Thursday, October 26, 2006

T-12 Days and Counting: Why We Fight

Why does anyone fight for a cause? Generally, it's because the person believes the world would be a better place if the cause prevailed. The fight may be overt or covert, involving force of arms or force of ideas, and may benefit few or many.

Yesterday when I got home from work, I was greeted by this headline at

same rights as heterosexuals

This represents a classic fight of ideas. Married couples have a whole bunch of ancilliary rights under state laws, many of which devolve from the fact that marriage is, among other things, an economic contract. Rather than fight state by state, statute by statute, to amend the laws to include other sorts of consensual living arrangements, gays and lesbians figured out that if they could have their partnerships labeled "marriage", then the rest of the subsidiary rights under law would automatically pertain too. It seemed much simpler to broaden the definition of marriage than to keep fighting the step-by-step legislative battles. So they took to the courts.

The art of politics is all about finding solutions to problems that are amenable to the majority of participants. This applies in any organization that depends on buy-in from its members in order to continue to function, whether it's a book club or a government. Hugh Hewitt complains that the NJ Supreme Court decision, like the decisions in Vermont and Massachusetts, subverts the political process by demanding that the legislators craft law to support the court's reading of the state constitution.

A similar argument is made against Roe v. Wade, that the US Supreme Court decreed a "right" and stopped the political solution-finding in each state dead in their tracks. The result has been acrimony and litmus tests for politicians and appointed officials for more than 30 years.

Last week in Philadelphia during the event, a woman asked how to convince someone who's pro-choice to vote for Senator Santorum, who is pro-life. Dennis Prager answered that politics is a hierarchy of values: "We will never have a party we totally agree with, so we have to compromise."

Do the Democrats, or the Republicans, or the Greens, or Libertarians better match your values and priorities? If you agree with a party on nine of ten issues, why would you vote against them for the sake of that one issue?

These are times when you may need to re-evaluate your values hierarchy. Which is more important, making President Bush a lame duck for the next two years (Nancy Pelosi's stated aim), or pressing the war against Islamic fascism?

Perhaps this soldier's email to Kathryn Jean Lopez, comparing the Cold War to the current war, can provide some perspective:
Sure there are differences between that conflict and this one and of course there are people who would love to tell me just how dissimilar the two conflicts really are, how you cannot really compare the two, etc., etc. But, I have seen firsthand the depths of evil to which the Muslim extremists can go and I can assure you that as a threat they are every bit as dangerous as the Communists were. or any enemy we have ever faced, for that matter. More important, as the president has said, they are patient and they are determined. They will not relent until they achieve their aims. I'm afraid we are in for another long, protracted ideological struggle. I really believe we will win this one, too, as long as we stay united. We have to. Our children and our grandchildren are depending on us.

What are you willing to fight for? Vote accordingly!

For more ammunition, read the transcript to President Bush's press conference yesterday. Also Thomas Sowell, and Dr. Sanity, and Hugh Hewitt, and the Anchoress.

For news on the military war, see DefendAmerica and Central Command (CENTCOM), plus Milblogging, Mudville Gazette, and Black Five.

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