Here's another great article by Mark Steyn showing the absurdity of current resistance to "draconian" cuts in spending.
Entries in Mark Steyn (19)
I caught Mark Steyn on the radio filling in for Rush Limbaugh. I like Steyn, just as I like a lot of limited government conservatives, but Steyn made a side comment regarding Ron Paul and called Paul an isolationist. It's common for modern conservatives to disagee with the libertarian idea of non-interventionism regarding foreign affairs, but it's not a natural disagreement, because at one time non-interventionism was a conservative principle (see Russell Kirk). Neo-conservatives like Irving Kristol eventually led conservatives as a whole away from non-interventionism, and now it's become a main conservative position to promote foreign intervention. The Old Right unequivocably supported non-intervention and fought to keep us out of WWII.
Conservatives were once sceptical about Grand American Adventures overseas and warned against unilateral power shifting to the President -- conservatives didn't want a strong dictator sending the US military on imperialist or world-changing missions. Perhaps some on the Right did fall under the category of isolationists, but non-interventionism is not the same as isolationism. You can oppose foreign military intervention and propote free trade, cultural exchange, immigration, technological cooperation and all kinds of non-military openness and cooperation with foreign nations. Our Founders, in principle, were solidly against foreign entanglements, because most had seen what damage to Britain and by Britain such entanglements had caused. It took the US a long time to respond militarily to Arab attacks on foreign trade by sea routes.
America would be much better off if we still maintained that same caution and scepticism -- see Libya and Uganda as recent examples of why scepticism and caution will be helpful.
Steyn, in his humorous and cutting style, makes a good point at the end -- the bigger government gets, the smaller everything else becomes. This madness has to stop -- and to tell you where the progressive movement stands, they're pouting and stomping their feet because the stimulus is way, way too small. If this is progress, I say let's regress for awhile.
I understand the sentiment -- remembrance of 9/11 shouldn't turn into national cultural diversity lessons, and we shouldn't forget the real mean and women involved in the real and deadly attack. And we shouldn't forget that there are terroists willing to kill innocent people to promote their bigoted ideology.
America has plenty of flaws to deal with, but in comparison to radical Islamists we certainly have no reasons to buckle in humility and grovel in moral relativism. We do need to deal with our flaws, however, and foreign intervention is a major flaw we can no longer afford to ignore. In some respects, when we intervened in the Iraq/Iran War, and when we intervened in the Russia/Afghanistan War, we created casues which led to effects. Throughout our history, from WWI and post WWI to WWII and post WWII, to Vietnam to all the other interventions and Super Power nation-arranging and Dictator-picking we've created many unintended consequences.
So, a part of 9/11 remembrance, after we've acknowledged the heroes who risked their lives dealing with the attack and the victims who lost life for no sane reason, we should also take the time to strengthen our resolve to demand that America tend to the business of America and leave other countries to deal with their business. If attacked, or if we uncover a planned attack, we should act with swift and great force, but let's not turn 9/11 into perpetual military hyper-vigilance which keeps us bogged down in political wars in the mideast. Our military deserves better management. Let's not roll over, but rather roll on home and build a superior defense.
I always enjoy Mark Steyn, and not only because he has a great sense of humor -- Steyn is usually spot on in his critiques of politics and, in this case, culture. We need more critiques of popular culture, because in many ways much of it is too silly and basely moronic to silently bear, and although I'm socially liberal, that doesn't mean I think all cultural offerings have value. Having said this, I would never propose banning any cultural offering that's not violent or coercive.
I'm sure some liberals reading Steyn's article will respond with concern that social conservatives are planning on taking control of government and forcing us all to behave like good little Christians ought to behave, and when it comes to coercive government actions to legislate morality, I have the same concerns. But my concern is related to coercive government actions, not necessarily the cultural critiques from social conservatives.
In a free market diverse ideas, art and entertainment are offered, and everyone is free to accept or reject what's offered. But, in a free market, no behavior, art, ideas or entertainment are subsidized by government, so they have to survive on their merit -- if a large enough part of the public rejects a certain cultural offering, it doesn't survive except among a small group, and as long as they aren't violating anyone's rights, then have at it -- but no one in government is going to pick up the pieces if the cultural offering is personally destructive for the individuals involved. So, if some cultural offerings lead people into a lifestyle they can't support, then I'm sure family and friends will soon become a wall of resistance as far as financial support goes, and each individual then has to re-assess their actions and lifestyles. Government should neither subsidize nor legislate morality -- if an individual can live an alternative lifestyle and support it, then go for it, just don't expect me to approve if I find it abhorent or ridiculous.