Monday, March 28, 2011

Iraq vs. Libya


  1. Absolutely wonderful, Peter. It brought to mind the chapter, "The Modern Phase" from Hilaire Belloc's book "The Great Heresies." One of the indicators of the "modern phase' heresy is an inability to recognize or accept one's own contradiction, e.g., "There is no such thing as truth!" "Oh, is that true?" (No response.)

    But this is not why I wrote. I read in an earlier post that, although you disagree with Obama's policies, you still like him as a person. Is this really true, Peter. Do you really like a man whose statements cannot be trusted? Who cannot make a decision before knowing which side will be the right one in the end? (The only vote, he said, that he ever regretted was the one to allow Terry Schiavo to live. It turned out to be on the wrong side of the outcome--death.) Anyway . . ., Here is an essay written by a very distinguished professor of jurisprudence at Amherst College that I think you will enjoy. It's not long. But it will put the proposition before you: With whom do you stand: Machiavelli or the Founding Fathers?

    Thank you for your columns, Peter. I enjoy them. (Corlyss, too)

  2. Excellent article! Come now, Maggie, you know better. I sought to draw a distinction between a leader and a regular guy. As a regular guy, Obama may not be so deplorable (as long as we don't talk politics). I have plenty of friends with whom I don't agree either philisophically or politically. My wife happens to be one (though she's coming around).

  3. As a "regular guy", Obama will still lie to you when it suits his convenience; this "regular guy" will allow an infant who survives an attempt on his life to die in a closet on a steel slab; this "regular guy" will still push past an elderly gentleman with a cane to get to the microphone, leaving that gentleman to get down the steps as best he can. This "regular guy" will sacrifice your friendship of two decades if you become an embarrassment to him.

    There is no distinction between a "regular guy" and a leader--it's all one person. Whatever motivates a leader also motivates the "regular guy". I used to tell a friend about Clinton: "If he will betray his wife, he will betray his country." And he did, although his motives were strictly self-serving, in both instances.

    Can you really like a guy like that? Maybe you can, but will you always be looking over your shoulder?
    If so, "you're a better man than I, Gunga Din."


  4. I don't necessarily have to 'like' a guy to have a drink with him. By the way, I don't drink. I guess that proves your point.

    Funny, this should come to the fore just now. I just came back from the pharmacy where I had to stand in line to get my prescription. Right in front of me was a fellow whom I used to spend a lot of time with back in high school. I've since found out that he's a big lib (from Facebook). He knew it was me and I knew he was him. Yet we both pretended not to know each other.

  5. Thank you for your response, Peter. I have been thinking a lot about this since I first wrote. I lost friends over the campaign and election, some for good, and some that still carry a spark from a half century of friendship.
    However, losing a friendship is not the same thing as not liking or not loving that friend. The friend I lost for good, I'm afraid, I was particularly fond of. She is kind, fun to talk to and be with, interesting, generous, intelligent, but I knew that she supported things that I found reprehensible and so out of character for her goodness (unlimited abortion, e.g., which, with Obama whom she supported wholeheartedly, could become the law of the land), and I became unable to converse with her. Such things stood like the 800 pound gorilla between us. I still liked her. I still loved her not only intellectually, but emotionally as well, and I still pray for her.

    Some time after we stopped corresponding and meeting for occasional lunch, I read P.D. James' "Original Sin." Inspector Dalgleish was interviewing an Anglican nun whose sister had been murdered. He asked her if they had "shared confidences." She responded with these words (from memory, not exact quotation): "Share confidences? No, we didn't share confidences. How could we? We despised each other's God." There was the answer to my question: why, if I could still love my friend, could I never be her friend? We despise each other's God. So I pray for her; think of her often; wonder how she is doing. But we despise each other's God.