Friday, March 26, 2004

Mitch pushes me a bit further 

Mitch Berg jumps in with his "Why I'm not a Libertarian" post. I suppose it all comes down to whether you think you can reform an entire party. Towards that end, I point Mitch to Leonard Read, who suggests that Republicans will be more moved to attract people of integrity if we choose not to vote at all.
For a while we would continue to get what we now have: a high percentage of trimmers and plunderers in public office, men who promise privileges in exchange for ballots�and freedom. In time, however, this silent but eloquent refusal to participate might conceivably improve the situation. Men of integrity and high moral quality�statesmen�might show forth and, if so, we could add their numbers to the few now in evidence.

Would a return to integrity by itself solve our problem? No, for many men of integrity do not understand freedom; or, if they do, are not devoted to it. But it is only among men of integrity that any solution can begin to take shape. Such men, at least, will do the right as they see the right; they tend to be teachable. Trimmers and plunderers, on the other hand, are the enemies of morality and freedom by definition; their motivations are below the level of principles; they cannot see beyond the emoluments of office.
I've probably used Read's essay more than any other in defining why I haven't yet jumped fully into the GOP. But hanging around the NARN is pushing me closer.