Why has it been left to conservatives to defend liberal values?
The extraordinary thing about the recent events surrounding the Danish cartoons is that it has been left to political conservatives to defend the liberal values of human rights, democracy and the rule of law.
Publications like the Weekly Standard, National Review and the Daily Telegraph have had no trouble in articulating that our freedom is under threat. By contrast, the liberal media have by and large preferred to defend the values of "multiculturalism" above those of freedom of expression. The honourable exception has been Nick Cohen in The Observer. This isn't the first time the left have backed the wrong horse. During the 1980s they were condemning Ronald Reagan for his recklessness in confronting communism.
At times of crisis such as this, we need to think long and about the values we stand for. It has taken us hundreds of years to win the freedoms we now take for granted. But as Victor Davis Hanson warns, what took centuries to acquire can be lost in a generation.