Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Individual Betrayals and Societal Decay

In my essay on Our State of Decay, a good portion of it revolved around my criticism of "conservative" talk show hosts. That element reignited more than one discussion I've had with friends over the years. I fear its resolve is a long way off, but pray it's not.

One of these was with a very old friend in Texas. He accused me (again) of being "a conservative purist." He said a lot of things including putting words in my mouth I hadn't uttered.

Most unsettling was his completely ignoring my point about incrementalism and those who use it to erode the pillars of our society.

He accused me of being more upset with those who claim to be conservatives than those who I fully disagree with. He can't seem to grasp the concept that his worst enemies are the ones who seek to hide their intentions. It is as if nobody who claims to be conservative and talks likes a conservative most of the time could ever be a traitor to him and what he holds dear. The idea of betrayal is totally lost on him.

The most remarkable thing about my friend is that he had been the victim of betrayal at least two times: one was personal and the other professional.

Those were instances where I have good reason to believe he was quite principled and the other parties simply took advantage. Really rotten.

This same man can't see reason in my warning that politicians and celebrities who claim to be conservative need to be held to standards and we should share our judgment of their performance and warn others of their treachery.

Maybe this is an abject lesson as to why there is good reason to behave honorably with our neighbors on an individual basis and also to discourage others who behave dishonorably through reproof. When people are constantly being victimized like my friend, maybe only a little bit here and there, it becomes far easier for them to tolerate BIG betrayals at a distance -- such as on the national stage.

Using my friend's attitude as an example, each person who becomes inured to being a victim (indoctrinated to repetitive injuries) is ready to accept such betrayals. They are more likely than you to accept erosion of our country and individual rights. And they have a vote.

Want to protect your society? Protect your neighbor from yourself.

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