Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Exposing Non-Foundationalism and Moral Confusion on the Left

If you missed Hugh Hewitt’s interview yesterday with columnist for The Rocky Mountain News and University of Colorado law professor, Paul Campos go read it now. Some of it is a bit tedious in the reading, so you can skip around a bit. But when read in conjunction with Joe Knippenberg’s fine article (about which he blogged below), it is quite instructive.

The most telling part is toward the end when Campos is at pains to explain why he can’t say that the United States is morally superior to the theocracy of Iran or a country like Zimbabwe. He claims that rhetoric like Lincoln’s calling America the "last best hope of mankind" is dangerous. That’s because, in his view, there’s a certain percentage of humanity that (given the right circumstances) is capable of any measure of unimaginable evil--though he doesn’t use such a morally charged term. None of us is really better than anyone else in that regard, he claims. He refuses to use language that implies better or worse with respect to any regime--saying that regimes are just whatever their people are. And since we’re all the same in our susceptibility to crazy things given the right conditions, I suppose he thinks that regimes are just whatever their circumstances lead them to be. Apparently, human beings and their regimes are nothing better than rats in the laboratory to Campos.

For Campos and his ilk, it is not at all significant that our regime has been (or believes itself to be or tries to be) striving since its inception toward an idea of the good. We delude ourselves if we believe that we are doing anything other than responding to the circumstances within which we operate. Everything we call good is just the result of accident and fortune or, to his mind, perhaps some injustice we’ve perpetrated on someone else. Of course, how something may be called unjust in this construct remains unclear to me. What is bad if there is no good? For example, it seems to be nothing more than Campos’s own prejudice and preference that leads him to say such things like it was good we won in World War II--but he’s even flaky about that claim (saying that the world would not have been lost had we not won). Worth a read and a mug! 

Discussions - 2 Comments

First there’s this:

...the military ends up getting sucked in to a kind of warfare in which atrocities end up getting committed and are not rare, because it’s very difficult, among other things, to distinguish sometimes between the combatants and civilians, and because of course the guerillas use the civilians as a way of protecting themselves. And so that ends up producing these kinds of horrible incidents. And I don’t think this is some kind of indictment of the U.S. military, or some sign that there’s something wrong with the training of the military, or anything like that. I think it’s an inevitable product of guerilla warfare.

Then, out of the same mouth, there’s this:

Well, I mean, what I find really distasteful is people who engage in very ferocious sounding military rhetoric, who are doing so from a position of great personal safety, especially when such people are eligible for military service (laughing).

Perhaps what he means is that it’s perfectly o.k. for him to engage in ferocious sounding military rhetoric from the ski slopes of Colorado but it’s distasteful for anyone else to or perhaps it’s o.k. as long as the ferocious sounding rhetoric is anti military.

It seems Campos got his history of Viet Nam from watching reruns of Kerry’s false "Jenjis Kahn" testimony and the false allegations of the Viet Nam Vets (who weren’t Viet Nam vets and in many cases had never even been in the military at all) Against the War. As with so many of that ilk, he takes a false premise, says it’s indisputably true and uses it to draw an absurd conclusion.

Lincoln: "the last best hope of earth."

Campos: "the next-to-the-next-to-the-last mediocre whim of Gaians."

Soars, doesn’t it?

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