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An Infantilizing Speech

Maybe I am getting older and crankier, but that struck me as an exceptionally infantilizing speech that Mitt Romney just gave, politically speaking.

There were good bits in it, particularly in the soft-focus autobiographical stuff. He actually sounded like he choked up talking about missing the days when they’d wake up to find a pile of kids in their bedroom. He got a genuine laugh from a genuine joke. I’ve never cared much whether Romney seems “authentic” or “genuine” because those qualities in a politician are faked – what you’re seeing is the ability to seem genuine, seem authentic. If Romney lacks those qualities, they have practical consequences – people will be less-likely to believe him when he speaks in public – but they aren’t indications of character. But nonetheless, it’s nice to see that he can play this game a little, since he’d be expected to play it if he became President.

But the rest of the speech was pretty dreadful, and particularly this section:

Every small business wanted these to be their best years ever, when they could hire more, do more for those who had stuck with them through the hard times, open a new store or sponsor that Little League team. Every new college graduate thought they’d have a good job by now, a place of their own, and that they could start paying back some of their loans and build for the future. This is when our nation was supposed to start paying down the national debt and rolling back those massive deficits. This was the hope and change America voted for.

I don’t have the transcript yet (the above is from the pre-released excerpts), but the next line is something like, “That’s what Americans deserve.”

Think about that: immediately after the biggest economic crisis since the great depression, Americans deserved to have “the best years ever.”

I guess that’s what makes America special, what makes us an exceptional nation. This is the only place where nothing bad is ever allowed to happen, where you are entitled to the “best year ever” because you want it.

That was one half of the infantilizing message. The other half: the “trust me” presentation of his “plan” to revitalize the American economy.

Romney’s “plan” to create 12 million new jobs had five parts:

Most of these things have absolutely nothing to do with job creation. Energy independence, if taken literally, would mean higher energy prices (if it was economically efficient for us to be independent, we would be). But what Romney really means is simply to roll back regulation against drilling and mining. More energy development will indeed create some jobs – it’s doing so in Western Pennsylvania, in North Dakota, for example. But it won’t make a big dent in a 12 million job goal.

School choice, whether you like it or hate it, has nothing to do with the near-term jobs picture.

New trade agreements? With what countries? Tariffs are at historic lows. “Trade agreements” these days are mostly about pushing other countries to respect our intellectual property regime. Retaliation is presumably about punishing China for being a currency manipulator. I’m still waiting to hear how exactly that particular chess game is supposed to play out after the first move.

Cutting the deficit is a meaningless goal if you don’t say how you’re going to cut it. Romney called out Obama for threatening the economy through his Medicare cuts and his (nonexistent) defense cuts. We don’t know what spending Romney plans to actually cut; he plans to increase spending on Medicare and defense. We know he has promised not to raise taxes, but to cut them. How the deficit is going to go down is a mystery. How, if it did, that would feed back into the job market is also a mystery.

And then we have cutting regulations and taxes on small businesses, and repealing the ACA (repeal is somehow supposed to lower healthcare costs). I’ll buy that actions to make our regulatory regime more efficient would have a positive economic impact. But a huge one? Big enough to pull us out of the biggest economic slump since the depression?

And that’s the “plan” to generate 12 million new jobs. The mismatch between the scale of the challenge and the proposed solution is almost laughable.

Mitt Romney is a very smart guy, and a successful businessman. He knows the mismatch is laughable. So why doesn’t he close the rhetorical gap? Don’t just tell us that President Obama doesn’t know how to end the economic crisis – explain to us how you think we wound up in this mess (in 2008, before Obama took office) and what President Obama should have done and could still do to get us out of it.

But, quite plainly, Mitt Romney has no intention of saying anything that his audience doesn’t want to hear, and what he thinks his audience wants to hear is that America is great, and the only reason everything isn’t hunky dory is that we are led by a man who doesn’t understand that America is great. So believe in Mitt Romney, who believes in America, and trust that he will do the right things to steer America toward brighter shores.

That’s the whole speech, and it’s the whole campaign. It’s really that infantilizing.

