Monday, October 18, 2004

Why Vote for Bush -- Hewitt Symposium

John Rawls, in his Theory of Justice, uses a concept that epitomizes the choice faced this election: lexigraphical ordering, meaning that there exists a principle so fundamental that it must be satisfied before one can even discuss the selection of other principles.

For America, that fundamental principle is the survival of Western civilization and individual liberty. Facing enemies who glory in the slaughter of innocents and relish their own deaths, we will either successfully defend the West and vanquish the barbarians or we will not. Civilizations as great as ours have in the past failed to survive because they failed to apprehend the magnitude of the threat they faced and to mobilize their resources and annihilate their enemies before they gained the strength to overwhelm the civilized world.

Kerry and his leftist allies, both here and abroad, remind an historian of the Eastern Christians who fought among themselves for advantage while being defeated in detail by Islam, of the Europeans who dithered in the face of Hitler. They simply do not take the war seriously as a war for the very survival of civilization.

It seems to me that all other matters are essentially irrelevant until Islamism has been not only defeated, but destroyed utterly. Then, we can usefully argue about social security, tax policy, acceptance or rejection of homosexual marriage and the appointment of justices to the Supreme Court.

Only President Bush will vigorously pursue the war to the destruction of our deadly enemies.

The choice can also be formulated as a variation of Pascal's Bet about the existence of God:

1. If Bush is right that Islamism is a deadly threat, and fights it, civilization is secure and the cost is clearly acceptable.

2. If Bush is wrong that Islamism is a deadly threat, and fights it, civilization is still secure, although some have been harmed who might not have been.

3. If Kerry is right that Islamism is not a deadly threat, and does not fight it, civilization is secure, and we've avoided an unnecessary war.

4. If Kerry is wrong that Islamism is not a deadly threat, and does not fight it, civilization may be destroyed.

As with Pascal's Bet, the only rational choice is Bush's position: if he's right, we win, if he's wrong, we're still OK. But with Kerry and his ilk's position, if they're wrong, the consequences are catastrophic.

Vote Bush.