Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Four More Years

John McCain may have motivated the conservatives in the Republican Party by picking Alaska Governor Sarah Palin as his vice president, but we all knew that the old John McCain would return.

John McCain became nationally recognized politician because of his propensity to break ranks with his party. It is the primary reason that even during a heated presidential election, he is still the Democrats’ and the Mainstream Media’s favorite Republican. He is the Republican who loves the Democrats. John McCain denounces unpopular Republicans at every turn, joins forces with the Democrats to thwart Republican initiatives, and has been a steadfast supporter of amnesty, the most odious repudiation of conservative principles as far as today's piece is concerned.

During the early primaries, a New York Post writer predicted that it was the most conservative anyone would ever see John McCain. I nodded in agreement as that prediction quickly came true. In the months and subsequent nomination that followed, instead of consolidating support among the varying constituencies of the party, Mr. McCain focused his efforts on distancing himself from any Republican who dared to speak out against any liberal person or policy. The senator hammered the North Carolina GOP for an ad that linked local candidates who supported Barack Obama, to the latter’s infamous friend, Jeremiah Wright. Rush Limbaugh wondered what the senator would do once he denounced all of his supporters. Then came the appearance of Sarah Palin and the stampede of movement conservatives to Mr. McCain.

Then came the GOP convention of early September and the enthusiastic coronation of the would-be emperor. Despite their farcical “Country First” convention slogan, even I was a little moved by the Republicans. After all, they have to be better than the Democrats, right?

But, there was a little voice in my head that reminded me that I had a strong distaste for Mr. McCain for the past eight years for a reason: he is not a conservative. Mr. McCain stirringly rhapsodized about the multiple failures of government and his never-wavering support of unwinnable war, but the issue that was conspicuously absent was immigration.

It was during the pre-primary Republican debates that anyone last heard a word about our nation’s illegal immigration problem. When pressed if he would sign McCain-Kennedy or a similar bill, the monstrous amnesty bill that nearly buried the Arizona senator’s nascent campaign in the summer of 2007, John McCain asserted that he would veto it. He also promised that he would secure the border and enforce it.

Conservatives everywhere chuckled to themselves at the notion that Senor Amnesty would veto amnesty if it came to his presidential desk. But ever since he wrapped up the nomination, Sean Hannity and others have defended him as if John McCain = Tom Tancredo. Once he obtained the magical number of delegates in March, John McCain became mysteriously silent on immigration. Until Monday.

Speaking to a crowd in Scranton, Pennsylvania, Mr. McCain broke his relative silence on the issue. There, he expressed his intent to maintain a guest worker program, just one of the Bush administration’s euphemisms to describe their policy of amnesty for illegal immigrants. Mr. McCain then promised that it would definitely be a temporary worker program. He promised that people in the guest worker program would only work in the United States for a specified time, and if they stayed for the duration and did not renew their permits, then they would be forced to return to their native country.

Well, John McCain is back. Despite all the campaign rhetoric to the contrary, the Republicans have demonstrated again that they are unconcerned about the border. The entitlement incentives for people to illegally immigrate into the country have not changed. There are still “anchor babies.” Illegals can still obtain welfare. And the argument, “Well, they just do the work Americans won’t do,” has not gone anywhere. In addition, Mr. McCain was awfully vague about the enforcement of his guest worker program. Just how would it be enforced? It's not enforced now!

The startling truth in this debacle is that the Democrats actually do have a point about John McCain being four more years of the same, i.e. the Bush administration. However, John McCain’s immigration policy is probably not what they mean. But it cannot be overlooked that Mr. McCain is more of President Bush on immigration, as he is also more of President Clinton, George H. W. Bush, and sadly, Ronald Reagan.

Even before the selection of Sarah Palin, there were conservatives who reluctantly came over to John McCain because “he’s right on the war.” Mr. McCain obtained the Republican nomination in the first place because he kept telling the public that he would be a competent commander-in-chief, despite the fact that he has continually confused Sunni with Shi’ite. If John McCain, like President Bush before him, wanted to appear proficient on protecting the homeland, then I would have thought that securing the border and knowing who was in the country, would be a top priority. While there is nothing in the Constitution to warrant wire-taps, there are mandates for the executive to protect the homeland from outside invaders. Whether it’s terrorists who are hell-bent on murdering innocent Americans or illegal immigrants who sponge up the treasury, it is an unpardonable abdication of responsibility.

