Western democratic ideals teach us values — liberty and justice — that where there is more liberty there must be less justice; that where there is more justice there must be less liberty; that this must be worked out in compromise, otherwise bloodshed.

The woke teach that our values are “social construction,” that compromise is treason, culture is a patriarchal conspiracy, truth is relative, nothing is funny, and anything we might say is offensive to someone, so better to say nothing until we check with them.

Trump teaches that our resentments are all that’s real.

“Interests” are not values; they are forces. They teach that the role of government is to facilitate business — preferably oil, technology, and weapons — and all humanist rhetoric aside, both parties seem to concur. Nobody comes to power without the “The Interests,” those who exploit exorbitant windfalls for themselves through permanent war and privation for millions elsewhere. Interests will lie to send your working class kids off to war.

Governments and media are insane because they are run by interests, not by values, and wherever interests collide, chaos and tyranny result. This going on around us now: the collision of interests, not of values.

Jimmy Carter taught that the organizing principle of American democracy is not business but human rights, and that one person’s rights are another person’s responsibility. This value scales out across all eternity.

Only human souls have values, and where values determine action, liberty and justice — life — are attained.

Tony Baker

St. Simons Island

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