Just Another Day

"Any idiot can handle a crisis, it's day to day living that wears you out." - Chekhov

Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Values

While watching CNN, I saw they did a poll of voters and what issues are most important to them in voting for their chosen candidate. Kerry supporters ranked the economy first, terror/Iraq second, and health care third. For Bush supporters, first place went to values and second place to terror/Iraq. There was no third place for Bush supporters because so many had elected for those first two.

Values? Something that is intrinsically personal and the state should have no business legislating except where it violates the rights of another citizen? This is what the Democrats are up against: people who think legislating personal values is more important than freedom. And, as long as Republicans control government offices, there will be attempts to teach theocracy, at least, alongside factual history and empirical science (the most glaring examples are creationism being accepted as an acceptable teaching v. evolution and that the founding fathers of American democracy wanted religion as an inherent part of its constitutionality v. the very real arguments that led to them rejecting that idea and wanting a clear separation of church and state).

Freedom or theocracy? Dostoevsky wrote in "The Brothers Karamazov" in a section titled "The Tale of the Grand Inquisitor" that people clearly would prefer happiness to freedom. Now, the choices of course, are not that clear cut but the idea is true. Freedom means responsibility and choice but it isn't easy. Absolute happiness means living in the care of someone else who makes decisions for you.

As long as Americans think god participates in its experiment with democracy, all three are diminished.


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