The following tale, from Paul Berman's "Terror and Liberalism," illustrates an important idea for those of us on the right to remember: not all on the left are enemies. With 2012 looming as a critical election, there are alliances necessary to form an amalgam with the strength that America once had, strength to defeat the forces of totalitarianism. Consider the French Socialists... 1. The French Socialists of the 1930s had impeccable democratic credentials, dating back to the 19th century. They won elections, and in Leon Blum they produced a great leader, a prime minister who had the ability to fuse French patriotism and social justice, and the finest cultural values. 2. Paul Faure was the general-secretary of said French Socialists, and leader of the faction that opposed war- at any cost. While Blum recognized the horror that Hitler represented, the Paul-Fauristes desperately sought to find a description of reality that did not point in the direction of war! Dont judge Germany too quickly, nor too starkly. After all, they had been treated poorly by the Treaty of Versailles. And their people living in Slavic countries werent being treated well shouldnt we show some flexibility? Conciliate the outraged German people! This is not cowardly, or unprincipled no, it is simply anti-war. And, therefore, the real dangers were not from the Nazis or Hitler, but from the warmongers, those who would profit from war! a. While those were the arguments of the anti-war left, the unfocused or philosophical basis which gave credence to those arguments, was that, in our modern world, even the enemies of reason cannot be the enemies of reason. There must always be some rationality behind a movement, no matter how mad it seems. A faith in universal rationality. Can you say liberal naïveté of the nineteenth century a simple minded optimism, the liberalism of a strictly rational world, the liberalism of denial. b. Paul Faures French Socialists refused to believe that millions of respectable Germans subscribed to a political movement whose doctrines were paranoid conspiracy theories, blood-curdling hatreds, medieval superstitions, and the lure of mass murder. For the Socialists, there was always a why. 3. So our Socialist friends listened to the Nazis speeches about Jews, and stroked their bearded chins, and queried, what is anti-Semitism, anyway? Arent there some Jews who we dont like? And the war-hawks some of them are Jews why, even Leon Blum, he is a Jew, and he takes a hard line suspicious. Perhaps Hitler isnt entirely wrong. a. Marshal Petain and the right wing proposed to accept the invasion, a new government under Hitler. The anti-war left voted with Petain, and the new Vichy government arrested Blum, and sent him to Dachau. 4. The defenders of human rights and liberal values evolved into bigotry, tyranny, and murder. The democratic leftists accepted a naïve faith in the rationalism of all things, and ended up as fascists. 5. There are lessons we can learn from the French Socialists. From the pathetic anti-war arm of the French Socialist, during the Second World War, were unable to believe in the pathological mass movements or to comprehend the meaning of Nazism and fascism, the refusal to fight, the sympathy for Marshal Petain, which destroyed them. a. But the other wing of those Socialists, emerged with honor. Leon Blum, their leader, managed to survive his internment in Dachau. He returned to France as the patriotic Socialist leader. 6. So Blum called for a Third Force, neither conservative nor communist, but a melding of democratic socialists, trade unionists, progressives who could lead their own fight against the communists and fellow travelers. He felt that such a group could offer better unions, truer hopes for a better future. We on the right should recognize that there are Leon Blums among the left, who may not see the world exactly as we, but neither are they the enemy. We do have real enemies in this world, and in the nation, but we should take care in making the distinctions.