News & Analysis
Sarah Palin Still Endorses McCain
Former GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin (left) is refusing to back down from her provocative rhetoric from the past week, which some say is encouraging violence against Democratic lawmakers who supported the health care reform bill. In fact, Palin took to her Facebook page Sunday night to taunt her critics. In a note entitled, "Warning: Subject to New Politically Correct Language Police Censorship," Palin wrote about the NCAA college basketball tournament using the same sort of language that she has been criticized for using when discussing politics. "To the teams that desire making it this far next year: Gear up! In the battle, set your sights on next season's targets! From the shot across the bow -- the first second's tip-off -- your leaders will be in the enemy's crosshairs, so you must execute strong defensive tactics," Palin wrote. "Get in their faces and argue with them. (Sound familiar?!) Every possession is a battle; you'll only win the war if you've picked your battles wisely. No matter how tough it gets, never retreat, instead RELOAD!" – Political Hotsheet
Dominant Social Theme: Palin stands tall.
Free-Market Analysis: As a free-market publication, we would be more comforted by Sarah Palin's actions had she not just recently once again endorsed longtime former presidential running mate, Republican Senator John McCain. McCain is a certain kind of American politician and by showing she supports him, Palin is making it clear where she stands.
From our point of view, it is a kind of contradiction in terms – building one's platform on free-market principles while endorsing America's trillion-dollar "defense" program, multiple wars, serial domestic and global spying endeavors, etc., as she does. We've covered her evolution as an important political figure on the American "right" without ever changing our conclusion:
While Palin has enunciated freedom-oriented concepts, and done so eloquently at times, her continued willingness to pursue political/military "business as usual" is bound to be confusing to voters – and disappointing to free-market thinkers. Here's an excerpt from a mainstream News report covering her campaign appearance with McCain:
Sarah Palin Stumps For John McCain ... She said she had "deep respect and admiration" for the man plucked her from relative obscurity and put her on the 2008 Republican ticket, instantly transforming the former Alaska governor into a national figure. "John McCain is leading the party of ideas," she said. Palin said that McCain, who has been criticized by some Republicans as insufficiently conservative, fit with the Tea Party movement because he had been "leading the fight against reckless spending for decades." In a reference to McCain's age, she quipped that "some may claim that John was there at that first Tea Party." ... She said she and McCain believe American soldiers are "are a force for good in this world, and that's nothing to apologize for." – CBS News
But John McCain's political record in terms of his perception of government's role in the free-market is nothing near one of laissez faire. He does not seem to believe that government ought to let any part of the private sector alone. He is an extreme interventionist who backs America's wars of conquest and has been responsible for legislation that has attacked fundamental American free-speech rights. He has also backed various immigration bills that would have had the effect of blurring the lines of Mexican and American sovereignty.
Sarah Palin has made herself a national spokesperson for the libertarian, free-market oriented Tea Party movement in the United States. At the same time her pro-military-industrial complex rhetoric and her unambiguous support for politicians such as John McCain tend to contradict her other stances. The more extreme her rhetoric becomes in support of free-market and self-defense issues, the more confusing her other positions must appear to both her supporters and the larger mass of interested American political observers.
Palin's extreme high profile, her contract as a Fox News correspondent, her best-selling book and current political activities, when combined with her confusing political stances all tend to confirm our perspective that she promoting a specific agenda, and not by accident. Her perspective, in fact, is one the Republican party in America has stood for, for decades. It combines militarism with free-market rhetoric but ends up putting free-markets and freedom below national security and global adventurism. She is therefore putting empire over peaceable trade, a perspective that continually degrades what is left of American civil society.
We had hoped that Sarah Palin, who is an attractive an energetic personality, would not adopt such conflicting stances. They have characterized the mainstream approach to free-markets throughout the 20th century, but in the 21st century, they are giving way, gradually, to the principled positions of such free-market thinking individuals as Republican Congressman Ron Paul (R-Tex). Maybe her political perspectives will still grow or evolve, but it is certainly not clear that they are doing so.
