Monday, June 28, 2004

Federalism for an Analog World

Andrew Sullivan's latest article takes a pragmatic view of marriage rights and how a federalist system allows for social change without he jarring shock of an all-or-nothing decision. The best that I can say is right-on, I haven't had any coffee yet this morning and the wheels have yet to start spinning.

Like everything else in the world, rights can be included in a cost/benefit check. Would you value a given right enough to move to another place that offers it to you? You would have to weigh it against all of the other factors involved in moving: would your carreer take a hit? Would you leave family and friends behind? Would you tolerate the weather where you are going? Essentially, it all comes down to how much you are willing to pay for that right.

This is not to say that if one chooses not to pay by moving that one should forever surrender the hope for that right. One could pay for the chance of having the right by continuing to be active in bringing it about in their locality. The cost there is time spent lobbying and probably the hostility of those who oppose you. Hopefully we are more enlightened now than in the time of the Freedom Marches when the law looked the other way as crimes were committed against those who rallied for justice.

As for those on the ban-it-everywhere bandwagon, you too would have the freedom under a federalist system to move yourself to where your marriage would be protected from those who would corrode the institution (how it would be corroded, I don't know). For your sake, I hope you like either humidity (Deep South) or snow (rural Northwest).


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