Thursday, February 14, 2008


Steven Spielberg has left the Olympic Committee to protest China’s actions in Darfur.
"At this point, my time and energy must be spent not on Olympic ceremonies, but on doing all I can to help bring an end to the unspeakable crimes against humanity that continue to be committed in Darfur,"

Do you think he will literally spend the same time helping Darfur or is it a rhetorical device to say so? Could Spielberg make a movie powerful enough to changes hearts and minds in China?

The episode brings up the larger question of how many human rights do people deserve. China has been violating the rights of their own people for much longer. Why wasn’t that too much for Spielberg?

Those on the Left have for a long time championed underdogs real and imagined. They have marched and spoke and raised money to help oppressed people the world over. And yet when George Bush invades Iraq and brings about real freedom, he is treated like megalomaniac emperor. It’s baffled me since the beginning of this war.

When I heard the first protests against going into Iraq they were usually from the kind of people who want to go into other places. Maybe the Left isn’t interested in liberating the oppressed if it serves another American interest. That’s why Haiti and Bosnia are fine, but Iraq is not. Their thinking seems to be: Since Bush is not a member of the Left, he cannot possibly care about the oppressed, so therefore his actions can only be seen as self-interest and thus ignoble.

I think Bush is sincerely happy that oppressed people lose their shackles, but if we take Bush from their perspective, there should at least be an acknowledgment that his self-interest has led to more not less human freedom. What does it matter his reasoning if the end result is a positive. Isn’t Bush’s actual freedom of more value than Carter’s pining away for it while the Iranians took our hostages and the Russians invaded Afghanistan?

An honest conclusion one could draw from liberal opinion is that it’s better to offer empty support for human freedom in the world unselfishly than provide human freedom selfishly.

Conservatism is often derided as self-interest for the wealthy while liberalism is self-sacrifice and altruistic. But isn’t liberalism really self-interest based not on money, but on self-satisfaction? Have you ever really known a vocal liberal who wasn’t in love with his/her altruism and open-mindedness? And those liberals who have money are the absolute worst. They love you to see how they’re sacrificing higher taxes for the common good, although behind your back they are looking for every deduction.

More and more we hear this real loud criticism from Democrats of how much this war has cost. They say we aren’t getting our money’s worth and that we should withdraw and let the Iraqis handle it themselves. I would ask Obama this in the next debate:

You have said that the Iraq war is a failure and we cannot hope to win by throwing more money and people at it and we should therefore withdraw. Our education system has been a mess for much longer. Shouldn’t the Federal government save tax payers money by withdrawing and letting localities handle it?

Really the same argument could be made for any liberal sacred cow program. If instant success isn’t forthcoming then why not just leave it to the locals?

Maybe the real deep seeded problem they have with George W. Bush is that he accomplished what they have no stomach for. He liberated a country and offered actual human beings a chance at a real life. If you don’t criticize it and belittle it and make the guy out to be a crook then what might slip into the public consciousness is that Bush succeeded at their game.

Whatever the real opposition, liberals have to ask themselves a number of questions that they don’t seem capable of asking. Spielberg should ask himself why Darfur is intolerable but China is peachy. Anti-war Democrats should ask the same fiscal questions about government in general that they only ask about Iraq. And human rights activist should ask if an effective self-serving Bush isn’t more helpful than an ineffective idealist.

What good are intentions when real people are only helped by results?

1 comment:

E said...

Liberals talk and conservatives do. Conservatives quietly give money that actually helps people. Liberals want to spend everybody's money but not their own. Certain liberals, when pressed, have told me that "awareness" of a problem is what's most important, and are unable to see the hypocrisy and stupidity in that. All talk, no action.

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