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Battle Lines Can Blur the Truth August 6, 2010

Posted by rjpeel in Conservative, Democrat, Liberal, Republican, Truth.
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I like to listen to conservative talk radio–because they keep a very vigilant eye on what is being done to erode our freedoms and to increase the waste of tax payer money (something that I believe to be beyond shameful).

I find that although I am frequently in agreement with the positions of these conservative talk show hosts, I am often at odds with their lack of decorum, the intensity of their feelings, but most importantly, I find that I am often frustrated by their unwillingness to yield or soften their position when this is the right thing to do. I understand that there are elements in our society that are actively trying to take freedom (and the product of our labor) from us, and that we should be passionate in the fight against this, but this only excuses the excesses to a certain point.

The excess that disappoints me the most is, I believe, caused by the battle lines that have been drawn by each side. One such battle line is the line between openness and tolerance of the Muslim religion and it’s followers and the fight against terrorism. For varied and complicated reasons, Liberals have taken the position that we should be more open and friendly toward muslims (and even those with ties to terrorists) because our hostile attitudes are only creating more hatred and more terrorists. Conservatives, who have been comfortable in their anger toward Muslim extremists, have responded to this by pushing their position even more heavily toward fighting the terrorists.

As a result, both sides have moved away from the truth–away from those values and positions that will help us most effectively fight terrorism. Both sides embrace a portion of the truth, and advocate some actions that are important and even necessary, but then they take things too far, in advocating positions and actions that are detrimental and deliberately avoiding good positions and actions because they are part of the enemy’s platform.

Liberals are arguing in favor of allowing a mosque to be built near ground zero in New York, because we need to show the Muslims that we are their friends, not their enemies. We need to stop creating more hatred toward us. The conservatives say this is a huge insult to those who were attacked by militant Muslims on 9/11 and that we cannot appear to look weak to the Muslim world–which, they argue we do whenever we cave into giving them something they’d never give us.

The problem is that both are simply positions. In this case, the conservatives have a strong position that resonates with the American people, and I believe, their position came first–as a natural reaction to 9/11. Because it was the conservatives that had the sitting President at the time of the attacks, and because that sitting President took the fight to the Muslim extremists, the fight against militant Islam became a strong conservative platform.

The Liberals cannot let the Conservatives have such a strong platform without any sort of challenging platform, because they’d give up influence if they allowed it. So, they have no choice but to come up with a platform to challenge the Conservatives. Openness and tolerance are among their most effective platforms, and it seems to fit the situation, so they bring this particular weapon to bear against the Conservatives. But they can’t just argue for openness and tolerance and understanding, because they can’t allow the Conservatives to be even a little bit right, so they must also attack the opposing side as not just ‘incomplete’, but as wrong. So, the tendency is to vilify the fight against militant Islam–the only way fight terrorism is to show them how much we love and respect them. This is the only platform they feel they can put forth, because it is the only platform that makes them the one and only group that is ‘right’.

For EXACTLY the same reasons, Conservatives reject most every suggestion to engage in any campaigns of tolerance and kindness to the Muslim world because this would be to say that the Liberals might have a point–something they cannot admit, because they might lose some influence.

Thus the battle lines are drawn.

But because both sides have a portion of the truth, and because they both reject what the other side brings to the table, they are both bound and determined to be wrong–dead wrong. We will allow the terrorists to grow in brazenness, because we are too divided to strike them fast and hard. We will also allow the terrorists to grow in strength because we are too divided to effectively reach out to those Muslims who do not support extremism in order to show them we love them and want to be their friends.

In the end, we will lose this battle, and so many others, because we drew the wrong lines. It’s OK, it’s actually the right thing to do, to acknowledge that the other side is right–when they are.

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