In Defense of Empire
Rand Paul and his pops, should be applauded for defending the Constitution, but thoroughly scolded for lamenting a better way. Newsflash, folks: some ideas are better than others.
The term “Arab Spring” might invoke an image of fragrant grains blooming in a once parched desert and a luxury Hilton opening its doors in Tripoli. We’re supposed to imagine reasoned, representative government, little girls going to public school, and someone named “Abu” inventing a cure for MS. The Arabs, we are reminded, reverentially, invented algebra. Surely, with all this new freedom type stuff going on, it won’t take another thousand years for something new.
But then there are those pesky beheadings on the rise in Saudi Arabia, and that nasty Lara Logan story, and Boko Haran bragging about selling Christian girls into sex slavery. The chorus of “It’s a Small World” morphs into the Exorcist theme. All those beautiful international kids on a hillside, hoping to buy the world a Coke, just took a hit from an RPG. There are body parts all over the meadow. (But there is happy news: the forward thinking Turkish Muslims have concluded Allah approves of toilet paper and hand sanitizer — as long as you remain completely quiet on the toilet seat.)
So far, this bizarre carnival of evil reflects the tinkering debate of the tinkering elites trying to politely tinker with the 1400 year old, brain-damaged monster called “Islam,” which doesn’t respond very well, generally, to tinkering. Among the ruling tinkering elites, we have the optimistic fools (John Kerry, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton) — who think Iran can be trusted with nuclear weapons. We have the venture capitalist tinkerers (George W. Bush, Dick Cheney) who believe more iPads and a few solar farms will make Mohammed very pleasant. The smartest of the tinkering elites would be the old William Colby types, now dying off, who just installed the least unpleasant brutal dictator we could find.
And then, proudly distant from the elites, on the other side of the room, we have the Paul Family, who drag their nails over the chalk board and shout, “it’s all our fault.”
Western self hatred comes in many different sizes and shapes. Yes, we expect it at Berkeley and Madison, but there’s also an evangelical incarnation as well, and it’s very well represented by Rand and Ron. In this particular variant, the United States is seen as the exporter of abortion, pornography, divorce, alcoholism, and other big doses of dissipation and evil too numerous to mention.
What right have we, so the reasoning goes, to meddle in other peoples’ lives?
Well, if you don’t really have a life, behind the Islamic Iron Curtain, how can you meddle with it? We could tell many stories about middle eastern savagery, but I’ll just repeat one I heard from a West Point officer, stationed in Riyadh. He saw a woman who committed the crime of showing too much ankle. She was thrown to the ground by the religious police who then spray painted her legs, by way of warning: cover up… or the next time it will get worse.
Picture your wife, or your daughter, in that situation and then tell me, with a straight face, we don’t have something to tell the Arab World about the nature of civilization.
And official misogyny is only the beginning. We actually sent our soldiers to those Godforsaken wastelands led by generals who were so gutless they decided to burn Bibles, rather than offend the natives. General Petraeus, when he wasn’t shagging the help, even lectured Americans about burning q’urans on our own soil. Freedom of expression here, the reasoning went, would endanger our soldiers over there, and of course, we’ve seen how angry Hillary was about that “hateful video.” She was more angry with a video lampoon of Mohammed than she was with the animals who broom-stick raped the ambassador whose name she couldn’t remember. The cries for military assistance hadn’t even died out before Hillary went full-throttle against the first amendment.
The Paul family would do well to learn something positive from this ridiculous display: we’re very sure of ourselves in the West. We are so sure of our God, or our system, (or both) that we humor Muslims. We coddle them. We pretend their brutal religion is really peaceful. We hope for the best from them. Even Godless Jezebels like Hillary Clinton, on some strange unarticulated level is living out a two thousand year old Christian standard: love your neighbor as yourself. She doesn’t know it, but she’s a very clear example of the soft bigotry of low expectations: against every evidence to the contrary, like most idiot liberals, she actually hopes for something good out of the Arab world.
Culturally and spiritually, where did that come from? The Rands, and the rest of us, should learn something from this: our system is better, our God is stronger. For all of the pornography and decadence of the west, I keep asking a rather simple question: if you had to raise a family, would you rather do it in Richmond, Virginia or Karachi, Pakistan? If you are honest, you might measure the value of freedom of expression, freedom of inquiry, and the rule of law, (fading as it might be), over the absolute anarchy of a country that secretly adores ISIS. If we have to send soldiers to countries where they can’t openly display their faith, do we really have to humor the Paul family, and their disciples, when they beat their chest about the problems of the west? Black bags for women or Anne Klein? Public schools for little girls or genital mutilation? Freedom of religion or losing your head for reading a Bible?
Rand and Ron — do you see why this makes you look like half-wits?
I’m not one of the tinkering elites, but I want to carve out a proposition: it’s an old one. It’s called “Manifest Destiny” or, more broadly, in Christendom, “The Great Commission.” None of our policy decisions will ever make any sense unless we make it very clear: there can be no progress, no cures for cancer, no roads, no information highway, no shining city on a hill, if there is no freedom of conscience. We can accept a Great King who wins hearts, or a warlord thug who frightens his devotees into abject submission.
When the Paul family laments the price of empire, I think to myself: “wait a minute; I live in the Western United States, former home of the thieving, raping Comanches, Utes, and Apaches. Is there some part of this empire they want to return to hunter-gathers?” We didn’t win the west to celebrate Comanche child killing, nor did we topple the Soviet Union to save it for Marxism. We identified the bad idea first, and then we fought it, with blood and prayer. You should never send a soldier to die, for better iPad distribution, but if you think that’s all the west has to offer, you are blind: you are looking at the dividend yield, and not the cultural capital stock. Christianity and freedom are better ideas than Islam and tyranny — and it doesn’t matter how poorly we live them out, Rand.
The Paul family should be praised for defending the Constitution, but they should be reminded: “Endowed By Their Creator” represented a better way, for all people, and not just for some.