It’s always instructive to hear how people in politics view themselves to justify their actions. Last week, Howard Dean and New York Times columnist David Brooks were among those who participated in a debate at Wake Forest University. The premise was that liberals occupy the “moral high ground,” and the pursuit of liberal policies will inevitably result in more moral outcomes than the pursuit of conservative policies. (I think you could easily disprove that just by comparing the Grammy Awards to the Dove Awards, but let’s keep this on a higher plain.)
There are some interesting quotes at the link, and video of the entire debate. But just as a preview, I think the wisest thing quoted was Brooks’ questioning of the entire premise. He said that thinking you occupy higher moral ground than people who disagree with you is a pernicious concept, and assuming you’re morally superior to other people is probably a sign you’re not.
The silliest comment: Dean’s argument that liberals aren't claiming moral superiority to conservatives, only that they hold the moral high ground. Right, big difference. Although to be fair, I have met a fair number of liberals who probably think it’s much better to occupy the moral low ground.