Conclusion: Sarah Palin seems determined, for whatever reason, to continue to support what we would characterize as a power elite promotion – a dominant social theme – that freedom can only be practiced within the confines of a strong, even authoritarian state with massive military dominance. The message is overwhelmingly that free-markets not supported by force will not prosper. We beg to differ, and from what we have read on the Internet, there is a Palin-backlash. The foundering of this power elite meme, (the necessity of empire in support of free-markets) would be an extraordinary event. It would certainly usher in a new political season in America, and would have broader ramifications as well.
Posted by Forrest Anderson on 04/02/10 06:19 PM
Granted. If you will note, I said "When all countries are law abiding in total there may be no need to protect free markets from the actions of participants, but they won't be absent laws, or enforcement of laws by some general force."
Military power as used by the U.S. since 1913 has caused a great deal of trouble and expense for us all, but now that the economy is global, we might be able to look forward to an America that tends to it's own knitting, rather than trying to dress the rest of the world in the Union Jack.
But the world situation is fluid, and will become moreso, so I am in doubt of such a peacable conclusion. And barring a peaceful marketplace kept by economic means, it will be necessary to maintain that marketplace by force. This does not mean that America should continue sharing democracy by force of arms, and continuous intervention in other people's business. It is merely a fact that a police power is needed to maintain order amongst the marketplace.
Posted by Forrest Anderson on 03/31/10 10:45 PM
For such a scenario as a peaceable market one needs the participants to have a strong moral code of enforced laws, a feature that is not universally participated within.
It isn't so much that we are unable to trade peaceably without a military maintaining order, but that others who do not wish us to participate freely and lawfully in the world market are being forced into following the general moral agreement that Free
Trade depends upon. All nations currently use military force primarily to defend and enforce the law in order to protect market participants. Just think of the market exchanges between nations...are ALL the nations going to play nicely with others if it is more to their benefit to take advantage of others in that market?
Economic mutually assured destruction that effectively prevents war between nations is only possible with a military mutually assured destruction at this time, while the economic M.A.D., for the most part, prevents regular use of military force.
Such military force, however, should not be used except to maintain that law. Military actions by any country are to be deplored, as they are tremendously wasteful, but they are a practical necessity.
Think of the ramifications if the world market were suddenly bereft of a capable military prescence. There are plenty of dictatorial nations that would happily begin to take advantage of such a lessening of protection. Certainly, locally one needs the police to prevent thievery on Main Street. In what way are the world markets absent such action?
There is a need for a powerful military presence to maintain the safety in which markets can trade without fear, and mutual benefit requires all parties to agree, which is not really within the norms for human behavior.
Laws only work if they are enforced, and far too few are enforced as it is. The military is not at odds with markets, but is needed for the enforcement of the safety we are all participating in as markets.
No one can prefer a world wide free-for-all with countries like Venezuela, Sudan, Somalia, Al Queda, Iran and Korea in the mix. When all countries are law abiding in total there may be no need to protect free markets from the actions of participants, but they won't be absent laws, or enforcement of laws by some general force.
Reply from The Daily Bell
Eloquent, but we question the premise, believing that the Anglo-American empire has made resolute enemies through its military adventurism. A different stance would have yielded up a much more peaceable world in our opinion, and one that did not need nearly so much firepower to secure "capitalism."
Posted by Forrest Anderson on 03/31/10 04:30 PM
Considering that the entire Western World, and much of the East, North and South benefits from the military order that America maintains at considerable cost, you needn't be so disapproving of Ms. Palin's tendencies.
Yes, she does support the status quo, but what politican doesn't? We all live within the structure that the US military helps to support, defend and enlarge. Certainly, the many countries currently benefiting from the world wide economic M.A.D. which America does a great deal to maintain, (and profit from), could be a little less critical of a well defended mercantile population.
