Donald Trump and Ted Cruz have been going back and forth about “New York values.” Are values really geographically defined? Cruz probably does not mean to imply this; but the concept does.
Politically speaking, there is no conflict about the values required for survival. The central political value for everyone in New York, Texas or anywhere else is liberty.
Without liberty grounded in the individual rights of man, there is no air for human reason to breathe. Reason is the means by which people innovate, grow and sustain their lives. Liberty, including the private property and self-sovereignty of capitalism, is the only context in which humans can reason and think. That’s why innovation and wealth rise through the roof in free societies, while they wither and decline in authoritarian or totalitarian ones.
Human beings will always differ on many things. Cruz is correct that some prefer cities, while others prefer the countryside; some want traditional families while others, not so much; some prefer churches to art galleries, while others listen to rock or jazz instead of classical or Gospel music. But in the end, we all need liberty, whether we live in New York, Budapest, Melbourne, Tokyo or Beijing. We need it for ourselves, and we need it so the best and the brilliant may do their thing, and continue to raise the standard of living for all.
Presidential candidates should not waste precious time fighting about “Texas values” versus “New York values.” Instead, they should make the case for the right values, the ones we all require for survival — whether in New York or South Dakota.
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