Alex Massie

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Via Samizdata, this from Barry Goldwater:

I have little interest in streamlining government or in making it more efficient, for I mean to reduce its size. I do not undertake to promote welfare, for I propose to extend freedom. My aim is not to pass laws, but to repeal them. It is not to inaugurate new programs, but to cancel old ones that do violence to the Constitution or that have failed their purpose, or that impose on the people an unwarranted financial burden. I will not attempt to discover whether legislation is 'needed'' before I have first determined whether it is constitutionally permissible. And if I should later be attacked for neglecting my constituents 'interests', I shall reply that I was informed that their main interest is liberty and that in that cause I am doing the very best I can.

We can, alas, only dream of the day David Cameron or Aunt Annabel Goldie (for the uninitiated, she's the Scottish Tories' blue-rinsed matriarch of the Scottish Tories) speak in such a manner. On the other hand, it's also wishful thinking to hope that anyone with a credible shot of winning the Presidency next year would believe any of this either...

(In fairness, of course, the Democratic and Republican candidates - ad Cameron for that matter - want to win, so embracing Goldwaterism would be foolish, there being a very limited constituency for this sort of thing.)

Written byAlex Massie

Alex Massie is Scotland Editor of The Spectator. He also writes a column for The Times and is a regular contributor to the Scottish Daily Mail, The Scotsman and other publications.

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