San Francisco Values

Bill O’Reilly recent coined a new term, “San Francisco Values“.  His intention in using this term is to describe the kinds of “far left” or “extremely liberal” values shared by many in ultra-liberal areas of the country like San Francisco.

Both in his recently-released book, Culture Warrior, and on several occasions on television and radio, I’ve heard Bill voice concern that if America as a whole were to be dominated by San Francisco values, that the face of the nation would dramatically change.  Some (probably about 20% of the country) would feel this is for the best, but the overwhelming majority – including O’Reilly and I – would not.

So, on election day, I wanted to use Bill O’Reilly’s definition of San Francisco values to engender debate about these principles and discuss a couple things… 

  1. Are they real?  Do people really believe these things?
  2. Are they being characterized accurately?  Let’s take the spin out of the discussion.  You may need to help me with that.
  3. What would the US look like if these philosophies became the prevailing wisdom in America?

Here’s a list of the ideals Bill describes as “San Francisco values”, along with some of my commentary…

  1. “Cradle to grave entitlements, supported by a ‘punishing’ tax rate” – A significant expansion of what Americans deserve and should expect the government to provide for them.  Universal health care would be a great example.  Taxes would have to increase dramatically to support this move, and the burden would fall mostly on “the rich”.  By the way, here’s a fascinating article about distribution of wealth and income.
  2. “Anti-military sentiment” – In Nov, 2005, San Francisco voters approved a non-binding referendum banning military recruitment in schools.  60% of voters stated firmly that they opposed guns in general and military recruiters in the schools in SF.  Read stories on Advocate.com and edweek.org.
  3. “Legalized drugs” – Many liberals believe that drugs, particularly “softer” drugs like marijuana, should be legalized.  SF and California in general have passed laws legalizing medical marijuana.  Many have abused these laws, and there is a general sense that America would be a better place if drugs were legal.  I thought one site I found was great…  Called ACT UP San Francisco, it opines, “ACT UP San Francisco encourages a healthy lifestyle through vegetarianism, medical marijuana, and questioning the medical orthodoxy.”  So, healthy lifestyle = medical marijuana + a few other things that question the establishments of the culture.
  4. “Unfettered abortion rights” – Many liberals in SF, and around the country, support abortion rights as paramount.  They do not view the unborn fetus as anything but a blob of cells, and feel the mother has the right to do anything she wants to it, because her individual rights trump that of the blob of cells (which has no rights).  The rights of the baby aren’t even considered.  For some, like George Tiller in Kansas, this extends even to late term abortions in which a viable baby can be killed any time up until the umbilical cord is cut, as long as there’s a health threat to the mother — even if that “threat” is that she’s depressed by the pregnancy. 
  5. “No parental notification for abortions” – This is a privacy issue.  Also a paramount ideal of the left.  Nobody can ever be told anything about anyone, or their privacy is violated … no matter what the circumstances.  Especially when it comes to abortion, because it has to be kept legal and unrestricted at all cost.  I know there are abusive parents out there, and most parental notification laws (such as the recent prop 85 in California, which was voted down – articles for and against) account for that with an “abuse exception”.  Also, many of these laws include a statute that allows a judge to overrule the notification law in cases when the girl is “mature enough”.  And given these loopholes, I can’t see why we wouldn’t as a country want 13 year old girls to have their parents notified before they get an abortion — the parent doesn’t even have the legal right to stop them, just be notified, by the way.  They have to give their permission if a 15 year old wants to pierce her ears or get a tatoo, but not to get an abortion?  How does that work?  Answer: it doesn’t — except in San Francisco (metaphorically speaking).  Or, back to the Tiller thing again…  10 year old girls were raped, got pregnant and had abortions in his abortion clinic, but the clinic won’t turn the name of the rapist (not the girl) over to authorities to prosecute.  That’s not privacy, that’s criminally insane.  That’s somewhat different from the parental notification issue, I realize, but under the same conceptual header.  Bill also wrote a column on this recently.
  6. “Rehabilitation instead of punishment for criminals” – Many liberals believe that criminals should be rehabilitated instead of being punished.  This is a blindness to the reality of evil.  Punishment is a deterrent.  It’s this flawed thinking that says we can’t spank our children anymore or that if we just talk to the terrorists everything will turn out okay.  Sometimes (not always) tough measures are required, but not according to San Francisco values.
  7. “Gay marriage” – Many liberals believe that the definition of marriage is too restrictive, and should be expanded to include alternate lifestyles such as homosexual marriage.  I can’t see how it could stop there (and not extend to bigamy, bestiality, etc), given the concept of equal protection under the law, but gay marriage is the only real issue on the table at the moment.  SF is well-known for having defied state law (gay marriage is always defeated by a wide margin when on the ballot and actually voted on, so it has to be “back-doored in” by activist judges) and started issuing gay marriage licenses anyway.  This would be brought to the mainstream if San Francisco values became the law of the land (so to speak).
  8. “Open borders” – San Francisco values dictate that national borders are an outdated concept.  Pretty much everyone from everywhere deserves the same rights that we enjoy as American citizens.  We don’t really have the right to regulate who gets those and who doesn’t.  We’re rich; it’s our obligation to provide for those who aren’t.
  9. “Income redistribution” – Essentially the same issue as open borders or the entitlement system.  Many liberals believe that it’s the government’s responsibility to provide for us, so it’s their responsibility to take what it determines some people don’t need (rob from the rich…) and give it to those whom it determines to need it more (…and give to the poor).  So, it becomes the government’s job to define how much I deserve to have or make, and if it’s too much, then it takes it and gives it to those who aren’t getting their fair share.  As long as we’re just regulating capitalism, it’s one thing, but the more of this we do, the closer we get to socialism, and that makes me nervous.
  10. “No display of religion in the public square” – SF is known for letting militant homosexual groups do things like dress up as nuns in parades and mock catholicism, but not allow a Christmas tree to be called a Christmas tree because it offends people.  If you want to bury the Virgin Mary in cow crap or soak a crucifix in urine and call it art, or demean Jews, or take the word “God” off antying in the public square, or abolish any semblance of Christian symbology during Christmas, then you’re the friend of San Francisco values.  Any religious or philosophical display is fine, as long as it’s not Christian or Jewish, because these are considered hostile to the rest of the values on the list.

So, I’m sure that many will disagree with the way I’ve characterized these.  Some of the discussions we could have could probably be whole topics in and of themselves.  Some we’ve already discussed.  But I thought I’d throw this out there, especially since if the democrats really do take control of the congress today (as many are speculating — and which I do NOT anticipate to happen, just for the record), then we could see some of these values showing up at our front doors.

What say you?

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About Jeff Block

Lover and follower of Christ. Husband and father. Writer and seminary student. On a long journey, learning to swim with the current of God's love and walk with Him in the garden in the cool of the day.
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16 Responses to San Francisco Values

  1. Neva says:

    Wow, what a list…
    I’ll agree with you that there probably are extreme liberals who believe in all of those things. I don’t think that all liberals should be assumed to have all of these beliefs, any more than all conservatives should be assumed to agree with Bush on all of his policies. I also think that it’s not accurate to assume that liberals who agree with the basic principles would want them taken to the extreme degree presented here. Of course, I’m sure you already know that. It just seemed like a good baseline to start from.
    I’ll start first with your summary at the end. If democrats do end up with control of congress, the likelihood of which I am not going to speculate on one way or the other, I don’t think the country is in danger of having all, or even many, of the points on this list forced upon them. As I said, I don’t think that most liberals would agree with all items on that list, particularly not the way they’re presented. I certainly wouldn’t.
    For example, I completely disagree with the idea of legalizing recreational drug use. I personally think that enough medications are overused (even with legal prescriptions) to help people put a fog between themselves and learning to cope with reality, and I don’t think that’s healthy for individuals or society. And actually, if it were up to me, I’d say we should make tobacco illegal, too. It’s highly addictive and poses extreme health risks to those who partake and those around them. In fact, I voted this morning for a large increase in tobacco taxes in the hope that a price increase will deter some people from smoking. In the interest of complete honesty, I will freely admit that I am biased on this issue as my father has lung cancer from his years of smoking, despite having quit several years before he was diagnosed.
    Now to a point on your list that I do agree with: gay marriage. I do believe that homosexuals have the right to be married, the same way that heterosexuals do. I completely reject the idea that allowing this opens the door for acceptance of bestiality, pedophilia, or any other deviant sexual practices. There’s really no connection in my mind, and I don’t understand why people see a connection other than in an attempt to induce fear or to justify a position they don’t have support for otherwise. I feel that if two adult individuals who deeply love one another want to spend their lives together, they should have the option to make that a legal commitment, regardless of their genders. I feel very strongly on this issue; it’s a very emotional one for me, but I’ll try to summarize what my thoughts come down to. I have gay friends, some of whom were at my wedding to support my choice and celebrate that occassion with me. If one of them finds someone that special and they want to spend their lives together, I want to be able to return the favor.
    I also am in favor of rehabilitation for criminals. Not necessarily in place of punishment, but certainly in combination with it. Punishment is simply not an effective deterrent; people do not behave that rationally. I believe that recidivism would be decreased much more effectively by helping inmates learn useful life skills and giving them other options than returning to a familiar lifestyle once they’re released. No, I am not naive enough to think that this will work for everyone and completely end the problem of repeat offenders. However, I do believe that it would be an improvement over the strategy of simply increasing jail times and giving out harsher sentences in the hope that potential criminals will suddenly decide that the possibility of facing ten years instead of four is enough reason to change their lives.
