Posted on September 2, 2004

Decent But Maddening Republicans

Lawrence Auster, View from the Right, August 31, 2004

As a group, one must say that the Republicans come across as vastly better people than the Democrats. They have a normal love of country, unlike the fake love of country we saw at the Democratic convention, and they actually care about some aspects of the real world, which the Democratic pols no longer do. But the Republicans are still indulging in a dangerous and maddening delusion.

Addressing the GOP convention on its opening night, 3 1/2 miles from where I’m writing this, Rudolph Giuliani (whom I do not include in the “better people” category) repeatedly said — in that self-congratulatory, “we’ve learned our lesson since 9/11” mode that so many American pols have adopted — that on 9/11 we learned that fighting a “defensive” war against terrorism was not enough, and that we had to go on the “offensive.” Excuse me? What defensive war? What defense? We had no defense. We were letting every Muslim jihadist and terrorist who felt like it come into this country and galavant around as he pleased. If we had had a defense we would have stopped the attack from happening.

And even now that we’re supposedly fighting an “offensive” war abroad — a war I don’t understand and that is not heading toward any kind of victory and that seems to be resulting in the creation of more and more savage jihadis — we’re still not fighting a defensive war. Didn’t Giuliani or any of the thousands of cheering delegates notice that they were gathered in a convention hall surrounded by the thickest security envelope in history? Why is that security there? Because Mideastern jihadists are at large in this country, seeking to kill as many of us as they can. But how did they get into this country? Because we let them in. But why did we let them in? Because we do not discriminate among people by nationhood, culture, religion, and ethnicity. We regard all human beings as the same. To think that distinctions matter is the ultimate evil and the ultimate violation of the American Creed.

So the Republican delegates are celebrating our fraudulent “offensive” war abroad, even as they are ensconced in a massively intrusive security blanket made necessary by our refusal adequately to defend our own country. They applaud American aggressiveness, while cravenly refusing even to contemplate the only step that could make the country safe from the constant specter of terrorist attacks.

This contradiction does not seem to occur to any Republican or mainstream conservative. (The Dems aren’t worth mentioning in this regard, as they don’t even pretend to have any relationship with reality.) So, though the Republicans are much closer to the kind of Americans I believe in, I cannot support this party. These are by and large good people participating in a massive disconnect from reality.

And one other thing. The Republicans had as a speaker at the convention a Muslim American women, head of some U.S. Islamic organization, who had her head completely covered in the Muslim manner. Couldn’t the organizers, out of respect for American customs and American sensibilities, have insisted that she wear a less obtrusive head covering? Thus the Republicans were welcoming as one of their own a speaker whose very manner of dress conveys the fact that she is the bearer of a religion that is alien and dangerous to our entire civilization. But, hey, everything’s fine and great, because we’re “carrying the fight to the enemy abroad.”