Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Against Moral Superiority

Arrogance and a belief in moral superiority turns me off.

This is why I dislike the languages of Bush, who suggests that you're either against America or for America. He sees black and white world, with Americans firmly on the side of the good. The problem is, is that when you believe yourself to be so strongly on the side of good, and so morally superior to everyone else, that you can't handle the slightest bit of criticism, you're in danger of becoming the very evil you fight for. How can you fight evil, without recognizing the evil within yourself?

In an article titled "The Rehabilitation of the Cold War Liberal," Peter Beinhart, in this past weekend's Sunday NYTimes Mag, articulates my position better than I could ever express it.

"Even more important, they described America itself differently. Americans may fight evil, they argued, but that does not make us inherently good. And paradoxically, that very recognition makes national greatness possible. Knowing that we, too, can be corrupted by power, we seek the constraints that empires refuse. And knowing that democracy is something we pursue rather than something we embody, we advance it not merely by exhorting others but by battling the evil in ourselves. The irony of American exceptionalism is that by acknowledging our common fallibility, we inspire the world."

That is precisely why I'm a liberal.

Unfortunately thanks to Democratic incoherence, the people who we are trying to reach out to have no clue what we stand for, except hating Bush. That's no way to win or run a country. A couple weeks ago, The Economist magazine put it best when they called the American problem "Incoherence vs. Incompetence."

If things keep going the way their going, Democrats and liberals deserve to lose 'cause we ain't offering anything anyone can understand.


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