    The last point in your list is a bit more difficult for me. I do believe that people should have freedom of expression, even if that means criticizing someone else’s religion. However, I also believe that people should be allowed to have their religious beliefs and have them be respected. I also believe that people should be free from having other people’s religious beliefs and requirements forced upon them. Finding safe middle ground between all of those is obviously a pretty difficult task, and I don’t know that I can always clearly articulate why I draw the lines where I do, but here are a few thoughts on how I’d feel about your various examples. (Keep in mind, this is just how I feel, and I certainly don’t think I speak for all liberals or even necessarily the majority of them.) If someone wants to desecrate a religious object to make a statement through art, they are welcome to do so providing they own the object in question and display it on private property where people who would be offended by it don’t have to see it. If a community wishes to put up a Christmas tree or some other Christmas display, they are welcome to do so provided 1) it isn’t funded by public money and 2) members of the community with differing religious beliefs can have their traditions represented also (within reason). As for parades, people have been dressing up as nuns and priests to mock Catholicism for years; there’s nothing new about that, other than possibly the specific church policies they’re protesting. People have also been dressing up as rabbis, gays, and just about any other stereotyped group you want to name for similar reasons. A couple of years ago I was pretty offended to see a classmate come to a halloween party wearing a costume that consisted of his normal clothes, sandals, and an actual towel on his head to mock Islamic culture. But it was his right to do that, and no one forced him to leave the party because of it.
    The rest of the items on your list are things that I feel like you’ve portrayed as being very simple, clear-cut issues, while I believe that they’re generally a lot more complex than that. I don’t agree with them as you’ve presented them, but that doesn’t mean I necessarily disagree with the principles and ideas behind them. I’m not sure I can clearly articulate my thoughts on many of them, so I’ll just leave it at this for right now. I’ve probably said enough anyway.

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  2. Neva says:

    Well, I was checking back to follow the discussion (Where is everyone? Exhausted from staying up late to watch the returns. I know I am.) and I took another look at point five, more specifically the detour at the end about a clinic refusing to give a rapist’s name to the police. I’m unclear on some details of the situation from the description provided. I tried to look at the linked column, but it’s in a restricted section of the site that I can’t access. So I’ll just go on what was said here and trust that someone will correct me if I’m making incorrect assumptions.
    Here’s how I understand the situation: A young girl was raped and went to a clinic to terminate the resulting pregnancy. She explained to the clinic what had happened to her. She is not pressing charges or otherwise making the rapist’s name available to the authorities, a common response of rape victims who don’t want to have to testify against their attacker or have their victimization made public. The police are asking the clinic to reveal the identity of the rapist because the victim won’t. The clinic is refusing.
    Based on that information, I completely fail to see where the problem is (other than, of course, a girl being raped). If the victim does not want to press charges or make her situation public, that is her right. Anything she told the clinic about her situation is covered by doctor-patient confidentiality, so it would be irresponsible of the clinic to give the information to anyone without her permission. Is there some dimension to this situation that I’m not aware of, because it sounds pretty straight-forward to me?

