Thursday, May 28, 2009

Nordlinger on Graciousness

Here's a quote from an article by Jay Nordlinger at National Review Online:
...I’d like to glance back at President Obama’s Notre Dame speech. You remember: abortion. A big-deal speech and occasion.Obama was given credit far and wide for being gracious. He was serene, civil, understanding. He called for lowered voices and mutual respect. His message, in effect, was “Can’t we all get along?” (which is Rodney King’s line, I realize).

Fine, fine. But it’s easy to be gracious when you are getting your way, 100 percent. Abortion-on-demand is high in the saddle. Partial-birth abortion. Federal funding. Everything. Embryo-destructive research, to boot. The pro-choice side has everything, and the pro-life side has not a crumb.

(As I usually do, I use each side’s preferred label. Please don’t write me. Thanks!)

Again, when you get things 100 percent your way, it’s easy to say, “Okay, let’s all be cool now.” The likes of Obama tell pro-lifers, “You get nothing — zero — but if you’ll just not bitch about it, we will be gracious toward you. You don’t want to be disruptive, do you? We don’t want raised voices, do we?”

Obama’s peace is something like submission — the submission of his opponents.

Apparently, the president is cutting health-care workers some slack, if they oppose abortion. This is the area known as “provider conscience.” You don’t have to participate in an abortion if you don’t want to. And Obama gets great credit for cutting these people some slack.

But, to me, it’s a little like saying, in pre-abolition times, “I know you have this moral hang-up and all. You don’t have to whip them yourselves, you know.”

I will say once more: It’s easy to be gracious — and to call for calm and mutual respect — when you get your way, 100 percent. Try being gracious when you have to give a little, or even lose. That is something harder, and deserves more credit.

The rest of the article is here.

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