Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

“The principle that the majority have a right to rule the minority, practically resolves all government into a mere contest between two bodies of men, as to which of them shall be masters, and which of them slaves…”     Lysander Spooner

November 4, 2008

A Lone Silver Lining

by Brad Warbiany

Today is, truly, a historic day. I’m not an old man, but when I was born 30 years ago the idea of electing a black president was something that might be discussed in polite circles, but was not reality. Today that has changed.

Perhaps I’ve become more sentimental as I’ve aged, or perhaps it’s that I have a 14-month-old son, but I am happy to see living proof that America has moved beyond this. My son won’t grow up knowing that this country won’t elect a black president; he’ll grow up knowing that we already have.

Now, that doesn’t mean I am an Obama fan. America is headed into an economic buzzsaw of extreme proportions, and I don’t have any faith in Obama to do what’s necessary. I have a feeling this country is headed towards a New New Deal, and that America as we know it will never recover. I expect to spend the next four (or 8) years railing against almost everything Barack Obama does in office.

Today we elected a black man to the most powerful office in the world. That’s not trivial. I wholeheartedly wish that it hadn’t been this black man, but that doesn’t change the historical significance of this day.

Take a moment to reflect on what has just happened. Then get ready, because the next 4 or 8 years are going to be a hell of a fight.

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25 Comments

  1. I respectfully disagree…the day we elect a person who grew up in a small town in Mississippi, who went to a small state college, and who can trace his lineage back to a sharecropper and, beyond that, a slave, THAT will be a historic day for the United States.

    Comment by Mike — November 4, 2008 @ 10:12 pm
  2. I respectfully disagree as well. Skin color is irrelevant. A person should be judged on his or her actions, not something superficial like skin color. Based on his actions, this man is exactly the antithesis of what our founding fathers wanted for this Republic, which was essentially limited government and low taxation.

    Comment by RobbBond — November 4, 2008 @ 10:27 pm
  3. Would have been nice if we could have confirmed that this black man is an actual United States citizen.

    Comment by Eric Ogunbase — November 4, 2008 @ 10:41 pm
  4. Whether he’s a citizen or not is irrelevant in the sense that he is only the face of a worldwide Leftist movement that has been gathering steam in this country for decades. Under his reign we will see unprecedented government interference in our daily lives. That isn’t rhetoric, that is fact. I have lived in the socialist United Kingdom. I know what its like to have the government telling you which doctor to see, having the government force exorbitant council taxes on you. I know what its like to have the state-run BBC forcing Leftist propaganda on you. Wake up people! This is a battlefield.

    “But, when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security.”

    Comment by RobbBond — November 4, 2008 @ 10:54 pm
  5. “I respectfully disagree as well. Skin color is irrelevant.”
    But that’s his point, and it remains valid – skin color is irrelevant, but it wasn’t true until today/recently.

    15 years ago, seeking a mixed race couple at the mall was cause for a little double-take, sometimes even rude comments. Anymore, it’s not even noticed. To say skin color is irrelevant is to accept his premise that we have indeed moved beyond this to a large degree.

    Comment by Tom — November 4, 2008 @ 10:54 pm
  6. Of course we’ve moved beyond it and I think most people understood that well before tonight. It didn’t require the election of a Marxist to prove that. It is time to end “white man’s guilt” permanently. Don’t let them tell you we need affirmative action to “level the playing field”. Slavery ended well before any of us were alive and if you’re Irish catholic like me, your ancestors weren’t nearly wealthy enough to own slaves anyway.

    Comment by RobbBond — November 4, 2008 @ 10:59 pm
  7. If we get an FDR, we’re screwed somewhere down the line. Nobody, not even Obama himself, knows what kind of president Obama will be. This skin color talk, beyond the level of “it’s a nice change”, needs to stop.

    If we affix every one of his actions with this black label, his actions won’t be evaluated at face value.

    Lets drop the race issue and let the history books write that in.

    Comment by Paul — November 4, 2008 @ 11:18 pm
  8. Well-said, Paul. Unfortunately, the mainstream media won’t follow your advice. We will hear about race non-stop for the next 4 (8?) years.

    Comment by RobbBond — November 4, 2008 @ 11:22 pm
  9. Well-said, Paul. Unfortunately, the mainstream media won’t follow your advice. We will hear about race non-stop for the next 4 (8?) years.