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  3. Jeff Block says:

    > I’ll agree with you that there probably are extreme liberals who believe in all of those things. I don’t think that all liberals should be assumed to have all of these beliefs, any more than all conservatives should be assumed to agree with Bush on all of his policies. I also think that it’s not accurate to assume that liberals who agree with the basic principles would want them taken to the extreme degree presented here. Of course, I’m sure you already know that. It just seemed like a good baseline to start from.

    I couldn’t agree more — with all of that. However, one thing is left out of your analysis… that many leaders of the Democratic party does seem to believe in these things. One excellent example is Nancy Pelosi, which takes us to your next point…

    > If democrats do end up with control of congress, I don’t think the country is in danger of having all, or even many, of the points on this list forced upon them. As I said, I don’t think that most liberals would agree with all items on that list, particularly not the way they’re presented. I certainly wouldn’t.

    There’s some very interesting discussion here. A couple of things…

    1) Democratic congressional leaders like Nancy Pelosi (now Speaker of the House) and Ted Kennedy and John Kerry seem to me to believe many if not all of the points I’ve outlined. Howard Dean does too, from a party leadership perspective. When far more moderate voices like Joseph Lieberman speak up, they are pounded down for not being true democrats. And I personally believe that both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama believe many of these things too, but they’re smarter than people like Dean in that they don’t come right out and say it … because they know that the mainstream wouldn’t accept them otherwise. They play toward the middle, but I think many assume that they are far more left than they want the general public to believe. I say all that to underscore how much further left things could get even if the mainstream democrat, like yourself, doesn’t really think that way — or would only support some of these things “to a lesser degree”. As with so many things, the speed of the leader can quickly become the speed of the team.

    2) And this is huge (in my mind)… If someone like yourself had to choose between two candidates – one was someone like Bush, who most people would consider FAR right, and the other was someone like Nancy Pelosi, who is definitely FAR left, then you would be forced to choose Pelosi in the same way that I’d be forced to choose Bush. Not because we are FAR anything, but because we’re in a position to choose the lesser of two evils. THIS is why I think that democractic control of the congress could lead us to these things, NOT because I believe that there’s widespread acceptance of these extremes among the mainstream masses of the democratic party. Does that make sense?

    > I completely disagree with the idea of legalizing recreational drug use…

    I agree, and I think your position (probably the same on 75% of these things, even where we disagree) is level-headed and well-thought-out. I believe YOU have the best interests of the nation in mind, without thinking that we have to radically change a bunch of things about it. However, the title of this entry was not “Neva Values”, it was “San Francisco Values”. In other words, whereas YOU (as well as many mainstream democrats) might not agree with these things, I fear that much of your leadership does and I believe that if you took a vote on these things (as presented) in ultra-liberal places like San Francisco, that there would be much affirmative head-nodding… far more than you could get almost anywhere in the midwest on similar ideas.

    > I do agree with gay marriage [and] rehabilitation for criminals.

    I respect that. And as I said, I consider both your arguments to be rational, well-thought-out and non-emotional (rock on!), even though I don’t particularly agree with your views. I don’t want to debate those issues here … even though I see things less black-and-white than you may think I do. For example, I too believe that criminals should be rehabilitated, but that there needs to be strong punishments as well. One cannot take the place of the other. Etc.

    Perhaps I’ll blog on each issue in my top 10 SFV’s list in the future. We’ll save the debate for that time. My focus here is on whether or not I’m accurately characterizing these values … much of the discussion we’ve already had above.

    > recidivism

    Nice word! Love it when people use a broad vocabulary … enough to point it out. This is something O’Reilly and I have in common.

