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- A tumblr site dedicated to the people and places that make up Oregon and Southwest Washington.
There is a fundamental difference between Republican and Democratic worldviews. When Republicans talk about government they are talking about a "they" that is trying to control "I/me/we." Republicans say, "Leave Us Alone," "Get Government Off Our Backs," "Small government, not Big government." It is the individual against an authority; a parent-child relationship ---get the 'nanny state' off our backs.
For Republicans, individual freedoms and private property rights are sacred; they defend the sacredness of private property rights over the welfare of a community or an ecosystem. So, the right of a polluter to do what they want with their property is a higher value than the right of the community to clean air and water. (There are deep roots to this 'sacred' private property right in Catholic Church papal declarations.)
When Chris Dudley says it is not the role of government to gauge how many people Oregon can sustain, he is expressing this view that the individual matters more than the community; let the individuals and businesses be free to do as they please, and good things will follow.
When Democrats are talking about government, they are talking about "WE the people;" they see government as a particpatory activity between adults. If We are making lousy decisions, then WE need to change and improve the way we make decisions.
Democrats recognize that there are choices individuals can make that have a serious impact on whole communities; so Democrats see a legitimate role for government regulations that protect air, water, food and maintain safe workplaces and communities. They see freedom and responsibility to community not as an either/or choice, but as polarities that must be navigated and balanced.
Democrats will say that there are limits to private property rights; individuals do not have the right to do harm to the well-being and sustainability of life in their communities.
With regard to population, a Democrat is more likely to say that WE, the people in a community through our government, must pay attention to the limits of our ecosystem---How many people can our potable and agricultural water system support? How much agricultural land must be preserved to feed our children (even at the cost of restricting housing developers income)?
Of course, in practice, there is a very wide range of behavior and policy choices that sits on top of these philosophical underpinnings, but the differences are significant.
posted 2 years, 8 months ago
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