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Trump, the 9th Circus, sanctuary cities, and the difference between liberals and conservatives

by Greg Krehbiel on 1 May 2017

Trump had some more bad luck in the courts last week. The 9th Circuit stopped his executive order imposing sanctions on sanctuary cities. Reactions from conservatives are very telling, in my opinion.

The news stories are all over the place about this ruling. Many of them don’t explain the legal issues and run straight to whether this is fair, or how it makes immigrants feel, or what it says about Trump’s first 100 days.

As I understand it (I haven’t studied it, so take this with a grain of salt), the legal problem with Trump’s order is that Congress — not the president — gets to put conditions on federal spending.

That makes sense to a conservative, because conservatives believe in all of the so-called “moral foundations,” including “authority.” I.e., from a conservative perspective, if Trump exceeded his authority then he should be stopped, even if his goal was worthwhile. Because authority matters.

Liberals don’t often see it that way. They tend to over-emphasize “harm” and “fairness” and don’t care much about the other moral values, which means it really annoys them when some policy they agree with is stopped because of some procedure … or something silly like the constitution or the law.

This sounds like an over-simplification. It would be child’s play to find alleged “conservatives” who don’t care about process and authority and are only concerned with getting their policies enforced.

In the same way, there are “liberals” who are all about enforcing the constitution.

This tells me that “conservative” and “liberal” are being used in different senses. You may very well have a politically liberal person who tracks with the conservative “moral foundations” profile, and vice versa.

But there’s another thing about these “moral foundations” that’s been bugging me recently.

People in rural areas, or more traditional cultures, tend to have the more conservative balance of moral guideposts (that is, they use all the foundations roughly equally), but people who move into big cities — and especially people who go to college or even live near college towns — tend to adopt the liberal version of morals, which underplays some of the moral guideposts.

It’s learned behavior. And I think the whole country is “learning” this.

So-called conservatives aren’t being conservative when they support a position they like that isn’t authorized by the law or the constitution.

My impression is that the constant indoctrination in schools, by mass media and by entertainment, has pushed people towards the liberal side.

2017-05-01  »  Greg Krehbiel