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    Right after 9/11, Joanne Jacobs wrote something that was, as usual, bluntly true and compelling. Her old blog archives don’t work, but it’s still on Instapundit:

    They hate us because we’re big, powerful and rich, while they’re small, weak and poor. Our culture is dynamic, confident, global and free. Their culture is rigid, defensive, parochial and tyrannical. We’re winners. They’re losers, and they resent it. U.S. support for Israel is a detail. We could let our foreign policy be dictated by Yasir Arafat, and they’d still hate us.

    I don’t know that US support for Israel is a detail, exactly–except insofar as this isn’t all about hatred of the Jews. Israel, as much as America, represents how you can triumph over adversity when people are freed to use their resources to accomplish what they wish, and not sentenced to the circumstances they were born with.

    I’ve given up trying to explain this to nice but knee-jerk lefty guys when the subject turns to politics: As a people, Americans do not believe that there’s only so much happiness or wealth to go around. You can always make more–not by waving a magic wand, but by working hard and looking for new places to contribute. The sort of sappy progressivism that says we can wipe out all the darkness and ambiguity in our life as organisms if we just plan better is unrealistic; the kind that says we can make the means to prosperity more accessible, and give society a more diverse and resilient set of responses to disaster, is so much a part of our reality that it’s easy not to see it most of the time. Almost 230 years after the Declaration of Independence, and it’s still working.

    Happy Fourth of July.

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