Saturday, November 06, 2004

The way forward?

This is what I wrote elsewhere, soon after the election:

If we are indeed tolerant of differences, and cultural relativists in the best sense of the word, then perhaps we need to stop trying to impose our values on the whole country via the Federal Government.

Roe v. Wade, gay marriage are cultural issues based on which Democrats lost their say on truly national issues such as the
war in Iraq or budget deficits.

The truly fundamental rights are those which are required to keep democracy running - the right to vote, to dissent, to not be subject to arbitrary arrest, held without trial, etc. Those we defend at all levels.

All cultural issues, which do not destroy democracy, we pledge not to impose on anyone via Federal/Supreme Court fiat, except if we have a state by state consensus, enough to get a constitutional amendment.

The culturally liberal states can convert their openness into an economic and demographic advantage over the states that are illiberal. So liberal get their say on matters of national import.

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One reason I wrote the above is that, e.g., I think Roe vs. Wade is doomed, and the liberal states are going to have to put the right of choice into their constitutions, and stand on state rights against any federal law. It will come down to a state-by-state struggle.

Now threatened are the very self-corrective mechanisms of democracy, that are operative because of our rights. Without minimizing the pain and suffering of people who would be adversely affected by restrictions on abortion, or marriage, I think keeping the system capable of reversing these restrictions is far more important in the scale of things.

I know that there are difficult issues, like guns, where the porosity of state borders makes any state-wise regulation practically useless. But that porosity also works in our favor, I really think that people will vote with their feet, and to the blue states' advantage.

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Clinton famously declared - The era of big government is over. How about the era of small, effective government?

1 comment:

scratchpost said...

very entertaining, to say the least, blog