Choice is an ultimate value for any human, as choice values differences as to value and interests. Responsibility is about owning the consequences for one's choices and negotiating with others about differences of value or commitments. All of society's relationships should be based upon the individual right of choice.
Negotiation is about compromise, and determining whether such compormise is possible in relationship. Negotiation is part of the process of evaluating priorites as to commitments and values. In political terms, it is knowing that one might not have an "ideal" value upheld, but knowing that living in a free society doesn't affim "ideals" as defined, otherwise, the society will not be free as to diversity of definitions".
The Founders were "Wise", not "ideologues"! Wisdom means that they knew that government had to limit itself, so the individual can have the liberty to define their own "ideals". The Founders "ideals" of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness was based on the understanding of "Providence", or in today's terms, leadership. Leaders do determine and define what these ideals mean in, to and for society.
Liberals value "civil rights" or the "real world", while the conservative values "traditional values" and the "ideal world". Both have a place in our society, as to America's values, because we do affirm the family, as well as indivdiual equality before the law. America does value pragmatism and science, but we also value religious liberty. The disagreement comes from re-defining certain aspects of society. Such social change is viewed byt the liberal as a necessary right to continue to maintain the value of "equality before the law". But, the conservative views such social change as a violation of traditional principles, which might undermine society's foundations. Such differences were the basis of our Civil War.
Each side has valid points. Social change has occurred and will continue to occur, but we must not loose the values of tradition that have underwritten our society. It is just a matter, hopefully, of listening, weighing, negotiating, and coming to terms. This is responsible leadership. And it is what America needs most right now! Fair and balanced!
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