world will be a better place.  Modern Christianity is against hate and hating people for having different lifestyles.  Christ said, "Love thy neighbor as thyself."

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Fiscal Times: Opinion- Mark Thoma- Inequality in Capitalist Systems is Not Inevitable: The Role of Social Insurance in a Capitalist System

I would describe capitalism, or private enterprise, meaning private businesses and wealth controlled by individuals or groups of individuals, not by the state, as the worst type of economic system in the world, except for all the rest.  Actually, as has been pointed out on this blog many times, what I call liberal capitalism is capitalism designed to include everyone, where everyone has economic freedom and is not controlled by the special few or by government.  This is the worst form of capitalism, except for all the rest.

I mention that because there are several forms of capitalism, and all developed countries and rapidly developing countries, large countries like Mexico, Brazil, Russia, China, India, and Pakistan, have one form or another of a capitalist economic system. And the beauty of each of these different types of capitalist systems is the idea that your competitors cannot just outclass you but also put you out of business. So in this system, you must deliver the best services possible at the most affordable and competitive prices or be driven out of business.

The disadvantage of capitalism is that some people do very well for whatever reason, for example, starting off very rich along with getting the best education possible, or simply coming from modest roots but working very hard and productively and reaping the benefits so they are more than capable of caring for themselves and their families.

But on the other side, there are people at the bottom who, for whatever reason, either through bad personal choices, such as not finishing their education or having children before they were ready to raise them properly, or coming from a low-income family without access to a decent education, now find themselves living in poverty as adults and perhaps raising children as well.

That is where social insurance, or the safety net, jumps in to help the people at the bottom, where they are ignored by the private market or did not take advantage of the opportunities presented by the private market to make a good life for themselves. The safety net covers temporary financial assistance for people living in poverty and not currently working and provides access to education and job training, which provide the tools needed to achieve economic freedom by finding a good job with a living wage.

Hoover Institution: Uncommon Knowledge With Peter Robinson- Richard Epstein: 'Crisis & The Law'

Source:Hoover Institution- fellow Richard Epstein, on Uncommon Knowledge with Peter Robinson, in 2009.
"Considered one if the most influential legal thinkers of modern times, Richard Epstein brings his libertarian views to bear on the current financial crisis --government incentives were perverse, so the actions of the private parties were perverse-- and rates the performances of George Bush and Barack Obama in their responses to the crisis.  He speaks to the importance of contracts and the constitutionality of the expo facto taxation on AIG executives and the Employee Free Choice Act embraced by President Obama.  Finally he speaks of his personal and professional dealings with Barack Obama when they were law school faculty mates at the University of Chicago."

From the Hoover Institution

I guess because of the way I look at the United States Constitution, I would be described as a Liberal Constitutionalist, who looks at the entire Constitution and doesn't pick out parts that I like and rail against the parts that I do not like, which is common among both the Far-Left and far right in America.  Both the left and the right pick and choose the parts of the Constitution they favor and then claim they are upholding the Constitution, but see things they do not favor and support amending the Constitution for the good of the country, however they would phrase that.

I like the Constitution as a whole and am not interested in eliminating any of the amendments, but I might add an official Right to Vote to it as well as update the 1965 Voting Rights Act, which would throw out most of these so-called Voter ID laws that are really voter prevention laws.

But there are parts of the U.S. Constitution that are my favorites, which is the real point of this post.  I'm going to concentrate on these because they protect our individual freedom and make us a liberal democracy.

What I really love most about the U.S. Constitution are the First Amendment, which guarantees our right to speech and assembly; the Fourth Amendment, which guarantees our right to privacy and protects our property rights, because it means that government can't come into our homes and businesses without what is called "probable cause" and cannot search our properties without a search warrant issued by a judge; and the Fifth Amendment, which again protects our property rights because government cannot take our property without  probable cause.

These rights allow Americans to live their own lives and associate with whom they choose just as long as they aren't hurting innocent people, and allows government to protect us from criminals and invaders but not to protect us from ourselves. As long as we aren't declaring war on the government or illegally leaking classified information, these rights give us autonomy over our own lives.  We should always remember this and not take them for granted. 

You can also see this post at The FreeState, on Blogger.

Slate Magazine: Dave Weigel: Sarah Palin vs. Beltway Republicans

Source:Slate Magazine

If Rick Santorum and Sarah Palin are the faces of Conservatism in America in 2014, then we might as well start planning its funeral and Liberals can declare victory in this ongoing ideological war of some 50 years now. The only two Conservatives at CPAC last weekend were Senator Rand Paul and former U.S. Senator/actor/talk show host/commercial spokesperson, whatever the hell Fred Thompson is up to now. But the rest of them, including Ann Coulter, who came down from Mars to give a speech about the so-called "browning of America," are all out to lunch at an all-you-can-eat- for-50-cents buffet and couldn't give an accurate description of Conservatism and what it means to be a Conservative to save their lives.

The far right of the Republican Party thinks the government is not too big when it comes to our personal lives, actually too small.  This wing of the GOP is alive and well with plenty of spokespeople for it like Senator Santorum and Ann Coulter, the Neoconservatives, which I and others call them. But anytime someone in the GOP seeking national recognition tries to run to the left of the far Right, which is where most of the country is no matter how far to the left of the far Right they are, they are put down by the Neo-Cons and labeled liberal or socialist.

