Jump to content
Objectivism Online Forum

Failing the "Dickie Flatt Test"

Rate this topic

Recommended Posts

By Gus Van Horn from Gus Van Horn,cross-posted by MetaBlog

Yesterday, I relayed my concerns that John McCain is not just an enemy of freedom, but quite capable of doing great damage to same due to his strong appeal to so many Americans.

In his quest for power, this man misses no opportunity to court the basest enemies of freedom and yet, because nearly everyone else is blinded by the false "liberal vs. conservative" dichotomy, he enjoys a reputation as a "moderate". This makes him possibly the most dangerous candidate in the running so far. [bold added]

As it turns out, my estimate of his dangerousness will have sounded low once you read and consider Phil Gramm's pro-McCain editorial in the Wall Street Journal. Each excerpt below is bulleted, followed by my comments, [bracketed and in bold].

  • His conservatism is not the result of a studied philosophy, but of common sense and personal observation. [McCain is not an ideologue -- as if people who do not profess an ideology are not still influenced by ideology. We can thank generations of anti-American intellectuals for making so many people so reflexively suspicious of explicit ideology that the lack thereof is so often seen as a credential.]
  • John McCain understands instinctively that just as "in war, there is no substitute for victory, in peace, there is no substitute for growth." He believes that "the strength of our economy promotes freedom not just at home but in every distant corner of our planet. End growth in America and the lights start to go out all over the world." [This much is true, and yet McCain proposes massive environmental regulation of the economy. I guess "instinct" isn't all it's cracked up to be.]
  • For Sen. McCain, salvaging the social safety net and saving the economy means making the hard choices now to right the current system for those already in it, and building a new system for future workers based on real investments, not empty promises. [Notice (again) that what passes for fiscal conservatism these days is making the welfare state "work".]
  • Who else has shown any ability to reach across the party divide and build a bipartisan consensus? Who else could lead worried Americans and shame a reluctant Congress into action? Who else would stay on course with political flak exploding all around him, and his political life hanging in the balance? The easy answer is--no one but John McCain. [Given his other positions, this is what really scares me about him!]
  • Who would be more effective than John McCain in using American military power in its highest and best use -- the deterrence of adversaries? [ummm. I'll take a wild stab: John Lewis. What better "deterrence" of an enemy is there than his total defeat?]

Even if, as Gramm implied it were true that John McCain would actually wage a war against the Islamofascists, his sorry track record on freedom of speech would make him unacceptable.

When he was still in public office, Phil Gramm was famous for applying the "Dickie Flatt Test" when evaluating various federal measures. Unfortunately, he fails to realize that he is not applying this test consistently when he evaluates Senator John McCain. Certainly, Dickie Flatt needs lower taxation and protection from foreign threats, but how will "saving" social security accomplish the former or anything less than a ruthless military campaign with proper objectives accomplish the latter? And what good will either do if his ability to make a living is ruined by a panic-driven Green economic agenda -- and his ability to say something about it compromised by such measures as "campaign finance reform"?

A basic requirement of Dickie Flatt's life (and all our lives for that matter) is freedom -- freedom from being threatened, robbed, or harmed by others. It is only freedom that the government is meant (or able) to provide. Thus, the only way for any politician to really pass this test is for him to hold a consistent committment to individual rights. On that score, John McCain fails the "Dickie Flatt Test" miserably.

-- CAV


Today: Removed one bullet. Corrected a typo.


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Recently Browsing   0 members

    No registered users viewing this page.

  • Create New...