Political beliefs turned upside-down

Mayor Thomas Donaldson of Stirling, Wisconsin faces a number of fascinating issues in his small, moderately conservative, moderately religious town, not the least of which is the occasional friendly opposition of his liberal feminist wife, Daphne. But nothing shakes him as much as the news from his Yale-educated daughter that she is having gender-reassignment surgery. At the start of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, I’m thinking about how timely the theme of ONE FOR THE ARK–due out in galleys in August and officially in September–is: in small town Wisconsin, the Donaldson’s face big life issues. Our political beliefs can get turned on their head when those issues become personal. For me, politics is about what I believe serves the highest good for the most people while preserving as much as possible of our individual freedom; just because I believe in something or not doesn’t mean I have the right to impose that belief on others absent a community-based reason (e.g. outlawing murder and theft) to do so.

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