    > freedom of expression, criticizing someone else’s beliefs, etc

    I will comment on this … not so much to debate what you’ve written, but in the context of how I’m characterizing this SFV. I’m not really talking about freedom of expression or whether or not someone’s beliefs can be criticized, as much as I’m talking about an anti-Judeo-Christian bias that leads to a double standard. For instance, I can do anything I want in the public square to demean Christianity. It’s pretty much socially acceptible (as long as I’m not in Alabama). The media will be fine with it. Academic institutions do it all the time. Etc. At U of Illinois, where I went to school, there was a religious studies class, for example, taught in four sections by four teachers — Islam taught by a Muslim, Judaism taught by a Rabi, Buddism taught by a Buddhist, and Christianity taught by an atheist. Why not a priest or pastor or plain-ole Christian? Because that would be too biased. Ridiculous, but true.

    If you want to attack Islam? No way! Everyone would turn against you for doing so. Media would be all over you. There’d be riots in the Middle East. Etc. What if I wanted to say something negative against gays or blacks or whoever? Totally unacceptible. I’d be shunned. But if I want to lambast Christians or Jews, no problem.

    This double standard is a halmark of San Francisco values, because “tolerance” in this philosophy’s way of thinking means “to tolerate all the things that the elite circles in the media and on university campuses believe, and not the things that would get in their way”. People with SFV believe they are better than the unwashed masses (the red states) who need to have their thinking enlightened … to be brought forward from the age of the neanderthal when there was actually right and wrong, good and evil, etc. Christianity and Judaism will *never* abandon those ideals, so they are despised, in my opinion.

    > If a community wishes to put up a Christmas tree or some other Christmas display, they are welcome to do so provided 1) it isn’t funded by public money and 2) members of the community with differing religious beliefs can have their traditions represented also (within reason).

    I pick this out as another example of how you differ from SFV. Last year at Christmas, there are many cases where these exact rules were followed, but the nativity scenes had to come down anyway. I do believe that YOU are this rational, I do NOT believe that San Francisco values are.

    > The rest of the items on your list are things that I feel like you’ve portrayed as being very simple, clear-cut issues, while I believe that they’re generally a lot more complex than that. I don’t agree with them as you’ve presented them, but that doesn’t mean I necessarily disagree with the principles and ideas behind them. I’m not sure I can clearly articulate my thoughts on many of them, so I’ll just leave it at this for right now. I’ve probably said enough anyway.

    A) You have not said enough. I always enjoy your descent.
    B) I’m disappointed you stopped. With this last statement, you were getting to the heart of what I wanted to discuss. How have I mischaracterized them? Why do you feel that these issues are more complex than I’ve presented them to be? Remember, I’m not talking about ALL liberals here. I agree with you that not all liberals think this way. Not all liberals have San Francisco values. What I’m trying to do is define what these extreme values are, and discuss whether or not I’m characterizing them accurately.

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  4. Jeff Block says:

    By the way, I had already written my above comments (on the train on the way back out of the city) earlier today, so I didn’t address the privacy rights issue you responded to in your second comment.

    Is it okay if I lump this in with a few of the other issues you engaged on, and delay detail for another day? Let’s focus on whether or not these are real issues being characterized accurately.

    Thanks, Neva!

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  5. Neva says:

    Now that the votes are in and the races all called, I still don’t think that democratic control of congress is going to have as extreme of consequences as you fear. For one thing, while the leadership may be very liberal (and I don’t dispute that some of them definitely are), many of the people elected were moderate to conservative democrats because the party knew this was the only way a democrat could win in certain traditionally republican areas. I really doubt that many of these guys will support an extreme liberal agenda because 1) they personally don’t believe in it and 2) their constituents will not re-elect them if they do. And I don’t think the leadership will push them to support it because they’re aware of point 2 and want to keep these guys in to have a numbers advantage. So, even with Pelosi as Speaker, I still don’t think the situation is likely to be as dire as you present it.

    I suppose I was presenting some “Neva values” as a way to show that I don’t believe that the few people who support this extreme liberal agenda would have enough support for it. I agree that, despite holding more moderate views on many issues, I would generally still vote for someone more liberal than I’m comfortable with rather than someone more conservative, and I think that many people would. However, in today’s political world, votes aren’t enough; politicians also need money. And if their support from the traditional liberal base is luke-warm because some of their ideas are too far out into left field, many people aren’t going to be as likely to make contributions to them, and that will hurt their campaign. Also, a large portion of the voting public are still moderates (in most areas), and I think they would quickly turn away from someone with this sort of extreme agenda. That’s why I was presenting “Neva values” as an attempt to gauge how far I think the typical liberal members of a constituency would let their leaders go on this sort of agenda.

