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The Vision That the Supreme Court Killed: Compromise
06/27/2003

I thought I'd link to the column that I wrote about the Santorum controversy. In essence, the Supreme Court seems intent on making contentious social issues all-or-nothing battles:

I'm not leaning on the thoughtless crutch of relativism, here. Rather, in a world in which we all must interact at some level, resolving conflicting worldviews is crucial. This is especially true for divergent opinions about the appropriate roles and interactions of society and the individual. I think we forget, too easily, that enabling the coexistence of ideologically diverse citizens is a central objective of the United States. My vision of our country's purpose is as one that leads the way to enabling all people of all varying views to live and resolve differences peacefully.

Such an outcome is impossible unless "tolerance" is taken to mean a willingness to work with people when possible and, otherwise, to seek to move areas of disagreement down toward the community level so all can find somewhere --- within their own country --- to do their own thing. When the battle between irreconcilable views is made to be winner take all, truth becomes subservient to power and honest dealing collapses under deceit. The strength of arguments and the development of evidence among those willing to experiment become less important than a single word inserted by a hostile interviewer.

Watch for a new era of social upheaval and civil unrest that makes the sixties look like summer camp. Increasingly, the only question is becoming how far into submissive silence large segments of the American population are willing to sink before things get ugly. My guess: not far.

Posted by Justin Katz @ 09:27 AM EST