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.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Attacks on a Presidential candidate's spouse: "dumb" or fair game?

Hilary Rosen is a lobbyist and someone who has been described as a “Democratic strategist.” In 2008, she referred to attacks on Michelle Obama in the following words on CNN's Anderson Cooper 360 show:

You know essentially, you've taken on sort of the most sympathetic person in the candidate's realm, the wife, who is taking care of the children, supporting the husband, doing everything she can because she loves him. Michelle Obama is a pretty terrific woman I have to say, and I think that attacking her is a dumb strategy on the Republicans' part.

Interestingly, “the wife, who is taking care of the children, supporting the husband, doing everything she can because she loves him” is fair game to attack if that candidate is Mitt Romney, rather than Barack Obama, and that wife is Ann Romney, rather than Michelle Obama. That same Hilary Rosen was recently quoted as having said:

Ann Romney has actually never worked a day in her life.

Hilary Rosen may feel that being a full-time housewife is not work, and in fact she is even correct in saying that most women these days work at a “regular” job even while raising kids, but if being “the wife, who is taking care of the children, supporting the husband, doing everything she can because she loves him” makes Michelle Obama “the most sympathetic person in the candidate's realm,” why does it not apply equally to Ann Romney?

This is certainly another case of damning the rich because they are rich, a tactic which Mitt Romney's opponents feel impelled to employ this year. Mitt Romney brings in enough money that Ann does not have to work. In many cases, of course, the female half of a married couple chooses to work outside the home anyway, even when her financial contribution is not needed, but Ann Romney happened to believe that her best way to attain fulfillment was to devote all her energy to being a full-time housewife. This should be her decision to make. (Hilary Rosen, also, is a lesbian, so in her case, at least one of the members of the partnership has to be a working woman, and would have to be even if the other one could stay at home!) Of course, such attacks on the rich simply because they are rich don't work in the United States. Even the non-rich hope to be rich some day, and so most people feel that the solution to our problems is not taking down the rich but building up the non-rich so that they can become rich.

Ann Romney deserves to be given no more and no less deference than Michelle Obama. If one is fair game, so is the other; if one is off limits, so is the other.

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