    Not here. I do not judge Barack Obama on his skin color, and as I said, I fully expect to be fighting against him and his ideals for the next 4 or 8 years.

    As I said, though, this fact was not trivial. It is a point of history in American society, and it signals a healthy disregard of race in this country.

    After tonight, it’s back to the same old fight, and after tonight, Obama is the same old leftist whose tired policies will lead this nation towards his false utopia.

    Comment by Brad Warbiany — November 4, 2008 @ 11:31 pm
  10. That’s fine, Brad. Now that you finally recognize a healthy disregard for race in this country (which I believe has existed for some time now), then you’ll concede that it is time for a healthy disregard of racist policies like “affirmative action”, which need to draw some serious opposition immediately.

    Comment by RobbBond — November 4, 2008 @ 11:35 pm
  11. Robb,

    I haven’t seen you comment here before, so you may be new. I am a libertarian bordering on anarchist. I don’t support “affirmative action” in any way, shape, or form. In fact, I’m nearly opposed to all government policies of any form, because they all seem to spring from that “government” thing, which is simply a euphemism for coercion.

    My fellow contributors all also fit somewhere within the “small-l libertarian” spectrum. I can’t speak for any of them in particular, but my belief is that not a single one of them are in favor of affirmative action.

    Comment by Brad Warbiany — November 4, 2008 @ 11:43 pm
  12. That’s fair enough, Brad. I didn’t mean to presume that you supported it. I’m just a little angry at the moment. I really feel we just went from bad to worse in this country. And I really hope to see the small l libertarians voice the same vehement opposition that they (rightfully) voiced when Bush was in office to the next president.

    Comment by RobbBond — November 4, 2008 @ 11:52 pm
  13. I really feel we just went from bad to worse in this country.

    I agree with Lloyd:

    When the government’s boot is on your throat, whether it is a left boot or a right boot is of no consequence.

    Obama’s gonna screw us, but the he’s not going to screw us significantly more or less than McCain, Hillary, or Romney would have. Differently, sure, but you can always count on any of them to screw you as much as they can get away with.

    Education is everything at this point. If we can’t turn the national sentiment away from statism, nothing else matters.

    Comment by Jeff Molby — November 5, 2008 @ 1:39 am
  14. Obama’s gonna screw us, but the he’s not going to screw us significantly more or less than McCain, Hillary, or Romney would have. Differently, sure, but you can always count on any of them to screw you as much as they can get away with.

    Education is everything at this point. If we can’t turn the national sentiment away from statism, nothing else matters.

    I disagree with the first half of your statement. Libertarianism, is by nature, to the far right of the political spectrum. George Bush has not governed as a conservative – he has governed as a liberal, with excessive intervention overseas, and massive spending increases at home. This was the cause of the Republican demise. Obama will be Bush times 10. Not only will he continue to keep troops in 70% of the countries around the world, he will also significantly increase spending at home, while trying to intrude on second amendment rights and free speech.

    Your second statement was valid though.

    Comment by RobbBond — November 5, 2008 @ 2:02 am
  15. None of us are supportive of affirmative action.

    Comment by Nitroadict — November 5, 2008 @ 2:17 am
  16. Libertarianism is not inherently right. Libertarianism is inherently vertical (it’s opposite being Authoritarianism). It *can* be right, in the same way it *can* be left.

    Not everything can be measured accurately by the Left Right political spectrum.

    Authority
    Left–|– Right
    / || \
    Liberty

    Comment by Nitroadict — November 5, 2008 @ 5:08 am
  17. Robb & Nitroaddict –

    The left-right spectrum is a broken model for comprehending politics. My preferred model is here.

    I’ve got some interesting thoughts on the only consistencies between left and right wing ideologies, and it supports my belief that “left wing libertarianism” can’t exist.

    Comment by Quincy — November 5, 2008 @ 9:10 am
  18. I know there are differing opinions on this, but in my model the further right you go on the political spectrum, the less government you favor (fiscally, socially, and in foreign affairs). The further left you go the more government interference you favor (fiscally, socially, foreign policy). Now, I would argue that part of the problem with the current Republican party is that they’ve concentrated so heavily on two of those 3 traits from the Left side of the political spectrum.

