But there are two areas where liberals do express a yearning to be loved, and these have macro, indeed, global, ramifications.
The most dangerous one is the liberal desire for their country to be loved.
One of the most often repeated liberal laments about American foreign policy under President George W. Bush is that America is more hated around the world than ever. As if a country being loved is evidence of its moral virtue.
The very idea is irrational. Name a country that is loved. Does a single country come to mind? Of course not. Canadian students traveling abroad often make sure -- via a big maple leaf on their backpack, for example -- to communicate that they are Canadian, not American. But that is because of America-hatred, not because foreigners love Canada. The idea is amusing. Are there pockets of Canada-love in India about which we have heretofore not heard? Are there 50 people in Uruguay who love Sweden, to mention the liberals' most admired country?
People don't love countries except during exceptional and brief moments in history -- such as when Germans loved America for the Berlin airlift or the French loved us right after we liberated their country from the Nazis.
The aim of the United States of America should not be to be loved. As nice as that would be, the one superpower on earth is never going to be loved -- though I would bet a large sum of money that if China or Russia or any other country became the reigning superpower, people the world over would yearn for the good old days when America was the superpower.
America would presumably be more loved if it abandoned Israel or if it abandoned Iraq. Each case would be morally wrong, but, hey, we'd be loved. Liberals believed we would have been more loved if we had destroyed our nuclear arsenal during the Cold War. Or if we had not pressured West Germany into accepting Pershing missiles.
Of course, in all these cases, if America had sought love, evil would have prevailed. But at least we'd be loved. What else really matters?
Dennis Prager is a SRN radio show host, contributing columnist for Townhall.com and author of his newest book, “The Ten Commandments: Still the Best Moral Code.”