Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

In the ignorant fervor over public support for National Public Radio and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, I've been wondering what sorts of arguments could change the minds of conservatives. Indeed, this is a question that I've had with respect to many disputes between Democrats and Republicans - how do you convince someone who doesn't receive value from some public service that the public service is valuable, nonetheless?

And I then recalled this little clip that a friend showed me last year. In 1969, seven minutes of Fred Rogers' testimony before the United States Senate changed the mind of a least one prominent Republican, securing at least one year of funding for and establishing a public belief in the value of public broadcasting. The video, really, is quite moving. The key, though, is that at its heart, the defense Rogers' explicates just how something could be valuable, even though no one who would vote for its funding would ever benefit personally from it.

If we have any conservative readers, I'd be interested in your reactions especially.

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