Incidentally, while looking up references for President Clinton's failure to sign the Land Mine Ban Treaty, I noticed that we 'lost the moral high ground' by his failure to do so. Remembering that we had just 'lost the moral high ground' on the torture issue, I decided to do some internet searches. I wanted to know when we had gotten it back in order to lose it again. This is what I found:
We most recently 'lost the moral high ground' when we failed to prohibit torture.
We 'lost the moral high ground' when we went war in Iraq in 2003.
We 'lost the moral high ground' when we failed to sign the Land Mine Ban Treaty in 1997.
We 'lost the moral high ground' at least twice during the reign of Ronaldus Maximimus - both by proposing the "Star Wars" defense system and by expanding our military in peace time.
We 'lost the moral high ground' by failing to stop genocide in a number of places, most of them in Africa.
We 'lost the moral high ground' in Vietnam - apparently several times.
The Bay of Pigs 'cost us the moral high ground'. (I'm not sure how that compares to 'losing' it.)
We 'lost the moral high ground' when we bombed Hiroshima.
Of course, we're not alone. By my count Israel has 'lost the moral high ground' at least six times. Europe 'lost the moral high ground' a couple of times, while individual European nations 'lost the moral high ground' independently of the rest of the continent many times. Catholic Bishops, the Catholic Church, various protestant denominations, and governments of other nations have also 'lost the moral high ground' at various times in the past few decades.
This left me wondering: Where is this 'moral high ground' and how do we keep getting it back? I've never seen the news report that we've 'gained the moral high ground'. I searched for that as well. I received seven pages of matches, many of them redundant, which is far less than for 'lost the moral high ground'.
It appears that various groups and individuals have 'gained the moral high ground' at one time or another, but our nation seldom does, even though we always seem to have it to lose. We 'gained the moral high ground' under the direction of President Lincoln. Actually, only the North gained it, the South fell short. In fact, it seemed to me from browsing the article that the North may have taken it from the South, which would indicate that we already possessed it as a nation, and it was only transferred among the warring factions.
I also found a reference to us 'gaining the moral high ground in 2005, but scanning the lengthy article I couldn't find out how. The article was mostly denouncing Condoleeza Rice. Apparently we barely 'gained the moral high ground', and Ms. Rice was somehow an impediment to that.
Israel has 'gained the moral high ground' several times, according to my search, which is good for them, even though they've lost it pretty much every time they've gained it. It must be a slippery piece of ground, being so hard to hang on to.
I would have expected that we would have 'gained the moral high ground' after World War II, perhaps even after the Great War, although in both cases we would have had to share it with our allies. Alas, I find no reference that we did so. Perhaps the 'moral high ground' isn't in the European or Pacific Theatres.
Perhaps the 'moral high ground' is so easy to lose because one never knows when they're on it. It doesn't even have to be taken by force, one occupier of the 'moral high ground' simply walks away, leaving it open for the next. I assume that the 'moral high ground' really isn't that much higher than the surrounding landscape, otherwise it would be much easier to recognize. Someone, however, must know who's on it any given time, for they are very quick to report when it is lost.
I hope that the next time we 'gain the moral high ground' someone will be kind enough to let us know, so that we can mark it and make it easier to find. Perhaps we can even build a permanent settlement there.
Last edited by Shapley
on Tue Oct 24, 2006 4:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Quod scripsi, scripsi.