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the congresswoman for the 14th Congressional District of California.
She has spent more than a decade defending consumers, assuring access
to health care for families and children, promoting American
competitiveness and protecting the environment.
legislate is to choose, and choices are made for the sake of values.
But what values should, and which values do, guide our legislators? And
why? Does the majority always rule? What attention must be paid to
deeply held religious values? Or deeply held secular values? Ken and
John discuss these issues with Representative Anna Eschoo (D-Cal).
How should we decide what
laws to pass? Should majority
even when they are legislating values? Ken thinks this results in
tyranny. What kinds of values are there? There are values that are
essential to democracy, e.g. education. Ken introduces the guest, Anna
Eshoo, congresswoman of the 14th district of California. Are we in a
culture war? What are the casualties like in a culture war? Is the
current political climate different than it historically has been? John
points out that certain issues have always been contested, such as
What happens when the legislature does not act to support values it
should? The Warren court ordering desegregation of the schools was not
legislated but it was certainly a social good. Should we follows
Rawls's principle that only reasons acceptable to any reasonable person
should be admitted when the government is involved? Eshoo thinks that
Rawls's principle is divorced from the way democracy actually works and
so is not applicable. Do we need to distinguish between public and
private spheres of values to allow the maximum number of citizens to be
engaged politically? Is liberty or democracy a more fundamental
American value? Eshoo thinks you can't let one take precedence over the
other. Both minority and majority desires are important.
Rawls thought that there was an overlapping consensus of opinion, a set
of things that everyone could agree on. Legislation could proceed from
that. Ken thinks that this is a problematic idea. Why should people
agree to set aside fundamental beliefs in order to engage each other?
Who is responsible for the divisions in society? Ken thinks the
political class exploits these differences to destructive ends. Should
people vote their values to the detriment of their economic status? How
can we not vote our values?
Shoales the Sixty-Second Philosopher
(Seek to 05:20): Ian
Shoales summarizes the history of Anthony Comstock's anti-obescenity