“DADT” is about the obligations of the individual, turning policy inside out

The primary focus of my “Do Ask, Do Tell” books and blog posting chains is, how should the individual who perceives the self as somehow different or special, behave and be expected to behave?

I’ve turned the usual paradigm for talking about policy inside out, like an opposite-field hitter in baseball.

The usual way of asking a policy question is, what will work, and what will be “fairest” to all?  Usually that degenerates to, what policy serves the interest of the voter base who put someone in power?

But it’s also true that a reasonable and fair outcome depends on the behaviors of individual people, whether people in a position of some unearned privilege will chose to do what they must.

Generally, the more people will make the “morally right” choices (which really are completely open choices) the less the government needs to intervene.

For example, we say we value all human life.  But we expect some people to take some risks for the good others.  Look at services ranging from volunteer fire departments to the military.  Think back at how the draft used to work.

We usually talk about health care policy in terms of what is “fairest” to the greatest number.  We have to provide services, we have to pay for them, and we have to get people to pay for services given to others that they have very little chance to benefit from, or else pay for them through taxes, as a public good (which practically all western countries find necessary).

But if we depend less on taxes or compulsory mechanisms (like mandatory insurance for unwanted coverage), then individuals need to step up to need.  Sometimes this means intervening in unusual ways, in an individualistic “mind your own business” world.  Sometimes it means accepting ties that seem silly or gratuitous.  Sometimes it means belonging to groups and internalizing their goals as if they were partly one’s own, and accepting the outcome for the group, and the authority of the group, in place of one’s own direction.  It has to get localized.

A person who takes undue advantage of the covert sacrifices of others and doesn’t own up to this when needed, generally faces consequences and is likely to lose it to the wrongful actions of others.

(Posted: Thursday, May 11, 2017 at 10:15 PM EDT)


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