The midterm elections are passed us, and the Democrats have swept back with an unbecoming vengeance into Congress and power over the U.S. They give one the sense that they are barbarian hordes riding into Rome with every intention of sacking it. They remind us why drooling and gloating are unsightly and repulsive. Objectivists and non-Objectivists alike know they are up to no good.
Many of them voted Democratic chiefly as protest against the failure of Republicans to properly prosecute a war against a dedicated enemy, for having waged a kind of fruitless "phony war" that is costing incalculable blood and treasure. It is doubtful that the Republicans will learn anything from the rejection. In search of an answer to why they lost, they will agonize over polls, demographics, income and gender brackets, but will never address fundamental ideas or principles.
And many Objectivists and non-Objectivists voted Republican in protest of the obvious agenda of the Democrats to renew its sacking of the country, and also because they believe that President Bush had the right "war-fighting" principles but was not competent enough to apply them.
Not an issue with them was that the Bush Administration has done just as thorough a job of sacking the country, in terms of the national debt and the expansion of the federal welfare state, as any Democrat. By some estimates, Bush in his six years in office has outdone Bill Clinton in his eight, and many commentators are beginning to realize that, even though they pose as defenders of freedom and capitalism, the Republicans subscribe to every tenet of the Progressive Party manifesto of top-to-bottom socialism, with a twist of religion to give it a moral flavor.
The Democrats offer socialism straight up, no ice, no lemon. Examine the agenda of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, whose prime movers include Nancy Pelosi and Henry Waxman of the People's State of California. The only difference between it and the Republican reactive "platform" is the speed with which the Democrats wish to impose top-to-bottom socialism.
Well, not so much "top" as "bottom." The elective oligarchies of both parties usually ensure that they are insulated from the consequences of legislation intended for the rest of the country. The salaries, perks, medical and other fringe benefits, exemptions and privileges all together rival the best compensation packages and golden parachutes of CEOs in the private sector. There isn't a Senator or Representative who isn't a millionaire - at taxpayer expense - but who has produced nothing but law and paper.
One favorite accusation of the Democrats is that Bush and Company are incompetent. Parenthetically, I find the charge of incompetence by either Party absurdly disingenuous, considering that it is made by career politicians who have never in their adult lives held a job that required competence or a fig of measured productive skill. So, one must contest that charge. In terms of abiding by and applying his moral beliefs, Bush has been eminently successful.
As Dr. John Lewis remarked to me recently, "Words mean what they refer to in reality. What the 'defense of freedom' means to Bush is the slaughter of our soldiers for the toilet needs of foreigners throwing bombs." Jesus is Bush's favorite philosopher, and he is as committed to Jesus' morality as the jihadists are to Mohammad's. Sacrifice has been the operating principle of Bush's military philosophy, in order to protect the "innocent" as an aspect of "humanitarian" war-fighting.
Ellsworth Toohey put it brilliantly and succinctly in The Fountainhead: "Fight the doctrine which slaughters the individual with a doctrine which slaughters the individual." That has been the sum of the conflict between the Republicans and Democrats at home and abroad.
All else is deliberate obfuscation.
The "British disease" is insinuating itself into American politics. The "disease" is a blinkered estimate of the influence of Islam. Bush regularly invites Islamic leaders to the White House for dinner, most recently to celebrate the end of Ramadan.
Now it is the Democrats' turn to buddy up to Muslims. Minnesotans elected Congress's first Muslim representative, Keith Ellison, whose close ties to the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) and Louis Farrakhan's racist and anti-Semitic Nation of Islam were not closely scrutinized or questioned by the news media, most likely because no journalist wants to be accused of bigotry. What is forgotten is that when criticisms are leveled against Islam, it is leading Muslim spokesmen who play the race card. Ellison celebrated his victory Tuesday night before a crowd that chanted "Allahu Akbar" ("God is great"), which is what the 9/11 hijackers and killers yelled as they crashed their planes. Ellison will be a keynote speaker at CAIR's annual banquet on November 18th.
