Friday, March 9, 2012

Sandra Fluke -- a symptom of what's wrong

A few days ago, Conservative Rush Limbaugh raised a major fuss when he called Liberal Sandra Fluke a slut. Fans and opponents alike objected to such harsh terminology. He lost advertisers. Liberal commentators and alleged "news reporters" were outraged. Obama called Fluke to let her know he cared. Limbaugh apologized. Fluke rejected the apology. (Which is the adult, apologetic Limbaugh or defiant Fluke?)

Several months ago, Liberal Ed Schultz called Conservative Laura Ingraham a slut. Liberal Barbara Walters thought it was funny. Obama did not call Ingraham to let her know he cared. Schultz did not apologize although he got a week off without pay.

Alleged comedian, Bill Maher, called Sarah Palin an unprintable crude name. Obama not only failed to call Palin about the incident, he accepted a $1 million campaign contribution from Maher! Maher, as is his no-class style, is unrepentant.

Liberal Air America (out of business due to scandal and no audience) commentator Montel Williams suggested Michele Bachmann slit her wrists back in 2009. Where was the outrage? No apology. No call from Obama.

I recently was asked why anyone would even listen to Limbaugh. Another person in the conversation suggested that Limbaugh listeners don't think for themselves.

Well, I listen to Limbaugh and many other commentators. Yes, even liberals -- although I dropped Bill Maher because he is such a bitter, dishonest little soul (I have to wash my brain out with soap after listening to him).

I listen to varying viewpoints to learn, but I filter what I hear based on core principles that I hold. Consequently, I disagree with every commentator on some issues. I agree on others. Everyone I know who listens to Limbaugh is the same -- we do think for ourselves. The Maher listeners I know, on the other hand....

The political divide in the US today has its roots in a blanket rejection of the other guy's opinion, especially by leftists such as Bill Maher, Nancy Pelosi, Rachel Maddow, Chuck Schumer, Barbara Boxer, Henry Waxman, and Chris Matthews. Ironically, it is always the left that calls for bipartisanship (meaning the right must compromise its principles and move to the left). Consequently, government has steadily moved to the left -- government force -- over the past 100+ years. I reject such compromise. One must never compromise with evil or with force of government.

I, on the other hand advocate, and try to practice, listening to, and learning from, the other guy's viewpoint. That is why I listen to people I don't always or usually agree with. Limbaugh-haters ought to try it some time. They'll probably find a lot of common ground -- without the need for compromise one's principles -- and maybe even learn something.

I think I am better able to form sound and correct opinions when I'm open to a variety of viewpoints -- but not so open-minded that my brain falls out. I refuse to be the kind of person who fails a Jay leno Jaywalking civics test. Sadly, most voters in both major parties would.

That's why I often say, we need smarter voters.

But, the Limbaugh-Fluke fuss is only a smoke screen for the real issue: Using the force of government to impose the values and expenses of one segment of society on another.

Fluke's personal crusade is contraception. For many -- perhaps most -- people, birth control is not immoral. For many others, including practicing Catholics, it is immoral.

The Sandra Fluke vs Rush Limbaugh controversy stems from her demand that the university she attends -- a Catholic university -- provide her with free birth control. A practice which Catholics find to be immoral.

While birth control may not be immoral to most people, it is immoral to force Catholics or Catholic employers to pay for birth control. That is exactly what current government policy requires.

In fact, it is immoral to require anyone to pay for anyone else's bills -- including birth control or abortion, or for child care should contraception or abortion fail or not be used.

Fluke gained Limbaugh's attention because she was speaking (not under oath) to an informal all-Democrat partisan panel of congressmen (led by Catholic and liberal Nancy Pelosi) concerning her personal crusade -- birth control. She claimed that it would cost her $3,000 for birth control for her 3-year course of study in law. She needs her Catholic university to pay for it even though birth control violates Catholic values. It's a good thing she wasn't under oath because she didn't reveal that she could just head to the nearest government clinic or Planned Parenthood office (there’s one less than two miles from her school) for free contraceptives. She also didn't reveal that pharmacies at Walmart and Target sell oral contraceptives for $4 for a 28-day supply -- about $150 for a 3-year supply. But, revealing such resources does not fit her agenda -- to get the government to force a Catholic university to violate its own values.

So, why should Fluke be on a crusade to force a Catholic university to give her free contraception when it is already available to her at no or low cost? It's all about using government force to accomplish one's agenda.

It's way past time for people to take responsibility for their own behavior and their own bills. True, some people need help. But, it is way past time for people to stop expecting government to fix all our problems -- especially problems that are already resolved by a free market (eg low cost contraceptives at Walmart). If we all did that, there'd be a lot more money left in everyone's paycheck with which to be charitable -- maybe even give to the causes that Sandra Fluke believes in.
Would you be willing to give up your favorite federal program if it meant never having to pay the income tax again? — Harry Browne

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