Saturday, September 18, 2010

Mile Wide, Inch Deep?

Conservatives are very excited right now. Midterm elections are less than two months away and all indicators predict that they'll be a tsunami for conservative Republican candidates. People like Sean Hannity and Dick Morris seem to think that not only will the elections be a huge victory for conservatives, but that they'll prove that conservatism is the real belief system of the American people. I understand why some conservative commentators think that, but I'm not so sure.

Things are looking great for conservatives and their philosophy but I don't think that means Americans have really adopted conservatism on principle. Remember, the people who now call themselves conservative by a margin of 2 to 1, put the Democrats in control of Congress in 2006 and voted in Obama in 2008. Were they conservative then? I don't think so. So what's going on now? To use a famous phrase, it's the economy, stupid!

Americans are fearful and fuming over the economy, especially unemployment which has hovered dangerously close to 10% for months. On top of that, they see a government that's spending money recklessly, driving up the deficit, and ramming through new entitlement programs in total disregard for the opinions of the people. In anger Americans are lashing out at the party that's in power, which happens to be the Democrats. But again, that doesn't mean Americans are truly embracing conservatism. If you doubt that ask yourself this: would the Tea Party movement exist if the stimulus had worked and unemployment had remained below 8% as Obama promised? No. The Tea Party movement, like Obama's falling poll numbers, is a reaction to the failure of Obama's policies. Had those policies succeeded even half as well as expected most Americans would now be enamored of big government and unconcerned about deficit spending. The voting public is fickle; that's just the way it is.

Americans' current shift to the right may not be grounded entirely in principle but it does present a golden opportunity for committed conservatives. Because of Obama's failures Americans are open to right-wing ideas. They're willing to listen to people who're offering free market, small government solutions to the nation's problems. If committed conservatives intelligently engage Americans in this crucial moment then conservatism may very well become the principled view of most citizens. Otherwise, Americans' "conversion" to conservatism may prove to be mile wide but inch deep.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

The Plot Thickens

So, some more interesting information emerges on Ground Zero mosque imam Feisal Abdel Rauf. According to reports on The O'Reilly Factor this past Monday and Tuesday, it's been discovered that Rauf has a relationship with one Faiz Khan, a Muslim 9/11 Truther. Talk about things that make you go, hmmmmm!

9/11 Truthers, as you may know, are people who believe that the attacks on September 11, 2001 were an inside job. They offer various reasons for that belief but the general Truther line is that the US government wanted to eliminate our Constitutional freedoms by engineering a massive crisis that would cause ultimate fear and have Americans clamoring for more government protection. Faiz Khan believes that, and why is he more troubling than the average Truther? He's a Muslim and his commitment to the 9/11 Truth movement is almost certainly motivated by a desire to absolve his religion of any responsibility for the September 11 terrorist attacks. And that's bad news for imam Rauf.

Imam Rauf deeply offended Americans by saying that America was an accessory to 9/11 and that Osama bin Laden was "made in America". He didn't deny Muslim involvement in the attacks but by imputing some blame for 9/11 to the US Rauf greatly damaged his credibility. And now it's revealed he has ties to an actual denier of Muslim responsibility for 9/11. And we're supposed to believe that that has nothing to do with Rauf's insistence on building a mosque at Ground Zero. Yeah, right.

Americans overwhelmingly oppose building a mosque at or near Ground Zero because that's where Muslims slaughtered 3000 of their fellow citizens and loved ones. Americans are highly and rightfully suspicious of anyone, particularly a Muslim, who downplays or outright denies the Islamic identity of the 9/11 terrorists. Feisal Abdel Rauf's close association with 9/11 Truther Khan gives us more than enough reason to question his motives. It's not Islamophobia that's fueling opposition to the Ground Zero mosque. It's the cloudy funding, inflammatory rhetoric and, now, radical associations of the supposedly moderate Muslim cleric who's spearheading it. The plot thickens indeed.

Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Burn, Baby, Burn?

By now everybody has heard of the Florida church that plans to burn Korans on the upcoming 9th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks. The burning, planned by Dove Outreach Center (DOC) and its pastor Terry Jones, has created a huge backlash and has been condemned by everyone from Angelina Jolie to Gen. Petraeus. While I understand some of the concerns raised by the critics of DOC and pastor Jones, I'm also suspicious of those critics considering most of them are left-of-center.

Dove Outreach Center wants to burn Korans on September 11. I don't know what the church's motive is but if it's to expose the glaring hypocrisy of liberals and Muslims, especially the ones who support the Ground Zero (GZ) mosque, I think the church succeeded.

Think about it.

Every since the GZ mosque controversy erupted liberal and Muslim supporters of the mosque have posed themselves as gallant defenders of the Constitutional right to freedom of religion. They've insisted that religious freedom absolutely overrides the hurt feelings of Americans who are insulted by a symbol of Islam being built near the place where Muslims slaughtered their loved ones and fellow citizens. Yet, when it comes to the Koran burning these same liberals and Muslims aren't nearly so zealous and absolutist in defending another Constitutional right: the right to freedom of speech. Why not?

Is it due to the Left's corrupt "anti-racism" which says that any criticism of non-White people, which most Muslims are, can only come from hate? Or is it because of the Left's equally corrupt idea of appeasement which insists that we must brown nose Muslims even to the point of restricting certain freedoms so they'll like us and stop wanting to kill us? I think it's both.

In the "anti-racist", appeasement wracked, PC world of the Left the hurt feelings of Americans are irrelevant to the right of Muslims to practice freedom of religion, but the hurt feelings of Muslims trump the right of Americans to practice freedom of expression. Instead of a climate of hate coming from "Islamophobes", the real problem is liberals and Muslims creating a CLIMATE OF REPRESSION where our freedoms are stifled if Muslims find them in any way offensive.

I understand the dangers inherent in burning Mohammed's book. I share the concern that it could lead to reprisals against our troops BUT, in light of the context outlined above, I must come down on the side of BURN, BABY, BURN! Muslims need to realize that sensitivity, tolerance, and Constitutional freedoms work BOTH ways. If Muslims insist on exercising their undisputed right to religious freedom in a grossly insensitive way, then they have no right to expect sensitivity from non-Muslims when exercising their Constitutional rights.

I know that burning a Koran insults Muslims; I get it. I get that burning any book is almost always an expression of disgust with the book's content and/or author(s). But this is America and her citizens have the right to express disgust with ideas by torching the books--or CD's, flags or anything else--that contain or symbolize those ideas. If Muslims want to live in America and invoke her Constitutional freedoms in their own defense, then they must accept those same freedoms giving voice to disgust with or opposition to their faith. If they can't deal with that then I hear the Kingdom--and I don't mean the magic one--is nice this time of year. And the liberals can go there, too.