Quote Of The Day

Ken @ Popehat, in a very good post related to general nanny-state-ism and the potential legalization/decriminalization of prostitution:

I think that if you are going to tell someone what they can or can’t do for their own good, you ought to hear what they have to say about it, and look them in the eye when you tell them.

It’s part of a wider point about seeing the individual, not just the abstraction, when you start talking about public policy. Some people have the courage of their convictions to look someone in the face — possibly someone they love or care about — and tell them “if you do X, you deserve to go to jail”. But most don’t. Most can’t get to know someone and then still threaten them with a jail sentence for a victimless crime. It’s a lot easier to make an abstract decision in a voting booth about abstract “groups” of people, and it’s something that we all need to guard against. Public policy decisions affect very real people in very concrete ways; they are not merely abstract principles.

  • MingoV

    The general public looks at groups or behaviors abstractly. Their political representatives look at voters abstractly. The lawmakers are two abstractions removed from the real people affected by their legislation.