In his Newsday article entitled "When it's personal, the right veers left", Ellis Henican discusses what happens in the conservative mind when life gets a little messy:
Nancy Reagan supports stem-cell research after her Ronnie gets sick.
Dick Cheney opposes the gay-marriage ban after his daughter comes out.
Rush Limbaugh is suddenly an advocate of treatment - not prison - for people addicted to narcotics. Oh, I almost forgot: The epiphany comes while Rush is being investigated for drugs.
The list goes on and on: prominent conservative figures, forced to question some sweeping social principle, after being rudely interrupted by the messy realities of life.
Sometimes I think the failure of compassion is really a failure of imagination. Right wing idealogues just can't imagine the possibility that something could happen in their lives such that they would need to be a little flexible in their approach to social issues. They just can't imagine that someone they love might be hurt by rigidity and judgment. They just can't imagine that they or a loved one might become catastrophically sick or disabled and need a social safety net. How to raise consciousnesses among such people? I don't know. I really don't know. But I do commend this article to you. It's ironic. And so true.