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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
Monday, December 29 2003

Jon Kennedy, webmaster

Some responses to 'frames of reference' series

Since my lament on Friday that there had been virtually no response to my series comparing today's conservativism with liberalism after the first installment, I got one not-for-attribution reply that explains the writer's view on my question.

First of all...for a debate to be worth anything and even maybe a little enjoyable, the opposing parties should be on even ground. ...What kind of response to your series did you expect? ... I have very strong and opposing ideas to your "Right is right"...black and white vs shades of gray...us against them positions, but you couldn't pay me to debate you in "public" or anywhere else for that matter.

I welcome the opportunity to speak to these points.

Even ground: As I understand the American political system, debates need not be on "even ground." The electorate often chooses the candidate who shows more common sense over the one with more formal schooling and highfalutin vocabulary. Sometimes it chooses the better looking candidate, the one with the better sense of humor, or the one with the more attractive set of promises. But to opt out because you're not as much one of these or the others as the other guy is to lose, at least the opportunity to make one's own point, if not the whole campaign.

Kind of response I'd like: Plain, honest, from the heart.

Right is right: I suspect the writer means I'm saying that the conservative ("right") side is always the correct one. On the contrary, I made numerous qualifications in the series to make the point that I do not hold that opinion. The comparison between the two sides of the debate was focused on where the conservatives are right and the liberals are not (where the latter are right is for those who own up to be liberals to state, not me). But I never said the liberal side is always wrong or always inferior.

Black and white vs shades of gray: Again, I've never held to the position that there are no shades of gray. Some things are right, some things are wrong, and some things are more wrong and others are less wrong, some are more right and others are less right. Some sinners (David, the shepherd-king) find great grace through repentance and a fresh start; others are never penitent nor forgiven (Pharoah; Jezebel and Ahab). Some commit great sins (the brothers who sold Joseph into slavery), yet end up the fathers of the great nation of Israel. There for your consideration, for starters, are three shades. In all fairness, who has been seeing my views in nothing but black and white?

Us against them: No, not "them." Their positions, often, their tactics, sometimes, must be rejected, but their persons, no. I'd never say that.

Webmaster Jon Kennedy 


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— Immanual Kant

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