Bill Murchison

Libertarians, bless 'em, have their freedom-loving hearts mostly in the right place. Their peculiar weakness is a gift for going bananas over such matters as governmentally recorded phone calls -- outside the larger context of what it takes to keep their own society safe from the malignancy of terrorism.

Other activists, right and left, have their own obsessions: For instance, the Georgia Republican senatorial candidate reported this week as calling for abolition of the United Nations. Yeah, right -- that's really going to happen. And if it did happen, who, five minutes later, would regard the United States as more secure in its constitutional freedoms?

Barack Obama, possibly the best friend Republicans have in the world right now (and getting better all the time), keeps heaping gasoline on the blaze that his big-government, anti-capitalist ideas created as if by spontaneous combustion. The thing that Republican candidates of all makes and models want to avoid is getting in his way by defining the nation's needs in terms that cause substantial numbers of voters to gaze at them with wide-open mouths, saying, "Huh?"

The republic and the world can be made better, and obviously should. But history never shifts into reverse gear because of political war whoops, for all their shivery gratifications. Americans need to keep their eyes not on the small and the limited, but on the big; on those first things that, by common report, deserve to come first. A very good and able man is Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky. Paul, nevertheless, as national savior -- maybe not; not yet at least.

Bill Murchison

Bill Murchison is the former senior columns writer for The Dallas Morning News and author of There's More to Life Than Politics.
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