HH: Professor Hanson, you talked about the left in the article at National Review.com today. Our first hindrance is moral equivalence. Our second shackle is utopian pacifism. The third restraint is multiculturalism. The question, and it's a very serious question, is can the left be rescued from these three chains?
VDH: I don't know. It was rescued before in the 50's, remember. There was a strain, the Henry Wallace Party. And a group of concerned, sophisticated Democrats decided that was not where to go, and got tough on the Soviet Union, were the architects of the Cold War, and produced people like Scoop Jackson, Harry Truman, JFK. And then Vietnam started that detour again, and we haven't really gone back yet. We've tried to, a little bit sometimes with Bill Clinton's middle course. But I think what's happened is they've come very close...they won the popular election in 2000. They came within three or four points in the last election. But they have no political power, in the sense of no majority in the House, none in the Senate, no presidency, no Supreme Court, no majority of state legislatures or governors. And that creates a frustration. And rather than to do the hard work of laying out an agenda, that would give the American people a clear-cut choice, they just look for an Abu Ghraib scandal, a Koran flushed at Guantanamo, a Karl Rove, any little scandal they think that can get them in power on the cheap. And it's not going to work. Not in a time of war.
Hanson discusses a number of things, but particularly what is needed to win the war. He is absolutely correct about the current strategy of the Democratic Party--a strategy that is unconcerned with this war, and which in fact is tied up in the three chains that Hewitt queries Hanson about: moral equivalence,, utopian pacifism, and multiculturalism.
Let's just call the three together the "axis of cluelessness". All three styles of "thinking" are actually representative of an ideology that provides a shortcut to doing the hard work of living: rational thinking and making judgements about the real world. Two crucial faculties that are necessary for human survival.
It is one thing to say, "live and let live" -- which is the essence of tolerance. It is quite another to say that we are no better than the people trying to kill us because we choose to defend ourselves. That their culture is just as good as ours; and that peace is worth any price (except fighting for it). That is sheer idiocy. That is utter cluelessness. That is suicidal.
That is what is being embraced by the Democratic Party and most of the Left today.
Noone seems to wonder --if these three psychological strategies have any merit or truth in them at all--then why do their proponents (1) give priority to all cultures-- except for Western culture (which is inherently inferior to any primitive culture on the face of the planet according to the Left); (2) perceive worth and give understanding to all actions no matter how misguided or in error--except our own actions; and (3) strive for "peace" by being behaving violently?
Until we can confront the very real danger that these three convenient and easy thought shortcuts present to rational thought, then we cannot possibly achieve a victory over the forces that threaten Western Civilization.
We won't even be allowed to name them.