Do The Freakin Math

Liberals and conservatives alike frequently rely on limited evidence, personal experience, religious beliefs or gut emotions to determine solutions for complex problems. From immigration to global warming - taxes to terrorism - or health care to free trade - analytical study is rare. Science based policy making isn’t the way of Washington. And the consequences are catastrophic. Change is urgently needed. Just do the freakin’ math.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Code of Honor is universal and timeless.

Frank Miniter’s analysis of ‘codes of honor’ over the ages is essentially accurate. From the Samurai and early Christian’s codes to the code of the Texas Rangers and the Marines “most of the rules [in these codes written over the ages] are the same.”
But Mr. Miniter’s “Call to Action for Men” (Father’s Day) had it backwards regarding his analysis of conservatives and liberals application of such codes. In today’s hyper globalized world it is conservatives who are “morally relative” and resist the universal enforcement of such codes. It is progressives who are more likely to have a “black and white set of concrete moralities” guiding their actions. Look no further than a lack of conservative support for the universal protection of basic human rights where protections are justified relative only to one’s nationality, religion, income level, skin color, or relative importance to the interests of the United States. That’s no code of honor.
Miniter is correct when he writes there are “fundamental absolute rights and wrongs” consistently “written by various cultures across several millenniums…often…established independently from each other.” And, I believe the latest of these universal code agreements was the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights. But it’s mostly conservatives who refuse to strengthen the United Nations ability to enforce those basic inalienable rights. The conservative’s code appears to hold national sovereignty supreme to such inalienable human rights. The rest of the world can go to hell. We just need to defend our Constitution. And, even our Bill of Rights is optional in war time.
Our nation’s founding Fathers wrote in our Declaration of Independence that human rights are universal and inalienable -- regardless of sex, age, religion, skin color or nationality.
Consider persistent conservative views and foreign policies regarding what is allowable treatment for suspected terrorists. Enhanced interrogation techniques, lifelong incarceration without trial, and death as collateral damage -- are all acceptable violations of human rights outside our borders. Equal justice isn’t needed if we are fighting Muslim extremists to protect our “freedoms” and our way of life. In their relatively moral world “innocent until proven guilty” and ‘law enforcement’ are reserved for U.S. citizens not suspected of Muslim extremist terrorism.
Such conservatives views are biased relative to their own nationality. Their belief in the exceptionalism of our nation and their worship a Constitution that was anything but moral regarding its original laws regarding slaves. They forget that it was actually the Amendments to the original Constitution that gave protection to human rights…and even those rights were limited to white males. Genocide of the American Indian was permissible because they were unChristian savages. Now bombing suspected Taliban leaders and ‘accidently’ killing innocent men women and children is ‘regrettable’ but allowed because we are an exceptional nation… and they just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
In this liberal’s view, the killing of innocent men, women and children is murder. Full well knowing that war results in collateral damage should mean that starting a war – is a war crime. And those who initiate it should be held accountable in a court of law. Conservatives believe such murder is OK because our President and our troops mean well. That is not a code to live by. It is a code for world chaos. Creating a world federation with the capacity to enforce the universal declaration of human rights is the code of conduct all the world needs now. Even conservatives.



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