Seamanship Quotation

“In political activity, then, men sail a boundless and bottomless sea; there is neither harbour for shelter nor floor for anchorage, neither starting-place nor appointed destination.”
— from Michael Oakeshott's
Political Education” (1951)

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Mitt Romney’s freedom mission for Washington

Romney has pretty well captured the Republican nomination for the presidency and is settling into a set of Republican messages that should put him within striking distance of the White House.
He will not call Obama a “European” or use that word “capitalism.” Communication experts all now agree: they grate. His message, however, will be stunningly personal and extravagant. Obama is still an inept law professor, a social worker who has been running around the globe apologizing and “crushing dreamers” at home.
            Click on:
Romney will exploit the authority of his investment bank against Obama’s student assembly. He’ll lecture on—or rather share—his life experiences with the magic of free markets. He’ll emphasize that Obama can’t ever understand how important freedom is in making America prosper.
By November, he hopes we’ll be itching to elect him to take the word "freedom" to Washington.
What he desperately wants, however, has more to do with what Mitt Romney knows about business than what he knows about the job of being president of the United States.
This is seldom said by practicing politicians. However, freedom isn’t an active file in the White House or the Congress. If freedom was Washington’s principal business, American wouldn’t need an entrenched Bill of Rights or an independent Supreme Court.
Washington is all about responsibility—the exercise of power. It is responsibility that makes politicians age prematurely and it is the allure of power that makes them do crazy things.
They don’t go to Washington to hover over “freedom” like helicopter parents.
Romney is either ridiculously naive about the job he seeks or is just utterly insensitive to the vacuity of the language of Republican wordsmiths.
The freedom Romney exercised as an investor works in an economy that has room for tens of thousands of other investors—and tens of thousands of successes and failures.
The United States only has one president at a time. A president, unlike an investment banker, can’t just move on—bankrupt a core industry in a spiraling recession, someday even sell what’s left of America to someone else and take a package. A president can’t simply be first to the next profitable idea. A president can’t make up for very bad mistakes with a crisp management style and an MBA.
Macho investors and libertarians love using Joseph Schumpeter’s term “creative destruction.” They don’t recall that he was also an Austrian patriot. After the First World War, he urged the Austrian Government to tax the property of the super-rich to keep his beloved Austria solvent.

No comments:

Post a Comment