2014 could've been the year that Governor Chris Christie took the reigns of the conservative movement and used it to launch his 2016 presidential campaign, but as it looks now, he might have a better shot at watching Election Night 2016 from jail than running for president at this point, let alone being elected President because of his corruption issues in a State, New Jersey, that may have invented political corruption. Actually, right now, New Jersey is competing with Illinois and Louisiana for the title of most corrupt State in America.

If there is a face of Conservatism in America, it would be Rand Paul, but again, the far Right is not going to allow a Conservative Libertarian, who is a Federalist on both economic policy and social policy, to be their GOP nominee for President. As long as the GOP needs a base that still believes it is 1955 and didn't bother to grow up and modernize like the rest of the country, they won't have that one national candidate who can bring the party together.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

AlterNet: Opinion- David Bromwich- What Became of the Leader Many Wanted Barack Obama to be

AlterNet: Opinion- David Bromwich- What Became of the Leader Many Wanted Obama to be

Whatever happened to that socialist whom so many Americans on the far left supported and organized for and hoped they were getting when they went to work for then U.S. Senator Barack Obama back in 2007-08.  I'll give you a clue:  That person never existed; oh wait, did I just give it away.  Here's where guilt by association and not by practice simply does not work, because I have friends and know people who are socialists as well as libertarians. Does that make me either because I'm friendly with these people?  You could say the same thing about Barack Obama because he definitely had socialist connections before he became President of the United States. Bill Ayers is a perfect example.

The far left in America should have known before they went to work for Barack Obama that what they were getting back in 2007-08 was the furthest left candidate who could actually get elected President of the United States, which is a moderate Progressive or moderate Liberal a bit left of Bill Clinton. But he was certainly no one's radical, which he makes clear in his books. He loves America and believes that it is still the only country where someone from his background and upbringing can make it.  With respect to his 2008 DNC nomination speech, he gave it as a center-left Democrat, not a radical left or right, which was also true in the general election against Senator John McCain.

Barack Obama is a pragmatist at heart who leans left and has a leftist vision but then goes about accomplishing his goals with what he sees as the most realistic approach, even if that means compromising with Democrats who aren't as left as he is or compromising with common sense Republicans. But this is not someone who ran for president with the goal of eliminating the Federal republic and transform America into a social democracy, but someone who ran for president to solve the current issues of the day in the most practical way possible, even if that meant compromising.

I believe Jimmy Carter was the president most similar to President Obama when it comes to governing style. They both probably had a grand vision of what they wanted to do as president, but at the same time had a pretty good idea of what was possible or, to quote the former great progressive senator Hubert Humphrey, the art of the possible.  This means understanding the challenges and also the best available options to meet them, such as knowing what Congress is able to pass right now and then returning to address the rest later.  This approach is hardly inspiring but can be effective in the hands of those who know how to govern.

Human Events: David Harsanyi: Why Democracy is a Bad Idea

Human Events: Opinion: David Harsanyi: Why Democracy is a Bad Idea

To start this, I'll first quote former U.K. Conservative Prime Minister Winston Churchill, who said about democracy that it is the worst form of government except for all the rest. I naturally agree with this, especially living in a country of 310 million people where average Americans might be familiar with their favorite pop culture celebrity's eating habits but probably couldn't name their U.S. Representative or U.S. Senators or even mayor and governor if you spotted them a couple clues and even said their names.

The only thing I would add to Churchill's comment is that liberal democracy, to me at least, is the worst form of government except for all the rest because you are literally trusting individuals with their own lives and having the state back off and both regulate how we interact with each other and protect us from American criminals as well as foreign invaders. Then I take you back to the pop culture celebrity reference to point out that we have many ignorant people in this country who need to know as much as possible about things that frankly aren't important in general, but are clueless about issues that actually affect their quality of life, for example, the right to privacy.

Liberal democracy only works as well as the people allow it to work.  They need the skills to make intelligent decisions not just about their own lives but also about their choice of who will represent them in government.  You do not have to be a political junky to be a good citizen, but you at least need to know what goes on in government and what our representatives are doing with our money or to our individual freedom.

To paraphrase the great political satirist George Carlin (and I'm not sure a better political satirist is alive or has ever lived), politicians are only as good as the people who hire them and who they work for, so if you have bad politicians and voted for them, you have only yourself to blame. But if you take the time to research those you are considering voting for, from any party, and they have a good record and they represent you well, if you then vote for them, you are an intelligent and engaged citizen and a well-qualified voter.

The Hill: Judd Gregg- Dems Now Look Ahead to Hillary

Source:The Hill 

At risk of sounding like a sexist, even though I'm not, I'm not on the so-called HRC Bandwagon just yet, because the campaign to elect Hillary Clinton president in the third month of 2014 is more than 2.5 years away from the 2016 presidential election and she's not running as a liberal or a progressive or a centrist but as what I call a safe, electable, "resume" Democrat. In other words, vote for her not only because she can win but also because of what she's done in the past and what she's been doing since her husband left the White House 13 years ago.

I have a prediction:  Senator/Secretary Clinton or whatever title she goes by now (I doubt it's First Lady) will not be elected president unless she's able to communicate why she wants the job other than being the first female President of the United States.  It is an awesome job in the real sense of the word because of the power and responsibility that comes with it. It is the most important job in the world and even the far left now understands that, as much as they may hate giving America credit for anything positive. Some Democrats, hopefully real center-left liberals, will run to fill the void left by Mrs. Clinton if she decides to run for president without a message and vision for the country.