Personally, I like Mitt Romney. He was a decent governor. By all reports, he’s been a wonderful husband, father and grandfather. He reminds me of some of the people I worked with on Wall Street whom I liked best – the people who were stand-up guys who you’d feel confident doing business with, not the raging egotists that you too often find in that business. But even if he were running on policies I support, which he isn’t (and which is the main reason I’m opposed to him), I’d call this speech a lousy one. He’s condescending, flattering and generally treating the American people like children. And I don’t think the American people should take kindly to that.

47 Comments (Open | Close)

47 Comments To "An Infantilizing Speech"

#1 Comment By St. Cloud On August 31, 2012 @ 12:11 am

This whole process has been infantilizing. The Democrat specialty is infantilizing whole classes and races. The Republicans cater to infantile dreams at which the Founders would cringe.

#2 Comment By Jack Ross On August 31, 2012 @ 12:13 am

I have to say, in the space of 24 hours you’ve shown yourself to be the most brilliant analyst of this election hands down. Can’t wait for your handle on the Democrats next week!

#3 Comment By Fran Macadam On August 31, 2012 @ 12:40 am

Is the guy spending a billion dollars to try to become President because he wants to help us? He says he started his leveraged buyout business “to help companies” and if that’s what he means by help, then it means he’d say or do anything while throwing us, the employees, under the bus, to personally profit by our suffering.

“Hi. I’m President Mitt from the government, and I’m here to help” sounds an awful lot like “I’m President Mitt from Bain Capital, and I’m here to help your company.”

#4 Comment By U. Reuter On August 31, 2012 @ 3:10 am

Quote: “I guess that’s what makes America special, what makes us an exceptional nation. This is the only place where nothing bad is ever allowed to happen, where you are entitled to the “best year ever” because you want it.”

No idea how that makes America special.

I still recall another place where nothing bad was ever allowed to happen and the next Five Year Plan were to be best one ever because the Politbureau wanted it.

Actually – I now remember quite a few places held up only by ideology while guarded by strict censorship. And the US does not even lead the field there.


#5 Comment By john On August 31, 2012 @ 5:53 am

Don’t insult infants. They are not expected to know that spending more and taking in less money cannot reduce, let alone eliminate, the budget deficit. But people will believe what they want to believe, not what is rational.

#6 Comment By Bill Pearlman On August 31, 2012 @ 8:00 am

Treating the American people has children worked for Obama

#7 Comment By Jeff On August 31, 2012 @ 8:44 am

I totally agree! You are getting older and crankier.

#8 Comment By Clint On August 31, 2012 @ 8:59 am

Romney’s jobs picture, as Governor of Massachusetts is a mixed unimpressive bag.

#9 Comment By libertarian jerry On August 31, 2012 @ 9:12 am

When are American Conservatives and Libertarians going to wake up and realize that a voting majority of the American people like things just they way they are. And they want their politicians to reflect that world view. The idea of an independent,self reliant,self responsible body politic faded out 50 years ago. Today a voting majority of Americans like the fact that mom and pop are on Social Security and Medicare,that their kids go to “free” Public Schools that if their unemployed they get a check,if they are poor they can hop on the government gravy train that they seek government “jobs” with steady safe pay,health insurance for life and an early retirement. A voting majority of Americans desire “Big Brother” looking out for them. Sadly a voting majority of Americans have thrown away their birthright of Liberty in exchange for the security of the Social Security Card. In today’s day and age for a politician running for U.S. President to tell the truth and not what a voting majority wants to hear would be political suicide. A voting majority of Americans should be treated as children because that’s what they mentally are.

#10 Comment By RylanG On August 31, 2012 @ 9:15 am

Of course it’s infantilized. If you try to actually speak at a level of meaning the American people, in general, lose interest quickly or worse turn on you. Neither party is making any intellectual presentations. In fact, let’s look at all the health care bill speeches from Obama. Whatever else he spoke of he never once laid out any argument backed by fact as far as what the root cause(s) of the ‘problem’ he was fixing were. Yet he had a plan to fix healthcare. Amazing, a solution without any clear cause. I guess if I get a rash and cover it with makeup I’ve cured it!

Of course the speech was dumbed down, it has to be; they all do on both sides of the aisle. The bigger issue is that the one in charge currently is clearly in over his head and unless Romney is going to be even more out of his league than the untested, unvetted Obama clearly is then Romney is the best solution. At the very least he’s done something, run a State, run a business…run more than his mouth tearing down society as we know it, more than pressure a bank for a settlement leading to more sub-prime lending which contributed to the collapse of the economy in the first place.

