Amazing George McGovern Op-Ed

My friend Mark Axinn, an elder statesman of the Manhattan Libertarian Party, often boasts that his first presidential vote was for George McGovern back in 1972. And apparently with good reason. I don’t think McGovern was really all that libertarian back then, except for the anti-war thing, but his guest editorial in today’s Wall Street Journal is indistinguishable from anything that might be published by Cato or FEE. He makes a principled yet pragrmatic free-market case for subprime mortgages, interstate sales of health insurance, payday loans and other bogeymen of the left:

Why do we think we are helping adult consumers by taking away their options? We don’t take away cars because we don’t like some people speeding. We allow state lotteries despite knowing some people are betting their grocery money. Everyone is exposed to economic risks of some kind. But we don’t operate mindlessly in trying to smooth out every theoretical wrinkle in life.

The nature of freedom of choice is that some people will misuse their responsibility and hurt themselves in the process. We should do our best to educate them, but without diminishing choice for everyone else.

Excellent stuff. Simply wonderful.

3 comments for “Amazing George McGovern Op-Ed

  1. Mark Axinn
    April 3, 2008 at 11:37 pm

    Wow–calling me a neocon. Ken, you and I don’t know each other but I suggest you watch my debate against Ron Wieck on the Military Commissions Act on http://www.Hardfire.net to grasp a taste of my “neocon” tendencies.

    For the record, I was an enrolled Democrat and voted for Carter in ’76 before I saw the light and started voting Libertarian in the 80’s.

  2. Ken Mitchell
    March 9, 2008 at 9:32 am

    Mark Axinn sounds like the typical neocon. McGovern wasn’t a commie. In fact he voted for the Tonkin Resolution. However, I too voted for McGovern in 1972 because of his anti-war stand that he later adopted.

    Mark Axinn, name calling is unbecoming. If you want to be a neocin, the Republican party can use you.

  3. Mark Axinn
    March 8, 2008 at 2:09 pm

    Jim is right that I supported McGovern in ’72 as Vietnam was THE issue of the day and I didn’t want to get drafted. But I was too young to vote then (16) so I’m not as elder as Jim makes me out to be!

    McGovern is a perfect example of a commie politician realizing after he re-enters the private market that his communitarian positions were all wrong. At least he has the integrity to admit as much.

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