Friday, April 13, 2007

A favorite tactic of the left is to accuse supporters of the Iraq war of being chickenhawks if they aren't (or haven't been) in the military, helping to fight. An offshoot is to criticize pro-war politicians for sending the military off to war if their military age kids (assuming they have some) haven't rushed off to volunteer to fight.

A number of conservatives have roundly criticized the whole 'chickenhawk' argument on a number of grounds, including turning the hypocrisy accusation back on the left by pointing out that nowhere else is someone required to 'sign up' for a cause before being able to offer up support for that cause. They point out that no one is required to serve soup to the homeless before saying that fighting poverty is a good thing. No one is required to join the police in order to say that criminals should be arrested and put in jail. No one has to put on a forest ranger hat and lead tour groups through national parks before being allowed to argue in favor of more money for our national parks and so on.

So... should conservatives be allowed to argue the hypocrisy of some of the biggest global warming alarmists for their flying in private jets, running up major heating bills and so on? If the pro-war writers at National Review don't have to sign up for the Infantry, why should Al Gore have to reduce his energy usage in order to be able to claim that global warming is a big deal? If pro-war bloggers can sit in the warmth and safety of their own homes instead of being off fighting in Iraq, why can't Gore and his comrades be able to stay warm in their (big, really big) houses instead of having to turn down the thermostat?

You can argue with them that their ideas are stupid, that they're idiots, that they don't know what they're talking about.... but their 'failure' to walk the walk can not be used to indict the entire argument.

Segueing along, I've harped in the past that conservatives are often inconsistent in that they do themselves what they criticize liberals for doing. We don't like judges who 'legislate from the bench'... unless the judge does so to benefit conservatives. We hate those who make fun of religious figures... unless it is a Muslim who is being made fun of. We object to society not making more of an effort to accomodate religion... unless it is a Muslim who is asking society to accomodate his religious beliefs. We object to the media printing classifed material... unless the material supports something we are in favor of.

While I have pointed out the conservative hypocrisy, in a way, I don't have a problem with this... because, for me, the standard is whether a particular program is good for me, my friends and for my country. It's pretty simple: if it benefits America, let's do it. If it is harmful to America, then it's wrong and needs to be stopped.

That is why I am fine with denying Iran the ability to have nuclear weapons even though we have thousands of our own. Us having nukes: good. Iran having nukes: bad. And I'm fine with us torturing terrorists to gain information while I want killed (and painfully so) anyone who tortures an American. And that is why I have no problem with our military being able to level entire city blocks in Iraq, killing scores of Iraqis, if doing so would save the life of even one American soldier.

I don't believe in 'what's good for the goose is good for the gander', 'do unto others as you would have them to unto you', or anything else along those sappy lines. All of these imply an equivalency between us and others in the world.

And that is hogwash. We're not equals. We're Americans and Americans ought to do what is right for America, not what is right for someone living somewhere else.

That is the definition of patriotism, doing what is right for your country. I don't want Americans dying to save the lives of Iraqis... of those in Darfur... of those in Tel Aviv. I don't want dollars taken out of American pockets and put into the pockets of someone living elsewhere. And I certainly don't want to do something that is detrimental to the interests of this country because 'it wouldn't be fair' if we did otherwise. I don't care about fair, I only care about America.

Golda Meir once remarked of the Palestinians that they loved their kids less than they hated the Israelis. Unfortunately, there are way too many people in this country who care more about others than they do about Americans.