Sunday, November 04, 2007

"Values". What the heck are they?

The presidential campaign is rife with the "values" thing. Both Democrats and Republicans claim they understand the importance of "values", the need to defend our "values", to have strong "family values", ad nauseum.

What vague, meaningless tripe. What do they mean? Values are like belly buttons: everyone has them. Radical Islam has values, Al Capone had values, Brittany Spears has values. Even I have values.

What we don't hear much is a definition for "values." Unfortunately, most of the traditional values we've long held are out of vogue and the brunt of jokes and disdain. Traditional families, traditional gender roles, traditional moral behavior are all out of favor. The big pop-value now appears to be absolute tolerance of just about anything. A word for that is amorality. A made up synonym is "avalueity". This gets close to the meaning of most political messages.

Could this be why we don't hear any definition given on the stump: We've lost our "value-system" in this nation? Absolute tolerance for anything results in a valueless culture. A valueless culture is difficult to defend or promote. This explains, in part, why a large portion of our population cannot sustain a war more than a few months. We think that our values (whatever they are or used to be) are no better, maybe worse than, anyone elses. We are into self-loathing. Unfortunately, there are major populaton groups on earth who love their values more than we love ours (even if we could agree what they were), who believe their values are worth fighting for, and literally blowing themselves up for.

Granted, our military and many conservatives have a strong traditional value system that motivates and sustains them. But a large, influential, and growing portion of our population has lost their values compass.

How well does this scenario bode for our nation: A culture without values to motivate and sustain its' will, perseverance, and endurance versus a culture with values so strong and deeply held that they turn themselves into human bombs and are numerically the fastest growing population group and religion on the planet. I am speaking of Islam.

We are in a "values" war. And we will be on the losing end if we cannot rediscover values worth defending and promoting. The three decades of mocking and joking and ridiculing (e.g. Garrison Keillor, famed liberal, culture-mocking star of "A Prarie Home Companion" and late night comedy generally) and challenging the deeply held values of the past 200 years is not helpful to our survival. Nothing of any great society-sustaining ability has replaced those values that we have ACLUed out of existence.

I'm all for not taking ourselves too seriously and the occasional joke about our culture. The problem is, these jokesters and mockers and challengers really mean it. They really do seem to hate our historical culture and the values that founded our nation.

An excellent book well worth reading or listening to is "America Alone: The End of the World as We Know It" by Mark Steyn. He identifies our "values" problem as the greatest challenge to our success in the face of Islamic resurgence. To all of our valueless libs, can you say "Dhimmi" dummy?

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