Freedom or Equality

USA Flag Map

USA Flag Map (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This is a political post.  I say that in fair warning.  Not that I am running for an office, or trying to convert my readers to a different party; but simply that it will be about politics.  So if you love politics, read on.  If you truly hate politics, read on 🙂

Instead of trying to bash one side of the American political spectrum while praising the other, I am going to try to share what I see as the best aspects of each, and begin a conversation about a possible better way forward.

The Republican party seems to primarily be about individual freedom and its corollary of individual responsibility within a community governed by law.

The Democratic party seems to primarily be about equality of all persons and its corollary of social responsibility within a community governed by law.

We could, if we wanted to pick straw men of each party and bash them in general, but I have found many people whom I respect on either side of the proverbial aisle.

These two perspectives are both noble, both grounded in our earliest documents and are both attempting to create the best possible world as they see it.

Freedom taken to its logical conclusion leads to anarchy, self-centeredness and ultimately tyranny of the strong over the weak.

Equality taken to its logical conclusion leads to mediocrity, loss of self and ultimately tyranny of the government over the individual.

Neither option is bad in its motivation.  Neither option is good in its destination.

The greater the personal freedom, the greater the inequality.  The greater the equality, the greater the loss of freedom.  Freedom priveleges the strong, the hard working, the intelligent, the “best and brightest” among us.  Equality priveleges the weak, the disabled, the dull, the “least of these”.

The question is how do we in “the land of the free and the home of the brave” honor the belief that “all men are created equal”?

Tomorrow’s post will posit a way forward, but first I would like to hear your thoughts.  Do you see a via media?

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