Acton Institute Powerblog

Samuel Gregg: Two Useful Moments in Last Night’s Debate

Share this article:
Join the Discussion:

Acton’s director of research Samuel Gregg’s reaction to last night’s GOP presidential debate is up at NRO’s The Corner. Like most people who saw the debate, he didn’t like the childish bickering, of which he says “the trivializing effects upon serious discussion are hard to deny.”

“There were, however, two useful moments,” he says:

One was several candidates’ efforts to put the contemporary disease of identity politics in its appropriate place (i.e., the grave).

The second was a number of candidates’ willingness to make the hard-to-hear but nevertheless accurate observation that the best way to address the slump in housing prices in places likeNevadais to allow the housing market to stabilize under its own volition. No matter how noble the intentions, government mortgage-relief programs have proved economically ineffective, and, in many instances they are deeply unjust. Who knows? If GOP presidential candidates are willing to make this point, maybe some of them will eventually dare to talk seriously about entitlement reform.

Hope springs eternal!

Kenneth Spence


  • People may be annoyed by the “pettiness”, but it is useful to see how a candidate acts when people get under their skin…are they mean and do they stoop to the same game?  It shakes them off their debate “game” and lets the viewer catch a glimpse of whether they have grace under pressure. 
    I would like to see more of the “tea party” themes discussed as the field is loaded with candidates who want to tinker with the edges of policy,  winking at the public saying, trust me, I know how to pull the levers to pick the right interest group to cater towards when it will all be ours.  One can only hope the voter will demand a bold change that will  pull us out of the slump.