I only trust those honest about their untrustworthiness
Posted by aogFriday, 15 October 2004 at 12:05 TrackBack Ping URL

Dean Esmay has a post about the Democratic Party misunderstanding the mindset of conservative Christians. The Kerry campaign seems to believe that conservative Christian will fail to turn out for President Bush if it becomes well known that Vice President Dick Cheney has a daughter who is a lesbian. Esmay claims that this is a bad misreading of the conservative Christian mindset. That’s worth reading on its own, but I found the comments against Esmay’s claim more interesting.

The basis for most of the counter arguments was the assumption or outright support for venality. I.e., that Cheney shouldn’t act politically on any principles, but only on what would be personally best for his family. I thought that was being venal but apparently it’s the standard of principle for some people today.

Exemplifying Esmay’s original point, the dissenters are completely dismissive of the idea that President Bush and Cheney might hold the positions concerning homosexuality from any principle. It is simply presumed that it’s pure political calculation (which in itself is odd, castigating a politician for taking a politically popular position).

At that point, Cheney taking a position that alledgedly harms his daughter1 is considered “selling out”. I thought holding to a political position even at personal cost was the principled stand. I wonder if the same logic would work if Cheney had given his daughter his Halliburton stock and then took positions that benefited Halliburton so as to ensure his daughter’s financial future. Or would Cheney be expected to act against his own family in that case? I suppose that if you don’t have any basic principles yourself except selfishness, it’s hard to grasp that others might.

1 Given that his daughter has the same position on the issue, it’s rather presumptious to claim that she’s harming herself.