Letter writer Kevin Palmer (“President owed an apology,” May 28) seeks to use the president’s “evolving” views on same-sex marriage as a springboard to draw an analogy between 19th-century Malthusians and modern conservatives.
This indicates how little he understands conservatism. The Robert G. Ingersoll quote cited in his letter would be roundly denounced by the overwhelming majority of conservatives; moreover, remarks made by no less notable a conservative than Ronald Reagan would seem to stand in diametric opposition to its sentiments:
“Protecting the rights of even the least individual among us is basically the only excuse the government has for even existing.”
“If we love our country, we should also love our countrymen.”
“Welfare’s purpose should be to eliminate, as far as possible, the need for its own existence.”
“I know in my heart that man is good. That what is right will always eventually triumph. And there’s purpose and worth to each and every life.”
While I have no doubt that Mr. Palmer could find some extremists on the right who would agree with his quote, I am equally confident that he could, with a little research, produce no small number of extremists on the left who would also agree with it. I’ve certainly heard similar sentiments from the population-control and extremist environmentalist segments of the left.
I recommend that Mr. Palmer take some time to study actual conservative thought, so that in future he will not have to resort to quotes from unrelated philosophies in the making of his point.
Catherine S. Minor