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Columns

Necessary Allies, Not Implacable Enemies

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To place our polarized politics in proper perspective, conservatives need to look back at the nearly half-century struggle known as “the Cold War.” The Soviet Union and its satellites really did amount to an “Evil Empire” and the US and our allies constituted the necessary counterweight of goodness and decency.

But many of the most important nations in the West—including Britain, France, Germany and Canada—were really “welfare states” with centralized, government-dominated economic policies, well to the left of anything the American Democratic Party demands for the US today.

Moreover, many domestic liberals—including Harry Truman, John Kennedy and Senator Scoop Jackson—played heroic roles in opposing the tyrannical menace of international Communism. This history should encourage conservatives to place our current conflicts in the right context. In this dangerous world, contemporary liberals—for all their wrong-headed ideas on health insurance, taxes or social issues—ought to count as necessary allies, not implacable enemies.

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