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Just Bring the Troops Home

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One of the most amazing things about U.S. foreign policy is how so many American remain mired in the interventionist paradigm. Case in point: the Middle East. No matter how much a failure U.S. interventionism has been in that part of the world, people simply cannot bring themselves to break out of the interventionist box. They remain convinced that the United States has no choice but to remain mired in the ongoing failure, death, and destruction in that part of the world. And they keep hoping that maybe — just maybe — it will all work out over the long term. Thus, it is very refreshing to me whenever I find others who recognize that there is really just one right course of action for the United States to take: pull out all troops and bring them home. That’s the message of an excellent op-ed in the Boston Globe today by Jeffrey D. Sachs, who teaches at Columbia University and ...

The Conservative Mantra

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Conservative godfather Russell Kirk (1918–1994) wrote lengthy philosophical treatises on “the six canons of conservative thought” and “ten conservative principles.” Throughout his writings on conservatism he praised natural law, order, virtue, restraint, custom, convention, continuity, tradition, prudence, permanent things, an enduring moral order, property, and voluntary community, while he disdained hasty innovation, collectivism, uniformity, egalitarianism, utilitarianism, and those who would “reconstruct society upon abstract designs.” The conservative mantra Present-day conservatives take a much different and simpler approach than that of Kirk. It has been said by numerous people in a variety of ways that if you repeat something loudly enough and often enough, people will eventually come to believe it, whether it is true or not. That is certainly the case of conservatives in the Internet Age. Although I am a libertarian, I am on the email list of many conservative organizations. Not only do I want to keep up with what they are doing, they many times publish valuable studies ...

Donald Trump as Carnival Hawker and His Leftist Enemies

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Politics has a strange influence on people. People who in their daily lives seem to act quite normal are driven into various forms of madness by politics. For instance, I have friends and acquaintances on both the political Right and Left, with whom totally normal conversations and interactions may be had — unless it turns to politics. Donald Trump is now president of the United States. He was certainly not my choice for a hand on the nuclear and drone buttons, or in charge of the American interventionist-welfare state. To me, however repugnant Trump’s personality and words may be — and they are most certainly disturbing and off-putting — he says and proposes very little that the vast majority of the other politicians holding or running for office do not, as well. He is just more blunt and obnoxious in the way he does it. Donald Trump, the carnival con man He reminds me of the carnival sideshow hawkers enticing us in ...

How to Achieve Omnipotent Government

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Ludwig von Mises explained how government interventionism into economic activity ultimately leads to omnipotent government. It’s because the first intervention inevitably creates problems or crises. Rather than repeal the original intervention, which would constitute an acknowledgement that the intervention had failed, government planners double down by introducing a new intervention to fix the problems or crises of the original ...

Conservatives Are Squirming (and Capitulating) on Obamacare

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For the last seven years, conservatives have had a field day complaining about Obamacare and calling for its repeal. The anti-Obamacare pabulum has been great for garnering donations to conservative organizations and Republican candidates. What conservatives never figured on, however, was that Republicans would end up winning both houses of Congress and the presidency. Now that that has happened, conservatives ...