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Good Morning Nanty Glo!
            Friday, December 19 2003 

Jon Kennedy, webmaster

Frames of reference, 11

Liberal
Conservative
Appease Communists and terrorists Proactively oppose evildoers
CollectivistsIndividualists

Nothing better defines the current state of liberal/conservative conflict in American politics than today's first set of comparisons: liberals' policy of apeasement vs the conservatives' support of a firm stand against international evildoers. The liberal opponents of the Bush policy toward Iraq advocated accommodating the Iraqi dictator, Saddam Hussein, right up to the allied invasion last spring, and they continue to distance themselves, to varying degrees, from the war to liberate Iraq as represented in major planks in the presidential candidacies of all the declared Democrats vying for their party's nomination, except that of the relatively moderate Joe Lieberman. Though 17 UN resolutions had called for the disarmament of Iraq, the recently captured dictator refused to co-operate with weapons inspectors and to give access to "sensitive areas" in what then was "his" country.

This disparity between the two sides of American politics was evident in most of the years of American war in Vietnam (during which both the Democratic and Republican administrations were liberal), when conservatives pressed for conducting the war with victory in mind and faulted the liberals for simply wanting to contain Ho Chi Min's Communist forces by permanently dividing the country similar to the partition of Korea. Throughout the "cold war" between the West and the Soviet-bloc, the conservatives consistently advocated strong measures to undermine the Soviets' power, while liberals advocated propping up the Communist regimes, though President John F. Kennedy did confront the East in Berlin and stared down the Soviets when they set up missile bases in Cuba. President Reagan's call in 1987, for "Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall" when he followed Kennedy's example in Berlin, was the most effective application of conservative principle and strength in cold war strategy taken by any American President, a courageous move that his close advisors urged him not to take. Now it is hailed by historians as a turning point, coming less than two years before the wall's dismantling, which signalled the end of the cold war.

The liberals' love of collectivism—what Hillary Clinton describes as requiring "a village to raise a child"—contrasts with the conservatives' belief in individualism. Individualism is rooted in the biblical emphasis that every soul stands before God and must choose to serve Him or serve self (Joshua 24:15), and if choosing God to stand as a model of righteousness and conscience. The liberal alternative is possibly best expressed in the motto of the French Revolution, "freedom, equality, brotherhood," which was the rallying call to the worst political bloodletting from the fall of the western empire in Rome almost two millenia earlier to that time (c. 1789). An update of it was the Marxists' call a little more than a century later: "from each according to his ability, to each according to his need." Over against it is God's call to every individual: "Thou shalt not follow a multitude to do evil" (Exodus 23:2).

Webmaster Jon Kennedy

Quick reference for this series: First, second, third, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh, eighth, ninth, tenth, eleventh. twelfth.

Fun facts (or "facts," so it says, but take with a grain)

There are more chickens than people in the world.

Two-thirds of the world's eggplant is grown in New Jersey.

—Sent by Trudy Myers 

Thought for today

Of all the dispositions and habits which lead to political prosperity, religion and morality are indispensable supports....And let us with caution indulge the supposition that morality can be maintained without religion.

— George Washington

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