#11 Comment By Nathan On August 31, 2012 @ 9:34 am

Where nothing bad is allowed to happen? Ghastly. In FREE societies bad things can and do happen. People get cancer, lose their jobs, their spouses cheat on them we could go on. It’s a nonsensical line.

And he says “we’re entitled because we want it”? No talk about earning anything. Why on earth would he use the word “entitled” in any speech given that entitlements are destroying the country. And of course nothing about standing up for individual rights and liberties. Is he REALLY going to be that much better than the incumbent?

#12 Comment By stef On August 31, 2012 @ 10:16 am

My perception was that Romney deliberately tried to make himself as non-aggressive and non-confrontational as possible in his demeanor, word choices, etc., probably out of a clumsy attempt to “appeal to women.”

#13 Comment By Steven Hales On August 31, 2012 @ 10:24 am

Oil is a fungible commodity. Our price for crude will always be the world price as determined at NYMEX. However, there is no real global market in natural gas. There are large differentials around the world and ours is one of the cheapest because of an enormous resource base. But that said, we have a balance of trade in NAFTA and if we reduce or eliminate dependence on sources outside of our hemisphere it will reduce our trade deficit. Oil nations sovereign holdings of dollars as a result of their countries trade surplus with the US will fall overall and reduce demand for US financial assets which will reduce their price and increase their yield. The dollar will also strengthen making imports less expensive. The follow on effects are increased disposable income for a variety of other goods and services. It is economically expansionary. Tax revenues rise in an expanding economy. The economy is already growing at 6% below potential and that gap represents almost all of the federal budget deficit. I find Romney’s call for energy independence one that has huge economic impacts that will ripple through the economy for the next decades.

You guys at TAC are real cry babies. 🙂

#14 Comment By Adam On August 31, 2012 @ 11:03 am

Clearly, what he should have said last night is that America sucks, nothing is ever going to get better, and a vote for Mitt Romney is a vote for continued malaise. That’s a real winner there.

Good grief, what a silly whine. “Your nomination speech was entirely too positive, Mr. Reagan. That will never win an election.”

#15 Comment By KXB On August 31, 2012 @ 11:10 am

Nothing bad is allowed to happen, except for the occasional mass shooting, which is simply an unfortunate byproduct of the Second Amendment, and not the result of an omnipotent gun manufacturing lobby. Good morning NJ Pathmark shoppers.

#16 Comment By Karen On August 31, 2012 @ 12:10 pm

The only thing that I disagree with is the idea that if energy independence would be more efficient, we would be energy independent by now. But I do not buy it. Energy producers can’t just start fracking on public or private land without going through many regulatory hoops so in that sense, sure it’s more efficient to simply not deal with the problem and go get energy fuels someplace else…and maybe that’s what you meant, but that’s a little crazy no?

#17 Comment By Liz On August 31, 2012 @ 12:29 pm

I was shocked to hear a Republican Presidential Candidate repeat over and over to a cheering Republican crowd, “That’s what Americans DESERVE”, and similar phrases using DESERVE.

I kept wondering if this was some kind of parody, one in very bad taste.

#18 Comment By Morton On August 31, 2012 @ 1:34 pm

Romney dished out political pablum that only idiots or amnesiacs could swallow. Where was the beef?

#19 Comment By Bob Jones On August 31, 2012 @ 3:36 pm

Steve Hale: The problem with “Energy Independence” is that is you believe in a free and open market, then promising that the government will take steps to force energy independence basically entails having the government, by force of regulation, manipulating the market to block importation of energy sources.

My sense is that if the domestic energy market that it was feasible and profitable to pursue “energy independence” it would already be happening. Since market forces are not pursuing or creating independence, then it is likely not such a great idea, and Romney shouldn’t be out campaigning on a government mandated domestic energy market.

#20 Comment By Paul Welch On August 31, 2012 @ 4:34 pm

Exactly! How about a sobering conversation with the American people? Instead we got glory days. It sounded like a badly done reverse engineered hope and change speech. Romney proved he’s human — did the media sucker the Romney campaign into believing that was the issue?