I am not saying that it is a good position for any politician to support, nor am I necessarily a Palin fan. However, it is an excellent stance politically, economically and socially to position a political career Click to view linklin has to work within the system that exists, and the powers that currently exist really do not support the true libertarian viewpoint Palin states is her own.
However, she is more libertarian than not, and a lot of Americans can live with that. Conservative, traditional viewpoints have to be packaged carefully in order to win the approval of the population, and despite the fact that the vested interests pay for elections, the masses vote for them.
The average working American simply wants to be left alone within the societal construct they live in, while the Elite want to control it. Palin is a conservatively based middle class spokesman, supporting traditional solutions for a traditional populace who want very much for the world they live in to stabilize. Consequently she meets with a fair amount of conservative approval.
Whether she can gain more influence than she currently has depends on how nimbly she maintains that 'rogue' appeal in a society that is being taught to welcome conformity and control. Palin evidently prefers a free market, but recognizes that it is not a concept that can be easily maintained in a contentious world without that firm military back bone. This is not a contradiction so much as it is a paradox that she, and we all face, since etiquette and goodwill are not sufficient by themselves to support the complex world markets.
Reply from The Daily Bell
The idea that free-markets inherently need military protection is a kind dominant social theme in our opinion, one propagated by the powers-that-be. If individuals wish to trade among themselves for mutual benefit, then why is it necessary to enforce trading with military might? There are plenty of examples in history where peoples and nations traded peaceably and without threatening each other with nuclear destruction.
Posted by S.A. Williams on 03/30/10 10:38 PM
Reply from The Daily Bell
Yes, this just took place. Thanks.
Posted by SP on 03/30/10 10:25 PM
Reply to Clayton
Thanks so much for insight, I tearily enjoyed your post. These are the the facts plain, simple and sad. Its nice to have these truths put into clear concise words. I will be reading your post from now on and will look foreword to you next one. Great job.A concerned gray haired white guy.
Posted by Keith Goodenough on 03/30/10 08:26 PM
Thanks for using my post! If the punctuation errors were mine, I apologize for them.
Posted by Sally Preston on 03/30/10 07:52 PM
For those of you who find Ron Paul's personality "deadening" please read "Isaiah's Job" by Albert Jay Nock. I have previously expressed my disappointment with Mrs. P and her lack of a Pygmalian-like transformation. I guess John McCain was no Henry Higgins. I am with Clayton, the DB is for "the Remnant."
Reply from The Daily Bell
The Remnant is considerably bigger these days.
Posted by Keith Goodenough on 03/30/10 06:38 PM
People are "enamored of Ron Paul because he appears to be an honest man. There are not many of those in politics these days."
Why on earth should one's vote depend on a candidate's personality? Politics is not entertainment. I find Ron Paul to be charming, but that is subjective. People who met Adolf Hitler socially seem to have found his personality pleasing, except of course for Lord Halifax, who mistook him for a footman.
Posted by Bill on 03/30/10 05:09 PM
Sarah Palin was a governor in a small small city. Her main duties were signing the payroll checks each week. She became governor of a state whose population is lower than many many USA cities and a sate that receives many government subsidies. She failed to show an intelligent understanding of world affairs during the 2008 election and quit her job as governor of Alaska when the facts show her rate of absenteeism was appalling even before McCain had a brain malfunction.
However in America as exemplified by European history, the masses are often swayed by forces other than reason and logic and as long as Sarah can milk her fame, she will continue. It is the American way.
Posted by Jon Ashment on 03/30/10 04:33 PM
I think it is sad when people vote for the lesser of two evils. Voting against someone is not exactly voting your conscience, is it?
Posted by Lynne on 03/30/10 03:38 PM
I have just begun to read your messages. Why is everyone so enamored of Ron Paul? I think some of his positions are good, but his personality is deadening. I would never vote for him. I think of myself as a conservative before anything else, and I haven't found anyone to vote for in a long time. I liked Sarah Palin at first, and I voted for her, hoping that McCain would let his ego down enough to pay attention to what she had to contribute. There is no candidate on the horizon that I could support. They're all duds.
