I am not sure I agree with C.J. Reid's article at HuffPost, in which he argues that progressives should adopt the language of social utility in arguing for causes dear to our hearts. He notes that, " Progressives must never abandon appeals to fairness and concern for the vulnerable when advocating on behalf of sound public policies. But we must also bear in mind that many in our audience have been conditioned, through years of exposure to appeals that pander to the selfish side of human nature, to ask what a particular policy can do for them. " It is important to emphasize the word "never" in that first sentence. But, that said, there are times in public discourse when we must confront arguments that are not about first principles, and he is right to suggest we arm ourselves for those debates.
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