The following is a comment I contributed on one of Neo-neocon's most excellent essays, in this case an examination of the impact of Vietnam and the meaning of that period for her, and on our society. That particular post was an installment of her collection published under the header of "A Mind Is A difficult Thing To Change".
Vietpundit stopped in here and suggested I put it up, so here (though late)it is:
You have written a wonderful series of essays here, neo.
We aren't "privileged". We are successful as a society. Materially, politically, technologically. The people in China or Nigeria may not understand us, but that doesn't stop them from dying trying to get here.
People debate politics. They live life, and do first what they must do to make it to the next day. Here in the evil USA we don't live in fear of the state or tribe or religion every waking moment (unless you are an Uncle Joe, of course), and the mental space provided by that simple reality has made all the difference in the accumulation of wealth and the amount of energy expended by individuals in search of better ways to do things.
War is a horrible thing. By definition it is state directed killing to achieve a goal.
We get back to the predilection of individuals to just do what they need to do as individuals again; in a nation of free citizens going to war must mean that a majority of those citizens recognize the necessity for the action. This is why democracies so rarely fight wars of aggression. Dictatorships or theocracies lack this mechanism.
Our anti-war minority is not the victim of an out of control government, merely their minority status where this issue is concerned.
I'm a Newt Gingrich, Rush Limbaugh listening conservative. For the record, I believe that Democrats/liberal progressive rank-and-file are WRONG about how they go about dealing with issues. Evil implies malicious intent. Failure to recognize basic tenets of human nature and attempting to impose unrealistic statist solutions isn't evil - just ineffective.
I don't think that I've ever heard Limbaugh call liberals "evil" - but he's been speaking off the cuff for fifteen years so I might be wrong. Soundbites are a price we pay for the information age. He calls the situation as he sees it against the backdrop of history, which is exactly how I arrived at my political identity. Wealth transfer doesn't work as a remedy for poverty. Moral relativism warps the fabric of society and community - if there is no good or evil, just what are laws for? And why is it that the last bastions of institutional racism in this country are liberal institutions?
People are people. Free citizens who accept a role as perpetual victims are willfully denying themselves the potential for success inherent in a market society. But since people ARE people, after a certain amount of time passes with no improvement in status or condition as victims, they start to look beyond the promises of their patrons.
That's why Republicans have the presidency and majorities in both houses of congress. People go with what works best for THEM... and as long as elections decide who gets the power to write and enforce law here the better ideas will eventually float to the top.