The Economist has endorsed the Tories and their leader David Cameron in the upcoming UK edition. But it was this passage that caught my eye:
The Economist has no ancestral fealty to any party, but an enduring prejudice in favour of liberalism. Our bias towards greater political and economic freedom has often been tempered by other considerations: we plumped for Barack Obama over John McCain, Tony Blair over Michael Howard and a succession of Italian socialists over Silvio Berlusconi because we thought they were more inspiring, competent or honest than their opponents, even though the latter favoured a smaller state. But in this British election the overwhelming necessity of reforming the public sector stands out. It is not just that the budget deficit is a terrifying 11.6% of GDP, a figure that makes tax rises and spending cuts inevitable. Government now accounts for over half the economy, rising to 70% in Northern Ireland. For Britain to thrive, this liberty-destroying Leviathan has to be tackled. The Conservatives, for all their shortcomings, are keenest to do that; and that is the main reason why we would cast our vote for them.It's a bit rich that they now complain about the growth of Leviathan, when it was their guy Tony Blair who did so much to put Great Britain on the path to its present situation.
The Economist's justification for plumping for Obama over McCain calls to mind similarly specious claims by erstwhile US conservatives like Bruce Bartlett, Doug Kmiec, and Andrew Sullivan who similarly swapped their political birthright for the Obama kool-aid.
Charm, good looks, and inspiring rhetoric are no justification for abandoning one's base principles. If you're serious about liberty and smaller government, they must be trumps.