#21 Comment By Nergol On August 31, 2012 @ 5:12 pm

An infantile speech is perfect for an infantile electorate. Job well done, Mitt.

#22 Comment By Charles Cosimano On August 31, 2012 @ 6:11 pm

“No one ever got elected by giving the voters a reason to vote against him.” Bob Dole after the 1992 Republican Convention.

#23 Comment By Russell On August 31, 2012 @ 6:58 pm

““No one ever got elected by giving the voters a reason to vote against him.” Bob Dole after the 1992 Republican Convention.”

The great politicians are those that get elected without giving the electorate much reason to vote for them:


#24 Comment By Jose R. Pardinas On August 31, 2012 @ 7:06 pm

Excellent column!

Here’s a companion righteously cantankerous column at Reuters:


#25 Comment By Alphonsus Jr. On August 31, 2012 @ 7:34 pm

The fatal flaw in the speech is of a fundamental nature. Like the new 2016 documentary, it operates under the assumption that the United States still exists. Many today mistakenly assume this, simply because the name remains. They scream to put out the fire – but the house has already burned down. Gone. Ashes. This has been the case for at least the last 80 years. The founders and citizens of the actual United States wouldn’t recognize this as the country they founded and built – and technology is the last reason why. The people, what they embrace (in modern-speak, their “values”), and how they live are among the first.

Just as the legalization of surgical infanticide was an effect rather than a cause of this disintegration, so was the election of Barack Obama. And we should fully expect him to be re-elected. Such is today’s “United States of America.”

#26 Comment By Alphonsus Jr. On August 31, 2012 @ 7:40 pm

As for the infantilization, I agree. Huxley’s Brave New World is indeed upon us. After all:

Men without chests; wombs without fruit; laboratory babies; ‘compassionate’ killing; all entertainment, all the time; a nation of sex-crazed permanent adolescents; sexualized children; plugged-in 24/7; screens everywhere; silence intolerable; indifference to the highest things; debasement of all things glorious & elevation of all things subterranean; mass shamelessness; modesty dismissed as prudery; humans as technological objects, experimented upon & described as ‘wired’ etc.; everybody drugged; bovine self-branded (tattooed) herds of counterfeit individuals; roses bred without scent; unhappiness pathologized as ‘depression’; religion relativized & cheapened as mere ‘spirituality’; broken families called ‘dysfunctional,’ not sinful; countless solitaries everywhere; the myth of progress universally embraced; chronological snobbery at every turn; delusions of man as perfectible & sufficient unto himself; plastic faces; plastic souls; human life itself consumerized on the sacrificial altar of Choice and convenience; Mustapha Mond elected President in 2008 and, certainly, again in 2012….

Yes, this brave new world is a steamroller; its business is the mass production of flat souls. Are you conformed to it? Are you processed? You don’t care? Be assured then that you are. For those who still care, do what must be done to resist the processing. Start simply: turn off the television. Embrace silence, or only the heights of music. Spurn those pitiful gods of neopagan emptiness: celebrities. Watch. And pray. Or be another dead soul whose horizon is limited to lawn care, football, the nightly tv lineup, celebrity gossip….In short, drown in the shallows of the anti-culture, become so immersed in it that with your last dying gasp you can only say, like the fish, ‘Water? WHAT water?!’

The epitaph of this age, penned at its dawn:

Age, thou art shamed.*
O shame, where is thy blush?**

-Shakespeare, Julius Caesar,* Hamlet**”

#27 Comment By cw On September 1, 2012 @ 1:04 am

“Sadly a voting majority of Americans have thrown away their birthright of Liberty in exchange for the security of the Social Security Card.”

Someone please tell me exactly what “Liberty” is. I’m totally serious. It is a word that gets tossed around all the time and it seems to be to be a totally undifined placeholder for something. What? I’m dead serious. What does the commenter quoted above mean by “Liberty?”

#28 Comment By libertarian jerry On September 1, 2012 @ 9:20 am

cw….Assuming your not a troll, I’ll try to briefly explain what Liberty is to me. The Right to do any thing I want as long as it does not interfere with the same right as someone else. The right to keep the fruits of my labor. The right to be left alone as long as I respect the same rights of other people living in my community. What I mean by doing whatever I want also means the responsibility of knowing that my rights must not interfere with the rights of others. In other words,the right to pursue my happiness. This does not mean anarchy,that is why we have basic Common Law. It also means that my rights are derived by my creator and are endless and not derived from the state and are therefore limited “rights” of permission. If your serious I would Google the word Liberty and or Libertarian and see what other people have said what Liberty means. Maybe you’ll learn something.

