The Proud Duck

Thoughts on policy, history, faith, baseball when I get around to it, waterfowl, and life in general by a junior attorney who'd much rather have Jonah Goldberg's job. Or possibly Darin Erstad's.

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Monday, October 18, 2004
Working in the legal profession, I'm surrounded by conventional-wisdom NPR/PBS left-liberals. Over and over again, they express wonderment at how I could possibly be a conservative, being far too well-mannered, well-read, educated, physically fit, etc. (I'm starting to think they're just flattering me to get me to take on more of their work.) They honestly seem to think that conservatives are all drawling, irrational, bad-haired and big-bellied hicks.

George W. Bush is hated by these people not for what he's done, but for what he is. Except the "what he is" that these people hate, is a caricature. Respectable left-liberals hint darkly that he's setting the country on a course towards fascism or theocracy -- fever-swamp slanders made with increasing frequency, and in increasingly respectable quarters, by people who either don’t recognize or don’t care that they’re slandering millions of their neighbors at the same time.

If Kerry wins, the Democrats won’t question their myths. Left unchecked, they will strengthen and fester. Democracy requires that the side that comes in second has to be willing to accept the verdict of the voters. When you honestly think the other side is fascist, that's impossible. You don't accept government by Nazis, ever, democratically elected or not. Perpetuation of left-liberals’ conceit that theirs is the only respectable opinion is a real threat to republican government – a more fragile thing than I think many left-liberals assume.


While substantially accurate, your analysis regarding democracy lacks a bit. The example of Socrates' life should help clarify.

A keystone of American democracy is the right to freedom of speech, to respectfully and passionately disagree. Socrates did not approve of the way Greek society operated, and actively worked with great rationality and perserverance to change the way young people thought about their culture. In exercising free speech, Socrates came under censure and charges of atheism and corrupting the youth. In his defense at trial, while continuing his brilliant denouncement of the corruption of Greek society, he did not resist the will of the court, but sadly submitted himself to the penalty of capital punishment.

As an American citizen, I have the paradoxical duty and right of abiding by the decision of the majority, while protesting what I believe to be immoral. Mohandas Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Deitrich Bonnhoeffer, Nelson Mandela and others have demonstrated this principal in various ways. Don't be afraid to speak up, and don't be afraid to take your lumps. If the cause is worthy, then so is sacrifice.

Democracy is hard!

Ray Martin
(not the CBS News financial contributor)

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 2:52 PM  

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