Wednesday, June 15, 2016
Hope n' Change doesn't know - we're in listening mode right now. But a lot of what we're hearing is extremely disturbing.
In remarks made yesterday, Barack Obama showed far greater anger and passion about the call to use the words "radical Islamic terror" than he exhibited when speaking about the dead and wounded Americans in Orlando. He openly mocked the idea that there was any point or value in putting a name to those who would destroy our nation.
Hillary Clinton, pushed by her Republican opponent, actually voiced the words "radical Islam" in a speech which suggested that, if elected, her anti-terror strategy would be an extension and expansion of the administration's current "Operation Diddly Squat" initiative.
The ACLU blamed the attack on fundamentalist Christians, making us think that the Feds are way overdue in raiding ACLU offices in search of meth labs.
And then there's Donald Trump.
In a speech about the murders on Monday, the presidential wannabee pushed into frightening rhetorical territory. "If we don’t get tough, and if we don’t get smart, and fast, we’re not going to have our country anymore," quoth The Donald. "There will be nothing, absolutely nothing, left."
Well, no. Terror attacks of the type that occurred in Orlando are painful, frightening, and absolutely unacceptable - but they do not pose an existential threat to our country at this point.
And how did this nightmare happen? According to Trump, "we have, just, no intelligence gathering information." Wow - none? Really? Even though this attack wasn't prevented, intelligence agencies had interviewed the perpetrator twice, tailed him, and kept him on a terror watch list as long as was feasible.
The suggestion - and not just from Trump - is that the government should surveil more and be willing to take a person of interest out of circulation before he or she acts. Or might act. But where do we really want those lines drawn?
In the past 8 years, Conservatives have been routinely referred to (from Obama on down) as hostage takers, terrorists, and violent extremists. Homeland Security suggested that military veterans should be considered potentially dangerous. The IRS made a point of investigating and punishing groups which favored balanced budgets, reduced taxes, Constitutional government, and a preference for legal immigration. Hillary Clinton is currently shrieking that Conservatives are active and dangerous aggressors in the "war on women."
All of this being the case, ask yourself if you're on someone's political hit list before enthusiastically embracing the idea of preemptive incarceration of American citizens.
Our nation is hurting and angry right now, and the do-nothing "blame America first" coalition of politicians and media members on the Left make Donald Trump's call to action sound appealing. And we'll admit, some of his suggestions make sense (by the law of averages alone, it had to happen eventually). Yes, we need to get tough and smart. And we need to do it fast.
But let us not be stampeded into a genuine existential threat to our freedoms and way of life out of fear, confusion, or deliberate misdirection.