That Democrat will probably be under 60, or just 60 in Brian Schweitzer's case, or perhaps in my generation and born in the 1960s or so.  That person will be charming and well-liked, and be able to communicate with young people, raise a lot of money from them, and get them to organize and work for him or her. This sounds familiar because that is how a freshmen U.S. Senator from Illinois got elected president in 2008.  He was from the post-Clinton generation and had a different message than Hillary did in 2008. Actually, he had a message and Hillary had a name and would have represented a milestone had she been elected President. 

What the Clinton campaign should've learned from 2008 is that a great name or even a great resume, which she doesn't have, is not enough to be rewarded with the most awesome (again real sense of the word) job in the world. You have to at least know why you are applying for it beyond setting some new milestone, and you have to be able to explain to people why you should have the job. And this should go without saying, you have to be able to communicate what is it exactly you would do with the job if you were hired. And these are questions I believe Hillary hasn't answered and why she isn't President now.  She will need to address these issues to get the job.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Salon: Opinion- Omer Aziz- I'm Proud to Say I'm a Liberal

Salon: Opinion- Omer Aziz- I'm Proud to Say I'm a Liberal: How Conservatives Vulgarized the Word Liberal and Why Liberals Should Take it Back

I agree with Omar Aziz that Conservatives have been bashing the words liberalism and liberal for fifty-years. trying to make them  something that they are not.  Liberalism is a great political philosophy to be proud of.  There are people who are to the left of true liberals who claim the name.  They are  responsible, along with rabid conservatives, for portraying liberalism as all about the state and big government bureaucracy.  This bias is a result of their ignorance of liberal philosophy.

Last week I laid out some of the differences between liberals, progressives and Socialists.  Non-liberal leftist magazines were jumping in joy last week when Senator Bernie Sanders, the only self-described Socialist in the U.S. Congress, announced that he was considering running for President of the United States. They were saying that as a liberal would give Hillary Clinton a Democratic challenge from the left.  Senator Sanders describes himself as a socialist.  He doesn't call himself a Liberal.

The center-left in America needs to stand up and reclaim liberalism and the word liberal for themselves. After all, we  created the liberal democracy that is the federal republic of the United States of America.  We wrote the United States Constitution and the Bill of Rights, not socialists, not conservatives, not pseudo liberals like Salon and others who are really social democrats interested in turning America into a social democracy and taking down the Federal Republic to give the national government more power over our own lives.

Liberalism is about the individual and not the government.  That  separates it from socialism because it wants to put the power in the hands of the people so that  they can govern themselves.  It does not seek to give the power to the state to make decisions for us.  It believes that government's main role is to protect the freedom of all people, not just the privileged few.


Saturday, March 8, 2014

PBS: Video: NewsHour: Shields and Brooks: Cold War Echos and Campaign Financing

I actually agree with Mark Shields on this.  Republicans, especially in the Senate, love to criticize President Obama when it comes to Ukraine.  They blame him for everything from Ukraine to earthquakes thousands of miles away in Asia and perhaps every other problem that has arisen during his presidency. Depending on the day of the week, he is either ineffectual or dictatorial.  However, Republicans never propose alternative solutions and seem bereft of ideas that could have prevented this or that crisis from happening.  Their policy is built on soundbites and talking points and words like tough and decisive, without any real meat on their bones.

Sam Seder: Did Affirmative Action Hurt the Liberal Project?

Affirmative action didn't hurt the cause of actual Liberals because Liberals believe in equal opportunity for all regardless of race, ethnicity, gender, sexuality, and so forth.  The key word is "opportunity," that people are not judged by these classifications but by their personal and professional qualifications. Affirmative action, however, has hurt the cause of collectivists on the Left, who believe in equality at all cost as well as equal outcomes, rather than equal opportunity, even if that means denying people opportunity simply because other members of their community have succeeded.

Reason Magazine: Kennedy: CPAC: CPAC Members on Federalism at the CPAC Conference

There seem to have been some real Federalists at the CPAC conference today, at least the people who were interviewed in this video. Or perhaps Kennedy only interviewed Federalists for this video. But as Fred Thompson, former U.S. Senator from Tennessee, said, the States are laboratories of democracy and the advantage of having a Federal system of government, unlike in a unitary system, where most of the power rests with the national government, is that you get to see what works in other places and what doesn't work instead of one government trying to figure out what works for the entire country, especially a huge country like the United States.

National Review:Jim Geraghty Interviews Ralph Reed at CPAC 2014

The face of the GOP is really the religious right, the "get big government into our personal lives wing of the Republican Party." I wonder what the Conservative Libertarian wing of the GOP led by Rand Paul, Senator Mike Lee, Senator Jeff Flake, Senator Ron Johnson, Representative Justin Amash, and others think about that.  They have been working on getting big government out of our lives completely and not making the case that some big government is good.

Associated Press: Senator Rand Paul Fires Up 'Liberty Lovers'

Rand Paul might have been the only actual Conservative at CPAC today, someone who is actually interested in conserving freedom, including privacy, as he mentioned in this short clip, and keeping the state out of the personal as well as economic affairs of Americans. And if the Republican Party were truly a conservative party, and not a religious party or a theocratic party or a Neoconservative fascist party, than Senator Paul would be the strongest frontrunner for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination.

