Columbus Day 2010: Still worth celebrating
(Editor's note: On this Columbus Day, a reprint of a Trib editorial.)
Thank goodness for Christopher Columbus. Today we wholeheartedly celebrate the renowned explorer whose courage and conviction defied provincial thinking and opened up a new world to the vast possibilities of mankind's ingenuity.
It's a celebration as well of man's indomitable spirit and unrelenting drive, even against great adversity, to advance beyond the conventional, to put aside superstitions -- and to achieve something astounding.
Writes Thomas A. Bowden of The Ayn Rand Center for Individual Rights, "Thus, the deeper meaning of Columbus Day is to celebrate the rational core of Western civilization, which flourished in the New World like a pot-bound plant liberated from its confining shell, demonstrating to the world what greatness is possible to man at his best."
Of course, do-nothings who reap from what Columbus sowed half a millennium ago vehemently denounce him as a blood-savage conqueror -- and do so quite eloquently. Which suggests who knew how to advance civilization -- and who obviously didn't.
"Is there anything more insane than holding ancient people to moral standards that hadn't been invented yet ... holding modern people responsible for the acts of ancients who didn't know any better," notes libertarian L. Neil Smith.
Fortunately today we do know better.
Happy Columbus Day!