Thursday, February 16, 2012

Margaret Wente Gets It Right--AND Wrong

She writes re the government's internet suveillance bill (which is supposed to help cops nab kiddie porn pervs, but which, in a free society, is way too intrusive):
I wish governments would stick to collecting taxes, managing the economy and trade talks with China. But they never do. Invariably, they try to improve society by imposing their values on us. Conservatives think they can improve society by getting tough on crime and cracking down on drugs. Liberals think they can improve society by enhancing social conditions and easing up on drugs. Conservatives believe in authority and justice. Liberals believe in equality and fairness. Conservatives believe in the police. Liberals believe in human-rights commissions.
We need both sets of values to maintain a strong society. But both sides feel a need to demonize the other. Each regards the other as fundamentally misguided, probably morally deficient. If you ask me, what we really need is a law that makes it illegal to compare anyone in Parliament to Hitler.
Actually, that's probably the last thing we need (and rather a strange request to make when you're arguing in favour of freedom, no?).

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