How one responds to liberalism depends on the kind of liberalism that one is responding to. As I have said previously, liberalism comes in two forms: social liberalism and fiscal liberalism. Of the two, fiscal liberalism is easier to deal with, because even a social liberal can see the logic in insisting that able-bodied adults compete in a free market for the wealth that they want.
As stated before, social liberalism is born out of the desire to do anything that one wants without experiencing any unwanted consequences as a result. At times, dealing with social liberalism can be like navigating through a mine field. One misspoken word can easily be used against you.
An example of such a case is the 2012 controversy pertaining to Sandra Fluke, who was a student at Georgetown University’s law school. Fluke insisted that the school was harming female students by preventing contraception from being covered by health insurance offered by the school.
Fluke’s argument was flawed and could have been argued against, which is what conservative commentator Rush Limbaugh attempted to do. However, he put his foot in his mouth. Fluke’s social liberalism had to be dealt with in a tactful way, and there was nothing tactful about calling Fluke a slut and a prostitute. Limbaugh doing so resulted in his argument being tarnished.
So, what would be a tactful response to Fluke’s social liberalism? Well, here is what I would argue:
Georgetown University is a private Catholic institution affiliated with the Jesuits, and as such, it conforms to the teachings of the Roman Catholic Church, which, for religious reasons, is opposed to artificial contraception. No adult in the USA is forced to attend a Catholic institution, and no adult in the USA is forced to obtain health insurance from a Catholic institution.
There is no report of anyone forcing Sandra Fluke to participate in sexual intercourse. As a single adult, Ms. Fluke has chosen a lifestyle which includes sex outside of marriage, which, for religious reasons, the Roman Catholic Church is also opposed to.
As a single adult, Ms. Fluke wants to participate in sexual intercourse without experiencing a natural consequence called pregnancy and without experiencing the consequence of having to pay full price for contraception.
If a person can afford to pay tuition to attend Georgetown University’s law school, then a person can afford to pay for birth-control pills, which are quite cheap. According to Costhelper.com, “For patients not covered by health insurance, birth control pills typically cost $20 to $50 a month.”
Ms. Fluke’s predicament is a consequence of the lifestyle that she has chosen for herself.
So, why should a Catholic institution give up its freedom of religion in order to accommodate the chosen lifestyle of one of its adult students? The First Amendment should not be sacrificed so that adults can avoid the consequences of their choices.
While growing up, children often complain about unwanted consequences of choices that they make, and it isn’t unusual for children to blame others for those unwanted consequences. This blame game is to be expected from children, but it is distasteful when adults play it.
Currently, President Obama is playing the adult version of the blame game in regards to the upcoming budget sequester. The President is blaming congressional Republicans for the sequester, but as Washington Post journalist Bob Woodward has pointed out, the sequester was the President’s idea, and the President signed it into law. If the sequester takes effect, then that would be a consequence of the President’s choice to help create the sequester, because without his help, the sequester would not exist.
So, will the President accept responsibility for the consequence of his choice?
Well, you tell me.