Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby makes some very good points in his criticism of the compromising of moral principles by the “religious right” in Christians, evangelicals, or conservatives’ supporting of Donald Trump in this Presidential campaign. While Bill Bennett had previously written that there are moral absolutes that ought not be compromised in favor of supporting political candidates or causes, now he has changed his tune and is compromising his principles, according to Jacoby.
But Jacoby does cite a group of religious Christians among the younger crowd who can give us some hope. Liberty University students have formed Liberty United Against Trump, and they “want nothing to do with him.” Good for them.
But, Trump and Bennett aside, I think the conservative movement had dropped adherence to moral principles decades and decades ago, either for political reasons, or maybe out of ignorance and an indoctrinated deference to the government and governmental authority.
For instance, on talk radio the emotional reaction was intense and harsh to Gary Johnson’s assertion of moral equivalence between Syrian civilians killed by supporters of Bashar al-Assad and civilians killed by U.S. forces such as in their bombing of a civilian hospital. Michael Medved and Hugh Hewitt were especially furious at Johnson for telling the truth.
God forbid that we here in “exceptional” America should believe in the Golden Rule: Do unto others what one would want others to do unto you, and Don’t do unto others what one would not want others to do unto you.
To some people who think like collectivists, targeting and killing innocent human beings is justified when the victims are on “the other side,” such as Japanese and Germans during World War II, or Iraqis, Afghans, etc. more recently. But if Afghan or Syrian jets came over and bombed U.S. hospitals, why, that would be a war crime! The rationalization of U.S. military targeting and killing innocent non-combatants including children in Tokyo, Dresden, and Hiroshima is a rationalization of mass murder, in my view. “Collateral damage” is the mantra of the moral relativists, sad to say.
But that is how collectivists think, when they rationalize intentionally killing innocent children (or adults). As though a little child has some responsibility for what his ruling regime and its military are doing. As though any individual has any guilt or responsibility for what anyone else has done. Morally, it is just plain wrong to assign guilt to an innocent person, and it is evil to target and harm an innocent person, period.
And people also defend President George H.W. Bush’s starting a war of aggression on Iraq in 1991, a country that was of no threat to us. Already those who defend such aggressions are scoffing at my bringing that up. I can hear them tut-tutting me. Well that is because they are conditioned to believe the propaganda that the government dishes out, and they are also conditioned through 12-16 years of government-controlled schooling to always “pledge allegiance” to the government. “Our government, right or wrong” is the saying for many people.
The hostilities started by Bush and the U.S. military in 1991 included the intentional bombing of Iraqi civilian water and sewage treatment facilities which caused the Iraqi people to have to use untreated water. This intentional and sadistic scheme was reinforced by the U.S. forces and UN sanctions and no-fly zones which prevented the importing of construction materials to rebuild, and which prevented the importing of medical supplies to treat the sick. And the sanctions and no-fly zones were continued by President Bill Clinton as encouraged by his wife, You-Know-Who. By the mid-1990s there were at least 500,000 deaths in Iraq caused by disease, by cholera, typhoid, and starvation and much higher infant mortality rates, and according to U.S. Air Force Col. John Warden it was intentional.
Now, there are probably many people who are saying, “Our government and military did NOT do those things. They wouldn’t do those things.” And that is because many people are ignorant of history, even of current events, and/or they are in denial: they know about what our government did but they rationalize such actions, out of an obedient deference to the government.
So the Clinton bombings continued throughout the ’90s as well as sanctions, and by the year 2000 the death toll was even higher. Those bombings and Clinton bombings in other areas elicited warnings from Ron Paul throughout the 1990s that the U.S. might very well be the target of attacks within our territory. But Ron Paul is “crazy,” as Howie Carr would say, or an “old fool,” as I heard Dennis Prager say during the 2008 campaign.
But outside of people such as Ron Paul who actually have a moral conscience, we don’t hear very much from the alleged proponents of “moral values” against starting wars and targeting civilian populations, or being consistent regarding the Golden Rule. Listen to the boos from the audience directed at Ron Paul when he calls for a Golden Rule in U.S. foreign policy. Those are boos from the true believers who worship the military like a god. The Iraq fiasco was repeated by the 2nd George Bush, who started the unnecessary Afghanistan war as well. Many propagandized and bamboozled people still believe that Afghanistan and Iraq played a role in 9/11.
