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.

Monday, February 28, 2011

An asymmetric alliance

There are two groups that are more solidly behind Pres. Obama's liberal agenda than most: African-Americans and gay people. But the relationship between them seems to me to be quite asymmetric.

One can understand the reasons for both. To African-Americans, Obama is "one of us," and this was so strong that even a man like Gen. Colin Powell felt a need to endorse Obama when he was a candidate for the Presidency, despite Gen. Powell's political beliefs, which are normally far to Obama's right. (And as a result, my respect for Gen. Powell has declined considerably.) The case for support by gays is less obvious, but the fact that "social conservatives" have taken over a lot of the power within the Republican Party has had its effect. (And this is one of a number of reasons I feel that something must be done to weaken the power of these "social conservatives": their bigotry drives all sorts of people to the Democrats.)

But the alliance between these is asymmetric. Gay people in their liberalism tend to support the things that aid the struggle by African-Americans to improve their lot, but this assistance is not reciprocated. This can be seen on a State level here in Maryland. The State Senate recently passed a same-sex marriage law. It is interesting to see how the Senators from the two counties bordering the District of Columbia voted. In my county, Montgomery, there has always been strong support for liberal ideas, both gay rights and African-American rights. (My own State Senator, Richard Madaleno, is openly gay; at least one member of the lower house, Heather Mizeur, is a Lesbian. The County Executive, Isiah Leggett, is African-American, and was elected easily in a majority-white county.) So, not surprisingly, there was overwhelming support in the State Senate for the bill. Next door, though, is majority-black Prince George's County. On most issues, politicians from the two counties are indistinguishable in their legislative positions. But here it was different. One Montgomery Senator even remarked that there are Prince Georges Senators with whom he agrees 99% of the time, but on this he has to differ. And many Prince George's Senators voted "no." It seems that many African-Americans in Prince George's County are religiously conservative, and their religious convictions drive them into anti-gay positions.

Why can't gay activists see that the African-American social conservatives in the Democratic Party are just as anti-gay as the white social conservatives in the Republican Party? Perhaps they might become less bound to a Democratic Party that doesn't have their best interests at heart either.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Freedom suppressed and again regained bites with keener fangs than freedom never endangered.