Will conservatives still allow themselves to be fooled by Republicans who do not have their interests and values in mind? Republicans tout the importance of securing the border, but they are the ones who have authored and signed some of the most horrific amnesty proposals. An influx of illegals who sap up welfare are more inclined to vote for the welfare professionals, the Democrats.

Does winning elections right now supersede long-term goals and possibly even political survival? Keep in mind that once John McCain wins the presidency, he no longer has to worry about a large Hispanic vote in Arizona. And once he is the president, he won’t have to worry about the long-term implications immigration policy will have on either the country or his party.

Conservatives largely looked the other way during President Bush’s 1st term, but swung some heavy lumber in 2007 when “comprehensive immigration legislation” was being proposed which would have granted amnesty to as many as 20 million illegal immigrants. They were finally tired of defending a man they once believed to be one of their own. Perhaps 2008 should be the year that conservatives abandon the Republican Party because of lies and broken promises due to illegal immigration.

And perhaps conservatives should phrase their discontent with Mr. John McCain in a way that he can understand: “No mas.”

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Worse Than Sexism

For the past two weeks, the Democrats have been near-apoplectic. They were nothing less than stunned. But when the freshman senator from Illinois passed over Hillary Clinton, recipient of 18 million votes, in favor of a candidate who received less than 1% at the Iowa Caususes, the Dems had to know that a woman would be in the running for the Republicans. And when they saw who it was, they were beside themselves, with hate.

Just take a look at the reception Sarah Palin has received from the liberals. Their first and foremost complaint is that the Alaska governor is a pro-life woman. She is a Fundamentalist Christian and a member of Feminists for Life.

How can that be? The Democratic Party has spent an entire generation force-feeding the public that a feminist can only be pro-choice and can either be a career-woman or a stay-at-home mom, never both. Mrs. Palin undercuts all their assumptions about feminism. The Alaska governor has a vibrant family and has molded a career for herself based on her own merits. She has won political office as a conservative woman and without having a famous name or a husband’s coattails on which to hang. She is a woman who worked hard, fought against the boys’ club of Alaska politics, did it her way, and the Democrats hate it.

The Donkeys have long told women that they have to choose between having a career or a family. Left-wing feminists tried to guilt the public into voting for Hillary Clinton this year because she had so graciously given up her law career to raise Chelsea while Bill went into politics. 2008 was supposed to finally be her turn.

Want proof of the Democrats’ horribly transparent double-standard? Take a look at the brutal treatment heaped on the Palins’ 17-year-old pregnant and unwed daughter, Bristol.

For years liberals and the Hollywood Left have glorified fornication. With the exception of the 2005 film, “40 Year Old Virgin,” how many recent movies can one name where the unmarried lead character did not bed their co-star? Abstinence-only, which Mrs. Palin advocates but has not imposed in schools, is routinely reviled. Then there was a firestorm over Bristol’s pregnancy and the gaudy rumors that Sarah Palin’s Down Syndrome baby was really Bristol’s first child, an utter farce disproved once one calculates the conception of Bristol’s current pregnancy. Regardless, the liberals’ jumped on the rumor bandwagon in an attempt to shamelessly smear the Palins’ as hypocrites.

Could it have been that the liberals were railing because the young Miss Palin was not going to have an abortion? Could it have been that she decided not to murder the most innocent victim of her teenage indiscretion? Could it have been that despite all the Left has done to promote abortion and glorify licentious behavior that this young, conservative family from Alaska is demonstrating to their country that despite their mistakes, they are committed to a culture of life? Could it be that the Palins’ are living proof that families can keep all of their children and still be happy and productive?

These are all valid questions which grind at the cornerstone of liberal dogma: abortion.

