Saturday, October 16, 2004

Please Massa, Don't Set Me Free

Please massa, don't set me free!

The Democrats haven't changed in one hundred and fifty years. In the days of slavery the Democrats, the pro-slavery party, assured abolitionist Republicans that blacks were better off as slaves. Democrats running for office, arguing for fugitive slave laws, demanding compromise on expanding America; insisted that blacks were better off while being taken care of like cattle or house pets. They claimed that African traditions and black blood; even the will of God, required the Blacks be forever, hewers of wood and fetchers of water. Democrats insisted that slavery was not only an advantage to the masters but good for the slaves.

In his interview with Matt Bai in the New York Times Magazine, October 10 2004, John Kerry claims to express the "thoughtful, forward-looking theory" of his party. He condemns "the Bush doctrine of forced democracy." Bai puts forward a Relativist revision of the history of the Cold War as justification for Kerry's critique on Bush's policies in the War on Terror. "The neo-conservatives who shaped Reagan's anti-Soviet policy and now shape Bush's war on terror have long held that the "twilight struggle" with the Soviet empire was won primarily as a result of U. S. military intervention in several hemispheres and of Reagan's massive arms buildup, without which democracy and free markets could not have taken hold. Many liberals, on the other hand, have never been comfortable with that premise. While they acknowledge that American military power played a role, they contend that the long ideological struggle with communism ended chiefly because the stifling economic and social tenets of Marxism were unsustainable, and because a new leader emerged -- Mikhail Gorbachev -- who understood that." (NYT Mag. pg. 41)

President Bush's policy is based on the belief that a successful democracy at the heart of the Middle East will discredit the radical ideology of hate. Bush believes in the transformational power of liberty. Kerry, claiming his first hand experience in Vietnam as his window on the truth, sees injustice in the U. S. forcing freedom at gun point on people who don't want it. "You can't impose it on people," he said. "You have to bring them to it. You have to invite them to it. You have to nuture the process." Here Kerry's racial snobbery reaches the level of antebellum Democrats. In 1971, Kerry claimed before the Foreign Relations Committee: "We found most people didn't even know the difference between communism and democracy. They only wanted to work the rice paddies without helicopters strafing them and bombs with napalm burning their villages and tearing their country apart." (NYT Mag. pg. 68)

Kerry's view of history is conveniently crafted to his politics. His view of "happy rice farmers" under the watchful eye of their Communist masters would mesh well with the 19th century view of "happy cotton pluckers" under the benevolent gaze of their task masters. Now he sees the fanatical Islamic terror masters of the Middle East as so many benevolent spiritualists just waiting for their backward people to evolve to a level where they can appreciate freedom and govern themselves. What he chooses to ignore are the inherent evils of Communism and Islamic Totalitarianism; just as the Democrats of the 18th century chose to ignore the evils of slavery. The enslavement of the African people is now condemned by all but the most Relitivist of minds. Why then do they refuse to recognize the killing fields of South East Asia, the genocide in Tibet, the mass graves of Saddam? All these evils are overlooked in the "forward-looking theories of John Kerry".

John Kerry panders for votes by promising a world where diplomacy will solve all illls. Ya sure! Diplomacy sure solved the ills of slavery in America; of the Jews in the Nazi death camps; of the millions murdered by Lenin, Stalin, and Mao; of those murdered day in and day out in Communist Vietnam, North Korea, Cuba, and China. Eight years of Clinton's diplomacy sure softened the hatred of Al Qaeda for America and brought freedom to the women of Afghanistan. Or did it?

Let me interject here that curbing the spread of Communism benefitted America. Freedom in Russia, Eastern Europe, South Korea, and elsewhere makes our lives of freedom and peace possible. I could also argue that ending the regimes of hate in the Middle East will make the world safer for all. But I will not argue those things now. For the moment I only want to point out the snobbery and narrowness of the liberal view that America is forcing freedom on people against their will.