Mox News: Video: CNN's Piers Morgan Tonight: RT's Abby Martin Standing up Against Russian Invasion of Ukraine

Someone is finally stepping up to the fascist neoconservative Putin in and saying he is wrong to invade Ukraine. As far as Abby Martin taking on corporate media, guess what Russia Today is.  It is owned by the Russian Government, which could at any time pull people for disagreeing with them or, in Russia, arrest them for disagreeing with them.  Very little independent media in the Russian Federation!

L.A. Raider: Video: NBC Sports: NFL 1976-Super Bowl 11-Minnesota Vikings vs. Oakland Raiders: Full Game

Not to give away too much of this game or anything (ha ha), but the Vikings lost Super Bowl 11 for the same reasons that they lost their three previous Super Bowls.  They were overmatched upfront on both sides of the ball and couldn't run or stop the run in any of these games.  When you can't do that, you put a hell of a lot of pressure on your passing game and pass defense because your opponents know when you are going to throw the ball and will be able to throw the ball successfully against you whenever they want, because you are so concerned about their running game.

CBS Sports: NFL 1982-NFL Today-First Round Playoff Preview

The 1982 NFL Playoffs were pretty interesting, since because of the NFL strike, it was really more like a tournament than a playoff.  Eight teams from both the NFC and AFC made the playoffs in each conference instead of the five from each conference, which was normal then up until 1990, when six teams from each conference made the playoffs. The NFL expanded from five to eight in 1982, probably to win back some of the fans they lost because of the strike.

The Nation: Adolph L. Reed- 'What Nihilism? A Response to Michelle Goldberg'

Source:The Nation- "A polling site in Oklahoma City (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)"

“The focus of left politics must be to change the terms of a debate that leaves us with impoverished choices. It’s only in the context of a shriveled political imagination that that looks like nihilism.

Editor’s Note: In a recent blog post, Michelle Goldberg criticized Adolph Reed’s recent essay in Harper’s, “Nothing Left: The Long, Slow Surrender of American Liberals,” for its “electoral nihilism.” “A left that absented itself from the dirty work of electing a president,” Goldberg writes, “would be indulging in the very reflex Reed decries: trying to send a message to those in power rather than contending for power itself.” Reed responded in the comment thread, clarifying his position on elections and Democratic party politics. We reprint his reply here.”

From The Nation 

“Professor Adolph Reed Jr., explains how the Democratic Party embraced the neo-liberal agenda, how the shock of the Reagan Presidency shaped the modern Democratic Party, the role of the Democratic Leadership Council in moving Democrats to the right, the rightward legacy of Bill Clinton, the decoupling of class and social politics, why we have one neo-liberal party that is multicultural and another that is reactionary, why the left is in retreat, why acknowledging the problem can allow for a strengthening of leftist politics, how progressive politics is cheapened, how the left can rebuild itself and why we need to stop searching for progressive savors.”

Source:The Majority Report- I'm thinking this is a pro-Barack Obama rally. Just don't quote me on that.

From The Majority Report 

"In a Web-exclusive interview, political scientist Adolph Reed Jr. talks with Bill Moyers about his new article in the March issue of Harper’s Magazine – a challenge to America’s progressives provocatively titled, “Nothing Left: The Long, Slow Surrender of American Liberals.”

In the piece, Reed writes that Democrats and liberals have become too fixated on election results rather than aiming for long term goals that address the issues of economic inequality, and that the administrations of Bill Clinton and Barack Obama too often acquiesced to the demands of Wall Street and the right.

As a result, Reed tells Moyers, the left is no longer a significant force in American politics. “If we understand the left to be anchored to our convictions that society can be made better than it actually is, and a commitment to combating economic inequality as a primary one, the left is just gone.” 

Source:Bill Moyers Journal- talking to Adolph Reed.

From Bill Moyers Journal

In last night’s blog post about the far-left flank of the Democratic Party I wrote a line something to the effect of: “If you don’t like the menu at the restaurant, complain to the management to get different choices on the menu or find another place to eat.”

I use this analogy because Social Democrats or Socialists in the Democratic Party should think about this when it comes to their politics, that if you think current Democrats aren’t left-wing enough (meaning socialist) then work at recruiting and encouraging the people you do want to run for office or find another party that is more to your ideological liking.

The Democratic Party is run, as I’ve said many times, by FDR/LBJ and JFK/Clinton Progressives, with a social democratic left-wing, that a lot more ideologically comfortable with the Green Party or Democratic Socialists USA, then they are with the Center-Left Democratic Party.

Center-Left Democrats and leftist Democrats tend to agree on some things, but leftists tend to want a more centralized government and a bigger government than Progressives, who believe in progress through government action. But aren’t always looking to expand the Federal Government and centralize government in America.

Progressives tend to want social insurance programs designed to help people get themselves out of poverty and become self-sufficient. Whereas leftists tend to be more interested in subsidizing people while they are in poverty. Both sides tend to agree on things like privacy, personal freedom to a large extent, but leftists tend to be more paternalistic or prohibitionist in areas they see as dangerous, such as gambling, alcohol, from the past at least, soft drinks, junk food, just to use these as examples.

But Progressives and leftists tend to agree when it comes to infrastructure, immigration, workers rights, Right to Organize, civil rights, and foreign policy. Both sides tend to be internationalist, from Franklin Roosevelt to Bill Clinton, with every other Democratic president from that era as well.

The Democratic Party also have these left-wing outsiders in the Democratic Party who didn’t emerge until the late 1960s or so who are real Socialists or Social Democrats and not just anti-corporate but anti-business in many cases and even anti-for profit as well and have been looking for an alternative to capitalism. Even that doesn’t go quite as far as a Marxist state ownership of the economy, but to more power for workers.

The main reason why the Democratic Party is so big in America, is because you have multiple competing factions in it that if we were in Europe, you would be talking about multiple different political parties, instead of political factions being part of one huge political party.

So, to go back to my analogy about the restaurant menu: it is time for Social Democrats to understand that and either stop complaining about their party not being far enough to the Left for their taste and recruit more of their people into the DP to run for office or create a united social democratic party with the far-left fringe of the Democratic Party. And combine them with the Greens and Democratic Socialists and Socialist Workers. And have their own party that would be able to compete against Democrats and Republicans. 

You can also see this post on WordPress

You can also see this post at FreeState MD, on Blogger.

Friday, March 7, 2014

American Thinker: Matthew Ernst- The U.S. Love Affair With Addiction

I just read an article in the far-right blog called the American Thinker, by Matthew Ernst, who says he is a law enforcement officer or retired law enforcement officer, who tried to make the case for not legalizing marijuana.  In what he wrote, you could replace the word "marijuana" with alcohol and try to make the similar case for why we should outlaw alcohol, talking about crimes related to alcohol and the emergency room visits related to alcohol or going from pot to other drugs. Of course he didn't say "harder drugs" because that would weaken his argument, so he just said other drugs instead.

You could make a very good argument that alcohol leads to other drugs. As a perfect example, look at the boomer generation with former Doors frontman Jim Morrison, who was an alcoholic as well as being addicted to cocaine and probably heroin and died at the age of 27 in 1970. He was not the only alcoholic, famous or otherwise dying early, in his generation. Some boomers who are recovering alcoholics as well as recovering from harder drugs have managed to turn their lives around, and I could mention both the Rolling Stones and a personal favorite of mine, Aerosmith.

But then the smart drug warriors will acknowledge these facts and suggest that we already have enough dangerous legal drugs.  You could add prescription drugs that are addictive to this list, so why legalize another dangerous drug. Well, again you are saying with that message that it's okay if you screw up your life with these drugs because they are legal, but this other drug that has side effects similar to those of alcohol, meaning marijuana, we cannot allow and must protect you from yourself. Why?  Because marijuana is illegal and alcohol is legal.  I mean, seriously, is that the best argument you can come up with.

If you are going to use a real prohibitionist argument against drugs (and good luck with that by the way) because you believe these drugs are either dangerous or too dangerous, then wouldn't you go after all drugs legal and otherwise that are dangerous for the good of society, and be the big brother or sister looking out for everyone at our expense because you believe we are too dumb to do that for ourselves?

This is why the drug warriors are losing the War on Drugs (the title of this piece) because Americans know better, or at least 55 percent of us according to Gallup, that marijuana isn't as bad as the drug warriors say.  The same argument from drug warriors against marijuana can be made against alcohol as well because they've tried it and are familiar with the resulting hangovers and feeling like hell the next morning.  In a many cases, they have tried marijuana as well and know that it doesn't kill them right away or sicken them.

NFL Films: NFL 1975-NFC Divisional-St. Louis Cardinals @ Los Angeles Rams: Highlights

In the 1970s especially, the NFL was about running the football and tough defense and not giving up big plays when it came to winning championships, and, in a lot of cases, just winning, period. The very good teams in the 1970s like the LA Rams were defensive and run-oriented partly because the rules until 1978 heavily favored defensive football and that is what you see in this game, a Rams team with a great defense and running game taking apart a finesse-oriented passing team like the Cardinals.

NFL: Phil Clark- 'Football Championships Still Won by Complete Team'

Source:Sports Illustrated- The Seahawks defense, dominating Peyton Manning and Broncos offense, in Super Bowl 48.
"Sports Illustrated's Boomer Esiason discusses why he believes the Seattle Seahawks had greatest defensive performance in Super Bowl history. Subscribe to Sports Illustrated."

Source:Sports Illustrated- The Seahawks defense, dominating the Broncos offense, in Super Bowl 48.
From Boomer Esiason at Sports Illustrated

Roger Goodell and company may want to try to outlaw defense in the National Football League and try to make the NFL look like flag football, where perhaps even tackling may soon become illegal, because they believe offense makes money and defense holds down profits, turning the NFL into the AAML or the All About Money League instead of the NFL.  They are trying to get non-traditional football fans who are really only interested in celebrity culture and so-called reality TV, and perhaps are casual football fans at best, because they think some of the players are awesome or whatever. Defense still wins championships and it always will.

As Phil Clark said on his blog, you don't need a great defense to win the Super Bowl but you can't have the worst defense. And the only thing I would add to that is you can't have a bad defense either. You need to at least have a good defense.  A defense that gets stops, meaning consistently, prevents the other team from scoring. It doesn't get run over in the running game on a regular basis and doesn't consistently give up big plays in the passing game because it has a weak secondary or a weak pass rush, or a combination of the two.

