I wonder about some folks sometimes. I’m a want to get along kind of guy. I always believe that there is room for spirited debate in the political process of the country. I believe that the opposition party to the sitting President and or Congress also have a necessary responsibility to principled resistance to proposals of the other party which violate their core beliefs as a political party. At the same time there is also the need to work together to find solutions that both parties can accept, it is the art of political compromise and once a hallmark of our nation.
Of course the most strident on the political Left and political Right tend when out of power to do things that make themselves look stupid. Likewise, they hate the opposition, They loudly advocate positions that not only attack the political figure that they hate, but the country as a whole. There have been those on the Left who have done this, especially with President Bush. However, even more unseemly has been the response of some “conservatives” who have gone from principled opposition to irresponsible rhetoric. This type of behavior if done by a liberal who ignite a firestorm on the Right. If a liberal suggested secession from the Union or openly wished the failure of a conservative President there would be an outcry. If a liberal organized spurious legal campaigns well after numerous courts consistently rejected their arguments following an election, talk radio hosts would crucify them. If liberals encouraged soldiers in war zones to disobey orders from the conservative President, there would be a blistering conservative response. Liberals who did so would be called traitors and the Right would call for charging them with treason. If a liberal published blatantly misleading articles to deceive uniformed readers about policies of a conservative President, conservatives would cry foul. If a liberal group formed their own “Common Law Grand Juries” to bring charges against a conservative President, conservatives would would be beating the airwaves and petitioning the courts and Congress for redress. Unfortunately it is supposed conservatives led by World Net Daily who are doing all of these things. The behavior is unseemly, crass, histrionic and unprincipled. It is also extremely dangerous in an already polarized society.
Unfortunately, these are the actions of supposed conservatives to President Obama. “Conservative news sites” such as World Net Daily, many talk radio hosts and many other supposedly conservative “news” outlets are doing these things. I do not question these peoples patriotism. I do believe that they love the country very much. I do however question the manner in which they make their opposition known and the hatred for their opponents that seems to drive them. When one party has power and controls the White House as well as both Houses of Congress and fails they tend to lose elections. The consequences of losing just suck. The other party, especially if it has a majority sizable majority Congress can pretty much do as it wants. The losing party if it is smart figures out what it needs to do to win next time. That is politics, that is life. It sucks to lose. Ask the Democrats.
Many on the political right have moved from principled political opposition to very dangerous rhetoric which espouses succession, stockpiling of arms and the formation of private militias led by “patriots.” This is extremely dangerous. Writers like George Will and the late William Buckley are example principled opposition. Ronald Reagan, a saint to the Right treated his opponents honorably and never stooped to this level. The same is true of conservative icon Barry Goldwater. Joseph Farah, Bob Unruh of World Net Daily, Alan Keyes and others on the radio such as Sean Hannity have led this march to the abyss. Numerous talk radio hosts call themselves “the conservative underground” while broadcasting to millions of listeners on public airwaves. Farah and others have led many of the actions that I described previously. All of them will be responsible if some lunatic or some group undertakes violent action.
This is dangerous and irresponsible. It is similar to the behavior of radical Imams in Iraq who were in large part responsible for much of the violence in that country. The Iraqi Army historically had Imams, however due to the behavior of Sunni and Shi’ite Imams and Mullahs many senior officers refuse to bring them into service. I had one General tell me that the Army did not trust them because of their actions. I had another Iraqi officer, a Sunni Moslem say that he wished his Army had Christian priests to care for his soldiers and their families, because they did not have a political agenda like the Imams and would care for his soldiers. Like the irresponsible Imams in Iraq who incited violent actions which helped rip that nation apart, the kind of opposition exercised by Farah and others discredits the very ideas that they say that they are defending. They are playing with fire. Their actions very well could push unstable individuals into taking violent action against the government and their fellow citizens. As a military officer I find this disturbing. These are the same tactics that Nazi sympathizers used to undermine the democratic institutions of the Weimar Republic and undermine the authority of the military leadership of the Army and Navy. This happened in the middle of a world wide economic crisis. Does this sound familiar? The result was a disaster for both Germany and the world. Farah and his ilk are convinced of both their cause and their rightness in doing so. I would never suggest taking their freedom to speak away, nor am I am not calling them Nazis or Facists. I only seek to show how the methods they are using are both irrepsonsible and dangerous. Unfortunately these people are marching into an abyss that will destroy them and harm the nation whose Constitution that they claim to cherish. God help us all if they continue down this path. Peace, Steve+