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Preview: RealClearPolitics - Articles - Ben Shapiro

RealClearPolitics - Articles - Ben Shapiro

Last Build Date: Wed, 01 Apr 2009 00:35:10 -0600

Copyright: Copyright 2009

Obama's Childish Vision of Politics

Wed, 01 Apr 2009 00:35:10 -0600

Yet despite his "hard choices" rhetoric, Barack Obama's favorite political tactic is to claim that no choices need be made at all; all political differences of opinion, he says, can be chalked up to misunderstanding rather than conflicting fundamental values. All choices are "false choices" if we just think deeply enough. Or rather, if Obama thinks deeply enough. And so Obama claimed in the Chicago Tribune that Americans "need not choose between a chaotic and unforgiving capitalism and an oppressive government-run economy." That choice, he said, is a "false choice." It is a false choice as he phrases it -- capitalism isn't chaotic and unforgiving. But the simple choice between capitalism and a government-managed economy is a real choice -- and it's the most important choice Americans have faced in half a century. Obscuring the need to make that choice by glossing over it with happy talk does a profound disservice to the American people. According to Obama, "false choices" aren't restricted to the economy -- they're also present with regard to stem cell research. While Obama paid lip service to the moral qualms of the anti-embryonic stem cell research advocates, he then dismissed their intelligence. "Our government has forced what I believe is a false choice between sound science and moral values," he announced while restoring unfettered federal funding to embryonic stem cell research. Those moral thinkers who struggle with the implications of destroying potential human life in order to embark upon decades-long research projects are idiots, according to the president. We've all been suckered by "false choices" on national defense, too, Obama tells us. Determining the future of Guantanamo Bay is easy, he smiles; we shut it down, thereby ending the "false choice between our safety and our ideals." Again, this is nonsensical: Ask the Sept. 11 victims' families whether releasing terrorists onto U.S. soil for civil liberties purposes presents a conflict between safety and ideals. American presidents from Washington to Lincoln to FDR to Bush have struggled with the balance between security and civil liberties. But apparently, according to Obama, they were a bunch of dummies -- that choice is "false." Obama's not done with the "false choices." There are "false choices" with regard to the environment, too. "Throughout our history," Obama recently stated, "there's been a tension between those who have sought to conserve our natural resources for the benefit of future generations, and those who have sought to profit from these resources. But I'm here to tell you this is a false choice." Really? Then why do Democrats insist on blocking drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Reserve? After all, the choice between allowing oil companies to profit from resources and conserving natural resources is a false one. In reality, of course, all of these choices are hard choices. Do we choose the warm feeling of a low-growth, government-managed economy over the dynamism and creativity of capitalism? Do we choose to destroy potential human beings in order to potentially save human beings? Do we stop law enforcement measures to preserve civil liberties or do we fight the threat of terrorism with every tool at our disposal? Do we choose green living over the continued expansion of our economy? These are the questions around which American politics revolve. These are questions that reflect our fundamental values. And these are the questions President Obama hates, because they strip away the shallow, puerile rhetoric of hope, change, and unity, and instead ask Americans to think more deeply. And so Obama labels such questions "false choices." By doing so, he assumes the role of all-knowing prophet, able to solve all political conflicts by declaring them fictitious. While we mortals debate the issues, Obama stands far above them, handing down his judgment from on high, bringing unity where once there was conflict. This is dangerous stuff. America's greatness lies in its willingness to argue tough questions in the public square. Presenting s[...]

Obama's Global Interest Imperialism

Sat, 31 Jan 2009 00:30:23 -0600

Obama apologized for President Bush's "Islamic fascism" terminology, equating Muslim terrorism with nonexistent terrorism by Jews and Christians: "the language we use matters. And what we need to understand is, is that there are extremist organizations -- whether Muslim or any other faith in the past -- that will use faith as a justification for violence. We cannot paint with a broad brush a faith as a consequence of the violence that is done in that faith's name." There was no call for the Muslim world to actively fight terrorism.

Obama repeated the Clintonian line that the Palestinian Arab-Israeli conflict could be solved by pressing Israel into negotiations with terrorists -- a foolish conceit that has cost Israeli and Palestinian lives. He talked about getting rid of "preconceptions" regarding the Israeli-Arab conflict -- code for embracing negotiations with Hamas. He pledged to talk with Iran -- on the same day that Iran's government spokesman branded the Holocaust "a big lie." He bought into the Muslim-sponsored notion that the Palestinian Arab-Israeli conflict lies at the heart of all trouble in the Middle East. He praised the one-sided Saudi peace plan as an act of "great courage."

