Thursday, January 01, 2004

the definition of liberal

Liberal: "Logically, to forbid something, one must demonstrate that the forbidden act will cause harm to others."

Conservative: To allow something one must demonstrate that the up-to-now forbidden act will be absolutely harmless once allowed ... especially to the sensibilities of those who think the act must be outlawed.

(Liberal quote lifted from a Charley Reese column. The Reese column talks about gay marriage (he sees no harm in it) and was copied to me as part of an email roundup of recent gay news compiled by one of the Alaskan gay activists who tried to head off the anti-marriage constitutional amendment in that state. The Conservative formulation has come up several times in my reading. Being as the Conservative's proscriptions are largely enforced on persons other than himself one might say it is inherently hypocritical. Might hypocrisy be a prerequisite to Conservatism?)

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