Saturday, October 27, 2007

Smarter, Not Harder

So I'm well-disposed to the laconic. Seated next to Calvin Coolidge, a lady supposedly said to him, "Mr. President, my friend bet me you wouldn't say three words to me." Coolidge replied: "You lose." We want the story to be true because his conversational stinginess reflects his belief in parsimonious government: he was a magnificent tax-cutter, and he vetoed hugely popular farm-subsidy bills on the grounds that, "if the government gets into business on any large scale, we soon find that the beneficiaries attempt to play a large part in the control. While in theory it is to serve the public, in practice it will be very largely serving private interests. It comes to be regarded as a species of government favour, and those who are the most adroit get the larger part of it."

Read the rest of Mark Steyn on the virtues of laconic leadership.


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