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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


Responsible Self

[The Axial Age] highlights the conception of a responsible self... [that] promise[s] man for the first time that he can understand the fundamental structure of reality and through salvation participate actively in it.
Robert N Bellah, "Religious Evolution", American Sociological Review, Vol. 29, No. 3.


Taking Responsibility

[To make] of each individual member of the army a soldier who, in character, capability, and knowledge, is self-reliant, self-confident, dedicated, and joyful in taking responsibility [verantwortungsfreudig] as a man and a soldier. — Gen. Hans von Seeckt
MacGregor Knox, Williamson Murray, ed., The dynamics of military revolution, 1300-2050


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


What Liberals Think About Conservatives

[W]hen I asked a liberal longtime editor I know with a mainstream [publishing] house for a candid, shorthand version of the assumptions she and her colleagues make about conservatives, she didn't hesitate. “Racist, sexist, homophobic, anti-choice fascists,” she offered, smiling but meaning it.
Harry Stein, I Can't Believe I'm Sitting Next to a Republican


Liberal Coercion

[T]he Liberal, and still more the subspecies Radical... more than any other in these latter days seems under the impression that so long as he has a good end in view he is warranted in exercising over men all the coercion he is able[.]
Herbert Spencer, The Man Versus the State


Moral Imperatives of Modern Culture

These emerge out of long-standing moral notions of freedom, benevolence, and the affirmation of ordinary life... I have been sketching a schematic map... [of] the moral sources [of these notions]... the original theistic grounding for these standards... a naturalism of disengaged reason, which in our day takes scientistic forms, and a third family of views which finds its sources in Romantic expressivism, or in one of the modernist successor visions.
Charles Taylor, Sources of the Self


US Life in 1842

Families helped each other putting up homes and barns. Together, they built churches, schools, and common civic buildings. They collaborated to build roads and bridges. They took pride in being free persons, independent, and self-reliant; but the texture of their lives was cooperative and fraternal.
Michael Novak, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism


Society and State

For [the left] there is only the state and the individual, nothing in between. No family to rely on, no friend to depend on, no community to call on. No neighbourhood to grow in, no faith to share in, no charities to work in. No-one but the Minister, nowhere but Whitehall, no such thing as society - just them, and their laws, and their rules, and their arrogance.
David Cameron, Conference Speech 2008


Faith and Politics

As far as the Catholic Church is concerned, the principal focus of her interventions in the public arena is the protection and promotion of the dignity of the person, and she is thereby consciously drawing particular attention to principles which are not negotiable... [1.] protection of life in all its stages, from the first moment of conception until natural death; [2.] recognition and promotion of the natural structure of the family... [3.] the protection of the right of parents to educate their children.
Pope Benedict XVI, Speech to European Peoples Party, 2006


Never Trust Experts

No lesson seems to be so deeply inculcated by the experience of life as that you should never trust experts. If you believe doctors, nothing is wholesome: if you believe the theologians, nothing is innocent: if you believe the soldiers, nothing is safe. They all require their strong wine diluted by a very large admixture of insipid common sense.
Lord Salisbury, “Letter to Lord Lytton”


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


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”


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