Most sickeningly, Obama openly jettisoned his constitutional role as the caretaker for America's national interest. Instead, Obama posed himself as an honest broker between America and the Muslim world. "(T)he United States has a stake in the well-being of the Muslim world, that the language we use has to be a language of respect," he said. "I have Muslim members of my family. I have lived in Muslim countries." Obama didn't stop there. He stated that his job is to speak for the Muslim world, defending them from Americans' negative perceptions: "And my job is to communicate to the American people that the Muslim world is filled with extraordinary people who simply want to live their lives and see their children live better lives."

No, Mr. President. Your job is not to communicate to the American people that the Muslim world harbors us no ill will. That is their job. The Muslim world must demonstrate with its words and actions that they do not wish America replaced with an Islamic state. They must demonstrate that they do not support terrorism against America and our allies.

Your job is to protect and defend the United States of America. That is your sworn duty.

And you abrogate your sworn duty every time you go on Arab television stations and apologize for America's foreign policy. You abrogate your sworn duty every time you force American allies to negotiate with terrorists. You abrogate your sworn duty every time you pledge to protect the interests "not just of the United States, but also ordinary people who right now are suffering from poverty and a lack of opportunity" -- the same ordinary people who elect Hamas, prop up the Ayatollahs, supported the Taliban, recruit for al-Qaida, and live off of the beneficence of Hezbollah. Not all Muslims are "extraordinary people," and the interests of suffering Muslims do not always align with American interests.

On Nov. 4, 2008, Americans elected their first international president. They elected a man who does not seek to preserve American values. Leftists perceived George W. Bush as an imperialist for American interests; by the same token, Obama is an imperialist for "global interests." In a war to save America from implacable foes, Obama's Global Interest Imperialism dooms American exceptionalism to the ash heap of history. With it may go the last, best hope of Earth.

Enough of Radical Islam

Thu, 04 Dec 2008 00:00:17 -0600

Enough with the niceties. We don't lose our souls when we treat our enemies as enemies. We don't undermine our principles when we post more police officers in vulnerable areas, or when we send Marines to kill bad guys, or when we torture terrorists for information. And we don't redeem ourselves when we close Guantanamo Bay or try terrorists in civilian courts or censor anti-Islam comics. When it comes to war, extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice, and moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.

Enough with the words. Talking with Iran without wielding the threat of force, either economic or military, won't help. Appealing to the United Nations, run by thugs and dictators ranging from Putin to Chavez to Ahmadinejad, is an exercise in pathetic futility. Evil countries don't suddenly decide to abandon their evil goals -- they are forced to do so by pressure and circumstance.

Enough with the faux allies. We don't gain anything by pretending that Saudi Arabia and Pakistan are true allies. They aren't. At best, they are playing both sides of the table. We ought to be drilling now in order to break OPEC. Building windmills isn't going to cut it. We should also be backing India to the hilt in its current conflict with Pakistan -- unless Pakistan can destroy its terrorist element, India should be given full leeway to do what it needs to do. Russia and China, meanwhile, are facilitating anti-Western terrorism. Treating them as friends in this global war is simply begging for a backstabbing.

Enough with the myths. Not everyone on earth is crying out for freedom. There are plenty of people who are happy in their misery, believing that their suffering is part and parcel of a correct religious system. Those people direct their anger outward, targeting unbelievers. We cannot simply knock off dictators and expect indoctrinated populations to rise to the liberal democratic challenge. The election of Hamas in the Gaza Strip is more a rule than an exception in the Islamic world.

Enough with the lies. Stop telling us that Islam is a religion of peace. If it is, prove it through action. Stop telling us that President-elect Barack Obama will fix our broken relationship with the Muslim world. They hate Obama just as much as they hated President George W. Bush, although they think Obama is more of a patsy than Bush was. Stop telling us that we shouldn't worry about the Islamic infiltration of our economy. If the Saudis own a large chunk of our banking institutions and control the oil market, they can certainly leverage their influence in dangerous ways.