And then there’s the abortion issue. I can’t believe the number of conservatives I heard criticizing Donald Trump (of all people!) when he said that the woman having an abortion should also be punished as well as the abortionist. Whatever happened to “personal responsibility”? Unless she’s being made to go get an abortion against her will, the young girl or lady is definitely responsible for what she’d doing. I don’t know if she should be thrown in jail, but if killing an innocent unborn human being is an act of murder then she should be punished in some way. Many conservatives also defend abortion as justifiable when the woman was a victim of rape or incest. So, killing an innocent unborn human being is okay just because the father committed an act of violence? The baby is responsible for that? But I digress.
My theory as to why many people will defend immoral criminal actions by their own government and military including starting wars of aggression, is to do with a combination of a collectivist mindset and a long-conditioned reverence for the government, and an exaltation of it, like a god. For instance, when Colin Kaepernick refused to stand for the National Anthem, the conservatives on the radio were outraged. Why, that’s insulting. It’s “offenseive” (like they were being triggered by Kaepernick’s microaggression against them, the precious cupcakes).
You see, when collectivists see that one mere individual is not going along with the rest of the crowd in honor of “our side’s song,” they take it personally, because of their own individual psyches having merged into the collective, and the State. So this is the same kind of mindset that approves of government mass murder of innocents, like in Hiroshima, even cheers it on. Because it’s “our side” committing the atrocities. Only condemn the other side‘s atrocities against innocents.
As O’Brien stated to Wilson in George Orwell’s 1984,
“The first thing you must realize is that power is collective. The individual only has power in so far as he ceases to be an individual…. Alone — free — the human being is always defeated. It must be so, because every human being is doomed to die, which is the greatest of all failures. But if he can make complete, utter submission, if he can escape from his identity, if he can merge himself in the Party so that he is the Party, then he is all-powerful and immortal….”
The “Party” also being the State. So it’s not just an obedient deference to government by the authoritarians and nationalists, but a merging of themselves into that ruling regime as well into the collective population. We can’t have Colin Kaepernick acting in “civil disobedience” to a national song.
Yes, he can do that if he feels strongly enough about his principles, even if his reason of America being “racist” is erroneous and itself a collectivist conclusion. But for those who don’t stand for the National Anthem (a terrible song musically and lyrically, by the way, as it glorifies war) because they protest their government’s immoral policies and its wars, they have a better point.
So another problem with the nationalists and authoritarians is that they believe what government propagandists tell them. They agree with Donald Trump and believe that torturing innocents is justified as an end-justifies-the-means kind of rationalization. However, as in the case of Guantanamo, they really believe that the ones being tortured are “terrorists,” because the government said so, even though not one of the detainees was ever brought to trial let alone convicted of any crimes, and in most cases the government had no evidence against them. But, as I wrote in this post, over 80% of the Guantanamo detainees were apprehended mainly in Afghanistan by local villagers because they were paid bounties by the CIA and military, and senior intelligence analysts had said that one-third to one-half of the detainees were “mistakes” and “had no connection to terrorism whatsoever.” But the nationalists won’t believe that because they believe government bureaucrats (and their sycophantic media stenographers who obediently repeat what bureaucrats tell them, word for word) who say that the detainees are “dangerous terrorists” etc., etc. That is what we get in this banana republic of government propaganda and moral relativism.
In recent months, thanks to the depressing Donald Trump campaign, conservatives have been expressing concern over the decline of the conservative movement. But it is nothing new. The decline coincides with the decline in morality and decency in America. Not that conservatives caused that decline, as the main culprits are the progressives. But conservatives do have some responsibility in accepting the progressives socialist schemes. They need to reject progressivism once and for all. And that includes not supporting the socialist ignoramus Donald Trump or the rigged elections that will crown Hillary as the new Queen of Soviet Amerika.
Anyway, in a speech at a recent Mises Circle event, Lew Rockwell noted that the decline of the conservative movement has been coinciding with the rise of the libertarian movement. “Nobody can figure out what constitutes a ‘true conservative’,” noted Rockwell, who is certainly one who can be referred to as “Mr. Libertarian” (if he doesn’t mind my calling him that).
Rockwell states that after World War II conservatives “bought foreign interventionism hook, line, and sinker.” They still do. I wish that those who say they believe in morality and decency wouldn’t be so gullible and naive when it comes to their believing what government bureaucrats tell them. It is probably better to assume that just about everything that comes out of a bureaucrat’s mouth is a lie.