Friday, March 21, 2003

Blame America First
There is a certain element on the Left of American politics who find it very difficult to criticize anyone but the US. We see that in their lack of condemnation of Saddam Hussein; their lack of concern over events in Zimbabwe, the treatment of women in the Arab world; etc. Yet they have no such difficulty criticizing their own country. I do not assert that criticism of one's country is wrong or bad. On the contrary, I find it welcome and healthy to a vibrant democracy. I raise it though to illustrate that these people are capable of judging good and evil, so a lack of ability does not explain their silence with regards to other corners of the world.
I think part of the problem is that these people are afraid to make any judgment of someone other than themselves (their country serves as an extension of self). Moral relativism is a part of our culture, especially as one travels further left along the political spectrum.
I recall a conversation I had in graduate school with a Leftist friend. I was decrying the regimes in China and Cuba for their lack of freedom. My friend countered with a point about how they may lack freedom, but they have universal education and health care. One of our peers from a former Soviet republic chided my friend for her position. She said it was easy for her to say that from the safety of America and having never lived in a country where one was not free she had no idea what that life was like. She also said that it was not as if the people of those regimes were able to make the choice between universal health care and freedom of speech.
It seems to me the Left wants it both ways- not to have to criticize these regimes because they do not live under them, yet assume that people who do live under them should be pleased with what little they have.


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