Saturday, June 30, 2007


Thoughts on the Supremes

The recent decisions of the Supreme Court exhibit a mixture of pure "movement conservative" and "pro-authority" beliefs. The pro-authority beliefs are shown in the decision about the "Bong hits" sign and the "right" of a manufacturer to set a minimum price for its product sold by an independent distributor. The movement conservative belief is shown in the two school desegregation cases.

I've been having a running discussion, argument, or debate with some conservative friends, one of whom I would call a movement conservative. He argues, for example, that there is nothing about our health care system that government ought to change. The overload in emergency facilities in cities that have high concentrations of illegal immigrants is not a consequence of any government action regarding the health care system; hence, government should not undertake to modify the system. Instead, government should take steps to get rid of the illegal immigrants who are causing the problem and who are present because government hasn't enforced the existing laws regarding immigrants and their employment. I would summarize the movement conservative belief as including the theorem that government is not responsible for problems that government did not create. The storm that damaged New Orleans was not caused by government; hence, government has no responsibility to repair the city or do anything for its dispossessed citizens. Schools that happen to be segregated as a result of residential segregation should not be desegregated by government because government was not responsible for the segregation.

You'd think that I, after 84 years on this planet, would have learned by now what conservatism is all about. Yet, the mind set of the movement conservative still astonishes me.

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