This weekend in Washington marks the Values Voter Summit – a yearly conservative conference marked by speeches, panel discussions and seminars. There’s no shortage of hot rhetoric about how only right-wingers have “values.”
Just because liberal values are different from conservative values doesn’t mean we have no values. We have lots of values! We’re especially fond of equality. Personal freedom. Justice. Compassion. Taking care of the planet. Those are rock-solid all-American values right there. So pass the apple pie!
|Freedom, equality and justice are American values. (Micky/Flickr)|
In fact, I’d make the argument that we’re the REAL “values voters.” Here’s why:
Family planning saves lives. While conservatives fight to make contraception harder to get, we know the truth: Family planning is good for women, children, communities and whole nations.
Banning abortion doesn’t end abortion. At the same time they're cracking down on contraception access, conservatives have fought to make abortion harder to get through a series of laws at the state level. But outlawing abortion doesn’t end abortion. It just means more women die from unsafe, illegal abortions. Standing by and letting women die doesn't sound like very good values to me.
Women deserve equal opportunities. While conservatives like to talk about how important women are, much of the talk seems to be about women’s ability to become mothers and housewives. There’s nothing at all wrong with mothers and housewives – one raised me! But women should NOT be limited based on their biology. Women should pursue what makes them happy, whether it’s raising kids, or rocket engineering.
Protecting the planet for future generations is our sacred duty. You’d think that “conservatives” would be into conservation – but that doesn’t seem to be the case anymore. Climate change denial is only part of the story. Some conservatives seem ready to reject clean energy altogether.
So while the “Values Voters” have their weekend in the spotlight, don’t forget that we also have values. Awesome values. Let’s work to reclaim the word!