My IM dialogue with Ezra Klein



Is it true you have three testicles?

I agree that speeches don't do much. Though several focus groups do not suggest that America particularly loved Palin's speech. (Although I realize the kinds of people the speech probably did appeal to are the kinds tacitly believed to be "true" Americans by a lot of people.)

Libertarian self-concept is very popular among extreme racist and fundamentalist christian groups (who sometimes overlap and sometimes don't). American neo-Nazis and end-times Creationists all have a kind of anti-government paranoia that they mix with a kind of Founding Father folklore. But none of it has anything to do with civil liberties or economics, they just don't like the current secular, non-racialist government. If they were in charge they'd be authoritarian -- as Sarah Palin's anti-abortionism and book-banning demonstrate.

On the other hand, zealous border-regulating libertatianism, though not "pure", is the only viable self-persevering libertarianism, if you accept the premise that most unselected or poorly selected immigrants will not politically and/or economically assimilate. And in my mind there is currently little doubt about this.

I also have little doubt America will be run with more competence and the economy will do better under Obama (who will win), but sentimentality over human differences is going to injure America long-term like no other majority elite or voter bias.

^Same here. They are very enjoyable.

Well it would seem the latest poll from Rasmussen indicates Tyler was right, and I was wrong:

"... following a Vice Presidential acceptance speech viewed live by more than 40 million people, Palin is viewed favorably by 58% of American voters... Perhaps most stunning is the fact that Palin’s favorable ratings are now a point higher than either man at the top of the Presidential tickets this year. As of Friday morning, Obama and McCain are each viewed favorably by 57% of voters. Biden is viewed favorably by 48%."

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