Posted by Clayton on 03/30/10 03:33 PM
You better not close up shop! It takes at least two to do a game of tennis. Your site has become a bit of a refuge to me, and I would think many of your readers. The postings are the icing on the cake. They offer those of us who are lost in this Wilderness a place and an opportunity to both organize and express our thoughts. You are creating a virtual community. Perhaps it will become more than that in the future. I hope so. So, please continue on.
Reply from The Daily Bell
Thank you for the encouraging words. More "community involvement" is planned.
Posted by Herbert Haemmer on 03/30/10 03:03 PM
I wholeheartedly second the views of Khl..right to the point. The only reason I voted for McCain was to keep the present guy and his Chicago-style Mafia out of office. McCain is a "progressive Rebublican" and already too far on the left for my conservative views.
Posted by Herb Sucherman on 03/30/10 01:31 PM
Most conservatives, not libertarians like Ron Paul, support a strong military. As for supporting McCain, I had wished she would just decline to support anyone in Arizona. However, this was a damned if you do and damned if you don't. If she didn't support McCain, she would be considered a traitor for not supporting someone who took her out of obscurity to the limelight.
John Kerry did that with Joe Lieberman. But then, there is a double standard for democrats. If she supports him, which she is doing, then she is really not supporting conservative views because for sure, McCain with his views on climate control, amnesty, etc, certainly is not a conservative.
Reply from The Daily Bell
Shouldn't she acknowledge that?
Posted by Clayton on 03/30/10 01:10 PM
Sarah Palin is like a good sergeant. Given a clear playbook to work from, she can manage the troops in the field, providing the enthusiasm and simple concrete direction necessary to turn plans into realities.
Democratic politics gives the advantage and the likely victories to the "Big Battalions." The intellectual is generally uncomfortable in these crowd-like situations, where the emphasis is on the readily remembered phrase that can be turned into the evening sound bite.
But once society has stooped to the level of democratic politics, this is the deciding domain.
Voting is in the sphere of action. It is a final act, kind of like that first order consumer good, a juicy hamburger, once devoured in exists now in the past. The voter, like the grenadier, must be got to the line with his musket loaded, his target defined, his mass intact, his uncertainties quelled, his conviction in victory running at a high point.
The various factions of the Power Elite, scheming in secrecy, are always in need of good, reliable, malleable, narcissistic field operatives. Since the public is divided amongst various ethnicities and beliefs, the need arises for supposed leaders for each of these niches.
Sarah provides that role for the aging, failing White middle class, who are not government employees. They are the good sturdy law-abiding bill payers for the nation, who in this last moment of their rapidly waning power, have decided things have gone just too far. They have set aside their daily routine to get together and wave flags and emote about their sense of loss.
I go to these events (as a old white haired White Guy I kind of blend in) and find them more like group therapy, than a growing formidable future political movement. Their thinking is just too incoherent and filled with self-contradiction. If someone, such as myself, who has thought this thing through, steps forward to remedy this problem, he finds himself persona non grata.
They believe with certainty that Social Security, Medicare, the War on Drugs, the War on Terror, the perpetual alliance with the State of Israel, the far flung stationing of American troops around the world, the SUV, the 4000 calorie daily intake of food, the 3000 square foot house purchased with a 10 percent down and a30 year fixed rate loan, all done with a 40 hour work week with vacations sick leave, full medical, etc., are compatible with Liberty and Sound Money.
To them the promise of America is that all things are possible, the quantification of probability is not a major concern of theirs'. Why get bogged down in the "Dismal Science?" Their delusions are coming to an end.The Power Elites much contain this process until it exhausts itself.
Palin is extremely useful in this regard. She is just vain enough to make self reflection too painful to indulge in to any great degree. For people like her, the crowd's the thing. She's that foxy lady who will keep the old guys in line. She is Ron Paul's opposite on the Right. And, by the way, I have found Ron Paul to be very unpopular with most folks at the Tea Parties I have attended, which speaks for itself.
