Robbie George, a political science professor at Princeton, says nothing groundbreaking in his 2 and a half minute snippet from the Republican debate in South Carolina. He does, however, speak on behalf of our inalienable rights with much ignorance to what we as a nation have intentionally done to institutionally make fellow Americans unequal. Are American’s of color today given the same rights to education or even the same slate as a white American when they are born? To me, pontificating about our equality in a hagiographic manner while we face a type of apartheid in our schools and neighborhoods is a sad side effect of privileged conditioning and possessing blinders to much of our America.
Ross Douthat was skeptical about Glenn Becks’ Honor Rally:
There was enough material, in other words, to justify almost any interpretation of the event. A Beck admirer could spin “Restoring Honor” as proof that left-wing fears about the Tea Partiers are overblown: free of rancor, racism or populist resentment, the atmosphere at the rally resembled that of a church picnic or a high school football game. But a suspicious liberal could retort that all the God-and-Christ talk and military tributes were proof enough that a sinister Christian nationalism lurked beneath the surface. (I’m sure The New York Review of Books has already commissioned an essay on that theme.)
Similarly, one could call the rally a gross affront to the memory of King, who presumably wouldn’t have cared much for Beck’s right-wing politics. But one could also call the day a strange, unlooked-for fulfillment of King’s prophecies: 47 years after the “I Have a Dream” speech, here were tens of thousands of white conservatives roaring their approval of its author.
Douthat nails on the head my skepticism when it comes to Glenn Becks’ rally. He made it intentional to put aside politics but still bridged the church-state divide. This type of Christianism eerily reminds me of the Jewish authorities in Jesus’ time that saw Caesar as their King. This comparison is not identical but imagine the radiating support a Republican president would receive today in the Oval Office. There is already a Church of Reagan.
Lyndon Johnson could not halt every communist advance. And we cannot make ourselves master of every important region on earth. We have learned that there are prices we cannot pay and burdens we cannot bear, and our adversaries have learned it too. We must ruthlessly accommodate ourselves to a world that has shown, once again, that it is not putty in our hands.
For starters, that means remembering that we did not always believe we needed to dominate the world in order to live safely and profitably in it. In the decade and a half after the Soviet empire fell, dominance came so easily that we began to see it as the normal order of things. We expanded NATO into East Germany, then into Eastern Europe, then onto former Soviet soil, while at the same time encircling Russia with military bases in a host of Central Asian countries that once flew the Hammer and Sickle. We established a virtual Monroe Doctrine in the Middle East, shutting out all outside military powers, and the Bush administration set about enforcing a Roosevelt Corollary too, granting itself the right to take down unfriendly local regimes. In East Asia, we waited expectantly for China to democratize or implode, and thus follow Russia down the path to ideological and strategic submission. And we stopped thinking about Latin America much at all since we took it as a virtual fact of nature that no foreign power would ever again interfere in our backyard.