Friday, October 24, 2008

The "freedoms" of a conservative

When CC Goldwater, granddaughter of conservative granddaddy Barry M. Goldwater, endorsed Obama yesterday, she did so in the name of personal freedom, asserting that her grandfather "respected our civil liberties" and "had undying respect for the U.S. Constitution, and an understanding of its true meanings." In CC's view, that translates to supporting a woman's right to choose and implies a respect for gay rights (though she admits, " I'm not sure about how he would feel about marriage rights based on same-sex orientation").

Barry M. Goldwater Jr. has repudiated his niece's intimation that her grandfather's principals mandate support for Obama, citing a litany of proposed Obama tax and spending increases. Of course Barry Sr. would not have approved of those economic proposals. But Junior's rejection of Obamanomics betrays an interesting concept of what "freedom" is all about:
Endorsing one of the most liberal Senators in Congress is certainly not the way to help fix any problem she sees; instead it is a betrayal of everything my father advocated government should be. My father would never endorse a candidate or a party that wanted to grow government, raise taxes or in any way step on our freedoms.
Leave aside an implicit disagreement on either the importants or the merits of reproductive and gay rights. For Barry Jr., stepping on our freedoms apparently does not include exempting the CIA from prohibitions on torture, or opposing habeas rights for alleged "enemy combatants" held for years without trial, or authorizing U.S. intelligence forces to spy on Americans' overseas conversations and emails without warrant, or degrading our political process by suggesting that political opponents don't love America. But raising the top marginal tax rate to a bit south of 40% or reinstituting the estate tax -- those measures will make slaves of us all.

1 comment:

  1. I wouldn't read Goldwater Jr's comment as in any way an endorsement of McCain or Bush; after all, he's a Ron Paul supporter, and is on the ballot in at least one state as Paul's VP.