Liberté! Égalité! Fraternité! is the national motto of France. Liberty, equality, and brotherhood were first employed as watchwords for the French Revolution, during which very little of these virtuous ideals were employed by the revolutionaries toward any group but themselves.
Here in the U.S., our Revolution used similarly noble words to express our national identity: “Live Free or Die,” “No Taxation Without Representation,” “Don’t Tread on Me” and later, “All men are created Equal.” And to be sure, for most of its history, America has embodied those sentiments, when unrestrained by a government originally instituted to support them. Sadly, it is the government itself that now discourages individual freedom and liberty as guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and its Bill of Rights.
No, we have drifted fairly far away from the high-minded principles of our forefathers. But if I had to pick one word to describe what best fits our current national ethos, it would be: fairness. Not really a love for justice, and certainly not respect for the rule of law. It seems that the American people, who once numbered liberty and independence as national and personal priorities are now reduced to the banal insistence that everything be merely “fair.”
And for years, while we conservatives have tried to live up to and convey our message with the beautiful and inspirational words our Founding Fathers used to craft the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution, liberals have striven to couch and usually obfuscate theirs in terms of “fairness.” And this fairness doctrine — not to be confused with the FCC’s insidious policy of the same name which was a socialist ploy to silence conservative popular free speech for which they had no rebuttal — has served them well for decades.
It’s easy really, when you know how to do it; and boy do they know how. It’s a simple matter of divide and conquer; and they have been dividing the American people from their founding ideals for years. As many have pointed out, liberals pitch their policies based on feelings and not on facts. And as we know by the continuing assaults on objective truths in this country, feelings are fleeting and dangerously easy to manipulate. Notice, they never purport to seek what is just; only what is “fair,” because real justice is based on rock solid truth while “fairness” is most often in the eye of the beholder. And so we are confronted with shallow and stilted reasoning like:
• It’s not fair that the rich get richer.
• It’s not fair for gays to be discriminated against.
• It’s not fair that we enslaved blacks.
• It’s not fair that everyone doesn’t have healthcare.
• It’s not fair that powerful corporations should further enrich themselves at the cost of the environment.
• It’s not fair that men (or anyone else) can “tell women what to do with their own bodies.”
Of course, all of the above could be refuted by common sense arguments, but that hasn’t worked out too well so far. The problem is, we try to reach those who disagree with us by using our own standards of fundamental truth and logic. Needless to say, those who buy into liberal fair-isms don’t think that way. So maybe conservatives should try a little of the fairness doctrine of their own. To wit:
• Is it fair that the top ten percent of earners pay seventy percent of income taxes?
• Is it fair that the sexual proclivities of a tiny minority of Americans should lead to the overthrow of centuries-old norms of marriage and family?
• Is it fair that the price for slavery by way of Affirmative Action and other entitlements should be paid by present-day Americans, most of whose families didn’t emigrate here until the 20th Century?
• Is it fair that some Americans who choose not to purchase healthcare should be forced into it by the government, which exempts groups favorable to the Obama administration from doing so? Or, is it fair that those who work hard to earn enough for comprehensive plans should then work even harder to pay for that of those who choose not to work at all?
• Is it fair that average American energy policy should be held hostage by environmental radicals who do nothing to hide the fact that one of their goals is driving up gasoline and energy costs?
• Is it fair that men should have no say in the murder of children they father? Is there any way on Earth abortion can be fair to those children who are its undeniable victims?
Yes, it would be nice if conservatives could see their way into couching political debate in these terms; but would it be fair?