Earlier tonight, one of my friends, with whom I have political disagreements with on a regular basis, sent me a link to the following Dick Armey column.
The column itself is excellent. Armey makes many points that I have been making for a while now, particularly recently. Some excerpts:
As a united conservative movement, we win when we defend traditional values against big government pretensions to impose its brand of "morality" on the American people. We lose when we attempt to use government power to impose our values on others.
And so America’s Christian conservative movement is confronted with this divide: small government advocates who want to practice their faith independent of heavy-handed government versus big government sympathizers who want to impose their version of "righteousness" on others through the hammer of law.
We must avoid the temptation to use the power of government to perfect our society and its citizens. That is the same urge that drives the Left and the socialists, and I can assure you that every program or power we give government today in the name of our values can be turned against us when the day comes where a majority of Congress is hostile to us.
That last part: "I can assure you that every program or power we give government today in the name of our values can be turned against us when the day comes where a majority of Congress is hostile to us." was something I repeated over and over when the calls for a Constitutional Amendment banning gay marriage first started cropping up. Armey does seem to have a personal beef with Dobson that I don't know about, but other than that, I say right on!
Now back to my friend. Unlike me, he is no Christian. But he at first respected the seemingly principled stand. But then he says he recalled the Clinton impeachment trials, and he said that at that time, Armey was betraying many of the principles he is espousing here. Maybe so, maybe not. But it's not a personal concern of mine. My beliefs do not hinge on whether one particular politician has always been principled. My beliefs just happen to be expressed very succintly in this column.
He went on to rattle off a few examples of Chrisitan leaders and Republicans embroiled in scandal. As if mattered. Textbook tu quoque. He seemed convinced that if you could add up all the hypocrites and slimeballs on 'both' political sides (because we all know there are only two sides, locked in a Zoroastrian struggle ), his side would come out on top, and that would validate his positions. I simply told him that I didn't see the need to keep score.
What I should have asked was if he'd urinate on the Declaration of Independence because it was written by an owner of many slaves. Ideas can be greater than the people who have them. In fact, by definition, any worthwhile one will be.