Tuesday, July 15, 2003

America's rose colored glasses

I am a big opponent to multicultural relativism. I despise it. It white washes evil, vilifies good and trys to magically bring everyone to the same level field. One of the ways in that multicultural relativism is bad is the perverse effect that it cuases in people tired of the multicultural relativistic crap when they begin to see any broadening of horizons as creeping multicultural relativism and shun it. However, when they do so they are missing the greatest tool we can have for understand the actions of others on this planet and that it to understand the "world view" of others. Unlike multicultural relativism, learning others world views does not had right and worng. One can understand the world view of the Serbians and still launch missiles to stop genocide in Kosovo.

We, as Americans, have a wondrously optimistic world view. We have by far the most optimistic on earth. It makes sense too as we are mighty, powerful, never been defeated, never been crushed, always reaching higher and higher heights, comprised (mostly) of people that came to the US with the belief that if they worked hard good things would happen. We believe that if our kids don't have it better than we did then we, as a society, have collectively dropped the ball. Bill Whittle talks alot about how important our optimism is to our current and continued success and it is this American Optimism that is going to bring democracy to Iraq. It won't be done by the leftists that think an illiberal despot is superior to liberal democracy to begin with and spent all the pre-war time defending Saddam. It won't be done by the "paleo-conservatives" that think since the Iraqis aren't just like us they "don't get it" and are incapable of achieving such lofty reaches. The salt and earth of the center of America - the optimistic center - however knows that we can in fact not only make Iraq democratic but also a successful prosperous country. The only question is how much work it will take. And this American world view is amplified by our gross lack of history.

Envy and Naiveté.

Envy. Many in the world feel and envy of the United States but what is it that creates this envy? Is it just a good economy? Just good wages? Just a strong military? Is it envy of what we have? I don't think so. I say it's envy of what we can do. We can finish the Panama Canal. Can can defend other nations. We can go to the moon, on a time table. We can, with the flick of a wrist, go around the world and overthrow rouge governments. We can do anything and they can't. It is that they are envious of but here's the rub... they can't because they think they can't. They have a world view that keeps them in their place. Keeps them from trying. They have 1001 reasons why it can't be done and wax on till the cows come home about how it will fail, all the while we are busy doing it. First it was all about how the Taliban are hardened fighters after years warfare. That Afghanistan was going to be another Vietnam. Then how well the Taliban will defend the cities. Then how they will fight on forever in the hills. Then how you'll never get the warlords together. And while they keep telling us this we quickly dispatch the Taliban to the cheers of the vast majority of Afghanistan and have begun the long road of nation building. Then we hear about how mighty Saddam's army is. How this will be another Vietnam. How much the Iraqis love Saddam. Then once the fighting started it suddenly was another Vietnam. You could hear the joy in reports from around the world that somebody was finaly showing the Yanks what's what even if those armed forces are defending one of the worst dictators of the 20th century. Just one thing after another all the while we are crushing the Baathists and bringing real liberty and stability to the people of Iraq. They wish nothing more than to see us, "learn our lesson". What lesson is that, I wonder. Perhaps it's the lesson France learned. The lesson that turned them into the greatest hypocrites in the EU and made them legend with their acts of perfidy. IS that the lesson the world wants us to learn? No thanks.

Naiveté is simply a different facet of the same brilliant gem that is American Optimism. Remember from the last paragraph. They really don't think these things can be done. You can't go to the moon. You'll never build a canal in that swamp. The middle east cannot be fixed. Now if your world view makes you think these things can't be done then of course you are going to think that dope in the corner saying he can is an idiot. Thus the belief that it is we who are naive for trying.

Right now the big fight going on between our optimism and their pessimism - our differint world views - are predictions over the future of Iraq. We say we are going to bring them democracy. They say it can't be done. We say just needs hard work. They say you can't bring democracy to a people raised in a brutal dictatorship with no history of majority rule. We say, "Been to Germany or Japan lately?" They say the circumstances are different... ad infinitum. Them forever moving the goal posts in response to us saying, "ya, we can kick the ball that far."

The world will always be happy to tell us what can't be done so let's keep our rose colored glasses on and get to work.

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