The Priority of Values

When repudiated at the polls, liberals/progressives alway contend (and truly believe) that they simply did not explain things well enough (or alternatively, everyone else is stupid). We can put that down to arrogance, which is probably at least partly right. But there is another explanation as well.

I think we can understand each other better if we understand the priority of their values.

Liberals have different value priorities from other people. Security is their number one. Freedom is up there somewhere, but down the list from security. They cannot understand anyone seeing things differently.

Classical liberals, now called libertarians, value freedom and personal liberty at the top of the list and security farther down.

I am not sure what is at the top of the list for standard conservatives. Other than God (Who should top everyone's list), I think conservatives value order and then liberty. Conservatives want everyone to follow the rules, just as they do. Conservatives will compromise liberty for order, but security still comes below freedom, except when it comes to national security.

Except for those Americans in power whose values have to do mostly with staying in power, I think progressives, libertarians and conservatives share many values, but the values have significantly different priorities. I am sure that progressives give lip service to liberty as a priority. But they don't mane the same thing as libertarians. To a progressive, the entitlement to take money from someone better off means liberty. (I guess the someone better off deserves no liberty in the progressive's eyes.) Liberty is reserved for the poor, because the "rich" have enough advantages. Class envy is OK for progressives, because there should be a classless society (where everyone is poor except the government bureaucrats, I guess - shade of the former Soviet Union.)

Thus, progressivism is an astounding and shocking notion to anyone who believes in universal liberty.

It is really weird to me that most progressives I have seen truly cannot understand anyone reasonably holding a different point of view. Therefore, anyone who holds a different point of view is evil, many of them think. To me, that sort of short-sighted thinking smacks of mental illness.

No amount of jawing by President Obama or any other progressive is going to persuade libertarians or conservatives that they should accept security over individual liberty as a personal priority. Similarly, the rest of us need to recognize that no amount of explanation will persuade committed progressives that security should be subservient to individual liberty.


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