This is the reason.
Now, I was 8 years old in 1964. As a matter of fact, I had just turned 8. I remember politics back then only as a very, very, very vague memory, disbelief a short time before that Kennedy had been shot and not understanding why we were in Vietnam, but also not understanding why people were calling the soldiers baby killers.
Simple stuff like that.
Simple stuff like this:
If you and I have the courage to tell our elected officials that we want our national policy based upon what we know in our hearts is morally right. We cannot buy our security, our freedom from the threat of the bomb by committing an immorality so great as saying to a billion now in slavery behind the Iron Curtain, "Give up your dreams of freedom because to save our own skin, we are willing to make a deal with your slave masters." Alexander Hamilton said, "A nation which can prefer disgrace to danger is prepared for a master, and deserves one." Let's set the record straight. There is no argument over the choice between peace and war, but there is only one guaranteed way you can have peace--and you can have it in the next second--surrender.
Admittedly there is a risk in any course we follow other than this, but every lesson in history tells us that the greater risk lies in appeasement, and this is the specter our well-meaning liberal friends refuse to face--that their policy of accommodation is appeasement, and it gives no choice between peace and war, only between fight and surrender. If we continue to accommodate, continue to back and retreat, eventually we have to face the final demand--the ultimatum. And what then? When Nikita Khrushchev has told his people he knows what our answer will be? He has told them that we are retreating under the pressure of the Cold War, and someday when the time comes to deliver the ultimatum, our surrender will be voluntary because by that time we will have weakened from within spiritually, morally, and economically. He believes this because from our side he has heard voices pleading for "peace at any price" or "better Red than dead," or as one commentator put it, he would rather "live on his knees than die on his feet." And therein lies the road to war, because those voices don't speak for the rest of us. You and I know and do not believe that life is so dear and peace so sweet as to be purchased at the price of chains and slavery. If nothing in life is worth dying for, when did this begin--just in the face of this enemy? Or should Moses have told the children of Israel to live in slavery under the pharaohs? Should Christ have refused the cross? Should the patriots at Concord Bridge have thrown down their guns and refused to fire the shot heard 'round the world? The martyrs of history were not fools, and our honored dead who gave their lives to stop the advance of the Nazis didn't die in vain. Where, then, is the road to peace? Well, it's a simple answer after all.There are times I wonder what would have happened if Barry Goldwater had been elected president, rather than the charming, corrupt and amoral Mr. Johnson.
There is, of course, a parallel between the election of 1964 and the election of 2008. We have, once again, a charming candidate in the form of Barack Obama. Whether he is amoral and/or corrupt is something we may find out if he takes office and reveals his true character.
On the other hand, much like Barry Goldwater, we have someone who has time and time again proved his character: John McCain. While he's not perfect, nobody really is.
And that's the beauty of the US political system at its finest: it is designed for imperfect people. The founding fathers knew a great deal more about human nature, it seems, than all the modern-day pundits are capable of understanding.
PS: hat tip to No Pasarán. Check them out...