Missionaries are an odd lot. I grew up in Utah and believe me, missionary work is part of the culture there. Most of my friends in high school went on their missions. Some of them spent quite a bit of time trying to explain it to me. I could never really understand it though. I suppose that there is nothing wrong with it, I just don’t get it. But since I liked and admired the people and the culture, I kept my mouth shut.
But what I really want to talk about today is the missionary nature of our government and the American culture. From the beginning, we have always said that ours is the best and right form of government. We have always seemed to have it in mind that our odd mix of populist democracy and cutthroat capitalism has God’s personal imprimatur.
The cause of America is in a great measure, the cause of all mankind.
Thomas Paine, Common Sense
But, as the edifices that we have built are teetering and falling apart, we might want to reconsider the urge for missionary work in the world. Maybe we ought to consider that we have our own problems to take care of.
I am kind of pleased that Hillary Clinton is thinking this way. Now, the morons in the Free Tibet movement and Amnesty International are shocked that they aren’t first pigs at the trough, but that is how it should be. We deal with the world as it is, our way of thinking is not uniquely correct, and the wailings of frustrated überliberals is just the wailing of children when the game doesn’t go their way.
China is a mess and we can’t save them from their long history and desperate need to keep a too-large population under control. Tibet is a province of China with delusions of grandeur. So I for one see this backing off from our missionary work as the first step in growing up and minding our own business. What I am really hoping is that maybe, just maybe, this kind of mind-your-own-business thinking will extend to the Middle East and we can begin getting out of that mess.