Thursday, March 24, 2011

Congressman Howard Buffett

In town is the son — On the Road With Warren Buffett in South Korea — whom Bill Kauffman calls "just another colorless gray-pinstriper when compared with his father" — Meet Warren Buffett’s Daddy. With politics said to be to "the right of God," he "was elected to Congress in 1942 with a pledge to keep FDR from 'fasten[ing] the chains of political servitude around America's neck.'"

Mr. Kauffman informs us that "the radical backbench Republican compiled an almost purely libertarian record" and "was also a strict isolationist, denouncing NATO, conscription, the Marshall Plan ('Operation Rathole'), and the incipient Cold War, which he believed would enchain Americans in 'the shackles of regimentation and the name of stopping communism.'" Of the republic-wrecking Truman Doctrine, this knight of the Old Republic presaged:
    Even if it were desirable, America is not strong enough to police the world by military force. If that attempt is made, the blessings of liberty will be replaced by tyranny and coercion at home. Our Christian ideals cannot be exported to other lands by dollars and guns. Persuasion and example are the methods taught by the Carpenter of Nazareth, and if we believe in Christianity we should try to advance our ideals by his methods. We cannot practice might and force abroad and retain freedom at home. We cannot talk world cooperation and practice power politics.
Sadly Mr. Kauffman reminds us that "Congressman Buffett's son, while revering Pop as a tower of integrity and honesty, seems not to have inherited the old man's libertarian streak. Warren Buffett is a liberal Democrat whose favorite political causes are legalized abortion and population control."

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Blogger Mark in Spokane said...

Ummm, legalized abortion and population control are both libertarian ideas.

6:15 AM  
Blogger The Western Confucian said...

Ummm, not at all. Legalized abortion and population control are moral issues, not political ones, and we lose ground by politicizing them. Ron Paul, Rand Paul, and Bob Barr are all pro-life libertarians. Nat Hentoff is a pro-life atheist left-libertarian.

There are "conservatives" who support abortion and who support population control, as this post today demonstrates: Too many people – the world’s worst enemy.

7:02 AM  
Blogger The Western Confucian said...

I think the difference in understanding comes from the fact the there are two streams within what is broadly called libertarianism. There are those of us who trace our lineage to Lord Acton, who held that liberty was the hight political ideal, and others who are descendants of John Stuart Mill, who idolize liberty as the highest personal ideal. The former understand the Burkean need for custom and culture, the latter foolishly want to destroy those as well.

When it comes to abortion, the Roe v. Wade was the antithesis of American libertarianism, in that it abolished the liberty of local and state governments to legislate as they pleased on this matter. Roe v. Wade was not libertarian, it was Lincolnian.

8:36 AM  

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