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Sign of Maturity

Reader comment on item: Korean Delusions [of Appeasement]

Submitted by Bob Greene (United States), Oct 10, 2002 at 01:40

In my evolution from being a liberal with a heart at age twenty to a conservative with a brain by age forty, the biggest obstacle to overcome was the naive belief that my opponent was always both honorable and rational. With the acceptance of the fact that this was frequently not the case, the rest of my transformation came easily.

Nations, free nations, however seem to evolve the other way. The US being born in fire and fury took on that Jacksonian idea to keep ours eyes open and our powder dry. But as we became more 'civilized' we always looked for the best in others and had to be hit over the head ,ala Dec 7th, to be aware of malevolence in the world.

I believe modern secular societies, rooted in the ideals of the Enlightenment, want to reject the medieval notions of good and evil. We must from time to time be reminded that not all men are of good will and many desire us harm. Further, it is not for some policy position or pronouncement that they hate us, but rather, for what we are, for the threat our very existance poses to them.

That is a corollary to to the liberal/conservative dichotomy: whether everyone is inately reasonable or whether some people and some nations are beyond reason.

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