Why did Kanzlerin Merkel disrespect her country's flag?
Americans are well used to flag controversies. Various obnoxious people do from time to time trample or burn Old Glory. Although this is deeply offensive to most Americans, America's erratic Supreme Court has upheld such actions as protected "speech".
So the recent actions of the German leader in literally tossing out a German flag will seem puzzling, if not disgraceful, to many. In his inimitable way, Ezra Levant does a good takedown of the incident.
So why did she do it? Is she a Leftist? Leftists, by their very nature, have large resentments against their country so, in extreme cases, Leftists will disrespect their country's flag. Wet-behind-the-ears Leftist students do it from time to time and tend to be rather surprised to find that the major effect of doing so is to cause themselves to be disrespected.
But Dr. Merkel is no Leftist. She is the leader of Germany's ruling conservative party and a committed Christian to boot.
The reason she acted as she did is that the national flag in most countries tends to be much used by patriotic conservatives and opponents of immigration in particular. And immigration is THE issue in Germany today, with a huge army of Middle-Easterners and Africans marching into Germany right at this moment.
And Merkel has a battle on her hands. He Christian principles tell her that she must help this army of frauds, only a few of whom are actually refugee Syrians. But ordinary Germans don't like it. They are not these days a very patriotic people but everything has its limits and the prospects of playing host to an army of hostile and parasitic Muslims does not appeal. So the situation in Germany at the moment is a delicate one. Mrs Merkel is trying to hold the line against what her own people want.
So it is in that context that Mrs Merkel tossed out a German flag. In the present crisis it was seen as a patriotic and nationalist symbol that represented the rebellion that she was trying to hold down. In the present political context she saw it quite accurately as an anti-immigration symbol, and a symbol of people who stand in the way of her doing her Christian duty. So it was her political opponents, including members of her own party, that she was throwing out when she threw out the flag. The flag had come to symbolize them
One hopes that she will in time realize that most of the influx deserve contempt rather than pity.
Ezra Levant is not, however, wholly wrong in attributing her actions to a sense of lost moral authority. Leftists have been preaching moral relativism throughout the world for a long time now. So Muslims are seen as no more to be condemned than Christians are. Muslim barbarity is held to be equal to Christian compassion. And conservatives have not been very effective opponents of that philosophical perversion.
So why do Leftists preach such a foul gospel? Mainly because it helps them to destroy the values and traditions they despise. It is an incoherent position because Leftists readily rush to condemn (say) "racism" as wrong. But if all values are to be equally esteemed, how can it be wrong? But Leftists don't bother about consistency of course.
The underlying philosophical difficulty is that there are no absolutes in philosophy. No argument can be finally refuted. The traditional philosophical answer to some argument is to show that it leads to absurd conclusions. But what is absurd? The absurd often happens. You can even at times get a President who despises his own country and all that it stands for.
So from the impossibility of absolute evaluations, Leftist philosophers infer that there can logically be no relative evaluations either. But that just shows the inadequacy and irrelevance of philosophy. We all make relative judgments every day. Philosophy is an interesting intellectual exercise, no more. It does not remotely engage people's actual choices and dilemmas.
I have written at some length on problems in moral philosophy if anybody is interested in such arcana