Comments Posted By Steph
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Thanks much for your reply.

No objections to the content. But what I think remains the problem - and I've seen you articulate this recently too - is a lack of proposals from conservatives that convincingly take the equality-of-opportunity issue seriously without falling into the confusion you describe. Or what list of programs/proposals from the right - successful, unsuccessful, good but politically untenable, whatever - out of the last decade would you consider representative? Or do you think there really has been a vacuum in this area from the right that needs to be filled?

Comment Posted By Steph On 13.11.2008 @ 11:56

As a liberal reader wandering the conservative blogs, let me congratulate you on one of the most thoughtful, sympathetic ones I've found. Like some other commenters, I think the public dialogue badly needs the continued defense of traditional conservative values - fiscal conservatism, free-market capitalism as the bedrock of individual achievement, and, in my case, the rights of the unborn.

What I think has kept conservative platforms untenable for liberal yuppies like myself is our perception of not only a bankrupcy of ideas but a more general disinterest in addressing inequalities of opportunity. These, to many of us, are not only an obstacle to prosperity under the conservative model but a national tragedy and embarrassment. This is especially so - and IMO, ought not to be a partisan issue at all - in the case of children and their reasonable claims on society for basic health care; safety; a basic education not markedly inferior because their community is poor, with a realistic opportunity for higher education, etc. if their families can't/don't provide these.

This bankruptcy and disinterest may be more perceived than real...but in my search of conservative blogs so far I haven't found much to convince me otherwise. (The only exception has been the occasional framing of the school voucher issue as an approach to our nationwide education problems.) I would love, if you're so inclined, to hear a conservative articulation of how serious a problem inequalities of opportunity are to you, which ones you take most seriously, and what sort of general platform your political philosophy would offer them. And I'm far from the only one...from what I've seen, this is what my generation talks about, when we talk politics.

Unfortunately, most on the left confuse "equality of opportunity" with "equality as a result." This presupposes massive government intervention to "level the playing field." There is a conservative case that can be made for some redress of past injustices in the law but it is my contention - and most other conservatives - that the intervention goes way too far and has now devolved into little more than the law catering to one or more special interest groups.

To work toward a society where all have the same chance at jobs, education, etc. should be the goal of all. The question is should we try to evolve toward a color blind society where one rises as a result of their natural gifts and hard work or one where government mandates "equality" based on skin color, gender, sexual orientation, and ethnicity alone - exactly the opposite of "color blind" and a society where racial and gender nose counters dominate. Conservatives reject this intrusion because both in logic and in practice, it divides us and does not advance the cause of equal opportunity but rather is conscious discrimination. Not just against white Christian males, mind you. Asian Americans are experiencing discrimination because the number of qualified candidates who wish to enter quota-oriented schools or educational programs exceeds the number of "places" that have been reserved for them. Jewish Americans are treated similarly.

The answer is a recognition of past discrimination and laws that facilitate advancement. Attempting to define "equality" by divvying up jobs and education in some ludicrous effort to legislate "fairness" is the wrong approach.


Comment Posted By Steph On 13.11.2008 @ 09:49



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