Reply from The Daily Bell
Geez, we can fold up shop now ... and leave the floor to eloquent statements such as this.
Posted by Michael Ponzani on 03/30/10 01:05 PM
This is Facism/Mercantilism at its finest. I have a friend who constantly tells me there are differences between the two, but I can't really see them. They are woven together seamlessly like thy straws in a Chinese finger trap. Poke your finger in either end and you're stuck. Dr. Sutton said there is no left or right in the political spectrum as shought of as being in a straight line. Rather, it is a circle. Walk far enough to the right and you'll end up on the left. Take one step further and you are back on the right. The names of tody's enemies change as do the titles of the administrators, but it's all the same. If there is a difference between Facism and Mercantilism, some one please explain it.
Reply from The Daily Bell
Well done. Seems to us that almost all the "isms" line up on the authoritarian side of the fence. The only "ism" that doesn't is libertarianism, which is anti-state. Every other political solution invokes the authority of the government in some capacity, eventually at draconian levels.
Posted by Chuck Dahmer on 03/30/10 12:56 PM
It's odd that I picked her as a VP candidate six months before John McCain. Not a bad choice given the full context of the 2008 election.
That said, Sarah Palin is NOT a good choice going forward, for essentially the reasons noted above by John Acord.
Paraphrasing his thoughts: She has refined her narrative instead of her principles.
As DB correctly points out, this leads to a contradictory position. She make plenty of money, and her charisma may even serve to jostle the apathy which has so long gripped America.
But until she learns solid economic and liberty principles, she' on a path to simply become yesterday's (same old) political news.
Reply from The Daily Bell
Well done, thanks.
Posted by Beverlee on 03/30/10 12:41 PM
Sarah Palin creates excitement and draws folks who believe in the U.S. Constitution. They attend Constitution classes and want to know more about what has gone wrong.
While Gov. Palin seems confused on free markets, non-governmental interference, and empire-building (as opposed to a reasonable and strong defense), she is hopefully a work-in-progress.
Events where she appears are opportunities for Ron Paul supporters to engage with the public and educate, educate, educate.
If Sarah Palin were ever to emerge in Dr. Paul's camp with a true sense of gold and freedom (along with the education to sustain herself in attack interviews), she would become formidable. The very thought must promote nightly teeth-grinding among the power elite.
Posted by Mark Y on 03/30/10 12:38 PM
It would seem to me the problem with Sarah Palin is most likely that she is a decent person who grew up with a religious background in a rural setting but who lacks an understanding of the reality of the "behind the scenes" control and influence that exists in national level politics. This makes her attractive to many of the US voters who are small government-libertarian leaning.
However, Palin is too naive and inexperienced to understand that she is being used to undermine the very ideas she cherishes. This is why she is apparently oblivious to the "cognitive dissonance" of her positions.
The actions of the US government at this time make her a very frightening political figure. The below linked piece on the acceleration of tyrannical actions such as killing, torture and indefinite jailing of both US citizens and non US citizens is extremely unsettling.
See civil Liberties in Obama's America
Click to view link
From the article: "Putting all this aside for a second, let us look at what this all means in the age of Obama. No matter how you slice it, no matter how we try to define our terms, Obama has so far proven himself to be a disaster for civil liberties in practically every respect, with a trajectory that I must say is more frightening than even what was experienced under Bush."
Reply from The Daily Bell
Do you believe she is still naive - even now? We have a hard time with that one, no matter how well-meaning she was to begin with.
Posted by Padremike on 03/30/10 10:39 AM
Hardly a single kind word here about Sarah. I'm a bit disappointed about her support for John McCain but the attribute is that she possesses loyalty and that goes to character.
And, lest we forget, John McCain has some very positive characteristics. The thing that elitists, both conservative and progressives, can't abide about Sarah is that she possesses a certain colloquial wisdom and common sense.
Both of these attributes trump intellect every single time. Some of the stupidest things I have ever heard in my life came out of the mouths of PhD's.