Thursday, July 29, 2010

Banning Bullfighting: The Problem of Some Conservatives

One doesn't have to be a vegetarian to have moral reservations about the custom of deliberating taunting, enraging and then slowly torturing to death an animal while other animals scream their approval, ie, bullfighting. Catalonia recently banned this activity which some call a sport. Is there any better example of a misnomer in the English language? Click on the title of this post to read the Bloomberg wire service story. MC thought it well done, taking into account the issue of Catalonia's nascent desire to leave Spain, a very bad idea indeed.

At any rate, some conservatives on Twitter have clucked about this development as though they have any deeper understanding of the subject than what comes from reading that most overrated of writers, Hemmingway. Instead of seeing the matter clearly for what it is--animal cruelty--these Tweeters insist on seeing the ban through some misplaced lens of loss of culture and erosion of tradition. They seem genuinely unable to grasp the thought that not all cultural practices are good (indeed, not all cultures are equal) and some traditions aren't worth retaining. MC is slow to say the latter and believes our liberal culture jettisons many traditions too quickly and at a grievous cost to society. Say, oh, two parent families?

These defenders of bullfighting (cue the Monty Python sketch!) also fail to see that this change was wrought through the democratic process in Catalonia. No ridiculous group of robed masters brought this about nor should they have. Our liberal friends like the courts here when they can either avoid the people's will (the AZ immigration bill) or want to circumvent it (same-sex marriage, abortion, etc). That didn't happen in this instance. When did conservatives dislike the people's will being expressed? We conservatives always take the risk that something unwise, in our opinion, might be done. Yet, that, too, is the perogative of the people's will: sometimes making egregious mistakes. We give you a President more incompetent than Jimmy Carter as an example.

Some of the more pompous Tweeters cluck about how this is another step toward Catalonia leaving Spain. Why of course. How could MC fail to see the obvious connection? This is rather desperate in our opinion for it smacks of hiding behind one thing to support another. We suppose it won't do to simply come out and say they enjoy watching animals suffer grievously. Yet it would be more honest. Human nature has a very dark side, something liberalism fools itself into believing doesn't exist or can be minimized with enough social work. Rubbish.

What genuinely concerns MC, however, is the reaction of some conservatives to this development. That they can't see the obvious cruelty in bullfighting is baffling when we have no doubt they were outraged when some barely literate football type was engaged in dog fighting. As they tucked into their steaks, their moral outrage was on display. Bully, so to speak.

More to the point, their smug obliviousness to what this ban really represents suggests an inability to deal with reality in a way that can advance genuine, positive conservative values. In a sense, it has almost nothing to do with animal cruelty and everything to do with understanding where certain threats and problems lie and where they do not. To misdiagnose the development in Catalonia is to misdiagnose our own political predicament here in this country. Some progress is good and can be so without constituting destructive progressivism. Or constituting that lame term of opprobrium: RINO! We are surely at sea if conservatives cannot tell the difference in order to make themselves feel good. That way lies failure: electoral, moral, political and cultural.

And as readers know, MC is in it to win.