    Comment by RobbBond — November 5, 2008 @ 2:14 pm
  19. Quincy,

    I don’t understand that model. How does one go about advancing some sort of “social plan” without the state’s coercion? A plan presumes a significant amount of control. If the only control you have is over your organization of volunteers, it isn’t really a social plan; it’s an organizational plan that happens to focus on a societal issue.

    Comment by Jeff Molby — November 5, 2008 @ 3:44 pm
  20. While I agree that, traditionally, Republicans have been fiscally closer to libertarian ideals, the recent neo-conservative elements have moved the party towards inflate-and-spend politics rivaling anything the Democrats have managed. Having both hands in the cookie jar tends to encourage cookie consumption.

    The Republican Party has also been the recent home of socially conservative segments like the Christian fundamentalists. The policies championed by this group are hardly libertarian.

    I agree with Nitro and Quincy: Left, Right, Democrat and Republican are insufficient terminology when it comes to the spectrum of Liberty versus Authoritarianism.

    Sadly, liberty is not a topic that’s in vogue at the moment.

    My question is: Why is there so little coverage of the fact that Obama is the first president ever whose last name starts with O?? Or that we’ve finally elected our 8th left handed president??

    It is nice to have yet another confirmation that “race” should not matter, but I think that undue focus on “race” can ironically be the cause of further racism.

    Barack Obama promises to be a smooth-talking, educated, articulate, socialist president. No matter complexion he has.

    Comment by Akston — November 5, 2008 @ 4:07 pm
  21. Obama’s left-handed? I never knew he was one of us :-)

    Comment by Brad Warbiany — November 5, 2008 @ 4:09 pm
  22. If the only control you have is over your organization of volunteers, it isn’t really a social plan; it’s an organizational plan that happens to focus on a societal issue.

    Exactly. Right-wingers of all stripes (even fascists) are naturally distrustful of the idea that social progress can be imposed from the top down. Right-wingers who believe that society can consciously be changed for the better believe in voluntary association and the marketplace of ideas to do it. They tend to be the absolute least authoritarian people on the right-wing diagonal.

    As you move away from the idea that society can be consciously changed for the better, you see the right-wing mindset gravitate towards using force to keep society from degrading. This line of thought starts with religious conservatism and moves all the way to fascism.

    The core factor in this is individualism. On some level of thought, all right-wingers are individualists. Objectivists and Libertarians obviously are, while religious conservatives and fascists also are. All four philosophies focus on the individual’s effect on society.

    It’s an interesting inverse relationship that’s grown to characterize the “right wing” in politics.

    Comment by Quincy — November 5, 2008 @ 4:21 pm
  23. Correct me if I’m wrong here, but doesn’t fascism involve the total subjugation of a people to the orders/ideals of a leader (Hitler, Mussolini)? That would involve a large amount of government authoritarianism. According to my model, that would fall on the left side of the political spectrum (people so quickly dismiss the “Socialism” in “Nationalist-Socialism”. Yet why do people continue to paint it as a right-wing way of governing?

    Comment by RobbBond — November 5, 2008 @ 5:51 pm
  24. RobbBond –

    Fascism subjugates the individual out of fear of what the individual will do to the all-mighty state. Fearing the effect an individual will have on society, and therefore using supreme amounts of force to subjugate him is *still* an individualist mindset. Moreover, look at the weight fascism (specifically Nazism) puts on specific individuals who are supposed to embody the state.

    On the right-wing spectrum from anti-authority to pro-authority, fascism is the far end of the pro-authority side.

    Contrast this with applied Marxism, where the force is used in an attempt to create a better, fairer communitarian society for all.

    It’s a case of two divergent political philosphies winding up with very similar practical results–millions dead, millions subjugated. But they got there by applying a high level of authoritarianism to different political ideologies.

    Comment by Quincy — November 6, 2008 @ 9:11 am
  25. Quincy,

    So what’s the practical difference between that model and Nolan? It throws motive into the mix* but it’s still basically an axis for economic liberty and an axis for personal liberty.

    *I’m not sure that’s a good idea, because it’s very hard to assess motive

    Comment by Jeff Molby — November 7, 2008 @ 8:23 am

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