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.