Message to a progressive friend

Conservatives like me see no Mahatma Gandhi, no Martin Luther King, Lech Walesa or Václav Havel in your camp. Just demagogues. Op-ed.

Rafael Castro ,

Protester holds up hand torn from King Louis XVI statue
Protester holds up hand torn from King Louis XVI statue
Reuters

I wish time could be rolled back 30 years to the time when everyone in the West agreed that capitalism was better than socialism, when most liberal Americans supported Israel and when there was a general shared respect for the values that made societies successful.

Unfortunately, instead of building on this shared cultural and historical patrimony, your side has used its hegemony in the media, academia and entertainment industry to indoctrinate younger generations that history of the West is an endless succession of crimes, that the problems of the Southern hemisphere are due to Western meddling and that any faith in Judeo-Christian values is voided by the anger of groups which this tradition does not celebrate (ranging from Muslims to transsexuals, intentionally single mothers to vegans).


I no longer believe in the good faith and the good intentions of your camp.
The looting of cities and toppling of statues throughout America, welcomed by large swathes of your establishment and leading to countless instances of decent citizens seeing their livelihoods destroyed by online kangaroo courts (which your side barely criticizes), makes me angry. So angry in fact that I no longer believe in the good faith and the good intentions of your camp.

Belief in good faith and good intentions presupposes that the other side is intent on building rather than destroying. It was the good faith of Gandhi that mollified British colonialists; it was the good intentions of Martin Luther King that moved white America to end segregation and share the American Dream with African-Americans; it was the constructive attitude of Lech Walesa and Václav Havel that pulled down the Iron Curtain without bloodshed.

Conservatives like me see no Mahatma Gandhi, no Martin Luther King, no Lech Walesa and no Václav Havel in your camp. We just see a band of demagogues who promote anger and hatred, destruction and violence, with the connivance of institutions - and personages - which we conservatives often disagreed with, yet once trusted and respected.

Before you ask us to be more conciliatory toward your views, ask your camp to do the following: Stop portraying religious Christians and Torah-observant Jews in movies and theaters as benighted fanatics; stop teaching kids in school and college that the problems of the world are due to Western intervention/non-intervention/over-involvement/under-involvement; stop labeling as “racist” and “bigoted” anyone who points out that cultures are not all equal.

Once you do this, we will be better disposed to listen to progressive concerns with the attention and care you think they deserve. We will do so, not because what your current leaders say has great intellectual or moral value, but because liberal democracy is a system where even demagogic voices need to be heard, understood and answered.

Otherwise, be ready for us to fight in order to save the soul of our civilization. As Churchill might have cared to write had he lived in our times: We shall fight on campus, we shall fight in the courts, we shall fight on Twitter and on Facebook, we shall fight at the ballot boxes; we shall never surrender.

Signed
A decent conservative

Rafael Castro is a Yale and Hebrew University educated business and political analyst based in Europe. Rafael specializes in proofreading, editing and ghostwriting quality texts for entrepreneurs and politicians. Rafael can be reached at rafaelcastro78@gmail.com




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