If you look at all of the Super Bowl Champions, all 48 of them had defenses that were in the top 10 or near that and didn't give up a lot of points either. You can't say that about the Super Bowl runner ups, because several of them were toward either the bottom of the NFL or in the low twenties when it came to yardage and points given up. The 1984 Miami Dolphins come to mind very quickly and so do the 2007 New England Patriots, which were 18-0 going into Super Bowl 42 before they were upset by the New York Giants and did have one of the top defenses in the NFL that year.

There also have been explosive, high-scoring and yardage Super Bowl runner ups that were ranked pretty well in defense the year or years they went to the Super Bowl but not only lost the Super Bowl but lost it badly. The Buffalo Bills of the early 1990s come to mind very quickly, where they gave up a total of 140 points in their 4 losses, 30 or more in the 3 blowout losses, not because they had a bad defense but because they had an undersized defense going up against big physical teams with great running games: New York Giants in 1990, Redskins in 1991 Dallas Cowboys in 1992 and 1993.

And again the casual NFL fan who may only be interested in offensive football may say, well, what about the St. Louis Rams on 1999 or the Green Bay Packers of 2010 or the San Francisco 49ers of the 1980s or the Redskins of the 1980s. They were all very offensive-oriented teams that all racked up a lot of yards and scored a lot of points. True, but all of these teams, and the 49ers and Redskins specifically, were all consistently ranked high on defense in the top 10. I mean, the 1991 Redskins Super Bowl Championships team scored over 500 points, over 30 points a game, but they gave up only14 points a game and won a lot of blowouts.

The record and evidence are very clear, that if you are think about building a Super Bowl winner and you think you are going to put together a great offense and see how many points you can score that season or in that era, make sure you also invest well in your defense so you are not giving up nearly as many points and yards against your opponents as well, because when the playoffs come around, chances are you'll face at least one good defensive team that can move the ball and score points as well that may match up well with you. And you may need to get a lot of stops in that game to have a good chance at winning, as the 2007 Patriots found out the hard way in Super Bowl 42.

As much as Roger Goodell and company may want to change this, football still has three sides of it and the NFL is not arena ball, where it is mostly about offense. You still need to play good defense and have a good special team as well, no matter how many points you score and yards you put up. Breaking offensive records doesn't lead to championships but to having a good balanced team that scores, defends, covers kicks, kicks the ball, blocks and tackles, and so forth, which is still what it takes to win the Super Bowl.

You can also see this post at FRS FreeState, on Blogger.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

The Nation: Michelle Goldberg & Adolph Reed: Electoral Nihilism

Source:The Nation- Nothing Left?
“So it’s beginning already.

It was probably inevitable, given widespread left-wing disappointment with Obama and longstanding reservations about Hillary Clinton, that we’d see another outbreak of electoral nihilism: the conviction that it doesn’t really matter which of the two parties holds the presidency. This myth has tempted radicals for a long time. In 1960, back when Commentary was still a liberal magazine, Dwight McDonald took to its pages to declare the outcome of the Nixon/Kennedy election a matter of indifference, as “the effect of one as against another built-up-torn-down candidate is in the realm of metaphysics and so of little interest to sensible people.” Fourteen years ago, this belief led otherwise smart people to declare that there was no meaningful difference between Al Gore and George W. Bush.

The shock of the Bush presidency cured this delusion, for a while—there was remarkable acceptance of John Kerry in 2004, despite his nakedly militaristic convention, and progressives twice mobilized for Obama. Yet here, with the 2016 primaries not yet begun, comes an essay on the cover of Harper’s Magazine arguing that liberals are too focused on winning elections for Democrats.

“Each election now becomes a moment of life-or-death urgency that precludes dissent or even reflection,” writes Adolph Reed, the University of Pennsylvania political scientist, in “Nothing Left: The long, slow surrender of American liberals.” He continues, “For liberals, there is only one option in an election year, and that is to elect, at whatever cost, whichever Democrat is running…. True, the last Democrat was really unsatisfying, but this one is better; true, the last Republican didn’t bring destruction on the universe, but this one certainly will. And, of course, each of the ‘pivotal’ Supreme Court justices is four years older than he or she was last time.”

Reed has been making a version of this argument for many years in many different elections. In 2000, he voted for Nader and dismissed the importance of the Bush vs. Gore election. During the primary in 2007, he wrote a column titled “Sitting This One Out,” saying, “This time, I’m not going to acquiesce in the fiction that the Presidential charade has any credibility whatsoever.” But the placement of this essay on the cover of Harper’s, and the enthusiastic reception it’s been given by people like Bill Moyers, suggests that the case has renewed resonance.

There are a number of things to argue with in Reed’s piece, among them the strange idea that Bush wasn’t really that bad. (He may not have destroyed the universe, but he presided over the destruction of Iraq, New Orleans, the American economy and a Supreme Court remotely sympathetic to organized labor, among other things.) Other people, I’m sure, will take on his argument that Obama has continued Bill Clinton’s work of moving the Democratic Party rightward. (Bill Clinton ended “welfare as we know it,” while Obama enacted the biggest expansion of the welfare state since LBJ.) What I want to highlight is an internal contradiction in the case Reed makes against what he calls “electoralitis.”

“Nothing Left” has some very incisive things to say about the broad collapse of the left as a political force. He’s right about how the absence of a positive, fully articulated vision of the future has been paralyzing; as Slavoj Žižek has said numerous times, it’s easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism. Without a clear program, writes Reed, “the left careens from this oppressed group or crisis moment to that one, from one magical or morally pristine constituency or source of political agency…to another. It lacks focus and stability; its métier is bearing witness, demonstrating solidarity, and the event or the gesture. Its reflex is to ‘send messages’ to those in power, to make statements, and to stand with or for the oppressed.”

