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Obama's Three Unforced Errors What Price Education?

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Liberals Against the Tide

by Christopher Chantrill
April 22, 2008 at 11:37 pm

LAST WEEK the US Supreme Court decided a Kentucky death penalty case. It ruled that a three-drug sequence for execution by lethal injection was not cruel and unusual punishment. But a day later, to the delight of the New York Times reporter Linda Greenhouse, Justice John Paul Stevens “renounced the death penalty.”

Er, not to put too fine a point upon it, Your Honor, but the death penalty is the law of the land. You are sworn to uphold it.

Did you know, by the way, that liberal groups are working like mad to stop Ward Connerly’s Civil Rights Initiatives, coming up for a vote in four states in November? They are contesting the initiative in Arizona, Colorado, Missouri, and Nebraska. But they are not arguing on the merits. Oh no. As Harry Stein writes in City Journal:

Knowing that such anti-preference initiatives enjoy strong public support... the activists have zero interest in waging these fights on the merits. Rather, their goal is to keep the initiatives off the ballot by any means necessary, up to and including political chicanery and outright physical intimidation.

Let’s see. Missouri. Reminds me of the Missouri Compromise. Nebraska. Reminds me of the Kansas-Nebraska Act. Sound familiar? They should. They were fateful milestones on the road to the Civil War back in the early to mid nineteenth century.

Then, as now, an intransigent minority was putting road blocks in the way of civil rights. In those days, before the Civil War, the political argument was over allowing slavery in the newly-admitted states. Now it is an argument over when, if ever, we are going to stop race-based preferences in government employment, contracting, and schooling.

Here’s what I suggest to you liberals. Play fair. Don’t try, as Justice Stevens is apparently trying to do, to subvert the will of the people with shenanigans on the Supreme Court. The people are strongly in favor of a death penalty.

Don’t try, as these lefty groups are trying to do, to trip up Ward Connerly and his Civil Rights Initiatives. The whole point of democracy is that the people get to decide. If they are wrong, then it is probably better to let them have their way and experience their mistake for themselves.

But if you hold up the will of the people, and dam up their clearly-expressed preferences in tactical shenanigans then the chances are that when the dam bursts, as it will in the end, it will end up flooding the fruited plain with a raging river. And that’s not good for anyone.

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Christopher Chantrill blogs at www.roadtothemiddleclass.com.  His Road to the Middle Class is forthcoming.


 TAGS


Action

The incentive that impels a man to act is always some uneasiness... But to make a man act [he must have] the expectation that purposeful behavior has the power to remove or at least to alleviate the felt uneasiness.
Ludwig von Mises, Human Action


Chappies

“But I saw a man yesterday who knows a fellow who had it from a chappie that said that Urquhart had been dipping himself a bit recklessly off the deep end.”  —Freddy Arbuthnot
Dorothy L. Sayers, Strong Poison


China and Christianity

At first, we thought [the power of the West] was because you had more powerful guns than we had. Then we thought it was because you had the best political system. Next we focused on your economic system. But in the past twenty years, we have realized that the heart of your culture is your religion: Christianity.
David Aikman, Jesus in Beijing


Churches

[In the] higher Christian churches... they saunter through the liturgy like Mohawks along a string of scaffolding who have long since forgotten their danger. If God were to blast such a service to bits, the congregation would be, I believe, genuinely shocked. But in the low churches you expect it every minute.
Annie Dillard, Holy the Firm


Civil Society

“Civil Society”—a complex welter of intermediate institutions, including businesses, voluntary associations, educational institutions, clubs, unions, media, charities, and churches—builds, in turn, on the family, the primary instrument by which people are socialized into their culture and given the skills that allow them to live in broader society and through which the values and knowledge of that society are transmitted across the generations.
Francis Fukuyama, Trust


Class War

In England there were always two sharply opposed middle classes, the academic middle class and the commercial middle class. In the nineteenth century, the academic middle class won the battle for power and status... Then came the triumph of Margaret Thatcher... The academics lost their power and prestige and... have been gloomy ever since.
Freeman Dyson, “The Scientist as Rebel”


Conservatism

Conservatism is the philosophy of society. Its ethic is fraternity and its characteristic is authority — the non-coercive social persuasion which operates in a family or a community. It says ‘we should...’.
Danny Kruger, On Fraternity


Conservatism's Holy Grail

What distinguishes true Conservatism from the rest, and from the Blair project, is the belief in more personal freedom and more market freedom, along with less state intervention... The true Third Way is the Holy Grail of Tory politics today - compassion and community without compulsion.
Minette Marrin, The Daily Telegraph


Conversion

“When we received Christ,” Phil added, “all of a sudden we now had a rule book to go by, and when we had problems the preacher was right there to give us the answers.”
James M. Ault, Jr., Spirit and Flesh


Democratic Capitalism

I mean three systems in one: a predominantly market economy; a polity respectful of the rights of the individual to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; and a system of cultural institutions moved by ideals of liberty and justice for all. In short, three dynamic and converging systems functioning as one: a democratic polity, an economy based on markets and incentives, and a moral-cultural system which is plural and, in the largest sense, liberal.
Michael Novak, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism


Drang nach Osten

There was nothing new about the Frankish drive to the east... [let] us recall that the continuance of their rule depended upon regular, successful, predatory warfare.
Richard Fletcher, The Barbarian Conversion


Education

“We have met with families in which for weeks together, not an article of sustenance but potatoes had been used; yet for every child the hard-earned sum was provided to send them to school.”
E. G. West, Education and the State


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©2007 Christopher Chantrill