Tuesday, Sept. 11, 2012 | 2:02 a.m.
The Sun’s Sunday editorial, “A real choice this fall,” frames the upcoming election around “Americans’ view of citizenship,” saying that we can choose “candidates who can work together, or ... political divisiveness.” For the first two years of this presidential term, Democrats had complete control of the government, and they had no thought of working with Republicans.
This election is not about “Americans’ view of citizenship.” It is a contest between two basic sets of beliefs about the moral value of compassion.
Democrats believe in unbounded compassion for whichever group is less prosperous, powerful or healthy: poor over rich, workers over business owners, the unhealthy over the healthy.
The liberal article of faith is that the underdog is virtuous and deserving. But unbounded compassion sends the message that some groups have a claim on the ability and labor of others.
Republicans believe in compassion for anyone who cannot take care of themselves: the handicapped, infirm and helpless. For everyone else, they uphold the freedom to think and act as they choose, within the limits of laws that protect life, property and opportunity, the right to the rewards of their labor, and responsibility for their actions.
In the upcoming election, Americans will choose between boundless compassion, and the claims of entitlement it engenders, and compassion weighed against economic realities, fiscal prudence and the well-being of future generations.