Flimsy Sanity: Man I wish I Could Write Like This

Flimsy Sanity

In individuals, insanity is rare; but in groups, parties, nations and epochs, it is the rule. - Friedrich Nietzsche

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Man I wish I Could Write Like This

Frame it with religion if you want. There's a lot more in the Bible, for example, that encourages liberalism than conservatism: caring for our neighbors. Turning the other cheek. Thou shalt not kill. The meek shall inherit the Earth. The generally dim view of usury and greed. Being stewards, and treating the Earth with respect.

The problem with the current interpretation of moral values is that it is being juxtaposed against the concerns of people who care about specific issues and policies, as though the issues themselves don't have any moral value. But they do. Politicians can trumpet their faith all they want, but the policies they implement are the real manifestation of their moral universe. When we ask what politicians are doing to make the world a better place, part of that question is a very specific notion of how the world could be made better.

It's time that progressives laid out our moral vision: a country that values its freedoms but also values the sanctity of every life—not just at the fetus stage. We need to embrace the notion that every life has dignity and value and deserves respect and a fair opportunity. That's the justification for a wide range of social services now being gutted by conservatives. Helping the less fortunate is not just a policy that makes sense for a better-functioning society; it's also a moral imperative. For too long, progressives have been squeamish about citing those moral imperatives, as though compassion were the third rail in American politics.
The phrase "moral values" in its current political guise might be nothing more than a polite way of categorizing people opposed to gay marriage. But its use is an opportunity, for progressives and liberals, to make the case that ours is a sensibility deeply grounded in a moral vision shared by a majority of Americans. Using the platform of moral values in coming years will allow progressives to be something more than a loyal, if relatively powerless, opposition.
What Moral Values? By Geov Parrish This is part of an opinion piece written in 2004 when torture questions were raised about Alberto Gonzales. I wish I could string words together better, but in general I make a better fan than a performer.


  • At 5:38 AM, Blogger ryk said…

    That's powerful stuff. Wouldn't it be nice to see a politician capable of expressing the same thoughts?


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