Two Quotes That Get My Goat

The Hotline’s Blogometer asks a rhetorical question: “If Both Sides Hate You, Are You Necessarily Doing Something Right?”

The answer to the question is usually no, no, no!

Sure, there may a good reason for everybody to hate certain people & things like Nazis, roaches, & Pauly Shore movies, but if you’re talking about politics, it rarely works that way. Show me someone who is widely disliked by both the right and the left and there’s probably a very good reason for it.

Furthermore, along similar lines, there’s this statement: “If both sides are angry about a piece of legislation, does that mean it’s really a good deal?” Again, no, absolutely not!

If you’re talking about legislation, rarely does “splitting the baby” equally benefit each side, because liberals and conservatives are so far apart on the issues. Not every law that passes is a home run for one side or the other, but in most cases, philosophically, either the GOP or the Democrats got more of what they wanted. That means if both sides are angry about a certain proposal, it’s probably because one side isn’t well informed about the situation and is misinterpreting a win for their side as a loss.

Now you’re probably wondering: “Hey Hawkins, why did you bother to post about this?”

Because the whole, “Gee, everybody’s unhappy, so it must be a good idea,” concept is a pet peeve of mine, especially because it’s usually trotted out by smug moderates who for some reason think they’re superior to everyone else because, “They’re in the middle.”

I don’t buy that line of reasoning.

Liberals and conservatives are so far apart on so many things that it’s like one side is cooking pizza and the other side is making an ice cream sundae. If you try to split the difference between an ice cream sundae and a pizza, you’re going to end up with a moderate…ehr, a mess.

The other quote that has really gotten to be annoying is Benjamin Franklin’s, “They who would give up an essential liberty for temporary security, deserve neither liberty or security.”

Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem with that quote per se and would even say it is correct on its face.

The problem I have is with people who act as if Franklin’s quote is some sort of unconditional blanket statement that means you should never, ever give up any liberty for security, for any reason.

Of course, if you follow that sort of reasoning to its natural conclusion, you empty out all the prisons, get rid of the police force, the military, and the government, and then you live in anarchy rather than giving up any of your precious freedom.

The truth is that we have, are, and always will be balancing freedom and security. Show me a measure that increases security and I’ll show you a measure that, in some way, decreases freedom. The reverse is true as well. An increase in freedom means, in some way, that you will become less secure.

Finding the balance, that’s the key. Ben Franklin understood that, but a lot of the people quoting him don’t seem to get it.

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