POSTED RESPONSES TO A COLUMN BY CLIVE CROOK IN THE FINANCIAL TIMES
I don’t know why you would quote anyone from Cato Institute.
Cato is a propaganda mill much like the American Enterprise Institute, the Heritage Foundation, or the Hoover Institution.
While designed to superficially resemble an academic institution, only one kind of viewpoint ever comes from Cato, as well as the other places.
They are financed by some of the most right-wing corporations and individuals in America.
And they serve to provide sinecures to retired professors or government officials who can contribute significantly to what are essentially boiler room operations.
Opinion on demand is provided on almost any issue of concern to America’s Right Wing.
Finally, the Constitution is used by every group wishing to stop progress in America.
It is itself a largely outdated document, full of concepts which have proved mistaken over time.
Any student of American history knows full well it has been ignored countless times when that was convenient for the establishment.
Indeed, for years, the very concept of the Bill of Rights was unenforceable because it was felt by people like Jefferson that a federal court could not pass judgment on state activities.
Still, the Court is a weak institution on the whole, generally not daring to go beyond the most timid interpretations.
Nations are, like all of nature, ever-evolving things. To remain rigidly married to words set down by a few rather provincial men two and a quarter centuries ago much resembles Catholic Church doctors arguing over nonsense.
Indeed, words themselves are constantly evolving in their meaning, something we experience keenly over the last half century and something which will only speed up in future.
Sticking to certain meanings of certain words in a certain document is a perfect formula for little social progress.
Indeed, the establishment uses the Constitution for exactly that purpose.
Genuine freedoms and important institutions only survive over the long term because of general good will and consent in any society, not because of a piece of parchment.
"Left wing rants" is a genuinely pejorative phrase. It is also inaccurate.
I am a classically-trained economist, rather traditional in his views, in my retirement also a teacher of micro-economics of which Milton Friedman would approve.
However, when it comes to the defense of human freedom and decency or attacking arrogance and pomposity, I like to think of people like Samuel Johnson or Graham Greene or George Orwell or Jonathon Swift (‘A Modest Proposal’). To my mind, there is no room for compromise in such matters: they are not simplistic matters of left- or right-wing, except to simplistic people or ideologues at places like the American Enterprise Institute.
What I write is well-written (I am a published author, former corporate chief economist and speechwriter, and once had a weekly metropolitan newspaper column), well-informed, but it is highly critical in defense of human rights, democratic values, and decency.
Calling my comments “rants” is the typical response of someone who does not have the same commitment to these values. It is a noun used a few times towards me by apologists for America’s murderous post-WWII rampage in the world or Israel’s ghastly record of abuse and brutality.
I suspect my views on both of these contemporary barbarisms click a switch somewhere back in your consciousness.
Of course, such descriptions as yours are used in an effort to reduce the person with whom you disagree, an old and genuinely puerile (since you love Latinisms) technique, one shared I am sorry to point out by those of a quietly tyrannical temperament everywhere and always.
I do take credit or blame for everything I write, hardly a shabby quality.
I do not rant, but you, my anonymous name-caller, do expose what I can only call a rather afraid-of-your-own-shadow quality.
That’s surely what you are doing by prefacing comments, somewhat in agreement, with name-calling.
It also is obvious in those countless typo-corrections of yours: they remind me of the nervous schoolboy looking down at his new wing-tip shoes to see if they are adequately shined, a young, desperate-to-please Richard Nixon with a sad smile and beads of sweat on his brow.