Politics, Compassion and Rationality

When does compassion, respect for human rights and good sense justify the need for government intervention in the economy and on social issues?
I have tended to stay away from politics. However, the current climate compels me to speak out.
The Divide
The divide between conservative and progressive views has become more pronounced. Demagogues are on the rise, armed with scapegoating, lies and promises of a return to greatness, security and economic gain for their voting blocs.  
Conservative politicians are at odds with the federal government over laws to protect gay rights, voting rights, abortion rights, the right to use marijuana and taxing and spending in general. Large numbers of people deny human involvement in global warming, are creationists and are opposed to gay rights based on religious beliefs.

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