#29 Comment By ArnoldLayne On September 1, 2012 @ 11:51 am

WRONG! “what Americans deserve” Your context is incorrect. Mr Romney was saying that is what BHO had led them to believe- that was his grand hope and change. And none of it came true [in spades].

#30 Comment By nutter On September 1, 2012 @ 12:44 pm

Hey “Libertarian” Jerry:

Libertarians borrow some good ideas from other groups (like liberals). But, then you add on some big ideological blind spots. As practiced and preached, “Libertarianism” is a brand used to sell plutocracy in the name of “freedom”.

“Liberty” is a zero-sum game when it comes to obtaining your share of current productive capacity. If the Walmart heirs inherit $20b, they get 20 billion ways to decide how the world’s existing productive capacity will serve them and not serve you. They gained that power not by the fruits of their labor. And, because they outbid you for output, they control your freedom to enjoy the fruits of your own labor.

Worse, if you accept that “money is power”, and accept Lord Acton’s observation about power and corruption, then any policies that increase wealth concentration will also increase corruption — in both private and public realms. By staying completely mum on the subject let alone do anything about it, “Liber”-tarians promote increased wealth concentration and, thus, increased corruption.

Were he alive today, Edward Bernays would find excellent job prospects working for pro-plutocratic libertarian “think” tanks, selling his product to myopic, self-centered tools.

#31 Comment By cw On September 1, 2012 @ 1:07 pm


See what confuse me it that people who talk about liberty mostly seem to be angry becasue they think this liberty is being threatened. And if yours is a common definiton I don’t see really the threat and therefor the reason for the anger. The laws we have in this country pretty much cover the impinging on the rights of others and as long as them you can mostly do what ever else you want. You can live where you want, work in what ever field you want, say what you want, believe in whatever god you want and profess that belief, you vote for who you want, you can run for office if you want, you can have any kind of non-impinging sex you want….

This is why I am confused about the actual practical meaning of the word liberty. Becasue if it is as you define it, we have massive amounts of it in this county, especially when considering it in a historical context. We have more than when the founders were doing all the founding.

#32 Comment By Alphonsus Jr. On September 1, 2012 @ 1:20 pm

Good question, cw. Very Socratic.

I’ll try to keep this short.

The word “liberty,” like so much of our language today, has been radically debased. (Speaking of which, hasn’t that formerly cheerful, defenseless little word “gay” received enough abuse at this point?). I’m reminded of the theory that the breakdown of language precedes the breakdown of civilization – not, as many think, vice-versa.

The debasement of the word “liberty” has now being going on for centuries. This is in no small part due to the mass absorption of the utilitarianism preached by the likes of Bentham, Mill, et al. This crass utilitarianism is reflected in libertarian jerry’s remarks above.

First, what is liberty NOT? Simply the absence of restraint.

True liberty involves a certain ordering of soul. Where there’s disorder in the soul, there can be no liberty. More specifically, where there’s slavery to one’s passions, there is no liberty.

Thus a prisoner in solitary confinement may be freer than the man who’s abandoned himself to pornography, as long as the rule of reason prevails in this prisoner’s soul. He may be shackled, gagged, beaten and hosed on a daily basis – yet he may remain free while the pornofanatic remains a slave.

Now think of all the vices to which men, whom the world sees as free, are enslaved. Behold the myriad of new electronic devices which forge stronger chains of slavery every day. For example, legions of men, grown men, are today hooked on video games. Can a permanent adolescent be a free man?

Think of Paul Ryan the other night shamelessly declaring before the world that “my iPod starts at AC/DC and ends at Zeppelin.” Assuming his sincerity, can a free man ever make such a declaration?

The rule of reason demands a negative to both questions. They’re slaves.

Think of the herds of “individuals” today who have branded themselves (with tattoos). Free? Impossible. All slaves to fashion.

We could go on and on and on….

