Masochism ≠ Virtue

 

In her 1979 book, “Dictatorships and Double Standards,” Ambassador Jeane Kirkpatrick advised us that, “Liberal idealism need not be identical with masochism, and need not be incompatible with the defense of freedom and the national interest.”  

Yes, but that was another time, a time when (as Bill Buckley would say) the blood of our father’s ran strong and a freshly inaugurated president, just minutes after taking the oath of office, would thus put the world on notice:

Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.

That, however, was 1961. If a Republican presidential candidate employed the words of President John F. Kennedy today, The New York Times and Washington Post would be forecasting the onset of dictatorship in America; the ladies on The View would be incandescent with rage (and flubbergasted with donuts); Joe Scarborough would denounce the cultural chauvinism of the statement to all 14 viewers; BLM would denounce it as white supremacy before blocking traffic, busting heads and looting some department stores while chanting “No Justice, No Flatscreens”; David French would assail as xenophobic any sympathetic Christians in an upcoming edition of his Sunday Castigations; and Representative Rashida Talib (D-Gaza) would drape that tablecloth over her shoulders again and blame the Jews.

Of course it’s beyond passé these days and considered downright prehistoric to go around supporting any friend and opposing any foe in order to assure the survival of liberty or America, for that matter. I mean, where’s the equity and inclusion in that? C’mon man! What are you, the GEICO Caveman? If you’re not importing your enemies to attack your citizens at home while ostracizing your friends overseas, you’re on the wrong side of history! 

Besides, what if your erstwhile “friend” is poorly behaved and doesn’t meet our good housekeeping seal of approval standards, but nevertheless would ensure your country’s survival like, say, the Soviet Union during the Second World War? Would you write “Never USSR” editorials in conservative journals and revel in your moral finery while your country is conquered by a nation that was busy exterminating Jews? 

Recall that when considering whether to make common cause with the USSR, Winston Churchill observed that if Hitler were to invade Hell, he’d find something nice to say about the devil in the House of Commons. But we were insufficiently advanced back then, and poorly instructed in the ways of masochism disguised as virtue. So we instead made common cause with the Soviets, freed much of western Europe and dispatched Hitler to his grave while sending Nazism to the ash heap of history, …where Hamas resides. 

But we’re much more advanced now, or so we’d like to think. It’s fashionable to look at existential threats from third world barbarians through a first world lens. Why, all you have to do is demonstrate colossal incompetence and debilitating weakness on the world stage by, for example, precipitously pulling out your military forces from a hostile country thus stranding your own citizens while leaving billions of dollars in weapons to radical neanderthals. It also helps to enrich the world’s foremost source of terrorism and death to the tune of billions of dollars with which to kill even more people.

Then, to further demonstrate your masochist streak virtue, start shutting down your own energy sources while going hat in hand to beg help from country’s that don’t like you. Lastly, just to make sure your enemies understand what a chowderhead sophisticated nobleman you are, leave your border open to millions of unvetted third worlders and release your most dangerous predators from prisons to wreck havoc on your citizens.

Which is how you destroy America, cripple Europe, embolden Russia to invade Ukraine, entice China to instigate all manner of mischief, help Iran to fund its proxies, and enable precivilizational barbarians to slaughter over a thousand women, children, families and the elderly in your closest ally nation and the sole democracy in the Mideast. Masochism, masked as virtue, is a messy business here at home, but it’s positively catastrophic elsewhere.  

A little while back I reached out to a longtime friend of Ricochet who lives in Israel.  You may remember Judith Levy, a gifted writer, artist, intellectual and an absolute gem of a lady.  While the Biden administration attempts to hamstring Israel’s urgent need to erase the existential threat to the Jewish people themselves, Judith writes: 

Thank you so much for checking in. Holding on so far. We’re all holding our breath for whatever’s coming next. Praying this ends soon, but it is absolutely critical that it end in an unequivocal Israeli victory and Hamas defeat. Anything less would be a victory for them by default and a ticking time bomb for this country. We have to hold our nerve and do what’s required even in the face of global opprobrium at our audacity for daring to defend our people from a mob bent on our total destruction. It’s strange to exist in a mode where you have no idea what is going to happen tomorrow or if the country you live in will still be standing a year from now. We need all the help we can get from those people out there who still possess the moral clarity to see that this is a fight against pure evil. Please keep getting the word out. Thank you again.

Just today, FBI Director Christopher Wray testified to the Senate Judiciary Committee that:

“What I would say that is unique about the environment that we’re in right now in my career is that while there may have been times over the years where individual threats could have been higher here or there than where they may be right now, I’ve never seen a time where all the threats or so many of the threats are all elevated, all at exactly the same time.”  

The hour is late, and the window of time to correct the monstrous path we are now on is closing, if it hasn’t closed already. Do we have the fortitude to look soberly at the options unfolding before us, none of which are ideal? Or will we continue mistaking masochism for virtue, wrapping ourselves in hubris and self-congratulations as it all implodes? 

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  1. Percival Thatcher
    Percival
    @Percival

    Dave Carter:

    Just today, FBI Director Christopher Wray testified to the Senate Judiciary Committee that:

    “What I would say that is unique about the environment that we’re in right now in my career is that while there may have been times over the years where individual threats could have been higher here or there than where they may be right now, I’ve never seen a time where all the threats or so many of the threats are all elevated, all at exactly the same time.”

    It has to be tough, keeping tabs on those noisy malcontents at school board meetings, Catholics, and scofflaws who remove mattress tags all while preventing anyone from identifying the agents and informants embedded with the J6 rioters.

    Setting up a police state is hard work.

    • #1
  2. GlennAmurgis Coolidge
    GlennAmurgis
    @GlennAmurgis

    Bureaucrats never want to give up control, it’s all they have.

    • #2
  3. Lilly B Coolidge
    Lilly B
    @LillyB

    Sadly, I think we need to qualify what is meant by freedom. The pro-Palestinian chant seeks freedom. I haven’t seen anyone ask those people what they mean by “Palestine will be free.” Is it freedom for or freedom from? It seems that they mean freedom from Israel and freedom from having to co-exist with the Jewish people. We shouldn’t defend all “freedom” as a vague substitute for goodness. 

    • #3
  4. Robert E. Lee Inactive
    Robert E. Lee
    @RobertELee

    Our country is schizophrenic. We tout freedom and liberty while some of our politicians are siding with Putin instead of Ukraine. We have a long history of foreign interventionism, including in Central America, yet instead of intervening now and putting an end to the conditions making for mass migration, we wail at the catastrophic flood coming over our borders, we don’t stop them, we just wail about it. Our allies have learned we are fickle friends at best, not to be trusted beyond the latest opinion poll or the next celebrity fade. Our citizens have seen our politicians have no interest in anything other than enriching and empowering themselves. In any civilized country our form of government would be call bribery and corruption, we call it special interest and lobbying. 

    I’m of an age where we said the pledge of allegiance in the morning at school, expected civic duty as a given, be it voting, jury duty, military service, or whatever the country called citizens to do. It wasn’t a kinder, gentler age, people were publicly reviled for the color of their skin or land of origin, but maybe we could bring back the good and leave the bad behind. Bring back pride in what the country is suppose to stand for and work for the ideal. Seem like people these days feel like it all sucks so why bother. Makes me sad.

    • #4
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