Following on from yesterday, and as I approach my next birthday (my 80th birthday is only a couple of years away) I have had recent occasion to reexamine some of my core beliefs.
First, over the last 77+ years, I have lived and worked all over the world. One thing I learned is that ALL people are about equal. Some of the finest, smartest, most accomplished and kindest Canadians I ever knew had narrow eyes and dark skin. ( I really do hope that a couple of my friends and former colleagues will not mind me “outing” then as exemplary Canadians.)
Second, over a long career in the military, I served with (and under and over) men and women from all over the world, some were excellent, some were a lot less so. Amongst the best were people with dark skins, from Africa and Asia; amongst the worst were a small handful with lily whites skins from places like America Britain and Canada.
My point is that people are equally smart and stupid, honest and venal, brave and craven, kind and cruel and so on with absolutely no regard to race, creed, sex, wealth or nationality.
Third, I continue to believe that culture matters because it can have a profound influence on each individual. In fact, the older I get the more I believe that culture matters more than citizenship. But I have also learned that even the “best” cultures can be subverted and corrupted by evil men and women. The influence of the likes of Beethoven and Hildegard von Bingen could not innoculate Germany against Hitler and Goebbels, and no amount of Lao Tzu and Confucious could save China from Mao and, now, Xi Jinping. We were right to fight to defeat Nazi Germany, it was a just war (jus ad bellum) and we fought it in a just manner (jus in bello). Those who advocate a war with China must ensure that we observe both principles ~ they are vital parts of our cultural heritage.
I am, more than ever, convinced. that the Conservative Party of Canada must be a big tent party that must exemplify the Main Street values that are held by most Canadians, regardless of race, creed, sex or income level. The party must respect people as individuals. The blue-collar conservatives and the precariat are just as Conservative as the church-going folks from Orangeville.
(I’m not opposed to social conservatives. My late wife was amongst them. She was a passionate believer, as a Christian and as a nurse, in the value of every human life. She accepted that abortion was a legal right and, sometimes, a medical necessity, but she prayed for every unborn child that was aborted and, if she was alive today, she would vote for a candidate who opposed abortion on demand. But she supported gay rights, including the right to be married, even in the Catholic Church, and to adopt children. She was. colour blind and counted men and women, Jews, Muslims and atheists, and people of every race and nationality as friends and neighbours. I respect social conservatives for their beliefs. I don’t share them, but I affirm that they must be allowed to hold them and they must be given a respectful hearing because they are our friends and neighbours, and fellow citizens and fellow Conservatives, too.)
What must matter to us, as individuals and as Conservatives, is that each of our fellow Canadians is equal and is equally deserving of our respect and support ~ no matter their race, creed, sex or political persuasion.