Friday, November 19, 2004

When saying 'Sorry' is hard to do

I recall that when Ronald Reagan died, there was an almost universal outpouring of support for the 'great man.' I use the scare quotes not because I disagree with the sentiment (I think Reagan was one of the great presidents of the 20th century), but because an awful lot of people saying he was great are liars. Well, maybe they aren't liars exactly. Maybe they changed their minds about him. But if that is the case, we should be hearing stories about how people came to recognize that Reagan was not a buffoon actor, but a brave, disciplined and intelligent man. There was very little of that. I point this out because what happened in the wake of Reagan's funeral was no fluke. It is happening again, in regard to the recent war in Afghanistan. Victor Davis Hanson in NRO writes:
... after the recent and mostly smooth elections, Afghanistan has slowly disappeared from the maelstrom of domestic politics, as all those who felt our efforts were not merely impossible but absurd retreated to the shadows to gnash their teeth that Kabul is not yet Carmel. Western feminists, homosexual-rights advocates, and liberal reformists have never in any definitive way expressed appreciation for the Afghan revolution now ongoing in the lives of 26 million formerly captive people. They never will. Instead, Westerners simply now assume that there was never any controversy, but rather a general consensus that Afghanistan is a "good thing" — as if the Taliban went into voluntarily exile due to occasional censure from The New York Review of Books.
That is exactly what happened with Reagan. I lived through the Reagan presidency and I remember darn well how the president was reviled - reviled! - because of his crazy cowboy attitude towards the murderous USSR, the arms race, opposition to abortion, and because he dared to cut taxes. You name the issue, all the fat cat pundits swore up and down that Reagan was a disaster and that he would ruin the US with his atiquated ideology and recklessness. So when they say the same stuff about Bush, and lets face it, many of the critics are the same people who pilloried Reagan and then shed crocodile tears for him, we ought to remember how this story goes. We've seen it before. You never seem to see anyone mourning the death of the USSR (outside a university campus), and yet during the Cold War supporters were not hard to find. Never forget. Some people stand tall for what they believe to be true, no matter how the wind blows. And some are thin reeds that twirl in the breeze singing "never retreat, never apologize." They say it because they think you're too busy, or perhaps too stupid, to remember. And all they want is power and fawning applause anyway. My wife and I attended a Pro Life fundraising diner tonight, at which Canadian Conservative Member of Parliament Jason Kenny was the keynote speaker. Kenny was very good. I hadn't had much of a chance to hear him speak before. He was informative and enthusiastic, good enough, even, to make me overlook his support of Stockwell Day as the leader of the Her Majesty's Official Opposition a few years ago (for my American readers not familiar with which recent Canadian Parliamentary history, Stockwell is universally acknowledged to have been a disaster, although he's been better as Foreign Affairs Critic, where he still is today). Some statistics I walked away with tonight include the following. In British Columbia, my home province, almost 4 out of 10 pregnancies end in abortion. That one makes we wonder how many of those are native, and how on earth we can be said to be proud and supportive of native culture when we are assisting them to die. I raise this point too, because it is widely reported that natives have a suicide rate well above the rest of the population. It seems obvious to me that a culture that does not have a great will to live, is also a culture that would find it hard to muster the will to raise children. I'm not running down natives in pointing this out - I'd like to see a healthy, happy and growing native population. That is my point. The other statistic that hit hard was that if we stood in silence for one second for every baby aborted in Canada this year, we would be standing for a day and a half. A day and a half? That is a lot of seconds! The night had me thinking that our fight is like the fight to end slavery in the US. Not the fight to end overt racial discrimination in the 1960's, which was a good and worthy cause, but the fight to end slavery was first, and it was harder to achieve. The civil rights battle took place on the back of that first success. I don't want to pillory people who are pro choice, although there are some who deserve it (such as the Kansas doctor who came up with partial birth abortion, a horrid procedure if ever there was one). I don't want to pillory them because I really think that most of them don't get it. They see the woman and the baby as being in an irresolvable conflict, and the baby has no voice. It can't make it's case. The abortion choice wounds both, however. There is no victor. There can be complications during the procedure, which can make future pregnancy impossible. Often, a woman has only a poor grasp of what is about to happen. She feels trapped. She thinks adoption is abandonment, and that it makes her a worse mother than abortion. To refute that notion, we only have to ask kids who have been adopted what they think. I've done it and to a person they are grateful and understanding of the parent they never met. I think this is a battle that can be won. And it will be a great victory, as great as President Lincoln freeing the slaves in the 1863; a victory for the ages. I will be a grizzled old man who will be able to say I was on the right side all along, and I will smile inwardly at all the nodding heads and crocodile tears and I will think, "yes, we did know it all along, didn't we?"
Posted by Hello
I'm happy to include a link to a post by Julie at Happy Catholic, which has links to more articles on this theme.

No comments: