July 4, 2009
US Patriotism vs. Liberal SolidarityBy Christopher Chantrill
Just as we conservatives get ready to celebrate our patriotism on the Fourth of July, a liberal from a prominent family has been accused of spying for Cuba. Write Mary Beth Sheridan and Del Quentin Wilber in The Washington Post about a retired State Department employee:
Ho hum. It's not as if this is the first time.
Yet these days it is good old American patriotism that is always on the hot seat not the liberals fawning over Fidel Castro.
In liberal-land the preferred feeling of belonging, of united action in a group, is not patriotism. It is called solidarity. But it is only allowed if you are acting in an approved liberal cause. That's because solidarity gets defined as "uniting individuals in their response to particular situations of injustice, oppression, or tyranny."
It is a fine thing to be a member of a labor union, united in solidarity--forever--in opposition to corporate greed. It is a good thing to be a member of a black journalists' association battling against under-representation of African Americans in newsrooms and on editorial boards. It is also ethical to rise above clan, tribe, and nationality towards the notion of a global humanity, a solidarity that embraces all humans, or even all living things.
But don't you try it at home. The solidarities that conservatives experience, for family, for church, for the armed forces, for local civic pride, for the nation--these are different. You know how it works. Family? Think of the dangers of the patriarchy and the bigotry of exclusive heterosexual marriage. Church? Think Elmer Gantry and religious wars. Armed forces? Think My Lai and Abu Ghraib. Civic pride? Think of the shallow civic booster George F. Babbitt. Nation? Think aggressive nationalism and crypto-fascism.
You have to hand it to our liberal friends. They have done quite a number on everything we conservatives hold dear.
Actually, the liberals have a point. Solidarity is good, but only up to a point. It needs to be balanced against other values. And liberals keep us conservatives on our toes in that respect. As they should.
If only conservatives possessed a countervailing cultural power to keep liberal solidarity within civilized bounds.
Labor unions are a fine thing, everyone agrees. But when labor unions are given special privileges and subsidies then they get the power to run General Motors into the ground. They get to wreck the nation's schools with truculent teachers' unions. They get to bloat government spending, especially in liberal states like California and New York, with all-powerful government employee unions. And don't get me started on "wise Latinas."
Why are liberals so blind to the excesses of liberal solidarity? The answer is contained in the publisher's blurb above about "uniting individuals..." Group tactics like street demonstrations, intimidation, strikes and boycotts are OK if you are a bona-fide group of oppressed victims. They are OK because the need to eradicate "injustice, oppression and tyranny" trumps the dangers of threatening violence with marches in the streets.
But at what point does the proverbial "peaceful demonstration" become bully-boy intimidation?
In a just society, it would be the job of conservative cultural critics to be the judges of the excesses of liberal solidarity.
In an unjust society, riven by liberal injustice, oppression, and tyranny, it is still the job of conservatives to bear witness to liberal injustice.
The great national task before conservatives is the moderation of a century of liberal excess. It begins, of course with reversing the insanity of the Obama convulsion that, in one huge legislative belch, aims to bring the entire health care system under government power and to smash the fossil fuel energy economy with swingeing taxes. So much for the excesses of liberal political power.
But just as urgent is the task of moderating liberal cultural power, to call out the excesses of fascist unions, fascist feminists, fascist non-white racists, fascist artists, and fascist gays.
In other words, when liberal solidarity gets beyond fighting against injustice, oppression, and tyranny, and becomes instead unjust, oppressive, and tyrannical, then attention must be paid.
Here is something to think about, as we celebrate this Fourth of July, our founding fathers' day of defiance against British injustice, oppression, and tyranny in 1776.
It's time to be openly proud of our families, our churches, our language, our armed forces, and our nation once again. And it's time to utterly reject the cultural insults that liberals use to terrorize us and marginalize our American exceptionalism.
It's time for all patriotic Americans to stand up against liberal hegemony.
That's because a manly, womanly, sociable American patriotism is a far, far better thing than deadly serious liberal solidarity.