    Also, I presented my values on these issues because I don’t feel that I can judge whether you’re characterizing extreme liberals properly as I’m not one. I can’t really speak towards someone else’s motivations for supporting a belief I disagree with. That’s why I tried to give my reasons for supporting things, particularly the points I agreed with on the list. I’ll have to continue thinking about the rest of the issues here, definitely lots to think about.

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  6. Jeff Block says:

    Thanks, Neva! I appreciate much of what you’re saying here. A few responses / thoughts…

    First, I think you underestimate how much money rests in the hands of some radically liberal people. George Soros and Peter Lewis, for example, are extremely big guns. Also men like Steven Bing (Hollywood producer) and Rob Glaser (RealNetworks CEO). These kinds of men are giving their money to an extreme SFV agenda, not a moderate grass roots agenda in Pennsylvania. Here’s an interesting article from the LA Times on the subject, for example.

    > I would generally still vote for someone more liberal than I’m comfortable with rather than someone more conservative, and I think that many people would.

    I think that makes the case for me. I’m surprised you don’t see this as incredibly significant. Consider this… If roles were reversed, wouldn’t it make you nervous that I (and “many others”) would be more likely to vote for an ultra-conservative than someone a bit more liberal if given the choice? Weren’t you nervous about where the country could *potentially* go under the Replublican congress? Isn’t that exactly why every liberal and their brother over reacted (in my opinion) to just about every measure this administration has tried to employ to fight the war on terror (an example)? I don’t know how many times I heard the slippery slope argument applied to elements of the Patriot Act, etc – in my view, out of a fear that things could get out of hand.

    That’s my fear. With the Democratic leadership as crazy left as it is, and philosophies polerized as badly as they are among the electorate, I’m concerned we could go down a disconcerting path. And I don’t want to end up having to deal with San Francisco values here in the heartland.

    One last example, because it’s so glaring and obvious in terms of its support for my postulate here… Bush got on TV yesterday and talked about hoping to find common ground to work together with Nancy Pelosi and others, now that a change is occuring in leadership in the US. Pelosi was recently on TV talking about leaving Iraq immediately. When challenged by the question, “Just because we think the fight is over doesn’t mean that our enemies do. If we leave while they’re still fighting, does that constitute ‘cutting and running’?” (paraphrased). Pelosi’s response was that we are the agressors, that they’re fighting because of us, and that if we leave Iraq, so will the enemy.

    I say that’s crazy. If we leave Iraq before the duly-elected democratic Iraqi government can defend itself, then the enemy (Iranian extremists) won’t leave, they’ll take over. And this difference in thinking is what worries me about San Francisco values.

    Pelosi’s values… Iraq was a mistake. We have to get out at all cost.

    Jeff’s values… Iraq was a mistake, but we’re there now so recounting history isn’t as relevant as winning. We have to win at all cost.

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  7. Neva says:

    Despite some big money in the hands of a few extreme liberals, that still isn’t enough to get someone with an extreme liberal agenda elected in most places. Again, I’ll point to the number of moderate to conservative democrats elected to congress because the party knew that a liberal agenda wouldn’t fly in those places and didn’t try to push it.

    I do realize it’s significant that people will vote for someone they don’t completely agree with rather than someone they completely disagree with. And yes, I have disapproved of a lot of things proposed and done by the current republican administration and congress. I don’t expect conservatives to be happy with what the democrats are going to try and do over the next two years. I just have a hard time believing it’s going to be as much of a disaster as you seem to be suggesting.

    And as I said in your thread about the new congressional agenda, I think that Pelosi’s views on Iraq are considered extreme by many democrats and that there won’t be the support for immediate withdrawal with no plans for leaving a stable nation in our wake. I think she has to say that’s what she wants to keep the extreme liberal base (and maybe the big money people like the ones you mentioned) happy with her, but I have a hard time believing that will be translated to reality. And for the record…
    Neva’s values… Iraq was a horrible mistake and poorly handled, but that doesn’t change the present reality of the situation, and that’s what we need to accept and deal with.