As for a state, how does it secure and preserve liberty? It must first acknowledge that government does NOT derive its just powers from below, but from above. Thus the consent of the governed is NOT the test of governmental legitimacy. Rather, the test is the extent to which the laws of the state conform to the laws of God. Only where there is such conformity may a body politic be called free.

All this demands fleshing out, but I’ll stop here.

Suggested reading:

Aristotle, Nicomachean Ethics

St. Thomas Aquinas, Summa Theologica

Pope Leo XIII, Immortale Dei

Pope Pius XI, Quas Primas

#33 Comment By jim On September 1, 2012 @ 2:10 pm

Did I click on American Conservative.com or American Commie.com? Quote:”He’s condescending, flattering and generally treating the American people like children.” Are you sure this article was supposed to be about Mitt and not Obama?

#34 Comment By cw On September 1, 2012 @ 2:10 pm

Nutters comment is interesting to me. I think he is saying that impingement on social mobility is an impingement on liberty. Which makes sense to me. There is no point in having the nominal liberty to live where you want or work in a chosen field or dissent if, becasue of economic conditions, you don’t have the actual ability to exercise these liberties. Which implies that there needs to be a mechanism in society to protect social mobility. Basically we have given that role to government and yet people who talk about liberty are usually against government interference in the economy.

#35 Comment By libertarian jerry On September 1, 2012 @ 3:26 pm

nutter….What does it matter what anyone earns or inherits. Its really no ones business. The Walmart heirs didn’t rob anyone. Unlike the State which does so everyday and with guns. What your saying is the age old class warfare zero sum nonsense that everything is everybody’s. That there are no property rights. You call it “current productive capacity.” What your saying is Leftist gibberish. If I go into the market and make in a “hands off” transaction,not using government cronyism,20 Billion Dollars every penny belongs to me. Of course I could also lose 30 Billion. In which case that’s my problem. All this “paying your fair share” and “give back to the community” crap that is spewed by political demagogues belongs in the dustbin of history along with the Berlin Wall. At this moment America is being bankrupted precisely because of too much taxation. Over 60% of America’s GDP is taken directly or indirectly by government on one level or another. Unfortunately your class warfare gambit would only speed up the process of bankruptcy leaving America destitute and enslaved.

#36 Comment By trollope On September 1, 2012 @ 4:33 pm

@cw … “I think he is saying that impingement on social mobility is an impingement on liberty. Which makes sense to me. ”

If I don’t want someone in my club I have the right to keep him out. That’s no infringement on his liberty; it is the exercise of mine.

#37 Comment By John Adcock On September 1, 2012 @ 4:53 pm

I’m a Canadian with no horse in this race but I do watch all the speeches from all parties. In Canada to mention ‘God’ in a stump speech is the kiss of death. Romney’s speech, like all Republican speeches lately (it seems to me) reads like the dialogue from a bad forties B movie.

#38 Comment By cw On September 1, 2012 @ 6:38 pm


Liberty to you seems to be a lot about taxes. A lot of what you call liberty exists because the government guarantees it. I think you get an awful lot of what you say you want here in the united states. Shouldn’t you pay something to support that?


That’s a tricky one.

#39 Comment By libertarian jerry On September 1, 2012 @ 7:27 pm

cw….How can the government guarantee anything when it the largest destroyer of liberty in the nation. Guarantee? Our rights,our Republic and our Constitution are long since gone. Anyone who thinks this situation has not come to pass is a fool.

#40 Comment By cw On September 2, 2012 @ 10:17 am


What the heck are you talking about? You are an American, right? As far as I can see you have almost all of the liberties that you listed above. Historically and globally speaking you are super lucky.

Maybe give me some concrete examples. What do you want to do (that doesn’t impinge on the liberty of others) that you are prevented from doing. Besides taxes. No one wants to pay taxes but they are a fact of life. There’s no country in the world where you don’t have to pay taxes. No one lives in a personal utopia. But give me an example where your non-tax related liberties are being restricted.

