Niagara Gazette


June 30, 2013

SINGER: The lure of moderation


Niagara Gazette — Politicians fearing that amnesty for over 10 million illegals will alter the U.S. irrevocably, not least politically, and that lavish promises of border security won’t be kept, making another huge influx possible, have been derided by such as Sen. Schumer. But these caveats and warnings are partly based on the fact that many of these incomers have known barbarism up close, suffered from it, and in certain cases (who knows how many?) been barbaric themselves.

Yet people who point out such things get vilified amidst this silly, corrosive, outmoded right-left divide on our hands–as outmoded as it became on the eve of Hitler’s triumph in 1933. There neither conservatives like Hindenburg nor social-democrats, not to mention German Communists on the far Left, could stop Herr Hitler, partly because they were busy sniping at each other. So-called “moderation” didn’t work against the Nazis then, anymore than it did later in 1936, when Hitler’s forces illegally militarized the Rhineland and could have been stopped (to the applause of many German generals) by Churchillian boldness.

Instead, “moderates” like Chamberlain and France’s prime minister Léon Blum appeased, and to the tune of millions of innocent lives, both civilian and military, drawn from many nations, what a price was later paid! That price was nothing less than World War II in Europe.

Or look at history’s revolutions ... In every true revolution (America’s fight to separate from England excluded), moderates were eventually kicked to the curb and slain in great numbers, whether we’re talking of the French Revolution that brought forth a Reign of Terror, or the Russian Revolution leading to the excesses of Lenin and the far worse ones of Stalin.

Of course moderation can work well when you’re in some arcadian, protected set of circumstances. American presidents like Coolidge in the Roaring ‘20s and Eisenhower in the ‘50s were right for their basically stable, economically prosperous times. Moderation can work in what one of Voltaire’s optimistic characters called the best of all possible worlds. But unfortunately this ain’t that place, and especially not today!

B. B. Singer has taught at several colleges in the area, including Niagara University.

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