This shift in the moral hierarchy is far more fundamental than party politics. For the first time since the era of civil rights and Vietnam, when racism and a dishonestly defined war undermined the authority of our institutions, the fundamental concepts of who is to be admired, and who is not, are being shaken and reshaped.
Following the earthquake of the 1960s, honor and glory in America tended to go to "victims"--racial, economic, and sexual--whose rights had been abused. Anxious to hold on to that alignment, an angry Al Sharpton speaking in the wake of 9/11 insisted that "we don't owe America anything; America owes us." Taking up Sharpton's sentiments, a majority of the Congressional Black Caucus last month either voted against or abstained on a House resolution in support not of the war, but of our troops.
Today, in a rediscovery of courage, a virtue long disdained by feminists, the most honored are the people who give of themselves--the police officers, firefighters, and soldiers, whatever their gender or race, we ask to defend us against criminals, terrorists, and thugs. The Todd Beamers and Jessica Lynchs are the ones who make us proud, and unite us, as Americans.
From a great article in The Weekly Standard. I agree 100%, the worm has turned. The culture wars are not over yet, but a new American center is being forged, one which has assimilated the freedoms that came from the upheavels of the Civil Rights Movement, but also turned its back on the vile excesses of the anti-Vietnam crusade. The US has become a nation of neo-cons. The fringes will no doubt go on, but there is that 70% in the middle which supported this war and will support others that it sees as essential to remaking the world into one in which terror and tyranny do not determine the fate of men and nations.
The most important point is about the rediscovery of courage. For years courage has been denigrated as a macho, bullying vice, without substance or value. I think and hope that we now realize it to be the most fundamental aspect of one's character. Courage means not only fighting the demons without, but also standing upon one's beliefs and faiths even in the eye of the hurricane. The American people, ever since 9/11, have shown extraordinary courage in the face of a world which preferred to go back to sleep. They have learned the most fundamental of lessons, when you are attacked, you must fight. And moreover, that we are in possession of something well worth fighting for.