As readers of this blog know, I frequently take issue with the various gay groups’ obsession with the notion of “equality.” In the last century, we saw how many advocates of this ideal sought to enforce it through the heavy hand of the state through regulations which limit the freedom of private enterprises and even individuals.
Reading today in the the latest collection of the Gipper’s writings,The Notes: Ronald Reagan’s Private Collection of Stories and Wisdom, I caught this note which gets at my discomfort with all this “equality” rhetoric:
The real Am[erican] idea is not that every man shall be on a level with every other, but that every man shall have the liberty without hindrance to be what God made him. The office of gov[ernmen]t is not to confer happiness but to give men the opp[ortunity] to work out happiness for themselves.
The policy, it would seem, would then be to eliminate laws which constrain our freedom rather than to enact ones which (supposedly) ensure our equality.
UPDATE: In the very next notecard quoted in the book, the Gipper takes on equality more directly, citing Edmund Burke:
A perfect equality will indeed be produced — that is to say equal wretchedness, equal beggary, and on the part of practitioners a woeful, helpless and desperate disappointment. Such is the event of all compulsive equalizations. They pull down what is above; they never raise what is below; they depress high & low together, beneath the level of what was originally the lowest.
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