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Sunday, April 16, 2006

THE SENSIBLE LEFT SPEAKS: "Can There Be a Decent Left?" This was Michael Walzer's 2002 question about the mixed bag of remaining “progressives" who viewed September 11 as yet another opportunity to blame America. Long-time leftist Walzer said he'd had enough of "the favorite posture of many American leftists: standing as a righteous minority, brave and determined, among the timid, the corrupt, and the wicked. A posture like that ensures at once the moral superiority of the left and its political failure." Turns out Walzer's got some company. The Euston Manifesto is a newly drafted statement of principles by a community of leftists who've come to terms with the
disastrous history of left apologetics over the crimes of Stalinism and Maoism, as well as more recent exercises in the same vein (some of the reaction to the crimes of 9/11, the excuse-making for suicide-terrorism, the disgraceful alliances lately set up inside the "anti-war" movement with illiberal theocrats).
The signers of the manifesto also
reject without qualification the anti-Americanism now infecting so much left-liberal (and some conservative) thinking. This is not a case of seeing the US as a model society. We are aware of its problems and failings. But these are shared in some degree with all of the developed world. The United States of America is a great country and nation. It is the home of a strong democracy with a noble tradition behind it and lasting constitutional and social achievements to its name.
Now let's sit back and watch as the hate-America left proceeds to malign and slander those who signed this manifesto. It's what they're now doing to David Horowitz for revealing the 101 most dangerous academics in America, and to Kate O'Beirne for chronicling the pathology that today goes by the name of feminism — a movement that made sense when its focus was legal and civic equality between the sexes rather than the villification of men and the denial of any significant differences between males and females. Attacking people rather than ideas is also how the Klan attempted to keep the Jim Crow regime in place, once upon a time. Different players all, but the very same mindset.