It's a shame. This is what I'm talking about concerning the new liberals, the communitarians and so forth. If they really cared about society rather than statist power, they'd do the right thing, even if the right thing is privatization, or semi-privatization -- something they seem to be psychologically blocked from considering.
The problem with being a pragmatist, a good politician and a people pleaser is that these qualities make it difficult to be a good leader. In the area of free trade, Obama will have to make a decision, many decisions, and I don't think he can finesse this -- either he promotes free trade or he doesn't. To equivocate and dodge will send a message that we aren't committed to free trade and this will only hurt the American economy at a time when we need openness in trade.
I just saw this over at Cafe Hayek:
It's become critical to have an educated populace -- otherwise, society will fall for the current Keynesian scheme to spend our way back to economic health, and this time it might be too much for the country and world to withstand.
I realize economics is not a sexy topic and most peoples' eyes glaze over when they read articles like the one above. I wish I was smart enough to put it all in words which are easily understood and pleasant to read, but, alas, I don't have the proper economic background to do so.
I do know that certain principles must be accepted, at least on a basic level, such as the fact we must embrace what's real, not an economy propped up by easy money and short term stimulus. Although the country has been convinced that state actions to implement justice and equality are more important than some obscure economic theory, we aren't captive to these choices -- we're only captive to ignorance. Free market money needs to be instituted once again and capitalism needs to be reassessed -- objectively. Capitalism did not cause our crisis -- government intervention to engineer society according to its ideas of stability, justice and equality caused this crisis. But, government has political motivations and we are in danger of politics becoming our downfall.
The private sector is capable of handling both societal problems and the creation of a healthy economy which creates good, stable jobs -- and, it's capable of doing so both ethically and morally. Perhaps we'll dodge the bullet this time and the present government interventions will be overcome when reason returns, but if the state continues to tamper with the workings of what should be a free market, we'll one day find ourselves in an economic crisis which we can't overcome.
Once a person sees these dangers clearly, it changes everything -- it's not merely a debate over two broad approaches to reach ends, one just a little better than the other according to preferences -- we're talking about a choice between economic collapse and prosperity.
Could Axelrod mean something like:
...to secure these rights Governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed. That whenever any form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it.
Because most of the news coverage from the MSM is slanted toward modern liberal ideology and favors Democrats, it puts any intellectually honest person, and libertarians in particular, in the position of appearing to defend conservatives and the Republican Party. Libertarians have been associated with conservatives by the MSM, so any time a libertarian calls the press on it's biased coverage, it appears to justify the association. If there are modern liberals who want to maintain integrity and intellectual honesty, they'll have to start telling the truth about media coverage of political news.
Actually, new liberals who still uphold liberal principles which are associated with classic liberalism, even if they've drifted to government involvement a little too much, have a great opportunity to bolster their cause by bucking the MSM and calling them on their skewed coverage. Objectivity is called for and will go a long way to strengthen a new liberal movement that resists the radical left influence which has ruined liberalism. Also, principled liberals should also acknowledge the weaknesses of the state and the strengths of privatization in many areas -- education being one of these areas. The denial of state incompetence in certain endeavors when it's obvious is a flaw in modern liberalism.
I'm not saying that liberals need to become full-fledged libertarians, if they truly believe that some state intervention is necessary, although I think they ought to, but to stubbornly deny the flaws in some areas of state control out of partisan blindness doesn't help their cause. I would have much more respect for new liberalism if adherents exhibited more integrity and objectivity -- then an honest debate could take place and ideas could be truly assessed on merit. But as long as new liberals allow the MSM to use bias and distortion to give the left an advantage, integrity will suffer and divisions will deepen.