Tuesday, June 13, 2006

The Millennial Gorgons

We have three enemies. One of them wants us dead. One of them wants us gone. One of them wants us changed. Islamists, Invaders, and Liberals. These are the three political themes that I write about. Of course all of them want all of these things, but each is characterized most by just one. There’s no doubt but that the Islamists want us dead – but they also want us changed. But do the invaders really want us gone? Do the liberals really want us dead? Only after a manner of speaking.

What is the diagnostic characteristic of the invaders? Envy. They want what we have. It is not for love of us, that they come. It is that they might have what we have. To get it, they flout our law and violate our borders. That they would trade their effort, their work, for a share of our prosperity is a mere technicality. A thief works too. To sneak about, to break in, to scrabble about in the dark, to risk the loss of time and freedom – there is a way of looking at all this expenditure of energy that could call it work. It’s just unproductive, and disrespectful, and unlawful. Their effort, however diligent or imperative, is destructive to the order of our society.

The invaders come to work, but in so doing they undercut the wages of legal workers. They undermine the respect for law. The benefit they offer does not remediate the harm they do. And from their point of view, we who demand lawful conduct can only be an inconvenience, and a de facto enemy. We are a road block to the full exploitation of the benefits of our culture – a road block easily circumvented, but an inconvenience nevertheless. It would be so much easier if we simply disappeared, vacated the infrastructure we have created and left it for them to enjoy and exploit. If it were otherwise, if they came here to work in partnership with us, they would do so legally.

As for liberals, they call themselves progressives. By this they mean “agents of change,” by which they mean revolutionaries, by which them mean destroyers of what exists so that something different might take its place. They want us changed. Of course I’m reasoning to the extreme, and any link in that chain might be challenged and invalidated. It might be. A liberal is not a revolutionary. But then again, when we consider that it is only the speed of change that marks the difference between the two, such a distinction becomes a quibble. Not all revolutionaries are impatient. The guillotine is not the only tool in their arsenal. They have a satchel filled with slow poisons, and the chisel will work just as surely as dynamite in breaking through walls. So the question remains, is what exists something that should be defended, or destroyed at whatever pace?

The invaders want us changed, that we may welcome their presence with no recriminations or consequences. They want us to cease to be a sovereign nation, and become rather a sort of inverted colony, where their surplus population becomes the finished import they ship to us, and our capital becomes the raw material they send to the motherland.

And the Liberals want us gone. The joke maps where the “red states” (what a perversion) are labeled Jesusland are but one expression of their disassociation with what are, frankly, the traditional values that have sustained this nation for its several hundred years of existence. The parentheses of the Liberal coasts contain the nullity of “fly-over” country. The embarrassment of the heartland is more resented than ignored, and there is no doubt that they want us gone.

As for dead, well, rationality assigns that exclusively the malevolence of the Islamists. They want us changed, into converts to their faith or subjects of their caliphate. They want us gone, as an independent and antipathetic power on this planet to their will. But they want us dead. We – by which I mean we - will not change. We will not disappear. We will not be driven out or made to submit. We must be destroyed. We are the implacable enemy. We have withstood disaster and faced down evil and prevailed over adversity. We have saved the world from every tyranny that has threatened universal freedom, as we have met every challenge of health and hunger that nature has thrown at us. Disease is not vanquished, but it is controlled. Hunger is not banished, but it is isolated. And tyranny still infests the globe, but it is quarantined. We have done this, and will continue to do so for as long as we remain Americans as the term has always been understood.

We can fail, certainly. We can falter and stumble and faint and fall. We are not infallible. Our vigor is not promised. But as we are faithful to what we hold true, and as we teach our sons the values handed down to us by our fathers, and as we cherish the humanity of even our adversaries, even as we stand willing to slay them in our own defense – for this long we have God on our side. And if God is on our side, then it is he who will fight for us. And if this is so, then if we be changed it will only be for the better, and if we leave it will be that our children may take our place, and when we die our memory will be honored to the third and fourth generations. The necessary counterpart of faith, is will. May we have these two, in equal measures.


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