Tuesday, March 29, 2016

America then and now

America that The Ten Commandments was made for
For Liberals, America is great despite its past. For Conservatives, America is great because of its past.  Those two approaches mark a fundamental distinction in how we approach the problems of our nation and the world.  That's not to say Liberals think all is wonderful today, though they tend to dismiss problems as the result of hangover from America's darker past.  Likewise, Conservatives realize not all was wonderful in the past, but unlike Liberals, they don't have past leftists to blame.  They merely say it was wrong and we're getting better.  Which is one way that Liberalism has the upper hand.  Any problems today can be the result of not being liberal enough.  While Conservatives must always admit that those in the past, for no other reason, were capable of bad things.

Nonetheless, the basic premise is that, from a Liberal point of view, there is little in the past worth longing for, that the here and now is at the cutting edge, and there's no reason to look backward except to find that obscure trail of liberal blood that points to the awesomeness of what liberalism proclaims today to be true.

From a Conservative point of view, however, there is much to lament.  Sure, things change.  Times change.  Change is inevitable.  And sometimes it is good.  But as often as not, it isn't good at all.  For the Conservative, change is known sometimes to be very, very bad.  And so the Conservative can look back and say there is much that was lost.  Much good that we should reclaim.  All was not bad, dark, vile and wrong.  There was good, no matter how flawed.  In fact, from the Conservative point of view, the bad of the past was the exception to the rule, not the defining characteristic.

So over at The American Catholic, we have a reminder of just what America once was.  From the Liberal, multi-culturalism point of view, there could be nothing worse.  New York hoisting crosses on skyscrapers for Easter?  Why, what about the Jews?  The Atheists?  The non-Christians?  How offensive and exclusionary could that have been!  That today groups would seek to eradicate crosses from a person's private property, on the other hand, must be seen as good.  After all, it's righting the wrongs of the past.  No matter how oppressive it may seem, it's a good thing, since the past was bad and any attempts to correct the badness of the past should be good.

I think it's time for Conservatives to reclaim the upper hand in the debate.  Stop apologizing for the past.  Instead of shuffling our feet and lamenting that it might have offended non-Christians to see such a thing, proclaim that it is the Truth, and therefore any offended should be the ones to rethink their position.  After all, the Left has no problem saying the same thing today.  It's simply Christians and Conservatives who are the ones told to accept the truth and change if they don't like it.  And for my money, I would rather fight for a change back to the better parts of the past, then roll over and endure the flaws and failings of the modern way.

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