The Tea Parties were not violent. Mobs didn’t go after bankers with pitchforks. Instead of sending American Muslims off to interment camps, we tred so softly that 13 people lay dead at Fort Hood. When white slavery appeared encouraged at Acorn and Planned Parenthood, we did not shut our eyes. We wanted both closed down. We recognized the clear lack of justice in the principle of public sector unions; we cited human nature & the inevitable bloat. We saw as farce politicians/bureaucrats negotiating with unions to set deals that other parties – mainly the taxpayers – would have to pay. We understand the importance of the rule of law, of restraining our desire for money & power & sex.
Shortly after 9/11, I remember a discussion of the suspicion directed at Muslims; I believe it was on WSJ; the reports were of people who feared American xenophobia. And I remember the pleasure I took in Dorothy Rabinowitz’s strong statement – we don’t riot in the streets and go after “foreigners.” she said. Then, firmly, she said, “That’s not the way we act. We are Americans.” Much as history has proved Duranty’s assessment of communism and its citizens was bizarrely wrong, Howard Zinn’s (and I fear Obama’s) America is as much a fantasy as Duranty’s picture of Russia was. Those modern intellectuals are clearly projecting their own lust for power on others. They (like so many revolutionaries in the past) see themselves with clean hands & virtuous hearts, see themselves as answer. But their answers are not to rational questions nor do they arise from experience. We – the voting majority I expect – are not under any illusions that we (or any “they”) should be trusted with unchecked power – they understand man’s fallible nature. The radicals have little self-consciousness, little irony, and fewer doubts. But the majority have learned from experience and from history. And they demonstrate it day after day, beguiled occasionally by Ponzi schemes, but returning to common sense, self reliance, & affection for the other as well as for others. We understand class warfare and we feel disdain.