I must confess something. For about a month I have thought McCain should pick Palin as his running mate. I have thought so since I first saw her picture. She was an attractive young woman. Sexy. Without knowing a thing about her, I thought McCain would have the best chance of winning with Palin at his side.
When McCain stunned me and the world by doing what I thought he should do, I got serious and looked at what the woman actually stands for. The more I learn about her, the less I like her. But why did I want her on the ticket in the first place? Because she is different.
She is not your average boring politician. You see, in the welfare state, a politician learns to operate in a way calculated to anger as few people as possible. This is what all those politicians with that vaunted "experience" do. They become gray middle-of-the-roaders. It is how one gains experience in a welfare state.
Imagine a politician who believed what I believe -- imagine a bona fide radical for capitalism. Someone who wanted to roll back state intervention in the economy past the antitrust laws. Someone who wanted to dismantle the welfare state, including social security. We're talking about an individual rights absolutist.
How long would that politician survive in today's America? Could he win any elections? Could he get any experience? Or would he, thinking politics is the art of the possible, begin trimming his positions and compromising? Before you know it he would end up kind of like Newt Gingrich or Phil Gramm. He might be on the right side of the spectrum, but he would no longer be sneered at as an "extremist" by the likes of Hugh Hewitt.
People are sick of politics as usual. Obama is right that people want change. That is the lesson of this election now. Three of the candidates are different: McCain is a maverick who sticks his thumb in his party's eye; Obama is black; Palin is a woman. Biden is politics as usual, whom it seems that Obama had to go with to allay fears that Obama was too unusual.
The problem is that in looking for the new, people are not looking for new ideas, but new identities. What happens when these new people give us politics as usual?
We need politicians who will be ideological outsiders. People who will risk having Republican propagandists like Hewitt denounce them as extremists.
I keep thinking of this passage from my idol, Ludwig von Mises:
If any of the socialist chiefs had tried to earn his living by selling hot dogs, he would have learned something about the sovereignty of the customers. But they were professional revolutionaries and their only job was to kindle civil war. Lenin's ideal was to build a nation's production effort according to the model of the post office, an outfit that does not depend on the consumers, because its deficits are covered by compulsory collection of taxes. "The whole of society," he said, was to "become one office and one factory."
If only Lenin had sold hot dogs. What a great thought.
McCain, Obama and Biden have never sold a single goddamn hot dog among the three of them. They are creatures of the state. They don't understand how entrepreneurs must work their rears off to please people -- to make people's lives better -- and earn a profit. They don't understand that the man who makes a profit is the one who truly serves people.
Worse, Obama and McCain think selling hot dogs is morally inferior. If you sell hot dogs, you are merely pursuing your ignoble self-interest. But if they take the money you make selling hot dogs and redistribute it to the poor, then they are moral.
Sarah Palin has sold a few hot dogs in her time. By that I mean that she has worked in the private sector. She did not start out intending work for the state. To me that makes her superior to the little men who preen about a lifetime of "service." The only thing they serve is their power-lust.
UPDATE: George Reisman compares Palin's "windfall profits" tax scheme to Obama's.
Obama and Palin are both obviously ignorant of economics. John McCain, who picked Palin to be his running mate, has admitted his own lack of knowledge of the subject. Knowing little or nothing of the subject himself, he could not be expected to realize that Palin knew nothing of the subject either. An examination of the record of Obama’s running mate, Senator Joseph Biden, would probably turn up a more extensive record of comparable ignorance of economics, given his greater number of years in public life as a leading spokesman for the Democratic Party.