Liberal women are making rounds to all the cable news programs clucking that Hillary voters will not turn tail and vote for the McCain-Palin ticket just because a woman is on the ticket. Some say that she is really a man because she does not support abortion on demand. The archetypal 1960’s feminist and all-around loudmouth Gloria Steinem spouted that Sarah Palin shares nothing more than a chromosome with Hillary Clinton. Some say Mrs. Palin is less of a woman because she does not support abortion or that her election to the vice presidency would be a step backwards for women. It was Andrea Mitchell of MSNBC who reported that only "uneducated" women would vote for Governor Palin.

To quote the noisy former tennis great John McEnroe, “You CANNOT be serious!”

The vitriol directed at Mrs. Palin tells this country just how the liberals feel about abortion and “choice.” Liberals have spent years demonizing conservative opposition to abortion when the latter says “’Choice’ only refers to one choice at all: abortion.” Liberals insist that they are not pro-abortion but pro-choice. They say they favor letting women have a choice with their bodies. That’s not pro-abortion, just pro-choice, they sermonize us. Yet, the Democrats’ enthusiasm for choice seems to apply only to a woman’s right to kill her child. Whereas Democrats fervently support abortion choice, they oppose any measure that permits parents to have the choice to pick their children’s school or the choice for Americans to do what they want with their Social Security money.

It is not enough that liberals just disagree with Mrs. Palin’s position on abortion. I disagree with Senators Obama, Biden, and Clinton on abortion, but I do not hate them or consider them sub-human or stupid because of their abortion views. I just believe they are wrong. But Sarah Palin, on the other hand, was mocked for being less than a woman. Why? What else could it be except Mrs. Palin’s beliefs about abortion?

This is hatred of Mrs. Palin, the person. This is not merely disagreeing with someone’s views. The liberals are trying, but failing, to destroy this person. If one wishes to see a real life example of someone being treated like a second-class citizen, this is it. If one wonders how the white man could have enslaved the black man for centuries, enslaved them because of who they were, then the treatment of Sarah Palin should provide an adequate analogy.

And why are they so consumed by the Republicans’ vice presidential pick? An innocent observer might infer that John McCain has dropped out of the race or that if he’s still in the race, he’s so close to death that he’s toting around an assisted-breathing machine. Or one might be inclined to think that it’s the Obama-Biden ticket vs. the Palin ticket. Comedian-turned-neoconservative Dennis Miller noticed Mr. Obama's preoccupation with Mrs. Palin by saying, “She is deep inside his melon.”

The Democrats are not simply bothered by the selection of Mrs. Palin, they are terrorized by it. If they thought they could beat McCain-Palin, they would not spend this much time trying to pick her apart and would dedicate their attention to Mr. McCain. Instead they are focusing their efforts on proving that they are sexist.

Indeed, this is sexism of the highest order. In my unsolicited opinion, I believe there should be a word that goes beyond “sexism” to describe what has been happening. Saying that a woman can only be a woman by supporting abortion on demand is intellectual and moral bankruptcy. I was too young to witness the “borking” of Justice Robert Bork, but I am a conscious witness of the attempted character assassination of Sarah Palin. The liberals keep trying to trip her up or try to get her to say something bigoted or inflammatory. They are the same tricks they tried on Mike Huckabee, which also failed. Instead, they will have to settle for Barack Obama’s off-the-cuff comments about bigoted Pennsylvanians or pigs with lipstick.

Despite the various pluses that are evident in the vice presidential pick, I still cannot vote for John McCain. The senator (and increasingly Mrs. Palin) is a steadfast proponent of "forever war," as embodied in the ambiguous “War on Terror.” However, that does not dull the glee that consumes me while I watch the Democrats utterly self-destruct. As a traditionalist conservative, I find great pleasure in watching the Democrats, who wrote the book on how women and minorities are supposed to believe and act, see their worldview crumble before their very eyes.

Tolerance is fleeting, isn’t it?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

A Sad Day Indeed

Seven years later, no American can see the date September 11 without thinking about that fateful and tragic day. When I read my history books and come across that date, even if it’s from the distant past (the Battle of Marathon was fought on September 11, 490 B.C.) I cannot help but think of the day of the terrorist attacks. When I have to mention the date itself, I prefer to call it the 11th of September because “September 11th” is so irrevocably etched into my memory as the day of the terrorist attacks.

