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June 20, 2005

Oh, for a little civility!

As I watched 1st Monday in October (1981) the other night (courtesy of NetFlix) I was reminded of several things from a different time . . . before the war of the worlds now taking place in Washington:

First, that despite having very strongly held positions on opposite sides of almost every issue, the principals had an awesome respect for each other, and, while not originally cordial they became fast friends . . . a moderately “conservative” individual, and a radical “left-winger.” They had heated discussions, held mock cross examinations, and had visceral reactions to them without the intolerant and vitriolic interchanges so familiar today. One wonders how Hollywood managed that. It certainly wouldn’t be done that way today. The conservative would be portrayed as a bombastic, opinionated though uninformed purveyor of falsehoods, and be played in a fashion sufficient to engender hatred by all, including not a few conservatives (think The American President.) The liberal would be a brilliant saint: cordial, informed, attractive, will informed and, of course, right (think the same.) I was reminded that nowadays it isn’t enough, or even possible, for a liberal to feel that a conservative is thoughtless, uninformed or wrong—never mind a thoughtful and informed person with a different opinion and a different “take” on the issue--he must also have wicked intent and be evil.

Second, I was reminded that a real conservative is not an ideologue, while liberalism is an ideology. “Progressive,” it’s presently called, while being careful not to define progress. Or mentioning towards what. Unfortunately, most modern conservatives are ideologues as well, which is why the battles get so fierce. At heart much of the country is basically conservative in thought and morality, and liberals don’t seem to comprehend that. Their agenda embraces what are, for most of us, really “far out” issues including the exclusion of Christmas as a festival because of its Christian heritage, morality as a political issue--not just separation of church and state, but elimination of “churchy” thoughts from activities of the state--pornography as free speech, homosexual “marriage” as a right and sodomy as a federal issue, abortion and fetal stem-cell research as issues completely without emotional or moral implications, education as training and indoctrination, the feminization of men and society, and Western civilization as just one of myriad options, neither better nor worse than any other on the planet.

Finally, capitalism is, of course, evil. Liberals fail to integrate the fact that the problem with socialism is socialism—though they don’t consider themselves socialists--whilst the problem with capitalism is capitalists. This, too, was brought to mind by the movie, when the conservative protagonist discovered that her deceased husband had been one of those amoral capitalists which any good conservative would deplore.

View the movie. It comes from a kinder, gentler time, when opponents could be civil to one another. Heated sometimes, and argumentative, but inherently civil.

Posted by respeto at June 20, 2005 4:05 PM