Seeking the Balance in the American Psyche
Summer means heat, vacations and, this year, politics. President Barack Obama is scheduled to make a couple of fundraising stops in Austin tomorrow. Texans head to the polls in a couple of weeks for primary runoff elections.
Politics is always good fodder for friendly and sometimes not-so-friendly debates. One favorite topic is the tension between individual liberties and the greater community good. Liberal political columnist and commentator E.J. Dionne says throughout much of America’s history, we’ve been able to balance those desires pretty well. But he told KUT’s Jennifer Stayton that things have gotten out of whack a couple of times.
Most of us have within us these twin yearnings, that we all believe in liberty — the whole notion of the word “liberal” comes from the word “liberty,” and conservatives talk about liberty a great deal. But we also don’t live our lives as if liberty is the only thing that matters: We live in communities, we care about communities most of us care about other people. Even if we say that in politics we don’t want to be bleeding hearts, there’s a little bit of bleeding-heart in all of us.