January 21, 2005


Bush's 'Conservative' Vision (Duane D. Freese, 01/21/2005, Tech Central Station)

Margaret Thatcher once said, "Europe was created by history. America was created by philosophy."

In his Inaugural Address on Thursday, George W. Bush essentially said that it was time for America to spread its philosophy of freedom to all corners of the globe.

For a man of deep faith and fervent conviction, that is hardly surprising. But the fact that Bush could couch that mission in terms that conservatives might grudgingly accept is a bit astonishing. Conservatism has always been less than ambitious in changing other peoples of the world. Yes, welcome the tired, the poor, the wretched of the Earth here, where they could use their freedom to build an ever greater nation; but spread it back to where they came?

Conservatives have had little interest in nation-changing. After all, when the liberal Woodrow Wilson went out to make the world safe for democracy, it was Republicans under Henry Cabot Lodge in the Senate who killed the League of Nations Wilson saw as vital to that task. Conservatives don't like the United Nations. They are hardly on speaking terms with the International Monetary Fund. They are deeply suspicious of the World Bank.

The United States as a beacon, fine; but spreading freedom will mean entangling new alliances. Why should conservatives consider that?

Well, technology.

One of the key points that isolationists of the paleo Right and mainstream Left don't seem to grasp is that our culture has so penetrated the rest of the world and is so ubiquitous that those who oppose it will properly feel themselves under assault even if we pretend to withdraw into ourselves.

Civilization and Its Enemies: Early in the 21st century, the United States finds itself in a tough position. It is hated by its enemies — and even its friends are often wary of U.S. motives. Lee Harris — author of “Civilization and Its Enemies” — argues that it is not America’s conservative traditions, but its tolerance and multicultural heritage that have predestined it to be the first among equals in defending civilization everywhere. (Lee Harris, January 21, 2005, The Globalist)

By failing to support the United States in its effort to offer liberal values to the rest of the world, the liberal cosmopolitans betray both liberalism and the cosmopolitan impulse — that is, the desire to treat all human beings as of equal moral worth regardless of any accident by birth.

Instead, they prefer to place their hopes in the fantasy of a community that will never exist, because it could never exist.

The burden with which any U.S. president and any administration will be saddled into in the foreseeable future is the horrible problem of being the dominant power in the contemporary world.That world has every reason to be fearful and distrustful of any power at all, much less the staggering degree of power that the United States currently possesses.

In short, we Americans are feared not because of who we are — but what we are. [...]

On the one hand, we do have too much power. On the other, we cannot have any less. This is the paradox that not only we must somehow learn to live with — but so must the world.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 21, 2005 11:32 AM

the Republican Party is changing its emblem from an elephant to a condom. The committee chairman explained that the condom more clearly reflects the party's stance today, because a condom accepts inflation, halts production, destroys the next generation, protects a bunch of pricks, and gives you a sense of security while you're actually getting screwed

Posted by: Beth at January 23, 2005 7:15 AM


Recall your Confuscious: if rape is inevitable, sit back and enjoy it.

Posted by: oj at January 23, 2005 9:16 AM