What is nearly as sad as the terrorist attacks themselves is that September 11 is still a juicy political issue. On this sad day of remembrance, I still find many, especially on talk radio, who are mistaken about this day. It saddens this writer deeply to listen to radio personalities such as Rush Limbaugh and Sean Hannity use this day to continue to defend the Bush administration’s imperial foreign policy. It is really quite astonishing that Iraq can be invoked so many times on a day that that country had nothing to do with. John McCain won the Republican nomination because he is such a committed defender of the American venture into Mesopotamia. But it was a terrorist network who took refuge in Afghanistan that perpetuated the attack seven years ago. Removing a dictatorial regime in a country that had done nothing to hurt us in the past was the arrogant, not the prudent course.

Also sad this day is the continued inability to admit that the United States is fallible. The more I listen to talk radio, since my paleoconservative conversion, the more I notice that State Worship is prevalent on the mainstream Right. On Wednesday, Mr. Limbaugh insisted to a caller that America is not the problem with the world, but the solution for the world. This is an arrogant statement that illustrates the problem America finds itself in. It is not that America is a bad country or that its people are bad. That is the implication that is made when people accuse others of “blaming America first.” It is naïve to believe that our government and its actions are benevolent and hurt no one. Conservatives, more than any other body, should know that government’s first inclination is to extend beyond its prescribed role and intervene unnecessarily. That axiom does not change just because a Republican is at the helm. Instead of applying a critical eye to the Republican president, many conservatives turned a blind eye and justified any measure as necessary.

Talk radio routinely chastises Senator Barack Obama for not sufficiently loving his country. It is true that the senator and his wife have said highly questionable things about the traditions of America and its people. Mr. Obama’s now-infamous comment in San Francisco about bitter Pennsylvanians hurt him in the last round of Democratic primaries and Mrs. Obama showed remarkably poor judgment in saying that she was not proud of her country until she saw that she had a good chance to become First Lady. But Mr. Limbaugh and others habitually harangue the Illinois freshman senator because he has said that, among other reasons, he wants to become president so he can make America a great country again. The talk radio Right has become inflamed by such comments. But by doing so, I wonder what these same personalities might have said nearly three decades ago when Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush appeared on campaign buttons that promised they would return America to greatness. Were they implying that under disastrous one-term president Jimmy Carter the United States was somehow less than great and that they wanted to return the country to a better time? It’s kind of funny how a Democrat can make Republicans feel less proud of their country but a disastrous two-term Republican president should not be able to do the same to Bush-weary Democrats.

The sad truth is that the terrorist attacks of Sepetember 11, 2001 did not dull partisanship. It did in the days immediately following the tragedy, but by the time the Bush administration set its sights on a Middle Eastern empire, the unity faded. The Republicans, with a lot of help from the Democrats, marched off to a theater of operations they had no business marching into.

Today, let us remember the heroes of New York, Washington D. C., and Pennsylvania. Their efforts should not be politicized on this gravely sad day. It stomps on their achievements in the midst of death. It should not be a time to justify war without end and likewise it should not be a time to justify one’s attempts to single out George W. Bush as a unique catalyst for the war in Iraq. September 11, 2001 was one day and nothing else.

We remember and honor the people who died that day and we can remember the heroism of those who ran to the rescue, not the ones who have capitalized the most from it.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

America Last

On first glance, some naïve people might think that Senator John McCain had adopted a slogan of the Old Right.

“Country First”

If only. I first heard Mr. McCain utter this phrase at the Civic Forum held at Rick Warren’s mega-church. My first reaction was, What country first? Does he mean Israel First? For all the neoconservatives who gravitated to President Bush and his potential successor, their first item of duty was to protect Israel, not America, first and foremost. It is no surprise then, that the litmus test for one’s national security credibility rests on how loyal they are to Israel.

