|Winning by Losing||The Sub-prime Blame Game|
by Christopher Chantrill
March 04, 2007 at 1:42 pm
AMONG THE NUMEROUS issues on which Democrats are hypersensitive to criticismor as you and I might say, critiqueis patriotism. Do not dare question a Democrats patriotism, at least not like Vice-President Cheney:
"I think if we were to do what Speaker Pelosi and Congressman Murtha are suggesting, all we will do is validate the Al Qaeda strategy," the vice president told ABC News. "The Al Qaeda strategy is to break the will of the American people ... try to persuade us to throw in the towel and come home, and then they win because we quit."
Speaker Pelosi was having none of that:
"You cannot say as the president of the United States, 'I welcome disagreement in a time of war,' and then have the vice president of the United States go out of the country and mischaracterize a position of the speaker of the House and in a manner that says that person in that position of authority is acting against the national security of our country," Pelosi said.
That is odd, because a real Democrat ought to be proud of dissenting from the presidents policy, like Howard Zinn, who said back in 2002:
While some people think that dissent is unpatriotic, I would argue that dissent is the highest form of patriotism. In fact, if patriotism means being true to the principles for which your country is supposed to stand, then certainly the right to dissent is one of those principles. And if were exercising that right to dissent, its a patriotic act.
So why didnt Speaker Pelosi come right out and say it: I am dissenting from the presidents policy and that is the highest form of patriotism?
We know why she didnt. Despite the ingenuity of historian Howard Zinn Democrats arent patriots. They dont like patriots and they dont believe in patriotism. They quote Dr. Johnson out of context: Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel. They inveigh against aggressive nationalism, and its inevitable wars, just as they inveigh against religion and religious wars. They believe in supranational institutions like the European Community and the United Nations.
But Democrats know that Americans are patriotic, certainly Republicans and independent voters. They know that they cannot afford to be seen as unpatriotic. That is why the presidential nominee of the Democratic Party in 2004, Senator John Kerry (D-MA), opened his acceptance speech with a military salute and the words: Im John Kerry and Im reporting for duty.
The whole thing was as false as a three dollar bill. Democrats hate having to do stuff like that, but they know that they must, for they cannot afford to concede the patriotism thing to the Republicans.
Democrats are wrong about patriotism and the nation state, as they are wrong about many things. The nation state is not something to be ashamed of. It is a remarkable achievement. It is the largest successful attempt at human community that transcends blood kinship.
The stunning achievement of the nation state is to draw the boundaries of trust not with blood but with language, and then to pretend that we are all related by blood. We still use the language of blood kinship when we talk about the nation: mother country, spilling American blood, our American family, patriotism (from the Latin: pater, father).
Not only do Democrats not believe in patriotism, they also dont believe in dissent. Whatever Howard Zinn may say to his pals at TomPaine.com about dissent being the highest form of patriotism, dont try to practice dissent any time soon, at least not around Democrats.
Try to suggest that we should reform Social Security and see where it gets you.
Try to suggest that we should give parents the right to send their children to the schools of their choice and see where it gets you.
Try to suggest that maybe the best place for a child is with its married biological mother and father and see where it gets you.
If Democrats dont believe in patriotism and they dont believe in dissent, what do they believe in?
Oh yes. Equality.
Now there is a curious thing about equality. You could line up all the people in the world, share out all the goods in the world, and make everyone equal. But the next morning the world would be unequal again. Some of the people would have used their goods to start a business, and others would have blown it on a great big party. It is impossible to obtain human equality without the micromanaging power of government.
And thats the difference between Republicans and Democrats. Republicans want to use the power of government to control Al Qaeda. Democrats want to use the power of government to control Americans.
Which is more patriotic? You make the call.
Buy his Road to the Middle Class.
[The Axial Age] highlights the conception of a responsible self... [that] promise[s] man for the first time that he can understand the fundamental structure of reality and through salvation participate actively in it.
Robert N Bellah, "Religious Evolution", American Sociological Review, Vol. 29, No. 3.
[To make] of each individual member of the army a soldier who, in character, capability, and knowledge, is self-reliant, self-confident, dedicated, and joyful in taking responsibility [verantwortungsfreudig] as a man and a soldier. — Gen. Hans von Seeckt
MacGregor Knox, Williamson Murray, ed., The dynamics of military revolution, 1300-2050
Civil Societya complex welter of intermediate institutions, including businesses, voluntary associations, educational institutions, clubs, unions, media, charities, and churchesbuilds, in turn, on the family, the primary instrument by which people are socialized into their culture and given the skills that allow them to live in broader society and through which the values and knowledge of that society are transmitted across the generations.
Francis Fukuyama, Trust
[W]hen I asked a liberal longtime editor I know with a mainstream [publishing] house for a candid, shorthand version of the assumptions she and her colleagues make about conservatives, she didn't hesitate. Racist, sexist, homophobic, anti-choice fascists, she offered, smiling but meaning it.
Harry Stein, I Can't Believe I'm Sitting Next to a Republican
[T]he Liberal, and still more the subspecies Radical... more than any other in these latter days seems under the impression that so long as he has a good end in view he is warranted in exercising over men all the coercion he is able[.]
Herbert Spencer, The Man Versus the State
These emerge out of long-standing moral notions of freedom, benevolence, and the affirmation of ordinary life... I have been sketching a schematic map... [of] the moral sources [of these notions]... the original theistic grounding for these standards... a naturalism of disengaged reason, which in our day takes scientistic forms, and a third family of views which finds its sources in Romantic expressivism, or in one of the modernist successor visions.
Charles Taylor, Sources of the Self
Families helped each other putting up homes and barns. Together, they built churches, schools, and common civic buildings. They collaborated to build roads and bridges. They took pride in being free persons, independent, and self-reliant; but the texture of their lives was cooperative and fraternal.
Michael Novak, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism
For [the left] there is only the state and the individual, nothing in between. No family to rely on, no friend to depend on, no community to call on. No neighbourhood to grow in, no faith to share in, no charities to work in. No-one but the Minister, nowhere but Whitehall, no such thing as society - just them, and their laws, and their rules, and their arrogance.
David Cameron, Conference Speech 2008
As far as the Catholic Church is concerned, the principal focus of her interventions in the public arena is the protection and promotion of the dignity of the person, and she is thereby consciously drawing particular attention to principles which are not negotiable...
[1.] protection of life in all its stages, from the first moment of conception until natural death; [2.] recognition and promotion of the natural structure of the family... [3.] the protection of the right of parents to educate their children.
Pope Benedict XVI, Speech to European Peoples Party, 2006
No lesson seems to be so deeply inculcated by the experience of life as that you should never trust experts. If you believe doctors, nothing is wholesome: if you believe the theologians, nothing is innocent: if you believe the soldiers, nothing is safe. They all require their strong wine diluted by a very large admixture of insipid common sense.
Lord Salisbury, Letter to Lord Lytton
What distinguishes true Conservatism from the rest, and from the Blair project, is the belief in more personal freedom and more market freedom, along with less state intervention... The true Third Way is the Holy Grail of Tory politics today - compassion and community without compulsion.
Minette Marrin, The Daily Telegraph
In England there were always two sharply opposed middle classes, the academic middle class and the commercial middle class. In the nineteenth century, the academic middle class won the battle for power and status... Then came the triumph of Margaret Thatcher... The academics lost their power and prestige and... have been gloomy ever since.
Freeman Dyson, The Scientist as Rebel