By Howard Towt

President Obama gave a speech in Osawatomie, Kansas this week in which he beseeched the American people:

“We are greater together when everyone engages in fair play, everyone gets a fair shot, everyone does their fair share.”
The speech opens a new campaign theme. President Obama wants to help Americans do what is fair.

That is certainly a compelling theme, but there might be unintended consequences. While Americans are reflecting on fairness, they might stumble across its central tenet:

Fairness is relative.

There are always three aspects of fairness: what is fair for the individual, what is fair for the identity group, and what is fair for the rest of society.

The censure of Representative Charles Rangel (D-NY) showcases these different aspects. Representative Rangel had a very personal impression of the fairness of censure, while the identity groups associated with the House of Representatives and the Congressional Black Caucus had their opinions as well. There were also the viewpoints of those in the overall population with an interest in the Rule of Law. Which of these was the fair approach?

While considering that dilemma, note how the President’s speech also ties into the notion of Authoritarianism. When there are conflicting points of view on fairness, people are drawn to “the strong horse.” We look to an influential group to be the tiebreaker.

In that context, we are now hearing a message about a broken system that needs authoritarian figures to help us achieve fairness.

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the Democratic Party and President Obama are ready to fill that void.

(Ed's Note: Residing in Colorado, Howard Towt blogs at Anti-RepublicanCulture.com)


  1. Or put another way, fairness is subjective.

    And in the view of liberals reality as subjectively interpreted by liberals is the fairest of the fair.

  2. "fairness is subjective" Funny that comes to my mind also...
    Is it fair that those that work hard to be forced to support those that choose not to work?
    Is it fair that We the people do not want the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act must begin paying for it before they receive it?
    Is it fair that a president can engage in preemptive attacks based on uncorroborated information when We the people must confirm an attack before defending them selves?
    Is it fair that We the people must pay for bail outs when members of congress may have a vested interest?!
    Is it fair to say that We the people are now living under the worst president in US history?

  3. Thanks for the link, Tim.

    Here in Colorado, we have redistricting in progress, based on the latest 10-year census. The reapportionment plan going before the Colorado Supreme Court is based on a map submitted by the Democratic Party.

    President Obama might see this as "what is fair," but there are a lot of Colorado Republicans who don't agree.

    "Fairness" is all good when you are setting the rules. When you are on the opposite side of the issue, not so much.


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