Saturday, June 28, 2008
Rick Moran and Peter Beinhart have posted excellent commentaries on the distinction of conservative and liberal views on patriotism. While I find much to argue about, Rick is to be congratulated on this post, and Peter as well on his. Taken together they define a sound basis for agreement on the essential love of country, and the needs for veneration of the good in the past, critique of the present, and what our future should entail.
There is the rub, however! The ideals for the future between the conservative and the liberal are poles apart on so many issues—to name one: equal opportunity versus equal outcomes. These two concepts are fundamentally incompatible, resting as they do on reward for enterprise and initiative on the one hand, and economic and social leveling and collectivism on the other. Human nature is not so malleable.
So is it true for security of the nation in this time: treating Islamic terrorism as an external threat to the nation requiring bold action, versus treating terrorism as merely a police matter not causing us to entertain much of any action except after the fact of a terrorist attack!
So is it true for poverty, secularism, morals, and the other issues of abortion, same sex marriage, and certain limits of freedom for the common good.
Thus, the question arises strongly in the minds of conservatives as to the real, true patriotism of those who would take our future into regions of thought, action and situations that we do not understand, and do not believe to be right for America—or for any people.
It is one thing to critique the truly bad situations in the nation, but it another to use those situations as a wedge to realize a political objective such as serious movement of the nation further toward socialism or communism, neither of which any conservative could possibly stand or permit without a fight.