The last paragraph of J. Peder Zane’s Dec. 2 column “For N.C., the right response” succinctly captures the conservative worldview: “In a dangerous world,” he writes “sometimes we must compromise our values to honor and preserve them.” What Zane is saying is nothing less than “the end justifies the means.”
A failure to accept Syrian refugees is justified because it bears some risk. Torture is justified, if you think it may produce actionable intelligence. Incarcerating suspected supporters of terrorism, without a trial, for over 10 years, outside of the United States in order to skirt due process and human rights oversight, is perfectly acceptable, given that they might be dangerous. A ruthless and barbaric “dictatorship of the proletariat” is justified by the perfect communist paradise that will ensue. (Oops! Wrong playbook. Sorry!)
It’s easy to claim to be a “Shining City on a Hill” when there are no threats. If our ethics and morality change when times get tough, however, then we have no ethics or morality. We are as bad as the bad guys – and hypocrites, to boot!
William J. Haverland
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