My friend David Jennings, a top conservative blogger and reflexive mouthpiece for the so-called Tea Party here in Houston, wrote the following in his blog Big Jolly Politics a few days ago–
“Remember folks: these vile, vulgar, angry bigots on the left HATE YOU because you try to live clean lives and do right by other people. No amount of coddling to their wishes will change that.
The post was about a liberal blogger in town that Mr. Jennings feels is off the mark in a variety of ways.
I’ve been thinking for a few days about these two sentences from Mr. Jennings.
I live a clean life by conventional standards. I’ve been married for ten years and have never cheated on my wife. I don’t do any drugs. I don’t smoke. I drink in moderation. I go to work five days a week and I pay my taxes. I vote in every election. Regular readers of this blog know I never use obscenities in the blog. Anybody who has ever shared a meal with me at a restaurant knows that I’m as polite as could be and that I tip 20%. I am, in fact, quite conservative in many respects.
I live a clean life and try to do right by other people. And from what I know of Mr. Jennings, he values courtesy and hard work as well.
Here’s the difference between a conservative and a liberal —-A conservative likely favors repeal of the recently Health Care Reform that—Among many other helpful things— will help millions of Americans with the elimination of lifetime caps on policies, and the prohibiting of the practice of kicking people off insurance because they get sick. A liberal does not likely favor repeal of Health Care Reform.
I’ll side with the person who puts human life over small government ideology.
Let’s say that a conservative is in his or her own private life a wonderful person. I suppose this is possible. No type of person has a corner on right living. But what good will the private conduct of someone on the right do for our fellow Americans when health insurance is needed? Or when we need social security? Or when we need parks and libraries that are sufficiently funded?
Lot’s of really bad people love their spouses and love their kids.
Politics is about how we will run our society. It is about far more than private life.
In addition to how you live your private life, a test of character is are you willing to pay the taxes required for a decent society and not just for your own perceived gain?
The right wants to privatize every aspect of our lives. A view of good conduct that stops at private conduct is an insufficient view.
Character is about how you view the public sphere just as much as about how you conduct your private life.
We are obligated to each other by the simple fact that we exist.
Of course we must work if we are able. We must be kind to the people in our lives.
We must also see that morality involves progressive taxation, needed investment in our schools and parks, acceptance of people of all faiths, and Health Care Reform that will help millions of Americans.
These are aspects of morality just as much as how we live our private lives.