Are you voting for love of country or revenge against an unnamed enemy within America?

I honestly think this is Romney’s best ad:

Incidentally, regarding Obama’s revenge remark, Jonah Goldberg had exactly the same thought I did: Revenge against whom?

If you watch the clip itself, it’s not clear at all what Obama’s supporters are supposed to want revenge for. Obama mentions Romney’s name in the context of his run for the Senate in Massachusetts — back when Romney was quite the moderate — and the audience starts to boo. Obama says “no, no. Don’t boo. Vote. Vote. Voting is the best revenge.” Revenge for what? Him running for the Senate? Revenge for Romney daring to challenge Obama? I understand Obama is bitter. That’s been obvious for a while. But it’s just a weird and narcissistic assumption that his supporters want “revenge” too. Doesn’t mean it’s wrong, though. Which makes the whole thing even creepier.

The entire choice in this election is right there, in a nutshell:  Do we support the paranoid narcissist who sees enemies everywhere or do we support the man who has a deep and abiding love for the United States of America, everything it’s ever been and everything it still will be.

Dealing with an “honor” culture

“Honor” cultures are incredibly hierarchical.  You’re either up or you’re down.  And you’re always down if you let your honor go unavenged.  Worse than that, if you’re down, you deserve all the abuse and violence that can be heaped upon you.  Honor cultures value people higher in the food chain, but have little to no sympathy for those lower on the food chain.

Grim, writing at Blackfive shows his understanding of this honor culture by saying that the only way America can retain (or regain?) any semblance of standing in the Arab Middle East is to act against the culprits — no hand wringing allowed.

Speaking of hand wringing, I can already hear the liberal apologists:  “If we start the cycle of vengeance, it will never end.”

Well, here’s a reality check for all those apologists — it’s never going to end anyway.  This is not an example of a foolish feud spiraling out of control, a la the Hatfields and the McCoys. It is instead, a case of two entirely antithetical world views, with one of them constantly, and violently, striving for dominance.  We can stand up for ourselves or we can surrender. In an existential war, he who surrenders dies.