Texas Liberal

All People Matter

Private Vice Becomes Public Policy

In his 1797 farewell address, George Washington said public virtue cannot succeed in a climate of private vice. In a very different time, Lyndon Johnson echoed the same sentiment in a speech to southern Baptists in 1964.

In the years between Washington and Johnson, this concept evolved for the good. President Washington had in mind a more limited idea of the behavior of individuals of a certain class. President Johnson was talking about public policies for the good of millions of Americans of all colors. These policies would be pursued by government in an age of mass politics. 

In 2006, we know that private feelings have a strong impact on public policy. The private greed and fears of our fellow citizens finds ripe expression with George W. Bush and the Republican congress. 

The best impulses of people today are not reflected in current public policy. Yet despite these disappointing times, liberals should not forget that millions of Americans share a personal belief in a just and fair nation and in a government that works to help people. 

We will bring about this better nation with strong faith in our beliefs and with hard work.  

September 5, 2006 Posted by | Best Posts 2006, Books, Politics | Leave a comment