Reed argues, persuasively, that a vibrant left can only be grounded in a rebuilt labor movement: “Pretending some other option exists is worse than useless…. We need to reject the fantasy that some spark will ignite the People to move as a mass.”

But here’s the thing: arguments for ignoring electoral realities, for backing some quixotic third-party candidate or imagining that leftists can sway the system through ultimatums, are based on precisely this fantasy. Movements lead politicians, not the other way around, and simply deciding that the politicians we have aren’t good enough won’t will a movement into being. A left that absented itself from the dirty work of electing a president would be indulging in the very reflex Reed decries: trying to send a message to those in power rather than contending for power itself.

The right understands this; it has simultaneously, over decades, systematically taken over the GOP from the bottom up, built a huge network of interlocking intellectual, legal and political institutions and mobilized every four years to try to elect a Republican president.

Occasionally, over the years, conservatives disgusted by the inevitable compromises of electoral politics have threatened to turn their backs on Republican presidential candidates. When Reagan was in office, the right complained about him in language strikingly similar to left-wing denunciations of Obama. In 1983, Richard Viguerie even suggested that Reagan shouldn’t run for re-election. Think of how much better off we’d all be if right-wingers had refused to support what they saw as the lesser of two evils. Instead, they spent decades organizing within the party until it had no choice but to do their bidding.

And despite Reed’s pessimism, similar work is finally happening in the Democratic Party. Consider the new left-leaning mayors in New York, Seattle, Boston and Minneapolis, and the major initiatives to raise wages in metropolitan areas across the country. A new New York Times story is headlined, “De Blasio Picks More Liberal Activists Than Managers for City Posts.” Some of these people will, with enough work, become tomorrow’s national leaders. This is a bizarre moment to assert that there’s no significant difference between Democrats and Republicans.

So yes, for liberals, there is only one option in an election year, and that is to elect, at whatever cost, whichever Democrat is running. The rest of the time, those who find the current choices intolerable should join in the long, slow groundwork that would allow for better ones.”

Source:The Nation

“GRITtv Daily Newsmakers, 10/22/08: Michelle Goldberg”

Source:Grit-TV- left-wing columnist Michelle Goldberg in 2008.

From Grit-TV

I’m going to use a phrase that I know left-wingers aren’t going to like but I think it’s good advice for the left (center and far) as well:

longtime Conservative columnist and publisher of the conservative magazine National Review, argued that Conservative Republicans should always vote for the most conservative candidate possible. Jonah Goldberg, who writes for The National Review today, goes by the same policy.

That seems to be what left-wing columnist Michelle Goldberg is arguing today in her column, but go to the other side and she’s applying that policy and advice for leftists (not Liberals or Progressives) and arguing that left-wingers in America should vote for the most let’s say left-wing candidate available. She would say liberal, but in the 1940s and 50s, we had closeted Communists in America.

Today except for Senator Bernie Sanders (the only self-described Socialist in the U.S. Congress) and a few other leftists, like John Nichols, Michelle Goldberg’s colleague at The Nation, we have closeted Democratic Socialists today. And Miss Goldberg is talking about leftists and her belief that left-wing Democrats, should vote for the most left-wing Democratic candidates and incumbents possible.

Michelle Goldberg’s left-wing colleague Adolph Reed takes the opposite approach, as he argued in his book Nothing Left. He argues that leftists (people he would call Liberals) should only vote for Democrats, when they’re as left-wing as people he agrees with. So, anyone to the Right of George McGovern from the 1970s or Bernie Sanders today, is probably not good enough for him. And when Democrats aren’t good enough for him, Democratic Socialists (to keep it real) should stay home, or vote for the Socialist third-party candidate.

I don’t have a dog in this fight as a Liberal (meaning a real Liberal or Classical Liberal, if you prefer) but as a Democrat, to say that there’s no real differences between Democrats and Republicans, is like saying there’s no differences between milk and water, no difference between classical and rock music. I mean open your ears and eyes.

One party today fights for equality for all Americans. The other party is still partying like it’s 1955 or 1920 and wants to force every American to live in their cultural time machine.

You want to get rid of the right to privacy, free press, the civil rights laws, the regulatory state, then stay home and don’t vote or vote third-party during the next presidential election. 

You can also see this post at FreeState MD, on WordPress.

The New Yorker: Jeffrey Frank: Rand Paul & the Eisenhower Dream

Source:The New Yorker

Back in the day, before, lets say, the Religious Right era, the Republican Party was essentially a classically conservative, if not conservative, libertarian party that used phrases like "Get big government out of my wallet, bedrooms, classrooms, and boardrooms, to paraphrase Barry Goldwater, and former U.S. Senate Leader Bob Dole believed in that as well, despite his effort to appeal to Christian Conservatives in his 1996 presidential campaign.

But up until the late 1980s or so, the Republican Party not only had this conservative tradition but also a progressive faction that voted for parts of the safety net from the New Deal and Great Society but would never go along with a massive Scandinavian socialist welfare state, although it approved of a modest safety net for those who needed it. The party also voted for and supported the civil rights legislation of the 1950s and 1960s and was really the Party of Lincoln up until the late 1980s or so.