During this week’s Republican National Convention, there have begun to be utterances of “America First.” For anyone unversed, “America First” was a slogan adopted by the America First Committee, the largest and best organized antiwar movement in our nation’s history. They opposed the drive to war being pushed by President Roosevelt. It was bipartisan and had followers that included John F. Kennedy, his relative Sargent Shriver, Ohio senator Robert Taft, 15-year-old William F. Buckley, Jr. and its most famous speaker, Charles Lindbergh. Sadly, the aviation hero smeared his good name for perpetuity because he believed the primary perpetrators in the rush to engage the United States in a European war were Jewish. Thus, “America First” became, unfairly, synonymous with anti-Semitism. For a more detailed discussion of the America First Committee, I would recommend “America First!” by Bill Kauffman and “Reclaiming the American Right” by Justin Raimondo.

Watching the aforementioned Republican Convention and its slogan of “Country First” epitomizes how the conservative movement has been completely bastardized. Once synonymous with non-interventionism, the word “conservative” has now come to mean all-out war against whomever we feel like attacking. Our country was savagely attacked on September 11, 2001. So naturally the decision was made by the president and his advisers to attack Iraq and entirely dismantle a country that did not attack us and had no reason or capability of threatening us. Thus, the word “conservative” was made anew.

But perhaps the biggest rhetorical atrocity of Tuesday evening’s events was Republican Joe Lieberman’s address defending John McCain’s record and tying it to George Washington. Mr. Lieberman invoked words from our first president and most benevolent commander-in-chief: political parties are the downturn of our democracy.

While Lieberman correctly attributed the decimating effect of political parties on our country, General Washington never said anything about our “democracy.” None of the founders did. No self-respecting man of the late 18th Century would want to be called a democrat, only a republican (please take note of the lower-case spelling). When a woman saw Benjamin Franklin exit the Constitutional Convention in 1787, she asked him if this country would be a monarchy or a republic. The old statesman’s alleged reply was, “A republic, if you can keep it.” Notice that Mr. Franklin’s response was a republic, not a democracy. True democracies are mob rule (French Revolution) but republics elect leaders representative of the population.

Again, the old general was absolutely right about the catastrophic consequences that come from political parties. But both parties, especially the Republicans, conveniently ignore some more of the first president’s advice: avoid entangling alliances and the squabbles of Europe.

Our relationship with Israel is a textbook example of an entangling alliance, but no one in the GOP wants to hear about it, or hear about how powerfully the Israel lobby controls the party. It’s actually kind of ironic that Washington D.C.’s most famous Jew is the one delivering an address that cherry-picks the words of our greatest statesman to support a morally and intellectually bankrupt foreign policy that favors Israel, not America first.

The Republicans are only trying to fool the country into believing that they are in favor of “Country First.” Somewhere along the way, people are supposed to believe that “America First” once meant doing everything possible to keep the country out of war, while “Country First” today seems to mean that America will fight any war, anyplace on the planet, under the guise of protecting the citizens.

Entering this entangling alliance with Israel and fighting in a seemingly endless series of wars has brought nothing but trouble to the country and has done nothing but vindicate the words of George Washington. Why is it that Joe Lieberman could invoke words from President Washington to roars from the crowd but Ron Paul could quote the general about entangling alliances and get fitted for a strait jacket?

Or consider how Pat Buchanan summoned the phrase “America First” during his three presidential campaigns only to be charged with anti-Semitism. Why was Mr. Buchanan vilified while Mr. McCain is lauded because he puts “Country First” by promising more wars?

The simple answer: Mr. Buchanan represented a return avenue to the old American republic that minded its own business in its own hemisphere. Mr. McCain is a steadfast supporter of the American Empire with military bases in 130 countries.

Here is what “America First” actually means: Doing one’s best to protect Americans by returning from all corners of the world and conserving the military for missions that actually protect Americans. A president can put America first by keeping them out of everybody else’s wars. What, after all, was the point of braying at Russia over a relatively insignificant secession dispute with Georgia? Why does it matter to Americans who controls breakaway provinces of the old Soviet empire? How does whacking that big stick on the table, antagonizing a nuclear power like Russia, put America first? How does "We are all Georgians" (as opposed to "I am a citizen of the world") put America first? How does bombing Iran, another country that had nothing to do with 9/11, have to do with putting America first? What does sending National Guard troops on five tours of duty do to put America first? This could go on all day.

Don’t fall for the Trojan Horse of “Country First.”