Wednesday, June 09, 2004

Honor and related things. . .

I listened to part of the services for Ronald Reagan on NPR, on my way home from work tonight.

I didn't particularly agree or disagree with Reagan's politics, until it was almost over anyway. My parents adored him. I just didn't think about it that much. He was the president. Hey, I was something like thirteen when he was first elected. And growing up in a small town, in a conservative, fundamentalist-Christian family, what did I know?

By the time Reagan left office, I was a firebrand-liberal college-student. Even so, I had much bigger worries--like coming out to my parents.

Now, approaching the age my parents were then--I realize how deeply he marked the surface of modern America. I'm still a firebrand liberal. But I felt a twang of nostalgia for that simpler time and place. The world seemed so black-and-white, and choices about "the right thing to do" were clear-cut and obvious.

And I deeply resent that the conservatives of the world have taken the concept of "honor" hostage. And patriotism. Because those concepts are much larger than political rhetoric.

Do we still tell our children about honor? What do we say?

No comments: