The moral space in between

America’s First Sergeant put up a post that perfectly addresses my last two attempts to figure out Mike McQueary’s inaction.  The first post I wrote looked at McQueary’s alleged youth, which I contrasted with the even youthier youth of a few Medal of Honor recipients who didn’t hesitate to act.  The second (with lots of help from jj) examined the prevailing moral relativism that gives a pass to all conduct (except, of course, for voting conservative).

If you read A1stS’s post, which reprints portions of a speech that Colonel Barton S. Sloat gave, you will see a perfect statement about the moral compass each of us should have and that, in an unbalanced age, many are missing.

Because for me it’s always about politics, I’m going to drag poor old Newt in here for a minute.  In a normal election year, I don’t think Newt, with all of his undoubted baggage, would have a snowball’s chance in Hell of winning.  But 2012 won’t be a normal election year.

Past elections have seen the candidates fighting each other in the middle — a little tax more or a little less; a little more foreign aggression or a little less; a little of this and a little of that.  Obama’s presidency, however, ripped America from her long-standing economic and foreign policy moorings.  It also swept away the warm, fuzzy media manipulation that had prevented ordinary people from seeing the Left up close and personal.  The result is that the 2012 election isn’t taking place in the middle.  It will be a profound ideological war about America’s identity.

In 2012, we will not longer be talking about a tax tweak here and a battalion there, although those concrete details matter to America’s survival.  Instead, we are talking about the moral space in between:  Are we a country guided by a traditional morality that lives in each citizen’s heart and soul, or are we a vast government conglomeration with faceless cogs entirely controlled by bureaucratic powers?

In this heated ideological environment, will victory go to the candidate who is pretty darn conservative and whose life is a model for moderation and purity (that would be Romney, who may flip-flop, but he’s still to the right of the political divide), or does it go to the candidate who comes with more shackles attached than Marley’s ghost, but who can spell out in lively, fluid, accessible prose what we stand for as a nation?

I suspect that whether Newt or Mitt becomes president, we’ll see a situation that will be six of one and half dozen of the other in terms of governance.  However, when it comes to defining us as a nation, and perhaps helping us determining how we want to fill the moral space in between, Newt may well be the 2012 candidate we need, even if we don’t always want him.

Post Script:  If you want to see the vapidity the fills those spaces during evil’s off hours, check out The Mellow Jihadi on the Kardashians.

Be Sociable, Share!
  • Duchess of Austin

    “more shackles than Marley’s ghost…”  I *love* your style of prose, Mrs. Book.  You just rock and this is why I’ve been reading your blog for years.

  • Oldflyer

    Not sure that I follow you Book.
    I hear Romney accused of a lot of things.  Moral relativism is a new one.  I started to write that I do not know whether he is a serious Mormon, or a Mormon in name only. Then I realized that  we certain conclusions are obvious.  Since his faith is huge political negative, it only stands to reason that if he were not serious about it, he would have abandoned it long ago.  So, I can deduce that  he is a real Mormon.  I have never known a Mormon who believed in moral relativism in any form.
    As for Newt.  It is true that his life has been a mess–at least up until the last several years.  A few days ago I heard him say that he had much to regret.  I also heard him say that he had gone to God and begged forgiveness.  Now, my religion teaches a doctrine of redemption.  I trust that the Jewish faith does as well.  So, the only ones who should be unable to believe that Newt has changed, and give him the opportunity to prove himself,  are atheists, and perhaps some fringe religions in America.
    I will repeat the limits of my interest in potential candidates.  1.  An understanding of the principles on which this nation was founded.  2.  Agreement with those principles. 3. Devotion to the U.S. Constitution as the basis for government.  4. The intellectual capacity to understand the world in which we live  5. The moral courage to face the challenges facing the nation.   6. The ability to articulate a plan to overcome those challenges, and the wisdom to choose supporting leadership capable of executing the plan   7.  A reasonable probability of defeating Barack Obama.  That about sums it up for me.  Neither labels nor comparisons to mythical figures or past Presidents (Reagan) interest me.  Others may not agree.

  • Bookworm

    I’m sorry, OldFlyer, that I wasn’t clear.  I was saying that Romney, unlike Newt in his younger years, is NOT someone with a moral vacuum.  His problem, instead, is that he fails to inspire.  His political decisions often seem driven more by expediency than principle.  I understand that he was trying to govern as a conservative in a far Left state, and that’s certainly got to force compromises, and I forgive him that.  Newt is different.  For all his baggage, he can articulate ideas people need to hear nowadays while Mitt, who has much less baggage, doesn’t have the ability to inspire voters with an ideological vision of America.

    I’ve said often, and I’ll say it again, that I would readily and willingly vote for Mitt.  He’s just not much of a conservative standard bearer, because he doesn’t always seem convinced by basic conservative principles.  He’s incredibly competent, and has lived a life of rectitude, but in turbulent times he doesn’t seem to be an ideological anchor.

  • Ymarsakar

    Originally, people said things about Romney concerning Mormon religion or his record in Mass. To me, none of that really mattered. What mattered was his current views on the Left and how the Left should be dealt with. If he uses his previous experience with Leftists in Mass, that was fine with me. Thus I thought it pointless to attack him on healthcare or his religion, because  of none that freaking even mattered to me. What mattered is how ruthless a leader is in crushing the Left, the enemies of humanity, from the face of existence. Any leader that even thinks he can try that, will get my support.


  • jj

    And Newt doesn’t accept much crap, either – which I greatly appreciate.  In the last “debate” – why do they call these joint press conferences “debates?” – I was pleased to see him smack that witless little twinkie Pelley alongside his empty skull.  And I have been pleased to see him adamantly refuse to allow any of the other “moderators” to frame the dialogue, or set the terms.
    While he was doing that in no uncertain terms, from, as I said, Day One of these dog and pony shows, Romney was steadily unable to resist the urge to behave like a five year-old with Perry.  I don’t see this as even being a matter for referral to higher brain functions, I’ll go with the adult.   

  • Ymarsakar

    Everyone seems to have their own 5 or 10 point list concerning stuff. Overly complicated if you ask me. I only require one thing.