Charles Knight of the Commonwealth Institute, a public policy research center in Cambridge, has spent time analyzing what he calls the ''toughness discourse" in American politics, especially after 9/11. When it comes to national security, he says, ''tough" means ''using violence as a priority tool for international relations."
Backed into a corner by conservatives who equate ''liberal" with unmanly and weak, Democrats are buying into their opponents' definition. Accepting it means agreeing that a punch is the answer to every insult, that violence solves every dispute.
It is believing brawn always beats brains, a conclusion that defies logic, reason, and reality.
Toughness defined in a strictly physical way does not always achieve victory. Might does not make right, nor does it always make everything right. And it is not unmanly to say that.
Might makes right is the credo of the warrior. But there is simple power in right as might.
It is the power of great leaders in religion and politics, from Jesus Christ to Martin Luther King. Throughout history, brave men and women have taken the high moral ground.
Only in America today do we dare call them wimps.
Sunday, December 18, 2005
Joan Vennochi writes about the idiotic bullying that has become a truly unfortunate trademark of the right and GOP:
Posted by Grey Matter at 8:46 PM