One of the meanings of conservatism in politics is to ensure that no one gets as much as the good conservative possesses. I use the word good ironically. The real debate between liberals and conservatives is on this very point. How much should those with power cede to those without it? How much do have-nots “deserve”?

Those who believe the answer is that all should be treated equally are what might be called good liberals. No irony intended. Conservatives willing to concede that denying Equal Access is wrong are on the threshold of decency. Conservatives (and Libertarians) who do not unconditionally favor equal access are shy of a proper ethic.

A slippery slope

It is a Slippery Slope from denying equality to favoring measures that intensify harm already done by denying equal access and rights. Denizens of this realm appropriate language that sounds universal but is in fact excluding and demeaning. Orwellian doublespeak becomes rife.

At the bottom of the slippery slope are those who claim not only philosophical but religious reasons for their position.

Jesus was the ultimate egalitarian, going so far as to counsel giving enemies first place. He identified with the most disgusting and unlovable human beings in any crowd.

The truth does not favor inequality

The truth of Christianity is not what conservatives say.

Nor is it what Nietzsche said.

Nietzsche argued Christianity was at fault because it played on resentments and denied the vitality and robustness of real life in the world. It is hard to say whether Jesus, from this distance, was a strapping life-affirmer. But he certainly was not resentful.

Jesus correctly perceived

Jesus was an iconoclast, a hard-nosed prophet and an egalitarian when it came to women.

Even if you take refuge in Albert Schweitzer’s dictum that Jesus will be forever unknown, the conservative sense of Jesus is simply not in the ballpark of possibilities. A correct perception is either ignorance or acknowledging clues that scholars now acknowledge almost universally.

Hating democracy

Hatred of Democracy is rife in the United States.

It is not acknowledged but it is the case. A Harvard study suggested earlier this year that half of affluent millennials would be OK with a military government. The post 9/11 world has raised all sorts of questions about globalism and democracy. It is a battle between the past and the future.

Those who deny equality deny the basic tenet of democracy – our equal created state, whoever we may be. The two-party system should be about resolving this real issue, not making believe it is not our fundamental problem.