Thursday, March 6, 2008

1968 -- Buckley on the "Next President"




This was part of those great 1968 commentaries by Buckley and Vidal. My favorite quote from Buckley, "The best run country in the world is Switzerland . . . no one can remember [the] name [of Switzerland's president]."

Obviously, my view of the presidency is closer to Buckley's than Vidal's (OK -- much closer to Buckley's) but I think our remaining candidates should pay close heed to what they both said.

They all need to keep their egos in check. One reason I think government increasingly does not work is that we have grown to expect far too much from it. It is reaching the point where government is seen as the font of all that is "good and holy" and the only end of that can be a lessening of our freedoms. It can be over stupid things -- the Chicago City Council is considering outlawing small plastic bags as part of the "war on drugs" that has devastated our cities and our poorer classes.

I am no anarchist (at least not before my third martini) and believe government to have an important function. I do not, however, believe that the government (especially Washington) must solve all problems and cure all ills. Not do I think government is capable of solving all problems and curing all ills. But government must serve everyone (though we will all disagree as to what the best course is).

So take heed of Vidal's warning to heed the ghetto as well as the boardroom, but also remember, as Buckley pointed out, that no one knows who is the president of Switzerland.

2 comments:

Celeste and Butch Burd said...

HI Anthony

I have wanted to scan your Blog for some time--yet I never got to it until this a.m. Couldn't sleep so with a cup of green tea in hand I thought now is as good a time as any.
Most interesting I might say. I respect anyone who is willing to put themselves out there and stand behind their positions.
To be honest, I am not as up to date on politics/government and who is stating their positions out there, but I/we are lovers of the Lord and are serious about our Catholic practices.
As time draws closer to the election I definitely will read the blog for some info, as you seem to be doing all the leg work and keeping up with the positions of many though with bias, I might add. (Not a criticizm just an simple observation)
Keep posting--yes others do dare to read you!

Peace and Blessings
Your cousin from Satellite Beach Fl
CiCi's grandaughter
Celeste
P.S I think you and my son-in-law, Jay, Jennifer Majka's husband, could have quite a conversation as he is also a lawyer and a educator with a specialty in history and current events. You should make a point to connect at the Reunion
Celeste

William R. Barker said...

"One reason I think government increasingly does not work is that we have grown to expect far too much from it."

What's this "we" stuff, pilgrim? (*GRIN*)

Yep. You're right. And it's irrelevent whether it's a majority or simply a plurality or even a true minority which you're referring to; bottom line, TOO MANY people are addicted/conditioned to seeing gov't as something people like you and I don't think it should be. And they've won... (*SHRUG*)

It's OVER, Anthony. (*SHRUG*) The nation will go Left fast or slow... but Left it'll go. I don't see a viable "Reagan" on the horizon, do you? (And hell... even the REAL Gipper was only able to make so much progress...) (*SHRUG*)

Was their hope in '94? Yep. How long did THAT last. (*SHRUG*)

Sorry to be a pessimist, but unless I treat politics in an almost "religious" way - relying ultimately upon "FAITH," well... (*SHRUG*)

"I do not, however, believe that the government (especially Washington) must solve all problems and cure all ills. Not do I think government is capable of solving all problems and curing all ills."

Who cares what *you* believe...??? (I mean that in the broad sense of "you" representing people of broadly shared beliefs.) You and I (who certainly don't march in lockstep but share broad beliefs) are in the minority. And when "we" take the majority... look what happens. Lott. DeLay. Bush. And now... McCain.

The tipping point is long past, Anthony. It's over.

BILL