Today's news sheds a great deal of light on what it is that drives today's modern conservative. You know the type--anti-tax, small government, tea-bagging advocates for free enterprise, capitalism, and maximizing individual liberty. USA Today, in a story headlined "Health care bills tackle gender gap in coverage" (p. 5A), quotes Sen. Jon Kyl, defending his right as an American not to have to pay for mandatory maternity coverage, "I don't need maternity care, and so requiring that to be in my insurance policy is something that I don't need and will make the policy more expensive".
Kyl is a member of the Senate Finance Committee, which is currently engaged in putting the final touches on a health care reform bill. Also sitting on that committee is Sen. Debbie Stabenow of Michigan. Her retort to Kyl was, "I think your mom probably did".
Thus, we have it--writ small--the inherent disconnect between the two sides in this or any other debate in America over the role of government vis-a-vis what has been called the "common good". One side feels that a society is never more noble than when it harnesses the common treasure for the common weal. The other feels ennobled when the few are empowered to gather the highest possible percentage of the treasure unto themselves--even to the point of feeling resentful that a neighboring mother's labor might cost them a few dollars more for health insurance.
I know which kind of society I would not want to live in. I pray I never do.