I'm what Rush calls a "seasoned citizen." I have grandkids. So I have seen a lot of politics in my lifetime. It's interesting to notice the parallels between today and times past.
During the Cold War, the Russians were often threatening and bellowing and promising to destroy us. Every time they launched some new aggression, it was said to be a response to ours. What was theirs was theirs and what was ours was negotiable. They made lots of missiles and so did we.
Conservatives saw the Soviet's ultimate goal as world domination and the destruction of capitalism everywhere. Since the communists were violent, untrustworthy and aggressive, conservatives believed in a strong military and advanced weapon systems. The latter were to act as a military deterrent to Soviet aggression.
Liberals on the other hand, saw the Cold War as some big misunderstanding. Somehow, we and the Soviets had come to inadvertently distrust one another. They were just like us, shared the same values of peace and prosperity. We had to show the Soviets that they had nothing to fear from us, that we meant them no harm.
Liberals believed that if we would disarm and destroy our nuclear stockpiles, the Soviets would soon follow suit. But liberals went further than that, they convinced themselves that it was our fault the big misunderstanding happened in the first place. It was because we supported some undemocratic regimes, or interfered in communism's internal affairs -- by supporting opposition groups, or spying on them, or boycotting their goods. If and when communism failed, it was because of our subversion, not because communism just doesn't work.
Conservatives pointed to the bloody history of Soviet communism, the planned starvation, the mass murders, the totally ruthless rulers, the complete lack of human liberty. In fact, communism was a double whammy: not only did it reduce populations to the point of starvation, it also removed all liberty.
The ruthless history of communism, the millions dead, all were there to see and study. But liberals didn't want to see or to know. Facts disturb happy thoughts. They wanted to believe that they could control the unhappy situation by accepting blame and paying penance. Conservatives thought that liberals were naive and self-delusional. Conservatives thought that liberals wanted to commit national suicide and take the rest of us with them.
Today, the new enemy is Islam. It, like communism, is a strong ideology, something believed on faith rather than fact. Like the communists, the Muslims believe they have not only the right but the duty to make the rest of the world just like them. So they attack New York, London, Madrid, Mumbai and Beslan, and kill many strangers who caused them no harm. This is nothing new for Islam; they have been attacking nations and peoples for 14 centuries, all for the same religious reasons: to force the world to submit to the will of Allah.
Today liberals are the same. They make excuses for the Muslims the same way they once made excuses for the Soviets. It's all a big misunderstanding; it's all our fault. All we have to do is show them we mean them no harm; if we make major concessions, they will come to trust us and follow suit. Let them build a monument to our destruction on the site where the first strike occurred. This will assure them that we mean them no harm.
The more things change the more they stay the same.