Friday, January 19, 2007

Dinesh D’souza’s Proposition

With his newest book, The Enemy At Home (, Dinesh D'Souza has almost certainly offered his most controversial proposition, that since it’s American Liberalism that’s motivated much of the extremist Muslim rage, a rage that’s been infecting more and more “moderate Muslims,” perhaps by downplaying, even jettisoning things like the “rehabilitative justice” that’s made headlines in Vermont (no time, but “therapy” for child molesters), some of our hyper-sexed entertainment and making major issues out of things like gay marriage and adoption.

Though his proposal has been roundly rebuffed by many Conservatives as “capitulation to radical Islam,” I strongly disagree.

I know many Conservatives believe things like, “Liberals, even far-Left kooks like Michael Moore and Dennis Kucinich are Americans too,” I don’t and the reason is that those on the far-Left, in supporting more government programs, a therapeutic approach to crime and terrorism and honoring (not merely tolerating, but honoring) homosexuality by calling an “alternative lifestyle” of equal value to the heterosexual norm, they oppose the foundation of America – individualism, Capitalism (free markets), limited government and social Conservativism.

I think many Conservatives have prematurely taken D’souza’s proposition as “throwing fellow Americans (Liberals) under the proverbial bus to placate the most radical Muslims.”

I believe that that’s the wrong way of looking at this.

Far-Left Americans are “Americans” in name only. They certainly feel nothing but antipathy for the Conservative majority in this country. Many of them openly call for Bush, Cheney and Rumsfeld to be tried at the Hague for imaginary “war crimes.”

Their antipathy for those “Red Staters” who support the Military War on Terrorism and the Conservative agenda at home, isn’t any less virulent.

I have always been and remain against ANY kind of negotiation with the Islamo-fascists, but this proposition is NOT a “negotiation,” it’s merely repudiating something most Americans repudiate and revile already (LIBERALISM), with the possible upside of slowing down the radicalization of much of the rest of the Muslim world.

In my view, you cannot be an American and disdain things like individualism, private property rights, Capitalism (the market-based economy) and extreme punishment for extreme crimes.

For that reason, in my view, people like Michael Moore, Al Franken and Dennis Kucinich are closer in viewpoint and belief to Stalin than they are to Jefferson’s or Franklin’s views and beliefs.

I believe D’souza is right in his premise that it’s the extreme social liberalism (child molesters walking free sans jail time, gay rights and adoption being seriously considered, etc) that most deeply offends, not only Muslims, but most decent and traditional people around the world.

They aren’t MY “fellow Americans," so I’d throw the American Leftist under that proverbial bus for any reason or even no reason at all.

I’ve listened to D’souza make his case and right now, I’m down with D’souza.


Nevum said...

"For that reason, in my view, people like Michael Moore, Al Franken and Dennis Kucinich are closer in viewpoint and belief to Stalin than they are to Jefferson’s or Franklin’s views and beliefs."

That does not make sense. Kucinich, Franken and Moore believe in democracy. Stalin did not. They are all great Americans (as Hannity would say), as patriotic as Bush and Cheney, if not more.

JMK said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
JMK said...

That's not true BW.

Stalin believed in democracy, at least as much as Hugo Chavez now does.

Stalin's famous quote was, "It doesn't matter who votes, but who counts the votes."

Same with Chavez. They've run a couple of rigged elections in Venezuela and now the legislator there has given Chavez the OK to approve laws by decree.


I KNOW this is an unpopular view of mine (that the hard-Left are not merely "anti-American, but an "enemy within the gates"), because so many families have Conservative/Liberal riffs.

Still, I'm certain that this is the case and here's why. On the hard-Left there are calls for Bush, Cheney, etc to be tried for "war crimes."

For starters, the Hague couldn't even convict Milocevic in what was thought to be a "slam dunk" in a rigged court.

I guess that pesky fact that the Muslims in Kosovo actually initiated the genocide in the region, a genocide that Milocevic merely responded in kind to, caused some on that court to "grow a conscience."

After 9/11/01, America got into a war that had been relentlessly waged against it for almost ten years! Iraq, Iran, Syria, Afghanistan, N Korea, the Sudan were all part of or in league with "the Axis of Evil (Iran, Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, N. Korea and Libya).

Since that day Afghanistan and Iraq have had their Taliban and Hussein governments toppled respectively, Libya has left the list of "State Sponsors of International Terrorism").

Half (3) down, half (3) to go. Not a bad 65 months worth of work!

There's lots more to do and there's no way to negotiate our way out of the broader WoT. Even a "successful" negotiation would merely forestall the inevitable and to a time of the enemy's choosing.

Now your last line leaves me somewhat confused, as you claim that Moore, Kucinich, Franken et all are "as patriotic as Bush and Cheney, if not more." I mean, from your vantage, isn't that an indictment?

After all, don't you support them being tried for those imaginary "war crimes?"

JMK said...

Sorry, caught some misspellings and re-posted.

There's a difference between dissent ("I don't like the way the war in Iraq came about....or is being fought....or I don't approve of the justifications," etc) AND seditious libel, like claiming, despite all the mountains of evidence to the contrary that "Bush lied," "Bush = Hitler," "American foreign policy caused 9/11."

The former, making a case for why one disagrees with various policies is quinteseentially American, while the latter is exhibiting a vile contempt for the country that's been nothing short of "the light of the world."

Anonymous said...

I haven't read the book, so I shouldn't talk about it... but what the hell, I'm going to do it anyway.

It seems to me that classical American conservatism is founded on two pillars -- limited government, and preservation of America's founding principles and traditions.

All right, fine. I rely more heavily on the first of these in my own philosophy, which puts me increasingly at odds with contemporary conservatives who have all but jettisoned the "limited government" component.

Still, I recognize the second pillar as an integral component of respectable American conservatism, such as D'Souza typically espouses.

But I'm a bit confused here. When it comes to the issues that Dinesh is talking about (sex in movies, abortion on demand, gay rights, etc.) which American principles and traditions are at stake? Where are any of these addressed, directly or indirectly, in the Declaration of Independence? The Constitution? The Federalist Papers? The writings of Locke, Paine, and Jefferson?

I think there are good, patriotic Americans on both sides of all these issues (hell, there are even *conservatives* on both sides.) That makes me wonder how one can identify the "American" position on something like (say) stem cell research. I don't think you can, but if you can't, I don't see how D'Souza's thesis can hold together.

Ah well, I suppose I should read the book.

JMK said...

Barry, we agree without reservation about limited government. It's not only a primary foundation of the American Republic, it's a principle that has never failed and not been improved upon.

You might well say that most of America's problems have come as a result of the growth of government.

I also agree with defending America's other basic principles, like freedom of speech and that's why I've always tried to make a clear distinction between dissent (free speech) and seditious libel, when condemning what I've called "anti-Americanism."

D'souza's proposal is not only thorny, but its reasoning smacks of placating the very people I've maitained we can't negotiate with.

Here's the problem, as I see it; Our mainstream news & entertainment media, being overwhelmingly Left-leaning shape all the issues for us and the worldwide audience that watches.

As a result,a foreigner, unfamiliar with American culture, could very easily get the distinct impression that America is filled with people who "wink" at child molesters (giving them therapy instead of punishment), think things like "gay marriage" and gay adoption are just peachy.

Hell, 2/3s of Americans oppose gay marriage! What percentage of the rest of the world do you think does? I'd proffer somewhere around 80% or more.

D'souza doesn't suggest jettisoning those issues, but "back-burnering" them, putting them on page 19, instead of page 1 and celebrating, or at least acknowledging the overwhelming majority of Americans who are tradionalists.

Is it a solution to the radicalization of Islam?

No, but I do feel it COULD slow the mass radicalization down, as much of it is fueled by what many people see as a disgraceful and decadent West (Western Europe & the U.S.).

Is it an excuse for folks like me to throw the American far-Left under that proverbial bus?

Yes, yes it is, and that may be regrettable on a number of levels, but I must say that at this point I have no "brotherly" feelings for those folks. I don't view them as "my countrymen. I see the hard-Left as so virulently anti-American that they'd tacitly support any enemy of the U.S. under almost any circumstances.

I have no truck with people who disagree and engage in rational dissent. I disagree with many people I otherwise admire on many issues related to the WoT, including Ron Paul, Pat Buchanan and Lew Rockwell. I respect that rational dissent, I don't respect the "Bush= Hitler," "BushCo should be tried at the Hague" seditionists, because that's not mere dissent, in my view.

To me that crosses the line over to anti-Americanism and unadulterated hate.