And, in Michigan, David Turfe, a supporter of Hezbollah and also a Muslim, was elected district court judge in Dearborn Heights' 20th district. (For details on his career, see debbieschlussel.com.) This is not the same as a Presbyterian or a Methodist donning robes to administer justice in a secular courtroom. If Turfe is a faithful, consistent Muslim, how can he reconcile Sharia law with infidel law? Fundamentally, he can't, but one supposes that his "spiritual" leaders will grant him dispensation (the colloquial term in Christendom would be "slack").
Turfe, founding chairman of a Muslim "cultural" center (surely an oxymoron), proclaimed to an enthusiastic crowd that "only a few thousand Jews will survive Armageddon." Armageddon is what Ahmadinejad of Iran is promising Israel and the West once he has an arsenal of nuclear weapons.
It is almost a certainty that both Ellison and Turfe will seek to expand the meaning of "hate crime" to include anything untoward said about Islam or Muslims. Which, of course, will sneak censorship into law under the cloak of "civility."
Yes, the "British disease." The British are trying to find an antidote to it and to counter decades of tolerance of harboring, under the cloak of multiculturalism, the growth of Islamic jihadism. MI5 chief Dame Eliza Manningham-Buller warned recently (the Daily Telegraph, November 11) that thousands of young Muslims are being recruited and trained by Al-Qada and other terrorist organizations in Britain's schools. But, even she doesn't get it. Terrorists are "extremists" who have little to do with "peaceful" Muslims. Never mind that the Koran advocates jihad. This fallacy has been discussed before.
In response to the recent acquittal of two British National Party members accused of stirring up racial hatred (the Daily Telegraph, November 12), Gordon Brown, Chancellor, stated that new race hatred legislation was needed. I do not know what else the BNP stands for, but all the two defendants were charged with was saying, in private party meetings (secretly filmed by the BBC and then broadcast), that Islam was a "wicked, vicious faith" - certainly not an exaggeration, but then, one could just as easily say that about Christianity - and that Muslims were turning Britain into a "multi-racial hell hole." The latter statement probably indicates an unsavory political premise, which I would not endorse.
Still, British speech law is nearing the state of outright censorship. The BNP episode reminded me of the trial of the Pippins in Book Two of Sparrowhawk, when a club of freethinkers in London is charged with and tried for "blasphemous libel," that is, over things the members said in a private meeting on private property about King George II, Parliament and religion.
There is no reason to think that British censorship by edict or by lawsuit won't infect American jurisprudence and further emasculate the First Amendment. The Saudis are particularly active in bringing suits against writers who dare expose their role in jihad. For example, American writer Rachel Ehrenfeld, author of an unpublished book, Funding Evil: How Terrorism is Financed and How to Stop It, faced a ruinous lawsuit in Britain by a Saudi because a chapter of her book appeared on the Internet and was downloaded by Britons.
"Writers are now subject to intimidation by libel tourists," reports Samuel A. Abady and Harvey Silverglate in The Boston Globe (November 7). "Little wonder that the American Society of Newspaper Editors, the Association of American Publishers, and 14 other media groups have filed a 'friend of the court' brief to support Ehrenfeld's quest to raise her First Amendment defense now. Until she is able to do so, she will have problems finding American publishers willing to risk publishing her research and writing."
A judge of the Southern District Court in Manhattan dismissed Ehrenfeld's case, claiming he had no jurisdiction over it. "Ehrenfeld is filing an appeal and faces a daunting challenge of raising enough money to support a case that she believes will help determine whether or not American writers will be able to continue to expose America's enemies."
One of my unpublished novels, We Three Kings, features an American entrepreneur whose Constitutional protection against the murderous depredations of a Saudi prince is stripped from him by the State Department. In the current multicultural climate, it is not likely it will ever be published here. In the land of the free and the home of the brave, neither the brave nor the free are much valued anymore, in fact or in fiction.