Friday, January 28, 2005

PRES. BUSH TOLD THE NEW YORK TIMES on Thursday that it is his job as president to convince Americans to make the right choices in life. Responding to a question from reporters about abortion, Bush said, "I think the goal ought to be to convince people to value life. ... But I fully understand our society is divided on the issue and that there will be abortions. That's reality. It seems like to me my job is to convince people to make right choices in life, to understand there are alternatives to abortion, like adoption, and I will continue to do so."

It's news to me that one of the functions of the presidency is to persuade Americans to make "right choices." Where is THAT in the Constitution? I don't think it's there; in fact, I think the entire thrust of the Constitution is to structure society in such a way that its citizens are free to make their own choices, as they see fit, as long as those choices do not violate the law. And if the law makes freedom of choice impossible (as it did with slavery or with denying women the right to vote, for example), Americans change the law. Indeed, I was under the impression that the uniqueness of the American way of life lies in the fundamental idea that, in the pursuit of happiness, the rightness of any given choice lies in the hearts and minds of each individual American; and that government does not have the right, much less the responsibility, to decide which choices are right and convince Americans to make those choices.

Wasn't this the entire reason that the Pilgrims left England and came to these shores? Because they did not like the choice their government thought was "right" and they wanted to go to a place where they could make their own choices?

A president who thinks his job is to convince people to make the "right choices." Now THAT is scary.

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