Anonymous said...

When it's about Dinesh D'Souza - I know I'm in the big leagues.

I have some reservations about the thesis of his book, but on the other hand I keenly look forward to arguments that might demolish left-corroded "liberalism."

Brave of you to profile this.

JMK said...

JMK, it's an interesting albeit flawed thesis.

His contention is that it's extreme Liberalism, from the decadent, over-sexualized entertainment we export, to the constant championing of gay marriage & gay adoption, to the Left's "soft-on-crime," therapy instead of punishment approach that D'souza that makes the expansion of radicalized Islam easier.

He's not saying it causes it, or is responsible for it, but that radicals can point to that as proof of how devoid of even the most basic morality the West in and it makes it easier for them to radicalize more Moderate Muslims.

I tend to agree, possibly because my own view of the American Left and much of our modern entertainment industry isn't much more favorable than its more ardent enemies.

Anonymous said...

My father used to tell me of a leftwing comic strip Pogo, from his childhood, which said, "We have met the enemy - and it is us." (Related to the Cold War, I think.)

Little did we know that it really was "us", in the sense of D'Souza's book. I'm looking forward to it!

Jill said...

I think it's absolutely freaking hilarious that a guy who has been ranting for the last five years that the need to fight Islamofascism trumps everything else -- including the United States Constitution -- is defending an author who says that if we just ran our society more like, oh, say,the Afghan Taliban, that 9/11 would never have happened. D'Souza praises Osama Bin Laden as "a quiet, well-mannered, thoughtful, eloquent and deeply religious person." You want to talk about relativism? Sorry, JMK, but you can't have it both ways. You can't talk about an endless war against "Islamofascists" and then praise a guy who thinks Osama Bin Laden is just a good religious fellow -- just like any Christian.

JMK said...

Opposing “rehabilitative justice,” “gay marriage,” “gay adoption,” and a permissive, entitlement culture that runs counter to everything America was founded upon and universally cherished up to a mere generation ago is “Taliban-esque,” in your view?!

Jill 2/3rds of Americans oppose “gay marriage,” and most of them are NOT very religious people. Most of them understand what I understand that “gay marriage” undermines the legitimacy of conventional marriage and throughout Western Europe, whenever “gay marriage” has been put on an equal footing with traditional/heterosexual marriage, marriage rates dropped and illegitimacy rates soared.

D’souza hasn’t praised bin Laden as good, in fact, he’s condemned him in every venue.

It could just as certainly be said that Adolph Hitler was also a quiet, thoughtful (he read Nietzsche), well-mannered, eloquent and, if not religious, at least a deeply passionate man, but none of that implies der Fueher was a “good fellow.”

Hitler was a Socialist and there are no “good” Socialists.

In my view, so long as America allows an entertainment and news media that is unrepresentative of its population to project a view of America as a permissive culture, addicted to porn, sympathetic with thugs/”victims of society” and empathetic with radical homosexuals, that makes it much easier for radicals around the world to radicalize the more moderate populations of those regions.

And now you quote Alan Wolfe's NY Times review!

Alan Wolfe, a guy who is one of the most disingenuous writers on the Left (and that's going some), a guy known for the gentle art of "putting words in other people's mouths," and proud of author of such inanities as "Why Conservatives Can't Govern."

Ya gotta love the NY Times - if it's not Walter Duranty (American traitor) fictionalizing accounts of "Stalin's worker's paradise," it's Jayson Blair writing articles about Texas from his Brooklyn apartment, or dupes like Alan Wolfe telling New York Liberals why Liberalism is really right after all.

Anonymous said...

We are going to lose the war on terror.

This is why!

Damn Bush!

JMK said...

That is indeed depressing Anon.

I can only hope that there is our "public face," and our "actual face" when it comes to war.

Recently both Tenet (a not so honest public servant) and Scheuer (an assiduously honest one) feverishly parsed words in order to disavow "torture," while acknowledging that "coerced interrogations" do indeed go on and often render valuable information.

The sad truth is, as that Jack Nicholson character bellowed in a Few Good Men, most people simply "can't handle the truth."

War is ugly, police-work is ugly, in fact, everything behind that veneer of our "modern life," from slaughter houses to processing plants is ugly....and most people would prefer not to see it.

And since they don't seem to grasp the necessity of that ugliness, it's probably easier, if not better, that they do not.

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