Wednesday, January 12, 2005

In an address to Congress in 1941, Franklin Roosevelt spoke of "the Four Freedoms":

In the future days, which we seek to make secure, we look forward to a world founded upon four essential human freedoms.

The first is freedom of speech and expression -- everywhere in the world.

The second is freedom of every person to worship God in his own way -- everywhere in the world.

The third is freedom from want -- which, translated into world terms, means economic understandings which will secure to every nation a healthy peacetime life for its inhabitants -- everywhere in the world.

The fourth is freedom from fear -- which, translated into world terms, means a world-wide reduction of armaments to such a point and in such a thorough fashion that no nation will be in a position to commit an act of physical aggression against any neighbor -- anywhere in the world....

So what do today's conservatives regard as fundamental principles? Well, lately I've been seeing ads at right-wing Web sites for the Conservative Values Silicone Wristband. This item is modeled on Lance Armstrong's Live Strong wristband, but it looks like this:

A cross, a nuclear family with 3.2 children (well, actually only 2), a fetus, a flag and a gun.

That's what conservatives stand for.

Jews? Muslims? Hindus? Atheists? Sorry, you're out of luck. People who are already born? Sorry, not unless you worship Jesus and are in a traditional family (my father died when I was nine and my mother never remarried; I guess I wouldn't have qualified). People who admire the second half of the First Amendment, or Amendments 3 through 10? Can't help you there, either.

What do liberals believe in? Human dignity. What do conservatives believe in? Wedge issues.

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