I was reading the "perspectives" section today in this weeks Trop (the university newspaper) and I was so annoyed that I'm considering writing a letter to the editor. I know that everyone is entitled to his or her opinion, but this person just seems to be living on a different planet than I am or something. He suggests that our country has fallen "into a rabbit hole of moral decay and global danger" due to our "ultra-tolerance policy" because we don't want to "offend any group of Muslims." He thinks that we worry too much about the opinions of other nations and I quote, "When did America turn into a bunch of pansies, scared of what someone thinks?" He ends his article by saying "With the government cowering behind its ultra-tolerant views and political correctness, it is only a matter of time before we are attacked again."
As to our "ultra-tolerance policy" I have to ask, are we not humiliating and most likely torturing Muslim prisoners of war as we speak? Why yes, I think we are. Our government my give lip service to not offending Muslim groups, but in reality they do it everyday. I'm sure our actions toward Muslims have increased the enrollment in Al Qaida more than it has ebbed it.
Also, we are supposed to be a liberal society in the classical meaning of the term. We are supposed to believe in freedom of religion. We are supposed to believe in the rights of the individual and the limitation of government control over people's lives. If this guy doesn't want to live in a liberal society, maybe he needs to go live in a dictatorship for a while to see what an illiberal society is really like (preferably a dictatorship that is intolerant to his religion and/or ethnic group).
As to our worrying about world opinion I have to ask, does he forget that the United States attacked Iraq against international law and against the objections of most of the civilized world? I personally think we need to pay more attention to world opinion. Just as "no man is an island," no state acts in a void. Even if we are the "only remaining superpower," we have to consider that the world is not our playground.
To his last comment I offer these quotes from some fine American's who knew what it was like to live in a less than liberal society and in less than safe times:
Live free or die: Death is not the worst of evils.
-American Revolutionary War General John Stark
Give me liberty or give me death.
Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.
My own opinion is that liberties freely given up are not likely to be freely returned. Okay, I'll stop ranting now.