Saturday, February 6, 2010

Why Democracy is the Most Important Value

This morning I have been thinking about liberty, and how thankful I am that I live in a free society. Here are some quotes, from philosophers, politicians, Christians, and journalists that value democracy and uphold liberty of conscience.

Anna Garlin Spencer:
The earth is ready, the time is ripe, for the authoritative expression of the feminine as well as the masculine interpretation of that common social consensus which is slowly writing justice in the State and fraternity in the social order.

If liberty and equality, as is thought by some, are chiefly to be found in democracy, they will be best attained when all persons alike share in the government to the utmost.

Barry Goldwater:
Those who seek absolute power, even though they seek it to do what they regard as good, are simply demanding the right to enforce their own version of heaven on earth. And let me remind you, they are the very ones who always create the most hellish tyrannies. Absolute power does corrupt, and those who seek it must be suspect and must be opposed.

-->C. S. Lewis:
Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.

Dorothy Thompson:
Of all forms of government and society, those of free men and women are in many respects the most brittle. They give the fullest freedom for activities of private persons and groups who often identify their own interests, essentially selfish, with the general welfare.

Individuals must protect the liberty of the other, if they want to protect it for themselves. And I don't believe that some think that this is reasonable, because they think that how they find "life" is how everyone finds it. Their understanding should be everyone's, because it is ultimately true. Arrogance is borne on the heels of ignorance, or power and both must be tempered by "education".

This morning there was a cartoon of an elephant and donkey that were looking up to see "tea bags" raining from the sky! I herald the effort of the tea parties, as I think this is the only way to win the war against tyranny. We must educate ourselves about our historical roots and determine that we will resist tyranny. Let's hope that the means that our Founders "put in place" are still enforceable and that there are enough people who care and have the power to use those means!

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