Re: Forbes Camp.
Tue, 16 Mar 1999 11:17:51 -0800

Harry S. Hawk, <>, writes:
> I'm endorsing Steven Forbes in his bid to be the next President.
> While he certainly isn't an extropian (big or little e), and there are
> issues that I completely disagree with him on, I feel he represents
> the best hope to get a Libertarian minded President (in this century
> or the next).

Forbes does have many attractive views, especially in the economic realm.

Where most of us will have problems are the social issues. See Forbes appears to be wedded to conventional religious morality. He opposes abortion and wants to work to make it illegal. He sees Clinton as having abandoned the war on drugs and wants to increase crackdowns. He opposes assisted suicide and views it as a step towards euthanasia

In some ways I am not too terribly concerned about these issues, because these are largely old disputes which have battled to a standstill. No new President is going to be able to push things much one way or the other, whether his views are those I would support or oppose.

My larger concern is the new issues we will face over the next decade, particularly in the biotech field. Forbes is going to be looking at these new technologies through the prism of the Bible. As President he would be providing leadership on new and unfamiliar problems, and could be greatly influential. How is he going to react to cloning, or other new fertility technologies? How about genetic modification of unborn children? How about pre-death cryonic suspension, or meddling in the natural lifespan? I am concerned that he would take a reactionary position to all such issues, and oppose anything which is a significant change from the natural lifestyle ordained by God.

Forbes is not exactly a front runner. Most of the smart money for the Republican nomination is backing Bush, with Elizabeth Dole making a push probably to be a vice presidential candidate. Obviously there is still considerable uncertainty, and particularly if Y2K is nasty then Forbes may be able to position himself as a technocrat who can clean up the mess. But otherwise, his chances are slim.

If you're going to support a candidate who is so unlikely to win, you might do better to find one whose views you can support wholeheartedly, someone who doesn't hold positions that you hate. Presumably there are or will be a number of minor party candidates who will be more attractive than Forbes.

It is true that many of Forbes' ideas are relatively good for someone who is so visible. If he emphasizes the economic side, he could help pull the other candidates towards positions I support. It may be worth backing him for this reason, even if his own chances don't look strong. I would want to wait and see how he balances his emphasis between his economic and moral/religious views.