No "Gift Horses" in 2016

Monday, November 24, 2014

There is an interesting article out on possible "Rust Belt Republican" candidates for President in 2016, which offers sketches of four Republican governors of Midwestern states who could figure as Presidential or Vice-Presidential candidates. It is clear to me, as an advocate of laissez-faire, that I could offer only highly qualified support, if that much, of any of them. 

As an example of what I mean, Take Wisconsin's Scott Walker, who has racked up some impressive wins against public sector unions:

Walker, 47, won national attention after beating back a labor-led 2012 recall attempt. He has pushed through a series of big-ticket bills, including requiring women to get ultrasounds before they have abortions and paving the way for more mining in the state. He's now preparing a legislative agenda that includes mandating drug tests for welfare beneficiaries, repealing the Common Core education standards and cutting property taxes. [bold added]
On the one hand, one could conceivably make a case for drug-testing recipients of government benefits as part of a sunsetting program. On the other hand, there is no such case to be made for forcing someone to undergo a medical procedure, as required by the abortion bill. Indeed, that requirement is a fresh intrusion of improper government into the lives of individuals, and is, as such, the exact opposite of restraining government to its proper role of protecting individual rights. Like those conservatives who regard us as having, not so much a right to our  lives as a duty to live, Walker holds positions that are inconsistent -- with each other or with advocacy of limited government.

Our culture is presently too saturated with the idea that the government should be running our lives in some form or fashion for a truly acceptable candidate to emerge. That said, advocates of limited government must approach any candidate with a high degree of skepticism. We might wish that a Scott Walker were also  secular and pro-choice, but wishing doesn't make it so.

No matter who wins in 2016, we will probably find ourselves fighting him at least part of the time.

-- CAV

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