My name is Fred and I am a gay conservative living in Ottawa. This blog supports limited government, the right of the State of Israel to live in peace and security, and tries to expose the threat to us all from cultural relativism, post-modernism, and radical Islam. I am also the founder of the Free Thinking Film Society in Ottawa (

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

The problem with pacifists...

John McWhorter, one of my favorite writers, looks at the issue of pacifism.
Now, many tell me that what is supposed to make me uncomfortable is the administration's purportedly using war as a smokescreen for "invading our civil liberties." But this is another place where I don't glean the fit between the rhetoric and the reality. Certainly the point must be raised. Yet when I asked a self-avowed radical friend of mine how her civil liberties had been threatened lately, she had no answer. The issue was solely theoretical for her.

This type of concern is defended as a form of patriotism — we deplore that our country is not living up to its ideals. This explains, I suppose, the rabid animus against Dick Cheney while Osama bin Laden is coolly designated a "madman," which in a way excuses from censure someone who gives all indication of being perfectly sane.

Perhaps there is a certain sophistication that I lack. But this reflexive contempt for our leaders' meeting force with force has an element in it, I suspect, of the enjoyment of feeling superior. And as to this exemption of The Other from serious condemnation, rather than resort to the easy score of the R-word I'll say that it smacks of a certain paternalism.

Yet I cannot stop there, lest I join those who dwell in name-calling over reflection. The War on Terror, after all, is a rich subject and no one can claim to have all the answers. I just wish that after five years I were closer to being in pacifists' heads than I currently am.


Blogger PGP said...

Why would you wnat to be in an empty cell that reeks of fear and loathing?

8:07 PM  

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