Of course I'm liberal, I believe in liberty.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Anti Freedom Republicans

I agree completely with what Digby says:
These people want to dictate how you live your private life. They want to tell you who you can marry, how to raise your kids, what religion to practice (and you must practice it) and what "values" you must hold. And they want to use the strong arm of the government to do it. Sure, there are problems in our society. Yes we are living in a fast paced society in which it is difficult to raise children and the world is changing so quickly that it's hard to keep your balance sometimes. But most Americans don't wish for others to make decisions for them about how to live their day to day lives, regardless of the challenges. It's just not the American character.

That is not to say that we have no concept of the common good. Americans once came to a consensus that the government was the most democratic means of helping people to mitigate the pitfalls of capitalism and ensuring all of its citizens a fair shake. But we have never seen it as a means to legislate what people do behind closed doors or when making the most personal life decisions about their marriages, families or their own bodies. We believe that the government is far too clumsy a mechanism for such delicate matters. The individual reigns supreme over himself. All we ask is citizens pitch in for the national defense, the running of the government, social services to help the weakest among us and insure themselves against the risks they must take in a dynamic capitalistic system.

It's just this simple: The Republican party wants to tell you how to live your personal life while they systematically remove all government cooperation in ameliorating the risks this fast paced world creates. The Democrats want the government to leave you to make your own personal decisions while having it help you mitigate the social and economic risk our fast paced world creates. It is a stark choice. There is no reason we cannot begin to make the affirmative case for ourselves on this basis.
Many people have convinced themselves that higher taxes with higher services is anti-freedom. Because of taxes, and basically taxes alone as far as I can tell, they somehow convince themselves that Republicans provide greater freedom to Americans than Democrats. But it's the Republicans who consistently try to micromanage our lives, distrust judges and local control and always, always assume they know best, regardless. Take the Terri Schiavo case. Republicans assure us they know the correct answer and all the judges and doctors involved in the case are just idiots. "Trust us," they say, "we know best." Democrats make no such broad proclamation of know-it-all truth, they just assume the system probably worked and give those closest to the issue the benefit of the doubt.