Fareed Zakaria for President

October 14th, 2008

I just came across Fareed Zakaria's The Future of Freedom: Illiberal Democracy at Home and Abroad at my mother's house, read it, and came away wildly impressed. His basic thesis is that what we want is constitutional liberalism (classic sense of liberalism, as in Milton Friedman's usage, though not necessarily via his prescriptions)—not a priori, always, greater democracy. Democracy–in the fundamental sense of majority rule–gave power to Hitler and Hamas, both inveterate enemies of constitutional liberalism. It's also, fundamentally, what allows for government-by-lobbyist.

As of this moment he's my nominee for Most Pragmatic Realist, regarding both domestic and foreign affairs.

And I'm happy to see one paragraph in his latest Newsweek column that could almost be substituted, wholesale, for the description of this blog, above.

In a world of competitive capitalism, you need not big government or no government but smart government. We are not in a race to the bottom, on wages, regulations, or anything else. But we are competing against other countries to come up with the government policies that most effectively foster growth, innovation, and productivity. It's a time to figure out what works, not what ideological mantras to keep repeating. It's the age of Michael Bloomberg, not Margaret Thatcher.

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