In the first two elections since 2001, when thousands of my countrymen were murdered in the name of Islam, the war was the central issue. This year, thanks to an insufficiently aggressive, morally uncertain approach to this war, the Republicans, incredibly, succeeded in taking it off the table. This election marked the first time since those unholy atrocities I have felt almost indifferent to the outcome.
This last sentence speaks volumes coming from me. I am still outraged by these atrocities and would like to see relentless devastation visited upon the Islamic world until its inhabitants either give up on the notion of spreading their religion by the sword or they are exterminated.
Another fellow blogger, Noumenal Self, recently put into words what my gut was telling me today: "The war should be the essential issue in this election. It should be, but it isn't, because the choice between Democrats and Republicans will make little difference for the outcome...." Even granting the increasingly improbable premise that Bush has another move up his sleeve, he failed to campaign on the war other than to remind us that the Democrats stood for surrender. One party promised to bark loudly, the other to whimper; but we knew that neither would bite.
With Iran about to arm itself with nuclear weapons, there was no talk of toppling its fanatical regime or destroying its nuclear facilities. There was just talk -- the tyrant-enabling talk of European style diplomacy. And the precedent of North Korea. We were in Iraq, in a position to denazify that nation and to use it as a launching pad to knock out Syria and Iran, and thus Lebanon's Party of God in the process. Instead, we encouraged the formation of a regime there that had no separation of state and religion. And we had no discernible plans whatsoever to move against Iran or Syria, either.
As I write, the handful of projections I have checked generally show the Democrats gaining control of the House with the GOP possibly retaining the Senate. This is in the middle of a war which the Republicans failed to declare, failed to prosecute vigorously, and hoped would save them from having to differentiate themselves by their actions from the "Party of Defeat." They have only themselves to blame for this election loss.
And the war is only their most obvious sin. Recall that we are fighting a foe whose essential characteristic is that he takes religion more seriously than the requirements for man's life on this earth. This is why the Jihadits piloted planes into buildings. They were more concerned with what an allegedly holy text said than with the pursuit of happiness here on this earth.
And what did the Republicans do during this war against these religious fanatics?
They introduced "faith-based" initiatives, injecting religion into welfare instead of abolishing welfare. (I believe in 1992 they'd spoken of dismantling the welfare state "brick by brick." Converting it into a cheesy store-front church is not the same thing.)
The fanatics, all the way from the time of Salman Rushdie, to the Mohammed Cartoon Riots, to now, wanted to curtail our freedom of speech. The Republicans cooperated with the Democrats to pass McCain-Feingold, a huge step towards regulating American freedom of speech.
When Michael Schiavo attempted to allow his wife's body to die -- after medical evidence showed that she was brain-dead, in accordance to her wishes, and in accordance with the law -- the Republicans tried their best to trample over that evidence, her wishes, and worst of all, the law they swore to uphold. All in the name of imposing their religious dictates onto fellow Americans by misusing government force.
In short, the Republicans acted like a wimpy version of our enemies during a time in which they (ambiguity intended) waged war upon the American people. We wanted the Republicans to fight these bastards off, not growl at them for awhile and then turn on us.
One of the lingering doubts I had before going to the polls today was that an electoral defeat today might teach the Republicans the wrong lesson on the war. But the more I think about it, the more unfounded this fear is. The Republicans were already wrong. How else is Iran still playing with uranium enrichment? Why have we relented in cutting off aid to the "Palestinians," who elected terrorists as leaders? Why are we fighting in the name of "democracy" -- the alleged right of barbarians in the Middle East to impose unlimited majority rule -- rather than protecting our own freedom? If the GOP walks away from this defeat sounding more like the Democrats, well, at least they've become more honest. The Republicans began acting like them long before.
We, the American people want to win this war and get on with our lives. We want government-imposed religion out of our lives -- as the defeat of an anti-abortion measure in conservative South Dakota attests. We are not interested in being forced to improve the lot of willfully ignorant savages abroad or the lazy at home. The Republicans thought they could get away with mouthing empty homage to national security, personal freedom, and capitalism -- while acting like Democrats. They did not get away with it. That is what this election means to me, an American man with no fondness for either major party.
What it means to the Republicans is their business. I am no fan of the Democrats and dread the next two years. I still think that many of my fellow Objectivists are way too optimistic about what the Democrats will be like in power. But if, as a result of this defeat, the Republicans get serious about what they claim to defend and abandon the contradiction of injecting faith into politics, this will ultimately prove to be a good thing.
Wednesday, November 08, 2006
The GOP's Just Desserts
Gus Van Horn offers ROR readers his guest analysis on the election:
Posted by Nicholas Provenzo at 3:29 PM