We look back on the nightmare of American Slavery; at the brandings and whippings, the lynchings and mutilations, the bans on learning to read and write, the raping and humiliation, and wonder why anyone would be willing to pretend that any human beings, no matter what their race, would willing endure such evil. We cringe with guilt that a nation conceived in liberty and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal; could have existed for four score and seven years shielding such injustice, such evil. Someday we will look back on the brandings and whippings, the lynchings and mutilations, the "religious rapes", the bans on learning, and the systematic teaching of hate that dominates the lives of millions in the Middle East and wonder how anyone could have pretended that this was what the people of those nations wanted. If we are firm and resolute, we will rejoice, to paraphrase Lincoln, that these governments, of the people, by the people, for the people, shall have flourished on the earth.


Bryan Hickman said...

Some quotes that I think are relevant to the post:

"Above all, we must realize that no arsenal, or no weapon in the arsenals of the world, is so formidable as the will and moral courage of free men and women. It is a weapon our adversaries in today's world do not have."

"I know in my heart that man is good.
That what is right will always eventually triumph.
And there's purpose and worth to each and every life."

"The ultimate determinant in the struggle now going on for the world will not be bombs and rockets but a test of wills and ideas-a trial of spiritual resolve: the values we hold, the beliefs we cherish and the ideals to which we are dedicated."

"You and I have a rendezvous with destiny. We will preserve for our children this, the last best hope of man on earth, or we will sentence them to take the first step into a thousand years of darkness. If we fail, at least let our children and our children's children say of us we justified our brief moment here. We did all that could be done."

And the most relevant:

"This is not cultural imperialism; it is providing the means for genuine self-determination and protection for diversity. Democracy already flourishes in countries with very different cultures and historical experiences. It would be cultural condescension, or worse, to say that any people prefer dictatorship to democracy. Who would voluntarily choose not to have the right to vote, decide to purchase government propaganda handouts instead of independent newspapers, prefer government to worker-controlled unions, opt for land to be owned by the state instead of those who till it, want government repression of religious liberty, a single political party instead of a free choice, a rigid cultural orthodoxy instead of democratic tolerance and diversity."

All of these quotes (if you didn't already know) were from the Great Liberator himself, Ronald Reagan.

Silver Lining said...

I agree with the major points of the post (namely that it is ridiculous to believe that freedom is being forced on a people.) The people of Afghanistan and Iraq who can now openly speak out prove that every day. They hated their oppression. However, what position were they in to combat it? Surely, it can be argued that they needed help. Was more diplomacy within the UN and crumbling sanctions going to do the trick? Not likely. Does diplomacy always fail? Absolutely not. I digress.

Lysis quotes a statement from John Kerry about how the people in South Vietnam didn't know the difference between Communism and Democracy and only wanted to work in their rice paddies in peace. There could well be some truth to that. When Kerry was in Vietnam, the South was still fighting. They had not yet been subjected to communism. I think most people want peace. My point here is that any communist or totalitarian regime that we can think of wasn't accomplished because the masses wanted it. There was enough of a group with enough will power and ability to impose it upon others. This is true of Lenin, of Mao, in Vietnam, in Afghanistan, and in several totalitarian regimes around the world. The people didn't fight back because once subjected they either were appathetic, unable, or unwilling to successfully overthrow their oppressive situation.

What I find interesting is that Kerry is similar in many ways. If he is elected, there will be a sizeable number of Americans who are strongly opposed to him and to his view of government. Will he reach out and try to represent all? I don't think he will. I feel from him (and yes, I can give evidence to support) a similar view to those who took over nations as communists and totalitarians. Those who don't agree with him are viewed as too ignorant to know better and they truely do want his brand of enlightenment. If they could just be forced to experience it, they would see the light. That frightens me more even that the racial snobbery which Lysis refers to. It is this reason among others that makes me every day greatful for democracy and its blessings.

My Blog said...

Many liberals, on the other hand, have never been comfortable with that premise.