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January 12, 2011 / J. Shaw

We Need America-Strengthening Policies and Mitch Daniels

I am posting an article today on Mitch Daniels, Governor of Indiana. We need a president who can stimulate the conomy, put people to work and free us from restrictions from special interest groups. These would be goal of a Mitch Daniels administration and they could maybe stop the demise of America.SHAW

Also in the article below is a fact-filled short history of the Whig Party.


Mitch Daniels, nearing the end of two successful terms as governor of Indianais now exploring a run for the presidency in 2012. If he does run, he will run on an agenda different from that of most other Republicans. How do we know? Because he has said so, outlining a vision for the 21st century that recalls the great economic successes of America in the 19th and 20th centuries.

In June, Daniels told The Washington Post, “Building excellent public infrastructure is an appropriate role for government.” Such public construction, he explained, “enables the private sector to thrive.Yes, the private sector. And then he used a term unfamiliar to most Americans: “Maybe this makes me more of a Whig.”

A what? To modern ears, the word “whig,” so similar to “wig,” might sound artificial, even affected. Yet its origins are basically populist: “Whig” is short for “Whiggamor,” the cattle drovers of old Scotland. That manly word was adopted by the 17th century rebels who opposed absolute monarchy in Great Britain, demanding instead a constitutional monarch, subservient to the people’s legislative house–to Parliament. The Whigs prevailed, and the Whig Party was born: it became a permanent opponent of centralized authority, while taking on new causes, such as the abolition of slavery

Thanks to the Whigs, Republicans, and other leaders in the Clay-Lincoln tradition, America grew into the leading industrial power by the turn of the 20th century; in addition to providing mass-produced comfort for Americans at home, our arsenal of democracy prevailed in three world wars (One, Two, and Cold).

So what happened to these America-strengthening policies? What happened to the idea of a government that could actually get things done? We might start by lamenting that the Clay-Lincoln idea of energetic government was taken over by the idea of hulking nanny-state government; countries prosper from infrastructure, but they are impoverished by runaway social spending.

Moreover, the Clay-Lincoln tradition has currently been surrounded by three sniping enemies: first, Green zealots, who wish to rusticate America down to the energy intensivity of a Third World country, thereby reversing the First-World gains of the Industrial Revolution; second, Wall Street financiers, who, in the name of “free trade,” have made billions by financing the outsourcing of whole supply chains of production to China; and third, libertarian purists, who instinctively recoil at any sort of business-government collaboration, no matter how many jobs it might create. 

These three groups might not always be fond of each other–although the Greens and Wall Street seem to have struck a partial alliance, based on shared goals such as “cap and trade”–but they have all worked together to de-industrialize the US. And they have been aided, of course, by corrupt unions, trial lawyers, and NIMBYs.

By now, as Governor Daniels suggests, we could use some Whig economic revitalization. As he told The New York Times on Wednesday, “The nation really needs to rebuild.” 

To be sure, Daniels is not alone in his views. Many governors, in particular, share elements of his practical-minded can-do spirit, although few can claim to be as effective in office.

MORE…       From Article;  Mitch Daniels — Getting Whiggy by James P. Pinkerton


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