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The constitutional scholar and director of the Madison Program at Princeton, Robert P. George, just posted a particularly provocative comment on Facebook. As you’ll see, Robby’s comment raises, and very definitely takes sides in, one of the permanent disputes in conservatism: liberty versus morality, or freedom from coercion versus the freedom to live in a decent society. To quote him:
Let me see if I’ve got this straight. The suits in the entertainment industry massively enrich themselves by marketing Lady Gaga to eleven year old girls, and we’re supposed show that we’re worldly, urbane, sophisticated people who haven’t the slightest concern about conduct like this. Then we’re shocked–shocked!–by drug use, provocative dressing, foul language, lewd conduct, meanness, and sexual promiscuity by tweens and young teens. Please count me among the simple, backward, unsophsticated hicks and rubes who think we should hold the entertainment business accountable the way we hold the tobacco industry and environmental polluters accountable.
Since “the way we hold the tobacco industry and environmental polluters accountable” is by way of laws, regulations, and fines–that is, by way of government coercion–Robby is calling here, if I’m reading him correctly, for expanding the government’s power over the music industry, television, and Hollywood.
Rob Long? Good people of the Ricochetti? What think?