Thursday, May 18, 2006

George Will's Values

The normally abominable George WIll actually makes some sense in his column today, which runs under the headline "Who Isn't a Values Voter?" in the Washington Post. His thesis is that social conservatives do not have a monopoly on values:

It is odd that some conservatives are eager to promote the semantic vanity of the phrase "values voters." And it is odder still that the media are cooperating with those conservatives.
...Today's liberal agenda includes preservation, even expansion, of the welfare state in its current configuration in order to strengthen an egalitarian ethic of common provision. Liberals favor taxes and other measures to produce a more equal distribution of income. They may value equality indiscriminately, but they vote their values.

Among the various flavors of conservatism, there is libertarianism that is wary of government attempts to nurture morality and there is social conservatism that says unless government nurtures morality, liberty will perish. Both kinds of conservatives use their votes to advance what they value.

Will's general argument is correct. And from the WFP's perspective, expect to hear a lot of discussion about the WFP allowing New Yorkers to vote their values.

The party's task is to be clear about what those values are, and to explain that voting on the WFP line gives you the freedom to vote your values while still voting for the candidate with the best chance of winning.

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