The principles that rule this blog

Principles that will govern my thoughts as I express them here (from my opening statement):

  • Freedom of the individual should be as total as possible, limited only by the fact that nobody should be free to cause physical injury to another, or to deprive another person of his freedoms.
  • Government is necessary primarily to provide those services that private enterprise won't, or won't at a price that people can afford.
  • No person has a right to have his own beliefs on religious, moral, political, or other controversial issues imposed on others who do not share those beliefs.

I believe that Abraham Lincoln expressed it very well:

“The legitimate object of government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done, but cannot do, at all, or cannot
so well do, for themselves — in their separate, individual capacities.”

Comments will be invited, and I will attempt to reply to any comments that are offered in a serious and non-abusive manner. However, I will not tolerate abusive or profane language (my reasoning is that this is my blog, and so I can control it; I wouldn't interfere with your using such language on your own!)

If anyone finds an opinion that I express to be contrary to my principles, they are welcome to point this out. I hope that I can make a rational case for my comments. Because, in fact, one label I'll happily accept is rationalist.

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Let's dump these one-word descriptions of political philosophies

There are a lot of people who call themselves conservatives or liberals, but it's clear that these one-word descriptions don't tell us enough about what someone stands for. In a blue state like Maryland, I'd probably be called a conservative by most people, but some positions of the "conservative" candidates, like the proclaimed (but subsequently removed from his site!) opposition to homosexual rights on Jim Rutledge's site are quite opposed to everything I stand for.

Most of us are "conservative" on some issues, and "liberal" on others. Even Barry Goldwater, the vanguard of the "conservative" movement in this country, was pro-gay-rights, (just see this article, for example) just to name one issue where most 2010 "conservatives" reject Goldwater's position.

This false consistency has led to people who call themselves "social conservatives" thinking it's a betrayal when people like Theodore Olson defend gay rights in the Perry v. Schwarzenegger case, though there is really no inconsistency in Olson's thought. A true disciple of Barry Goldwater would be on Olson's side there!

And it's why some people may be surprised to see blogs like "A Conservative Lesbian." But on the other hand, Cynthia Yockey (the owner of that blog) feels it necessary, to bolster her "conservative credentials," to back a vicious homophobe like Jim Rutledge, to the point of denying his hostility toward gay people (and apparently not believing I can remember what I read on Rutledge's site)!

We really need to discuss what people believe on specific issues, and not rely on one-word descriptions. (I have taken that approach in my "About Me" statement for this blog!)


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