Thursday, August 19, 2004

Bumper sticker leftists 

Mark Steyn's recent column is up to the standard we have come to expect from him, particularly in his reduction of "bumper sticker leftists," of which we have so many here in Princeton. It comes in the context of a broadside attack on the sanctimony-without-credibility of today's Western European governments:
...European countries now have attitudes in inverse proportion to the likelihood of their acting upon them. They're like my hippy-dippy Vermont neighbours who drive around with "Free Tibet" bumper stickers. Every couple of years, they trade in the Volvo for a Subaru, and painstakingly paste a new "Free Tibet" sticker on the back.

What are they doing to free Tibet? Nothing. Tibet is as unfree now as it was when they started advertising their commitment to a free Tibet. And it will be just as unfree when they buy their next car and slap on the old sticker one mo' time. If Don Rumsfeld were to say, 'Free Tibet'? That's a great idea! The Third Infantry Division go in on Thursday', all the 'Free Tibet' crowd would be driving around with 'War is not the answer' stickers.

When entire nations embrace self-congratulatory holier-than-thou moral poseurdom as a way of life, it's even less attractive. The Belgians weren't half as insufferable when they were the German army's preferred shortcut to France.

The title of the column is "Do you want to sing Waterloo, or fight it?"

UPDATE (forgot this earlier) CWCID: Professor Bainbridge.


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