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  8. Brad Bull says:

    Wow, I’m gone for 2 days and missed alot.

    1. Cradle to grave – since you only specifically mention Universal health care, yes most liberals would support this as a right for U.S. citizens and not a priveledge for a few. As a positive, bankruptcy filings would probably drop by %50.

    2. Anti-military sentiment – maybe the most extreme liberals. Most mainstream liberals get this when what they have is an anti-war sentiment, which is very different.

    3. Legalized drugs – no brainer, extreme liberals support this. They are typically all about civil liberty and personal choice, and they would put this in that category.

    4. Unfettered abortion rights – The decision that gets most to this conclusion is not as cold and callous as you portray. This is a very difficult decision which is seen typically as a neccesary evil, individual’s right, or compromise at best. I was personnaly pro-life for about 5 years and it was a very difficult road that led me to be pro-choice. I have not had any personal experience with abortion (I imagine that would be a much tougher road).

    5. no comment

    6. Rehabilitation instead of punishment for criminals – Liberals obviosly don’t see this as an either or situation. Prison is punishment, and rehabilitation flows easily into this situation. As Neva mentioned, no one expects 100% success, but that does not mean it isn’t worth the effort.

    7. Gay marriage – “I can’t see how it could stop there (and not extend to bigamy, bestiality, etc)” I want to stay positive, but this is, by far, the most ridiculous statement you have made. I completely support gay marriage and I believe most liberals do as well. They also believe that this will not lead to legitimizing bestiality, bigamy, etc.

    Slavery also passed majority vote, I don’t think civil liberty is one of those things that can always be determined by vote.

    8. Open borders – I don’t know what you mean here. Rights for illegal immigrants or exporting democracy?

    “We’re rich; it’s our obligation to provide for those who aren’t. ” Very Christian statement, did you quote this or coin it yourself?

    9. Income redistribution – Robber Baron era and the Great Depression have show that some degree of this is needed in conjunction with capitalism. Many Republicans would agree with this value. I assume you are saying SFV would take this too far and destroy the economy? Is this an argument against a progressive tax system or welfare, WIC, etc?

    10. No display of religion in the public square – I don’t know about this one. Many liberals would say no publically funded display of religion. And no permanent displays of religion. I don’t know exactly how SFV, a majority of SFV view this.

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  9. Jeff Block says:

    1) Where does the constitution provide the “right” to lifelong medical care on taxpayer dollars?

    4) Regardless of how hard the decision is to get an abortion (and I don’t doubt that it is), saying a woman can get an abortion for ANY reason as late in her pregancy as she wants is abominable to me. Where are the rights of the baby considered?

    7) Do the people who support bigamy, bestiality, etc also believe that legalizing gay marriage won’t open the door to those things?

    8) Open borders = poor people from 3rd world countries have the RIGHT to come to the US and benefit from our prosperity. It’s the one-world-government philosophy.

    9) It’s an argument that liberalism and conservativism need each other to stay in check. Without liberal perspective, conservatism would let capitalism run wild and our society as we know it would be destroyed. Without conservative perspective, liberalism would make us a socialist state. People with SFVs *want* socialism because they consider it to be better than capitalism. More fair. I want moderated capitalism, rugged individualism, self-government, generosity, etc … all the things that made our country strong.

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  10. Brad Bull says:

    1. Where does it allow women the right to vote, end slavery, etc. These are near the end where it has been amended. Or we could just do it because it is the right thing to do.

    4. As I said, not an easy decision. We should be thankful we are not women and have never been in the situations that force this decision.

    7. They can believe whatever they want. The fact is that almost all sexual predators (pedophiles, bestials, bigamists) are heterosexual and are not comparable to homosexuals.

    8. I think even SFV believe in some controls on immigration, the level of control and restriction seems to be the arena of argument.

    9. There are socialists in the U.S., but I don’t think these are the same as SFV. They may be a subset, but since the U.S. has pushed civil liberties the socialist movement has largely died out. Native Son by Richard Wright is really enlightening on this topic.

