Wednesday, September 22, 2004

NEWSLETTER -- Number 2, August 26, 2004

Posted by Craig Westover | 8:18 AM |  

The Portable Craig Westover
Number 2, August 26, 2004


President Bush’s town hall meeting in Hudson, Wisconsin, on August 18 drew a Rockwellesque crowd to the banks of the St. Croix River to celebrate the best of America’s traditional values. That’s the good news. The troubling reality is that America today is not a picture perfect Rockwell vision. And that presents a very real challenge for conservatives. “American mythology a double-edged sword” from the Wednesday (August 26, 2004) Pioneer Press defines that challenge.

From the column -- “Conservatives are at a crossroad. They can be the narrow and exclusive party their opponents paint them — or they can accept that the American palette creates many possible pictures. They can protect their values through the force of government — or they can preserve them by ensuring protection from government for the values of all. Out of fear, conservatives can betray the American myth — or with courage they can honor their heritage and defend it.”


An article in the Sunday, August 22 Pioneer Press describes the actions of Pro-Life and Pro-Choice groups in their “unending abortion battle” to mobilizing for the presidential race. Both sides know the next president likely will appoint U.S. Supreme Court justices who will be the ultimate arbiters of the abortion deadlock. Although abortion is ultimately a moral decision for an individual, moral decisions are not necessarily a proper province of government. This position is discussed in my Pioneer Press column “In a free society, one must defend the right to do wrong” (May 26, 2002).

From that column -- “It is far more dangerous to our existence as a free people to expand the powers of government than it is to legislatively prohibit individuals from misusing their freedom to make bad decisions. On moral issues, free people may do what they can to change other people's minds — they have no right to use the power of government to make up their minds for them.”