Home > Liberalism > The Roots of Liberal Guilt

The Roots of Liberal Guilt

“Imagine that a man is walking down a quiet street and passes an alleyway in which he sees another man assaulting a woman. What is he to do? He considers jumping in to defend her, but then realizes that that may be ‘risky’ and even possibly ‘reckless.’ The safe thing to do is to keep moving on. After all he really didn’t know the woman and he had no divested ‘interest’ in saving her. Moments later that same man looks behind him and sees that a second man has noticed the assault in the alleyway and has jumped in to defend the woman. The first man notices that the second man is about the same age, height, weight as he is but this man jumped in anyway. Uh oh, now he has a problem. Does he hope the second man does well, wins the fight, saves her honor and becomes the hero? What a disgrace that would be. After all, he could have done the same and chose not to. It would make his decision look awfully bad upon reflection. On the other hand, what if the second man were to become the second victim? Would it really make the first man feel smug knowing that that could have been him, but a man far better than him at least did something honorable yet ‘risky’ and possibly ‘reckless’? There’s your ‘Hobson’s choice’ simplified into micro terms in relation to Iraq. It’s easy to see now which man is John Kerry and which man is George W. Bush. Or even better, which man is a liberal war protester continuing the protest even after the war has begun and which man is the soldier or Marine serving in harm’s way willingly.”

Opinion Journal

Categories: Liberalism
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