Blame America First?

Blame America First?

One of the charges frequently leveled against leftists of various stripes is that they have a natural and instinctive desire to “blame America first” in any discussion of an incident or conflict anywhere in the world. I think it was Jeanne Kirkpatrick who first used the “blame America first crowd” as a phrase. And there is no question but that a fundamental anti-Americanism animates almost all leftism.

But having been in conservative circles my whole life, I have not noticed a shortage there of blaming America first for various outrages. Our government was capable of anything — as long as Clinton was in office.

But there really is a difference between the two different ways of blaming America. The conservatives usually take the line, “I love my country. I fear my government.” They usually want to radically cut back the amount of government. And incidentally, conservatives who want government to grow are not conservatives — they are liberals trying to win a Republican primary by lying. Leftists fear the government because there is not nearly enough of it, and what there is of it is not located in Belgium or Geneva. As far as this goes, all my instincts are conservative, not leftist.

But Christians need to recognize that wherever power accumulates, a certain kind of man will necessarily gather. Here in the dog days of summer, when we sit down to enjoy a dinner on the lawn, all we have to do to get yellow jackets to appear is sit down with a hamburger and a slice of watermelon. The yellow jackets know we are there within minutes. They know. And whenever a government gathers power to itself, whether in the name of right, middle, or left, cruel, ambitious, self-serving men will instantly gather.

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