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  11. Jeff Block says:

    1. I’m not going to address the comparison between “what homosexuals want” and “civil rights”. This is a much larger debate. Perhaps I’ll post on it in the future.

    4. So because we’re not women, we don’t have the right or are not qualified to discuss the legal and ethical implications of terminating the life of a child?

    7. How did we get on the subject of sexual predators? I’m simply saying that if we open up the definition of marriage to one alternative, then it’s only a matter of time before we have to open it to all kinds of other alternatives, given the constitution’s demand for “equal protection under the law”. And that isn’t even the core point. SFV’s simply believe that marriage is defined by the State, so the State should change it when it believes that’s the right thing to do. Many in the country do not agree.

    8. There are many who do not, or at least believe in controls so loose that they don’t matter. This stems from the socialistic belief that there is a finite amount of money that shuffles around from person to person. We are *lucky* to have so much of it here in America, so to be fair, we should share the wealth to all those who weren’t *lucky enough* to have it already.

    9. Have the values on this list come directly from the Karl Marx handbook. I just described one element of socialism that MANY people believe, without being able to articulate it. Although there may not be much of a formalized socialist movement, the principles of socialism are gaining strength, not losing it, in my opinion.

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  12. Brad Bull says:

    1) we were talking about lifelong medical care through taxpayers dollars?

    4) Where did you get this? Now who has the “bring a fight” read what you want attitude? I am saying this is a difficult issue for most people, and that difficulty doesn’t even come close to the difficulty of actually being in a situation where you need to make the decision.

    7) You made the comparison between homosexuals (who are not sexual predators) and bestiality, bigamy (who are typically sexual predators). As many times as you have complained of democrats using a slippery slope argument I am surprised to see you use one. I strongly feel most rational people would disagree with your argument here.

    8) Luck comes to play in where a person is born, if you and I were born in Iran I am sure our views would be different. The desire to help those less fortunate than ourselves is different than socialism. If anything it probably stems from our judeo-christian ethic.

    9) Many socialist beliefs are very admirable. The idea to take the best of these and incorporate them into capitalism has made us the stable power we are today. Tax exemptions, unemployment insurance, WPA, Social Security, almost any federal regulatory agency, these all augment pure capitalism to give us a strong and stable economy.

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  13. Eryn Bull says:

    Brad,

    Say what you will about the tenets of socialism, at least it’s an ethos. 🙂

    BTW, I think the book you are talking about in your earlier post is “black boy” not “native son”.

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  14. Jeff Block says:

    4. Brad, that’s exactly what you said. That’s where I got it. What am I missing?

    7. We have to back off this discussion. You’re misinterpreting me, but I’m going to take the time in another post to explain more fully.

    8. And precisely the point I’m making here is that those with SFV take “the desire to help those less fortunate” (which I have and I would hope everyone has) too far until they are much more socialist than I can be comfortable with. I don’t want those values in play.

    9. Some of this I agree with. However, keep in mind that socialism has never ever worked, because its idealism ignores human nature. Neither would pure capitalism work. You’re right in that “buffering” capitalism with some quasi-socialist principles has been a good thing. However, I do not think that social security has been one of those (or a few of the others you mentioned), but I’ll focus on this one (social security) … in another post.

    In the meantime, check out Bill O’Reilly’s “talking points memo” from 11/8. I actually just heard it this morning (I’ve been busy), and I think it says very well what I was trying to say about the concern that SFV could leak in now that the congress is controlled by the dems.

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  15. Brad Bull says:

    I might be missing a link but the only thing I saw in there was

    “But if the Democrats try to destroy Mr. Bush or impose San Francisco values, the country will turn against them. There’s no question in my mind.”

    4. I said we should be thankful we will not be in a position were we need to decide whether or not to actually get an abortion. I did not say, or imply, that we should not have a voice in the discussion.

    8. We have not defined “too far” so your argument here is relative. I would welcome a debate on what “too far” is and where the democratic position is relative to that.

    9. True, but we are a very long way from socialism. I look forward to the s.s. debate.

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  16. Jeff Block says:

    > O’Reilly

    The whole talking points memo was about this subject.

    4. Great point. My apologies.

    8. Agreed.

    9. See a new post on Social Security.

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