The moral minority: Should Republicans stop preaching and win?

Since most laws are based on values, some of which seem arbitrary (why is .07 legal, but .08 is not?), the implications of a “Who are we to judge?” mentality is intellectually dangerous. Even the prohibition of horrific acts like rape and murder that we, as a society, view as malum in se — things that are obviously evil and should be prohibited — could plausibly be viewed as the imposition of someone else’s values or morals or religious views on others.

To get around this trap, many libertarians hew to something called the Non-Aggression Principle — which sounds good in theory, but which opens its own pandora’s box of ethical conundrums. Similarly, some conservatives stress a federalism position, which argues that these sorts of decisions ought to be decided by the state and local government. While I am sympathetic to these points, one can’t help but suspect the recent popularity of the latter has more to do with escapism than it does with state sovereignty or the principle of subsidiarity.

Politics is messy, and there seems to be no easy way around having to make tough choices that will offend someone.

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