“The Exception That Makes the Rule”

The American Spectator just published an article by William Tucker, providing food for thought as we approach Tuesday’s election. As you consider his arguments, think about how Oregon’s Measures 49 and 50 would create similar protected and unprotected classes among property owners and taxpayers.

“What actually differentiates liberals and conservatives is not the end goals but how you arrive at them. Conservatives like to establish rules that apply equally to everyone. Liberals, on the other hand, like to establish a special case””learning disabled students, uninsured children, victims of discrimination, victims of “˜hate crimes'””and work from there. If there must be general rules that apply to most of society, then they are always going to be looking to create an exception”¦.

“The problem arises when exceptions are multiplied so many times that they become the rule””or, inversely, when we try to create a general rule for everyone by aggregating a gaggle of exceptions. Then the system is likely to dissolve into mayhem”¦.

“Equality before the law is supposed to be one of the great triumphs of modern democracy. If society is built on rules, then they should apply to everybody. Living by the exception only encourages everyone to develop their own exit strategy. The people who are harmed will be the ones who agree to play by the rules.”

Read William Tucker’s full article here.

By the way, your ballot must reach your county elections office by tomorrow at 8 p.m. This is one rule where trying to carve out exceptions may not work!

Kathryn Hickok is Publications Director and Development Coordinator at Cascade Policy Institute, Oregon’s free market think tank.