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Posts Tagged ‘minimalist’

In essence, Obama is declaring simultaneous loyalty to individualism and to collectivism, to independence and to dependence, to free markets and to state control. If you wonder which half of this self-contradictory agenda will win out, Obama doesn’t leave you in suspense. [..] It is the free market that he wants us to regard as discredited.

That is what makes this the most dangerous election in many years. It has been almost half a century since the left’s ideas have had such an intelligent, charismatic, and appealing advocate. He is now preparing to lead the left’s effort to reconstitute itself in the first serious way since the Fall of Communism. He must be defeated. 

Robert Tracinski, objectivist writer and editor of “The Intellectual activist”.

 

 The real problem lies in the assumption, still widespread on both the left and the right, that Obama is a doctrinaire liberal whose positions can be deduced simply by asking what the left thinks. [..]

Of course Obama is a progressive. From health care to assistance for low-income families to education to environmental protection, he emphasizes that Americans have duties to one another, and that government should be taking active steps to provide equal opportunity and to help those who need help. But by nature, Obama is also an independent thinker, and he listens to all sides. One of his most distinctive features is that he is a minimalist, not in the sense that he always favors small steps (he doesn’t), but because he prefers solutions that can be accepted by people with a wide variety of theoretical inclinations.

When he offers visionary approaches, he does so as a visionary minimalist–that is, as someone who attempts to accommodate, rather than to repudiate, the defining beliefs of most Americans. His reluctance to challenge people’s deepest commitments might turn out to be what makes ambitious plans possible–notwithstanding the hopes of the far left and the cartoons of the far right. [..]

By nature, Obama does not follow old-line political orthodoxies. Above all, Obama’s form of pragmatism is heavily empirical; he wants to know what will work.

Cass Sunstein, Professor of Law and occasional advisor to Barack Obama.

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