Straw Man Walking

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To celebrate Independence Day, Liberals and neocons applaud their heartening discovery: Jefferson and Lincoln were both devious dialecticians, pretending in simple prose to defend liberty but actually embracing subtle abstractions that endorse imperial tyranny.

Here’s a news flash — Establishment economists agree! Robert Samuelson introduces a Grand New Paradigm to support the dialectical interpretation of American history: “we are fiercely patriotic” because we think the United States government is “the best in the world”!

Did you think that patriotism means love of country, not government? And love of other concrete realities like your home, your family, your native soil, your neighbors, your property, your church? And love of a Common Good comprising peace, tradition, liberty, and all those real things?

Why, you must not have gone to public school!

Perhaps you have seen scoundrels wrapping themselves in the flag. Perhaps you were even taught Saint Paul’s description of such evildoers: “There is none that doeth good, no, not one. Their throat is an open sepulchre; with their tongues they have used deceit; the poison of asps is under their lips: Whose mouth is full of cursing and bitterness: Their feet are swift to shed blood: Destruction and misery are in their ways: And the way of peace have they not known:  There is no fear of God before their eyes.” [Romans 3:13-18]

Sound familiar?

These are the people you’re supposed to love, according to our self-appointed soothsayers.

But Saint Paul is so yesterday! Actually, just a little too yesterday. Samuelson’s Straw Man demands a “compromise” between liberals, who long to revive the 1950’s confidence in Big Government, and conservatives, who by nature should support the status quo — namely, the current Big Government (I’m not making this up).

Samuelson’s creative, new (and obvious) solution to this “dilemma”? Boldly and confidently embrace More Big Government!

Don’t put down your firecracker, dear reader. I pray that it is not uncharitable to illuminate one defect in every Straw Man: hold the hot light of truth to him, and he’ll go up in smoke.

8:43 am on July 4, 2011