There has always been something of a divide between liberalism and conservativism on the issues of rights and responsibilities. Liberals emphasize rights over responsibilities except in the case of property rights, which are subject to public need; and conservatives are exactly the opposite, emphasizing responsibilities over rights except in the case of property rights which are nearly absolute.
What's most galling, to my mind, is that the criticism and sometimes blatant anti-Americanism on both sides is rooted in idealism, in the belief that an American which doesn't adhere to certain standards isn't authentic and legitimate, but the left gives the right the benefit of the doubt under these circumstances, rarely questioning the patriotism of secessionists and eliminationists, whereas the right rarely, if ever, gives the left any leeway, questioning the patriotism of even mainstream interlocutors.
Saturday, March 14, 2009
Comment Elsewhere: Patriotism, Dissent and the benefit of the doubt
In response to a justified but slightly excessive rant at Progressive Historians I wrote: