Betrayal, Part 2Thanks to all the folks who offered comments on Pt. 1.
Traditionally, at least in my experience, liberals have been the group to care about the power of the "other" or the group (as opposed to conservatives, who care about the power of the one). Some of its political and social philosophies include espouse raising children in a "village", having a federal government that has a lot of control over the things we use to live our lives, and promoting fairness and equity among the people. This is what brought about the rise of affirmative action and welfare - giving other people a helping hand to improve their status in life and in turn hopefully making them productive members of society, and also "political correctness" - recognizing that tact and fairness as a virtue affects us all. Liberals also seem to gravitate more to the arts and humanities in school, appreciating the relative lack of a rigid social structure that traditional conservatism offers, and they enjoy enhanced opportunity for self-expresion without boundaries of orthdoxy. Civil liberties based on personal freedoms and self-expressions are hallmarks of liberal causes. Criminals don't deserve to die for their crimes - vengeance killing breeds more killing.
Of course, socialism and communism political philosophies creep into the groupthink of a lot of liberals, based on the sharing of property and other reasons. This is a big reason so many socialist and communist groups seem to be supporting and financing the anti-war movement. However, where socialism and communism seem to fail the true liberal test is when it comes to a communities right to self-determination. The group should determine as a group the directions and decisions they make. A hallmark of democracy.
Again, liberals are about the "other", and the group - believing that when the group accomplishes great things, these great things are reflected on the individual. After all, accomplishments don't happen by themselves - they happen because of the hard work and dedication of the individuals who make up the group. I believe conservatives have a reverse, but equally valid philosophy -- and correct me if I'm wrong in interpreting this, folks -- that when the individual is able to accomplish great things, then the whole is stronger. The individual accomplishments are more worthy of celebration than the group's, since it is the individuals that make up the group. See, they have the same goals, but the ways they get there are different.
So how does this relate to the anti-war movement?
- One would think the prospect of liberation - the liberation, mind you - of the people of Iraq would make liberals giddy. After all, a group of people is throwing off the yoke of oppression, and gaining the ability for self-determination. Of course, there would be sceptics of the US's position RE: post-war plans, but their voices would keep the administration on its toes.
- One would think the prospect of protecting the group - in this case Our Group - from the horrors of WMD's by removing them from an evil dictators hands would be pleasing as well. The group is protected! By the government no less? And, plus, like I said before liberals want to physically help those who can't help themselves - the Iraqi people, and others - by protecting them from WMD's that may fall into terrorist hands.
- One would thing liberals would recognize how money can corrupt people into doing things they normally wouldn't do - look at how the losses of Iraqi income seem to have influenced the governments of France, Germany and Russia. You'd think liberals would be massing in the streets protesting the hypocrisy of Chirac and Putin for their reasons to oppose this war.
Which leads me to the concept of betrayal. I feel that for some reason, liberals in the US have latched onto the idea that Saddam Hussein really isn't (or wasn't) as powerful as we say he is, that he either doesn't have WMD or if he did he destroyed them or wouldn't let them be given to terrorists, that he can be contained, that a war of liberation could somehow be described as "pre-emptive" in the same way Iraq's invasion of Kuwait could be, or the Russian invasion of Afghanistan was "pre-emptive". They believe that Saddam has no connection to Al Quaeda/9-11, when it's not an actual link that's important, it's that fact that his activities and beliefs mirror the ones of the terrorists and are very similar.
I've also made clear on here before a large number of anti-war protestors are pacifists, and oppose conflict of any kind.
I don't think any of these aforemention beliefs most liberals seem to hold regarding the war ring true. I find it especially difficult and galling to understand why the liberation of a horribly oppressed people can't help but pave the way for a Democratic and free Iraq. And this will be a shining example to the rest of the Middle East that democracy works, freedom works and liberty works.
But Liberals persist in their accusations, their protests, their sit-ins, their work-ins, their close-mindedness and their shame.
It's difficult to listen to talk radio and hear people spouting off about "The liberals are all against the war and are all commie pinko peaceniks". I think, "But..I'm a liberal - I'm proud to adhere to this philosophy - but I believe like you do, I care about the people of Iraq and bring stability to the region and ensuring our safety. You're insulting me, but I don't deserve it - I'm on your side on this one!"
And this is why I feel the Liberals who protest, who disrupt the normal workings of a city and show horrible violent civil disobediance (Thoreau would be ashamed), and who feel so strongly that we threaten the Iraqi people they volunteer to become human shields - I feel they've betrayed me and betrayed the true liberal philosophy. In some ways now I feel a bit lost. I'm definitely not a conservative - I don't think that way. But liberals seem to have redefined the philosophy to fit their own ends. Democratic politicians show their true colors as political animals only and suddenly become anti-war as well. Not because they suddenly have a new philosophy, but because their liberal constituents might get mad and not vote for him for reelection (Republican politicians would, of course , do the exact same thing).
So here I am, betwixt and between.
And I can't stay silent any more. I would hope any who think as I do would speak out themselves in compassionate opposition to the hijacking of our philosophy, and admonish these new liberal fundamentalists that create so much media attention, demand air-time, and distract from the liberation in the minds of the American People. We are a nation divided when we should most be united.
I'd ask you to remember where you came from, and what brought you here. Don't fall for the false facts of others - dig into the data, find out things for yourself. Speak out, don't be silent - discuss, argue civilly and don't rely on others to tell you what to think. Be true to yourself and your soul. Your children are listening.
P.S. That's all I can manifest out of the deep dark pit at the moment. I may come back to this and follow up as other thoughts strike me (or in response to comments). Right now that's all the coherant thoughts I can rub together at one time.