#41 Comment By libertarian jerry On September 2, 2012 @ 2:05 pm

cw….good question. Of course the forced taking of ones fruits of labor is a large part of the loss of Liberty. With that said,let me list just ten of the liberties that I have lost or should have retained. 1.I’m numbered with an S.S. number and my right to privacy is impinged by the State in having several dossiers on me. 2. My right to maintain and bear arms is impinged thru licensing which changes a right into a privilege. 3.Eminent domain and zoning in many,not all situations,is a violation of my property rights. 4.Business licensing,in many cases,violates my right to enter into certain non threatening professions. 5. The legal tender laws protect the Federal Reserve Cartel and if I use silver or gold in transactions or dispense silver or gold coins for other people to use I could be prosecuted as was Mr.VonNothaus. 6.The right as an adult in my own home,if I wanted,to use certain drugs and stimulants such as marijuana could lead to me being prosecuted. 7.The forced inoculations of my children. 8.The forced registration for a military draft which is forced registration for involuntary servitude. 9. The right,taken away by judges, for jurors to nullify laws that are bad laws by a fully informed jury. 10.The forcing of me and my spouse to obtain a license to marry instead of having a common law contract. Plus many others that readers of this blog might want to chime in on but time is limited on my part.

#42 Comment By James On September 2, 2012 @ 2:25 pm

Several economic assessments including Moody’s and MacroEconomics are saying there will be 12M new jobs created by 2016 no matter who is elected in November. Both parties are working hard to be in position when that happens.

That a full recovery didn’t take place already speaks to the seriousness of the crisis we were facing. A recovery from as steep a decline as that created by the Bush Depression (the components of which were voted for at every opportunity by Paul Ryan) doesn’t happen over night. Or in 4 years. But we are turning the corner.

I’m a Republican, but the disingenuousness with which Bishop Romney spoke down to the party of Eisenhower and Reagan was revolting. The economy he wants to impose is low paying jobs, without medical benefits and without government safety regulations, filled by an uneducated labor pool willing to grasp at anything.

Here is what I know – under George Bush the country was attacked, we fought 2 wars on credit that indebted us to the Chinese (Ryan voted for that) and Wall Street was allowed to run rampant and it’s greed for more and more cash that could be wrapped up in derivatives and credit default swaps ruined the housing market. On a personal level I was forced to accept a pay cut (better than being out of work) that seriously eroded my ability to pay my mortgage and my kids college tuitions. In the last 4 years, under President Obama and in spite of an obstructionist congress (dominated by my party) that wanted the economy to stay in the tank so they could have a better chance at gaining the WH and Senate in 2012 – my company is doing better, our customers are doing better, my pay has been restored and the cost of our healthcare plan has decreased. This is one Republican who is just fine with President Obama having another term. That is what I am voting to make happen. I’m not the only one – Romney’s comfort deficit spending on more mores is lunacy.

#43 Comment By Molesworth On September 2, 2012 @ 4:41 pm

Romney built his career on debt and now rails against it.

#44 Comment By cw On September 2, 2012 @ 5:58 pm


I can see that some of those are small impingements on liberty. But others are like zoning are just the cost of living in groups, and others are mistaken. You don’t have to get your kids immunized for instance.

On the whole I think it makes more sense focusing on the large amount of liberty we have rather than the small inevitable impingements.

#45 Comment By jcv On September 4, 2012 @ 12:52 am

Noah Millman, I’m new here. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

#46 Comment By phelps On September 5, 2012 @ 2:12 pm

What’s worse? Having to suffer the fools of the Nanny State, or the dang thang itself? I would always vote the former. Mitt wants to be the new Suger Daddy of the United States of America. I wish him well. He has wanted this a long time and has spent much $ in his effort. I feel he deserves the presidency since he is a much stronger father figure for SDOTUS and not one those Nanny State fools like the current occupant.

#47 Comment By Jack Tracey On September 6, 2012 @ 6:44 am

Liberty is the absence of violent coercion by the state.

Taken to its logical conclusion, liberty means that human interactions are voluntary. Don’t confuse liberty with the “freedom to do whatever you want” or the right “to be left alone” or even “rugged individualism.” It doesn’t exempt anyone from natural consequences, and it doesn’t preclude (voluntary) communitarian associations or specialization and cooperation for mutual benefit. You can debate amongst yourselves whether the state should be used to prosecute violence by one citizen against another.

“Liberals” beware, you are not longer liberal. “Libertarian” was invented, because the meaning of “liberal” has been lost in common discourse.

p.s. Mitt’s speech was what it was supposed to be. It’s time for a change.