The Sharp Contrast Between Bad and Worse
One of my modern heroes is Stephen Green, the VodkaPundit, as he has leveraged drunkenness into a career. I dream, but the majors continue to not call me up. On the other hand, his Libertarian Case for Romney nicely mirrors my previous Romney endorsement, so perhaps there is hope.
But the high-speed gravy train is beginning to derail. We’re sitting on $16,000,000,000,000 of existing debt, we’re adding another trillion every 12 months, entitlements are exploding, our job-creation machine has been broken, and when that train derails it’s going to take the nation with it.
Some of you are nodding your heads at this, with a grim approval. I know, because I’ve done it, too. We have this phoenix fantasy, that after the Federal Leviathan comes crashing down, it will be we, the libertarians, who pick up the pieces. Our predictions of disaster will have come true, we will have been vindicated, and a better America will emerge from the ashes.
Green disagrees. So do I.
Perhaps we’ll crash and various theocrats will come swarming in. Perhaps, as Alkibiades predicted in an email, the more likely result is a long, slow slide into irrelevance. I’m not sanguine about nor resigned to either option. There is still a teeny-tiny moment left. Is Romney the man for the moment? Hell no. But
What we need is breathing room, a chance to get the economy growing again, to get people back to work again. It’s no coincidence that when we reformed welfare, it was during an economic boom. Wealth papers over lots of differences, and allows people to get things done. And there’s lots that needs doing. We can start by repealing ObamaCare, repealing Dodd-Frank, and just generally undoing the last four years. These are things Romney has promised to do.
Will he do it? I hope so, and if he wins it will be our job to ride him and ride him hard to live up to those promises. What I do know for certain is that Romney isn’t Obama Lite, despite what you might think. Romney won’t dial back Washington to 18% of our GDP. But he might get it down to 20%, which, believe it or not, is a big — and absolutely necessary — improvement.
We’ll see no such improvement from a second Obama administration, which aims to ramp up Washington to something like 110% of our economy.
For those of us of a conservative or libertarian bent, we must remember our E.E. Cummings: “A politician is an arse upon which everyone has sat except a man.” When choosing between arses, the choice is about who is the better manager, not who is the better healer, lightworker, or savior. Moreover, better is often relative. As goes a Robert Heinlein quote in Green’s piece, “This is between ‘bad’ and ‘worse’ — which is much sharper than the between ‘good’ and ‘better.’”