The founders were not radical democrats or socialists like Hertzberg, but conservatives who had a healthy distrust of political passions and who devised a complex system designed to frustrate the schemes of social redeemers and others convinced of their own invincible virtue. If it were not for the undemocratic power vested in the Supreme Court, schools might still be legally segregated. If it were not for rights granted to the states, slavery might have spread throughout the nation. If it were not for the confusing, opaque and difficult to understand American framework, the descendants of Africans who were dragged to this country in English chains might not today be the freest and richest blacks in the world.
What makes these ancient issues important now is that our nation is under attack. It must confront its enemies, moreover, in a state weakened by thirty years of cultural assaults from the left that have made many Americans ambivalent about their heritage. Moral ambivalence about one’s country can lead to an uncertainty of resolve in defending it. But there is really no historical justification for Americans to be ambivalent about their history or heritage. As Michael Walzer and President Bush have both pointed out, this nation is still a beacon of freedom to the rest of the world, and its defense is important not only to us, but to them as well.
-- Left Illusions
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