The folks over at NPR’s national radio show, “To The Point,” hosted by Warren Olney, stumbled across my Friday article about food stamps and asked me to participate in a discussion on the topic.
The three other guests were a modestly liberal reporter for the Huffington Post and two overtly pro-food stamp women who run, respectively, “Feeding America” and the “Food Research and Action Center.”
Although it was three against one, I had a lot of fun with the conversation and think I held up my end of the bargain — namely representing a libertarian/conservative view — quite well.
If you’re interested in hearing the conversation (and I hope you are), you can find it here.
My confidence in having done a good job was reinforced by an e-mail sent (to the Heartland Institute) by a listener, which reads as follows (all language and spelling errors left as in original):
I heard Ross on Radio
He is more or less then a sick f*ck.
He is a complete asshole
The gov’t is me. I want it big and strong so it works for us.
you just don’t like America.
Think about the mind of a liberal here:
1) I am the government
2) I want the government big and strong
3) which means I want as much power for myself as possible so I can take your freedom and your money and control your life
4) If you don’t want me to control you, you hate your country
5) because you are too stupid to make your own decisions and make your own life “work for you” without my telling you what to do, you poor, stupid, confused sap. Be grateful that I’m willing to let you be dependent on me.
The writer obviously never heard Gerald Ford’s warning that “A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have.”
Of course, this person’s point of view is typical of an elitist Progressive. Not only does it perfectly represent the left’s “fatal conceit,” but historically it consistently produces bad outcomes, ranging from poverty to mass murder. Of course in those cases, the same conceit causes the left, whose views as laid out above are a blend of confusion and evil, to believe that their policies just need a slight tweak, implementation by a slightly smarter person, a little more data used to inform the central planners. They just never learn because their ego blocks the possibility that their underlying premise is fundamentally flawed.
Finally, I assume that the show’s host, Warren Olney, is more sympathetic to the views of the liberals than to my position on food stamps and other economic issues. (If I’m wrong about that, I hope Mr. Olney takes no offense as none is intended.) Particularly given my assumption, I was very grateful to Mr. Olney for his absolutely even-handed treatment of his guests, and his smart and “to the point” questions of me and the others in the conversation. If Mr. Olney has a bias (and knowing that his audience surely does), there was no way to see it in his extremely professional moderation of the debate.