A Lesson on Election Principles from the Left: Did Wright Get it Right?

I saw the following quotation this morning on Facebook:

I wish my moderate Republican friends would simply be honest. They all say they’re voting for Romney because of his economic policies, and that they disagree with him on gay rights. Fine. Then look me in the eye, speak with a level clear voice, and say, “My taxes and take-home pay mean more than your fundamental civil rights, the sanctity of your marriage, your right to visit an ailing spouse in the hospital, your dignity as a citizen of this country, your healthcare, your right to inherit, the mental welfare and emotional well-being of your youth, and your very personhood.” It’s like voting for George Wallace during the Civil Rights movements, and apologizing for his racism. You’re still complicit. You’re still perpetuating anti-gay legislation and cultural homophobia. You don’t get to walk away clean, because you say you “disagree” with your candidate on these issues.

- Pulitzer and Tony winning playwright Doug Wright

In the quest for finding a grain of truth amidst even the most confused of statements, I think Mr. Wright has something to offer my Catholic friends who lean Democrat.  Granted, “fundamental rights” has been misunderstood and misrepresented by the playwright.  For instance, health care and the “right to inherit” seem at the very least questionable as “basic human rights.”  Alas, such is the problem with modern rights language to begin with.  French jurist Michael Villey argued that the understanding of rights as a subjective entitlements was an innovation of the nominalist revolution and that it is Utopian, arbitrary, and ultimately sterile.  We see the fruits of this language every time someone like Doug Wright invents a so-called “right” out of thin air.  Then there is the misunderstanding of the nature of marriage, along with the misidentification of life choices with “personhood.”

Nevertheless, there is something important going on here.  There are some issues that are so important, so non-negotiable that they cannot be excused or outweighed by other matters of prudential judgement.  To suggest otherwise is intellectually dishonest.  There are deal-breakers when it comes to our ability to support certain candidates, and the Pulitzer winner’s comparison with slavery and racism is not entirely inappropriate.  In fact, I am glad to see this argument coming from the left.  Catholics have been trying to make this case for years, and the Democrats have typically shied away from this line of thinking.  Where Wright goes wrong is that this particular issue is not one of basic human rights.  However, I think we can take his assertion and reapply it to two basic human rights that are on fact guaranteed by the Constitution:

 I wish my Catholic Democrat friends would simply be honest. They all say they’re voting for Obama because of they believe his economic and policies are the best way to help the poor, and that they disagree with him on abortion and religious freedom. Fine. Then look me in the eye, speak with a level clear voice, and say, “A Tax structure and spending plan means more than fundamental civil rights, your right to practice your religion in the pursuit of truth, your right to not be forced to act against your conscience, your dignity as a citizen of this country, and the right of a child – a living, breathing human person – to live, which is a violation of his or her very personhood.” It’s like voting for George Wallace during the Civil Rights movements, and apologizing for his racism. You’re still complicit. You’re still perpetuating legislation that supports the killing of innocent human children and the dismantling of religious freedom upon which this country was built, and you are complicit in the culture of death. You don’t get to walk away clean, because you say you “disagree” with your candidate on these issues.

7 Responses to A Lesson on Election Principles from the Left: Did Wright Get it Right?

  • if I thought voting for Romney was voting to deny people ” fundamental civil rights, the sanctity of marriage, the right to visit an ailing spouse in the hospital, their dignity as a citizen of this country, healthcare, the right to inherit, the mental welfare and emotional well-being of youth, and their very personhood.” of course I wouldn’t vote for him. The thing is: NONE OF THAT IS TRUE.

  • Wright says :I wish my moderate Republican friends would simply be honest. They ALL say they’re voting for Romney because of his economic policies, and that they disagree with him on gay rights.”

    The “ALL” is the tipoff that this is written in an office without asking anyone about anything. This is a manufactured piece of writing apart from the usual language salad of the left. Either that or he only has one or two such friends (cf Pauline Kael). Come to think of it I just read that now 41% of US babies are born to unmarried women, another “right” celebrated by the Left. All of these are nothing more than components in the Leftist destruction of the family to exalt the State. Economic freedom, the family, a free press, and religion are all threats to the Leftists.

  • What Anzline said.

    No matter who wins, in four years, abortion will be legal and the Hyde Amendment, which blocks federal funding for most abortions, will be the law of the land.

    I count 5-6 votes currently on SCOTUS to strike down DOMA. Possibly 8. Gay marriage will be decided in the courts, not by the executive.

    The courts will strike down the HHS Mandate as applied to religious institutions. It will be 9-0.

    So, I vote on fiscal policy and foreign policy, because those are the most important things the President does.

  • By my count Michael Barone, Dick Morris and George Will have it as a landslide for Romney.

    This won’t be like Pernell Whitaker vs Julio Cesar Chavez back in ’93.

    More like Tyson vs Bruno

    3rd Round TKO !

    Believe it !!

  • I never heard of Doug Wright. I don’t think I could care less about Pullitzer. Finally, I wouldn’t go to most B’way plays, if they paid me.

    However, I got a “kick” out of both his deficit of humility and his infallible ignorance.

    I have a comment for self-proclaimed catholics that vote democrat: Do you really want four more years of this misery?

  • I honestly don’t get this “denying my personhood” rhetoric. Well I do get it, but it’s hysteria.

    i mean the same people who claim same-sex marriage is The Issue of Our Time, are the first to argue about how cohabitation really isn’t that big a deal, not everyone has to get married, marriage is just a piece of paper anyway, etc. etc.

    so what gives? Is it just that they need the “right” because otherwise America supposedly hates gay people, but whether or not they use it (nevermind people like Dan Savage and Andrew Sullivan who are not monogamous and advocate against it — just a small detail you see) doesn’t really matter.

  • Here’s a compromise that the people on Wright’s side will never accept:

    Homosexuals are not banned from adoption (this is already the case,) but heterosexual couples are given some form of preference. Catholic Charities is not forced to adopt to homosexual couples. Kids are not taught the concept of homosexuality/transsexuality in school at young ages. People acknowledge (which they already seem to do with the LGBT acronym, though it’s unclear how seriously the gay Left considers the bisexual part of this equation) that not 100% of homosexuality is innate, as seen with “hasbians” and bisexuals, and that for these people it is better to be in a heterosexual relationship as gender obviously has a much bigger impact on raising kids than race.

    none of this is possible if same-sex marriage is legalized.

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