Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Abraham Lincoln: "Firmness in the right"

Andrew Klavan has a killer op-ed today in City Journal, with a great reference to the first Republican President, Abraham Lincoln:

"The thing I like best about being a conservative is that I don’t have to lie. I don't have to pretend that men and women are the same. I don't have to declare that failed or oppressive cultures are as good as mine. I don't have to say that everyone's special or that the rich cause poverty or that all religions are a path to God. I don't have to claim that a bad writer like Alice Walker is a good one or that a good writer like Toni Morrison is a great one. I don't have to pretend that Islam means peace.

Of course, like everything, this candor has its price. A politics that depends on honesty will be, by nature, often impolite. Good manners and hypocrisy are intimately intertwined, and so conservatives, with their gimlet-eyed view of the world, are always susceptible to charges of incivility. It's not really nice, you know, to describe things as they are.

If these people in their public personae seem harsh to more genteel conservatives, it may be because it requires that extra dollop of aggression to shatter the silence created by the Left’s increasingly elaborate sensitivities.

Still, mannerly as we would rather be, truth-telling continues to be both compelling and ultimately satisfying. There is, after all, something greater than courtesy. "Firmness in the right," Lincoln called it, "as God gives us to see the right."


  1. >>It’s not really nice,you know,
    to describe things as they are.

    Oh yes it must be sheer hell. Another way of viewing his words is - "Freedom to be a blatantly ignorant asshole is so liberating, because even if something I say is factually incorrect and understandably offends people who know otherwise,it doesn't matter what my critics say because I'm right anyway,because I say I am. What a fine upstanding hero of western civilization I am". Going by the ignorance shown by some hardline Conservatives,that is how I view their "Telling it how it is" or "clarity" view of things.

  2. I'll let the readers decide about the intellectual deapth of your comment.

  3. Joe: Klavan is dead on correct.
    Let's take Global Warming, for example. Libs in complete hysteria that "world temperature" increased 1 degree in one hundred years. Think about "world temperature." What does it mean? How is it measured? Is 1 degree a lot or little? Compared to what?
    Libs presume yesterday's temp was ideal and 1 degree increase suggests disaster! As humans, we cannot detect 1 degree difference.
    Libs invoke GW ANYTIME there is extreme weather. Cold in Summer? GW. Heavy rain? GW. Hot in Summer? GW.
    GW religionists remind me of old tales of American Indians praying to the weather gods. Good weather meant god was happy with them. Bad weather meant he was angry. Their beliefs were no different that GW religionists' today.
    Sheryl Crow is latest example, suggesting we cut back on toilet paper useage. I have no doubt she believes this will help.
    I have a better suggestion. The New York Times needs to stop publishing its daily newspaper. It must go on-line.
    One of the biggest rapists of our fragile earth is newspaper publishers. Publishers need newsprint, which comes from our precious forests. Trees must be clear cut. The mills convert the trees to newsprint, generating huge waste pumped into the local waterways. Newsprint must be shipped to New York Times printing facilities around the nation. These facilities consume vast amounts of electricity. Finally, after just ONE DAY, all of this production is put in the trash!
    I call on all GW religionists to picket the NYT building in NYC. Together we can make a difference!

    F. Garvin, Ph.D., S.J.


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