Monday, September 16, 2013
Liberal Post commentator uses Colorado gun-issue legislator recall as a reason to criticize hyperindividualism
E.J. Dionne has an important op-ed on p. A17 of The Washington Post Monday, September 16, 2013, “Colorado’s Morality Lesson”, or (online) “The Colorado recall’s morality lesson on guns,” link (web url) here.
Dionne gives some social science study results on the participation of voters on issues when they feel directly involved as to their own fundamental rights, and this helps explain why, in a low turnout, an extreme position on an issue like guns could hold the day.
But Dionne goes on to criticize hyperindividualism, particularly as it has evolved in a world of geographical individual mobility (which I experienced my whole working life, often moving), to online self-expression, which had started well before social media evolved (as I have proven myself). He mentions the loss of neighborhood solidarity that enabled a collective watch over (other people’s) children, and the sharing of common goals and values. From a liberal, we hear some moral posturing that reminds me of the “natural family” crowd.
Some fundamental psychological capacities come under examination. These include the ability to “see people as people”, as my own father used to lecture me, and how this fans out into being able to take care of other people when that is needed (not just because you created a baby). There is the question as to whether taking care of others means “taking care of your own” first. Not always. Consider the experience young people can get by going overseas for brief church mission retreats, or on first jobs (say, engineering in the underdeveloped world), or when in the military or Peace Corps.
The incident at the Washington Navy Yard continues to unfold this morning, but it will probably add to the intensity of the Second Amendment debate.
There’s a related posting on my “main” blog Dec. 18, 2012. When do we need to back off a bit on our “fundamental rights”?