Tuesday, May 8, 2012

To increase tolerance, decrease the size and scope of government

 I've made similar points in this space before, but it's worth quoting Matt Welch one more time on this one:

Thinking that you can pin 100 percent of the cost of coverage on insurance companies rather than the employers who pay for health plans requires an impressive suspension of disbelief, but it is Alter’s final assertion that is most relevantly wrong. Republicans may well be losing ground, but there is no chance in hell that “the culture wars are over.” As long as government keeps expanding in size, scope, and cost, the culture war will only intensify. The battlegrounds will change as societal attitudes shift, but conflict will be perennial...


The kerfuffles over mandatory ultrasounds and contraceptive mandates made brutally clear an axiom that partisans have a hard time understanding: Any power that government has to do something you like will invariably be used for something you abhor. Today’s decision interpreting the Commerce Clause to justify snatching home-grown medical marijuana from patients in California becomes the justification for tomorrow’s federal mandate to buy health insurance. Reduce the scope of government, and we reduce the culture war, while promoting true tolerance of divergent viewpoints.
As Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas) said in Michigan last February, “When you can tolerate people who are different, you know what happens? We come together.…The true belief in liberty brings all different kinds of people together.” As he put it in a GOP presidential debate on January 8, “People use freedom in different ways.…It invites variations in our religious beliefs, in economic beliefs.”
Want to promote tolerance? Cut government. Let different cultural claims fight it out in the appropriate venue, as far away from my tax dollars as possible.

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