An example of the unprincipled exception

At the funeral in June 2003 of 13-year-old Mattie Stepanek who had died of muscular dystrophy, former president Jimmy Carter read aloud from one of the boy’s letters to him. As reported by the Washington Post and Best of the Web,

The letter continued, “Even though I want to talk to Osama bin Laden about peace in the future, I wouldn’t want to be alone with him in his cave.” The congregation dissolved into laughter.

So, Mattie’s liberal principles told him that there is no such thing as an enemy, and that all enmities, even Osama bin Ladin’s against America, can be resolved through negotiation, because all people, even bin Laden, in their heart of hearts believe in peace. Yet Mattie was not entirely irrational. Reality told him that bin Laden was mortally dangerous. So Mattie, who I’m sure was a brave boy in facing his illness, got to have it both ways. He got to sound so high-minded because he believed in talking peace with bin Laden, but he also showed that he had a healthy sense of danger, for which he received, posthumously, appreciative laughter. But if bin Laden is so dangerous that Mattie wouldn’t want to be alone with him in his cave, what made Mattie and his admirers think that negotiations with bin Laden were even possible, let alone that they could be successful?

Thus liberals get lauded for their principles, which are irrational and suicidal, while they decline to put those principles into practice, thus acting rationally and remaining in existence. Following the paradigm of Einstein who was against all war, except that Hitler was really dangerous so we had to fight him, liberals get both to enjoy their moral superiority and to live; whereas someone who honestly rejects liberal irrationality is treated as a non-person. He’ll be allowed to live, but such a life as none of “us” would want to have.

Such is “moderate” liberalism, which keeps backing away from its own suicidal principles. But liberals cannot forever resist their suicidal principles, any more than Muslims can forever resist their jihadist principles. So liberals tend more and more over time toward pure unadulterated civilizational surrender, just as Muslims tend over time toward pure unadulterated jihad. And when both liberals and Muslims become completely true to their respective principles, we then see come into view, as I have written, the perfect complementarity of Islam and the West.

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Stephen T. writes:

Of course the supreme example of this is George Bush re illegal Mexican immigrants. As you’ve written, Bush enjoys a strong “patron-client” or “patron-retainer” relationship with Mexicans. What he doesn’t have is a neighbor-neighbor relationship with them; i.e., it’s not his neighborhood in which a two-bedroom single family home will suddenly have multiple families of illegal Mexican nationals living in it and gangs and graffiti and blight appearing where they were never seen before. Nor will it be his kids who will have to attend a neighborhood public school inundated with illiterate refugees from an anti-academic culture who send the dropout rate soaring from 5 percent to 60 percent.

So, Bush can well afford to rhapsodize and romanticize about the wonderful Mexican nannies who swaddled him, and speak so admiringly about that swell guy—what was his name?—from “down there” who used to whip up those fabulous margaritas at the country club, and then obligingly disappear back to that neighborhood across town … wherever the hell it is “they” all live. Bush gets along with illegal Mexicans famously but—like the young man who aspired to get along with Osama from a great distance—he wouldn’t want to live in a cave with them. He wants us to.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at May 27, 2006 09:25 AM | Send

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