John Hawkins just completed a fantastic interview with P.J. O’Rourke author, satirist, all-around observer of American Political Life:
Here are some excerpts from the interview:
On the trade gap:
(Adam Smith) said the exports, that’s real stuff, and you’re giving it away in favor of gold. He said imports are the good thing. Imports are when you’re getting something you like. You’re getting French wine. You’re getting American tobacco. You’re getting furs from Russia. Getting whatever they were getting back in those days. He said exports are the way you pay for those imports. So imports are Christmas morning. Exports are January’s Visa bill.
On Libertarians Vs. Conservatives:
Well I think that the general philosophical divide between libertarians and conservatives is the Conservatives tend to rely on tradition, sort of if it ain’t broke don’t fix it. And if it’s only a little broke, be careful of the fixing you do lest you make the problem worse. Conservatives say we have got 2000 at least, maybe 3000, maybe 5000 years civilization and let’s learn some lessons from that. Let’s look to the past, see what works, what doesn’t work, and be very careful about changing what we’ve got now lest we change it for the worse. Essentially it’s a rather pessimistic, but rather commonsensical view.
Libertarians tend to take a more rational view of politics and say, “These are some really, basic fundamental rules by which we can live. Let’s stick to the rule book. Let’s apply the powers of reason to things like government spending, government programs, projects, and even foreign policy.”
On his strident criticism of blogging:
Well, for one thing you’ve got to take what I say there with a grain of salt because I don’t look at blogs. I think if I was probably thinking about anybody I was thinking about Andrew Sullivan.
On the political polarization in America today:
I don’t think we’re living in wildly different times. People will say to me, “Oh my God, I’ve never seen politics so polarized!” and I’m going, “What are you talking about? Don’t you remember the war in Vietnam? Don’t you remember Nixon? What about the end of the Carter years? What about the early Reagan years. What about 1860? That was polarized. Half the country left.” So, we’re not living in the most polarized times
Read the Rest of this great interview by clicking here.