Enough. After the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, the plane downed in Pennsylvania, the endless suicide bombings, shootings and rocket attacks in Israel, the Bali bombings, the synagogue bombing in Tunisia, the LAX shootings, the Kenyan hotel bombing, the Casablanca attacks, the Turkey synagogue attacks, the Madrid bombings, the London bombings, and the repeated attacks in India culminating in the Mumbai massacres -- among literally thousands of others -- it's about time that the West got the point: we're in a war. Our enemies are determined. They will not quit just because we offer them Big Macs, Christina Aguilera CDs, or even the freedom to vote. They will not quit just because we ensure that they have Korans in their Guantanamo cells, or because we offer to ban "The Satanic Verses" (as India did). They will only quit when they are dead. It is our job to make them so, and to eliminate every obstacle to their destruction.

So enough. No more empty talk. No more idle promises. No more happy ignorance, half measures, or appeasement-minded platitudes. The time for hard-nosed, uncompromising action hasn't merely come -- it's been overdue by seven years. The voice of our brothers' blood cries out from the ground.

Sexism Rears Its Ugly Head

Wed, 03 Sep 2008 00:35:05 -0600

The rumor, of course, was demonstrably false -- Kos took down the post. Sullivan, however, stubbornly claimed that the questions about Palin's pregnancy were legitimate. And certain deranged leftist bloggers continue to speculate that Palin wore a padded suit in order to disguise her supposed non-pregnancy. On Monday, September 1, Palin released the news that her 17-year-old daughter, Bristol, was pregnant, and that she would have the baby and marry the father. To Barack Obama's credit, he quickly condemned the focus on Bristol's pregnancy, noting that he was born when his mother was 18. But that made little difference to his followers. The left was already trembling with new paroxysms of delight. They immediately blamed Palin for her daughter's pregnancy. "Sarah Palin opposes programs that teach teenagers anything about contraception," complained Ruth Marcus of the Washington Post. Max Blumenthal of The Nation obnoxiously wrote, "Could Bristol Palin have benefited from the sex education and contraceptives the GOP seeks to deny to public school students?" The New York Times writes that some wonder if Palin should have stayed out of politics in order to raise her family: "With five children, including an infant with Down syndrome and, as the country learned Monday, a pregnant 17-year-old, Ms. Palin has set off a fierce argument among women about whether there are enough hours in the day for her to take on the vice presidency, and whether she is right to try." A few commentators on the left have written that Palin should have told Bristol to consider abortion. There is no question that the left's attachment to both the Trig Palin non-story and the Bristol Palin story are dramatic examples of sexism. Attacking a female politician's pregnancy without any evidence -- accusing her of lying about her own baby -- is simply sickening. Exposing a female politician's 17-year-old pregnant daughter and then implying that the politician is an unfit mother and should have stayed at home to tend to the children is simply discriminatory. Liberal women should feel free to oppose Palin's candidacy on policy grounds -- but they have the moral obligation to defend Palin from such sexist attacks. When Palin accepted McCain's offer, she thanked Hillary Clinton for her breakthrough candidacy. Where is Hillary Clinton, defending Palin against such blatant sexism? After all, Clinton recognizes that sexism remains a prevalent force in American politics, saying: "The manifestation of some of the sexism that has gone on in this campaign is somehow more respectable, or at least more accepted, and ... there should be equal rejection of the sexism and the racism when it raises its ugly head." How about rejecting sexism when it raises its ugly head, Senator Clinton? Where is Nancy Pelosi, Speaker of the House? "I'm a victim of sexism myself all the time," Pelosi recently stated. How about confronting sexism in its tracks, Madam Speaker? Where is Katie Couric? "Like [Hillary] or not, one of the great lessons of that campaign is the continued -- and accepted -- role of sexism in American life, particularly in the media," Couric stated about Hillary's failed presidential bid. How about standing up against the continued role of sexism in American life with regard to a vice presidential nominee, Katie? The Democrats' support of women's rights, it seems, is restricted only to the most convenient political situation: liberal women versus white males. When it's liberal women versus black males -- see Clinton vs. Obama -- the left dumps women's rights in favor of racial gains. When it's conservative women versus anybody, the left ignores women's rights completely. For Sarah Palin, according to the left, it's back to the kitchen and the minivan. And for liberal women who sit by idly as Palin is excoriated for her gender, there's a special place in hell. At least according to Madeleine Albright. Who, so far, has said nothing. [...]