By the 1970s, with the Goldwater Conservatives and the Nixon Federalists now in control of the Republican Party, they still believed in many of these things, especially as they related to the safety net, but they were Federalists who believed social policy is best handled by the State and local governments and that the Federal safety net in a lot of cases would be best managed at those levels where they would be more efficient.

By 1980 or so, what is today called the religious and neo-right was now part of the Republican Party, and the party cannot win in the short term without them, especially since they aren't doing much to bring in non-traditional Republicans, who aren't nearly as far to the Right as the predominantly Anglo-Protestant Southern voters, especially on social issues.  The Republican Party has now become the party of the libertarian Mountain West, Bible Belt South, and rural America.

Much different from where they were just 50 years or so ago, when Republicans were expected to be able to win statewide in New Jersey, New York, Massachusetts, California, and other places and when the Republican presidential nominee was expected to carry those States. The Conservative Libertarian faction is still alive and well and perhaps even growing in the Republican Party, but not big enough to govern the GOP by itself without the neo-right.

Hal 15 Greer: 1965-66 Baltimore Bullets- The Tall Men of Baltimore

Source: Hal Greer- The Baltimore Bullets-
Source: Hal 15 Greer: The 1965-66 Baltimore Bullets- The Tall Men of Baltimore

The reason the Bullets left Baltimore in 1973, I believe, for Washington is the same reason Baltimore doesn't have an NBA franchise now of their own:  their arena. They didn't have a modern major league sports arena even by early 1970s standards and certainly do not have one right now. And if they ever want their own NBA franchise again they are going to have to build that modern downtown 18,000-seat arena with sky-boxes so an NBA franchise can be successful there.

NFL Films: NFL 1975- Washington Redskins @ St. Louis Cardinals: Highlights

Source:St. Louis Football Cardinals- QB Jim Hart leading the Cardinals against the Redskins in 1975.

“Jim Hart hits Mel Gray with a controversial game tying TD vs the Redskins. The catch would become known as the “Phantom Catch” and the Redskin fans are still not happy about it.”

The Redskins probably would have made the NFC Playoffs in 1975 had they beaten the Cardinals in St. Louis, and perhaps even the NFC East as well. But instead they missed the NFC Playoffs in 1975 for the first time since 1970, because their offense was inconsistent (at best) struggling to put points on the board all season and putting too much pressure on their very good defense. But the Cardinals, who had been longtime losers, were very good in 1974 and 1975, winning back-to-back NFC East titles.

You can also see this post on WordPress.

Yaluc SD: PBS Firing Line- Bill Buckley Interviewing Ron Paul on Foreign Policy and Taxes in 1988

Where Ron Paul loses me is when he comes out in favor of abolishing the CIA, an organization without which we would never have won the Cold War, because of all the information it provided about the Soviet Union. The CIA was critical to America in winning the Cold War because it could give us information about the Russians and their allies that we weren't able to get before. As far as the income tax goes, it is now in the United States Constitution, thanks to the constitutional amendment process, and government has the constitutional and legal right to tax people in the because of it.

The Federalist: Fred Cole: Sometimes You Have To Question This Whole Freedom Thing

The Federalist: Opinion: Fred Cole: Sometimes You Have To Question This Whole Freedom Thing

I read both sides of the political spectrum, all the way from the far left to the libertarian right to the far right, and of course the center left, where I am, as well as the center right and anything else I might not have mentioned, so please do not get dizzy from reading this.  I'm sure people who read my blogs probably do not like that and perhaps wish I only read articles on the Left and probably wish I was a hell of a lot more partisan as a Democrat as well. I do this because I like to know what people are thinking, especially those who disagree with me, but it also helps me as a blogger to see what the rest of the political world is thinking about.

I mention this for a couple of reasons.  I am very liberal and do not want government controlling people's lives, and based on that, I see plenty of articles from the far left and far right about new ideas and proposals to control people. This year alone, I read three posts about Thom Hartmann wanting to repeal the Second Amendment, an article in the far left magazine Salon about nationalizing the news media because of the success of FOX News, and an article from the far right blog The American Thinker proposing to outlaw tobacco.  I am sure alcohol is not that far away either.

In 2012 alone, there were proposals from the Mike Bloombergs of the world (former mayor of New York City) arguing in favor of outlawing junk food and soft drinks.  The notion behind these proposals is that government (or a select few and elitist individuals) knows best how Americans should live, even Americans they've never met or heard of and know nothing about. These elitists know best because they are attended school in the Northeast or West Coast or Ivy League, and anyway, Americans are basically dumb and can't make these decisions for themselves.

Left or Right big government is too much government because it is government trying to control people and protect them from themselves, whether by prohibition of alcohol, food, and tobacco on the far left or outlawing pornography, premarital sex, adultery, abortion, and homosexuality on the far right. Being human is the ability to live, and part of that is about making mistakes, because, of course, none of us is perfect.  By then learning from those mistakes, we can do better the next time and not repeat them.

Personal freedom and responsibility as well as opportunity are what my politics and ideology are based on, and that means individuals have the freedom to control their own lives.  That means that property rights extend to people's own bodies and that we have the final say in what we do in life as adults as long as what we are doing is not hurting others. We are then held personally responsible, for good or bad, for our own decisions.

John F. Kennedy Liberal Democrat

John F. Kennedy Liberal Democrat
Source: U.S. Senator John F. Kennedy in 1960