“I see victims” [Darleen Click]
It’s always illuminating to read a Left-liberal trying to explain conservatives, though not in ways the Leftist intends. Recently, NYTimes columnist Nicholas Kristof took a stab at it.
Conservatives may not like liberals, but they seem to understand them. In contrast, many liberals find conservative voters not just wrong but also bewildering. [...]
Now a fascinating new book comes along that, to a liberal like myself, helps demystify the right — and illuminates the kind of messaging that might connect with voters of all stripes. “The Righteous Mind,” by Jonathan Haidt, a University of Virginia psychology professor, argues that, for liberals, morality is largely a matter of three values: caring for the weak, fairness and liberty. Conservatives share those concerns (although they think of fairness and liberty differently) and add three others: loyalty, respect for authority and sanctity. [...]
This year’s Republican primaries have been a kaleidoscope of loyalty, authority and sanctity issues — such as whether church-affiliated institutions can refuse to cover birth control in health insurance policies — and that’s perhaps why people like me have found the primaries so crazy.
Another way of putting it is this: Americans speak about values in six languages, from care to sanctity. Conservatives speak all six, but liberals are fluent in only three. And some (me included) mostly use just one, care for victims.
Kristof goes on to write about how conservative ideology springs more from “ick” factors than any kind of intellectual exercise.
Yet no where in his piece is self-reflection that his one I see victims “moral language,” may not only be borne of sheer emotionalism but its extremely narrow POV makes it a hammer where not only are all issues nails to be pounded, but some of those nails may be actual people, too.
Consider that if one sees “victims” all around, then there must be victimizers that need be reined in and punished.
e.g. Much of the viciousness being directed against those opposed to Obama and the Democrats’ push for an omnipotent Central Government is “victim” driven. Case in point, the deranged histrionics of Robert Shrum
Now comes the historic decision on health reform — which could reach far beyond the case to fray the whole fabric of progress in modern America. To overturn the individual mandate, to throw out all or most of the rest of the law, would be an act of naked judicial activism, which conservatives profess to despise. In truth, though, they practice it vigorously, in barely concealed disguise, when it advances their own ends. Depending on the “reasoning” rationalized by five horsemen of the judicial right, they could jeopardize other basic protections — for example, the prohibition against segregation at distinctly local enterprises like lunch counters, a prohibition that depends on a generous and long-prevailing view of federal regulation of interstate commerce. [...]
But those Tea Party protesters outside may be matched by a Tea Party Supreme Court inside. And such a court is almost certainly the only means to the destruction of health reform. [...]
Largely missing from the coverage of the health reform case are the most important consequences of nullifying the law: The tragedy of tens of millions who would again be left without insurance; the plight of young adults now on their parents’ policies who would be thrown off; the desperation of those with pre-existing conditions who would be left with no coverage and nowhere to turn; the agony of patients who, because of lifetime limits on their insurance, would see it canceled just before the next round of chemotherapy.
It took a hundred years to remedy all of this by passing health reform; it could take decades to pass it again if and after a changed Supreme Court reversed an ideologically driven denial of health care as a fundamental human right and not just another product in the market place.
Shrum’s basic disconnect from American principles of liberty and free agency is of Kristof’s singular moral language. It doesn’t matter that ObamaCare upends the Constitution as a document that limits the power of the Federal government, or that the labor of the young and even the unborn will be largely consigned to Government redistribution, or even that doctors, nurses, pharmacists and other ‘healthcare workers’ have been declared a natural resource by Leftist fiat and their liberty to engage in the marketplace, like a plumber or grocer, has been obliterated — OH NOES! THINK OF THE VICTIMS!!!
In an exchange on Twitter, one young female sneered at me that her taxes and insurance premiums had “paid for your births” (somehow obligating me to SHUTUP about the 1st amendment and birth control). I told her that, no, when my husband and I had our kids, medical insurance was for catastrophic events and that a normal birth was paid for out-of-pocket. (IIRC that was $1500 in 1978)
Her response was “I didn’t realize you were so ancient.”
Sadly, the Constitution is over 100 years old and American principles of adult responsibility have become just as ancient. Those of us that refuse the moral bankruptcy of identifying as the perpetual victim crying gimme gimme gimme find ourselves scapegoated as The Villain.
It is the age of The Victim … all power to its champion, Nannystatism.
Tags: conservatism, leftism, nicholas kristof, obamacare, robert shrum, scotus, victims