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[politics] The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice

I’m not convinced that the universe actually does bend towards justice, but there’s been a reasonable approximation of that here in the West since the Enlightenment. Other cultures, other paths, but that’s the one I’m familiar with.

When you look at the moral arc of the history of the United States, something almost startling very rapidly becomes clear.

When it came to slavery, conservatives were on the wrong side of history.

When it came to Jim Crow, conservatives were on the wrong side of history.

When it came to women’s suffrage, conservatives were on the wrong side of history.

When it came to child labor, conservatives were on the wrong side of history.

When it came to workplace safety, paid time off, and forty-hour work weeks, conservatives were on the wrong side of history.

When it came to the Great Depression, conservatives were on the wrong side of history.

When it came to the New Deal, conservatives were on the wrong side of history.

When it came to entering World War II to fight fascism, conservatives were on the wrong side of history.

When it came to racial integration, conservatives were on the wrong side of history.

When it came to interracial marriage, conservatives were on the wrong side of history.

When it came to the minimum wage, and every effort since to raise the minimum wage, conservatives were on the wrong side of history.

When it came to women’s economic independence and the Equal Credit Opportunity Act, conservatives were on the wrong side of history.

When it came to women’s safety on issues such as marital rape, conservatives were on the wrong side of history.

When it came to making healthcare accessible to as many citizens as possible, conservatives were on the wrong side of history.

Every single one of those issues was promoted by progressive reformers. Every single one of those issues was opposed by the conservatives of the day. Viciously so in many cases. Violently so in some.

Given the track record of conservatives over the past two centuries, why should we believe them now about gay marriage? Or equal pay for equal work? Or income inequality?

Why should we believe conservatives on any issue of social justice?

They’ve been on the wrong side of history every time.

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