OK, let's talk Turkey about freedom

If Jimmy Carter is any indication of what's going on with the Democrats, and Dinesh D'Souza is any indication of what's going on with the Republicans, not only is the war on terrorism lost, I'd say so are the two parties.

But much as I hate being a RINO, I don't see what difference it would make if I went back to being a DINO. (No matter which party I'm in, I'll be as annoyed with the damn bases as the bases are with people like me.)

This D'Souza business couldn't have come at a worse time, because while the GOP may be damaged irreparably, I think the real casualty will be the war in Iraq. When I wrote about D'Souza's book, I speculated that it might be a symptom of right wing war fatigue, and I think I should return to that general theme.

The idea that the war might still be winnable seems to be largely lost. With a new meme for war-fatigued social conservatives to devour, I think it will become ever more lost. It is one thing for the war to be undermined by the antiwar left. That they'll do that is as certain as the fact that the sun will rise. Then there's the multiculturalist left, which, by treating Islamists as an oppressed minority, have done much to enable a domestic Fifth Column. But D'Souza's answer to this is to create yet another Fifth Column -- this time on the right. Of course he'll deny it, but that's where I think this conservative-Islamist alliance is going.

In a recent interview with the NRO's Kathryn Lopez, D'Souza makes it quite clear that libertarians are not even on his radar.

....both the Right and the Left have been operating under illusions. The radical Muslims are against modernity and science and democracy. The radical Muslims are upset because of colonialism and the Crusades. It's all nonsense. That's not what the leading thinkers of radical Islam say. And Bin Laden's own views are quite different. In his Letter to America, issued shortly after 9/11, he said that America is the fount of global atheism and it is imposing its morally depraved values on the world. So Muslims must rise up in defensive jihad against America because their religion and their values are under attack. This aspect of Bin Laden's critique has been totally ignored, and it's one that resonates with a lot of traditional Muslims and traditional people around the world.
Unless D'Souza has simply not read bin Laden's Letter to America, he's engaged in very selective quotation at best. Sure, bin Laden lists sexual immorality as among our sins (along with a failure to ratify Kyoto and a whole host of other things), but what's his first gripe? Israel, Israel and Israel. Oh, and the Jews who control everything:
Why are we fighting and opposing you? The answer is very simple:

(1) Because you attacked us and continue to attack us.

a) You attacked us in Palestine:

(i) Palestine, which has sunk under military occupation for more than 80 years. The British handed over Palestine, with your help and your support, to the Jews, who have occupied it for more than 50 years; years overflowing with oppression, tyranny, crimes, killing, expulsion, destruction and devastation. The creation and continuation of Israel is one of the greatest crimes, and you are the leaders of its criminals. And of course there is no need to explain and prove the degree of American support for Israel. The creation of Israel is a crime which must be erased. Each and every person whose hands have become polluted in the contribution towards this crime must pay its*price, and pay for it heavily.

(ii) It brings us both laughter and tears to see that you have not yet tired of repeating your fabricated lies that the Jews have a historical right to Palestine, as it was promised to them in the Torah. Anyone who disputes with them on this alleged fact is accused of anti-semitism. This is one of the most fallacious, widely-circulated fabrications in history. The people of Palestine are pure Arabs and original Semites. It is the Muslims who are the inheritors of Moses (peace be upon him) and the inheritors of the real Torah that has not been changed. Muslims believe in all of the Prophets, including Abraham, Moses, Jesus and Muhammad, peace and blessings of Allah be upon them all. If the followers of Moses have been promised a right to Palestine in the Torah, then the Muslims are the most worthy nation of this.

When the Muslims conquered Palestine and drove out the Romans, Palestine and Jerusalem returned to Islaam, the religion of all the Prophets peace be upon them. Therefore, the call to a historical right to Palestine cannot be raised against the Islamic Ummah that believes in all the Prophets of Allah (peace and blessings be upon them) - and we make no distinction between them.

(iii) The blood pouring out of Palestine must be equally revenged. You must know that the Palestinians do not cry alone; their women are not widowed alone; their sons are not orphaned alone.

There's a lot more, and of course bin Laden does get into sexual immorality (which he lists along with gambing, usury and more references to the Jews who "have taken control of your economy, through which they have then taken control of your media, and now control all aspects of your life making you their servants and achieving their aims at your expense; precisely what Benjamin Franklin warned you against.") Read bin Laden's "Letter to America" if you can stand it; it's one of the most long-winded and tedious tirades of bigotry I've read.

To D'Souza it's the "cultural left" which is to blame. But what does "cultural left" mean? Who are these "moderate" Muslims he now calls "traditional" Muslims?

D'Souza's lack of specificity leaves us guessing, but he says the latter are nonetheless the enemies of the former, and the allies of the right:

Our concern should be with the traditional Muslims, who are the majority in the Muslim world. These people are also religious and socially conservative, and they are our natural allies. In fact, since the cultural Left in America is de facto allied with the radical Muslims, we as conservatives have no choice but to ally with the traditional Muslims. We cannot win the war on terror without them. No matter how many Islamic radicals we kill, it's no use if twice as many traditional Muslims join them. Now building bridges to this group doesn't mean changing our way of life, and if we are conservative there is nothing that needs to be changed. Our values are quite similar to those of traditional Muslims. There's no point chasing after "liberals" who believe in secularism and feminism and homosexual rights. Such people are quite rare and they have no constituency in any Muslim country. The traditional Muslims are our best bet. Besides, they're not asking us to live like them. They're asking us not to attack their religion, which conservatives do with depressing regularity. They're asking us not to force secularism and separation of church and state on their society, another foolish cause to which some conservatives subscribe.
Our values are quite similar to those of traditional Muslims?

Isn't D'Souza forgetting that according to the traditional Muslim view, opposition to secularism means Sharia law? Has he read the Sharia? I think he'd better, for if the Sharia is now to be considered moderate Islam, shouldn't those with values said to be so "similar" be told what those values are? (I'm thinking that traditions like mandatory headscarves, polygamy, flogging, and amputations might not be as "quite similar" as D'Souza imagines.)

And excuse me, but since when did "moderate" become a synonym for "traditional"?

What about those who don't share these moderate traditional Islamist Red State values? By reductionism they all become part of the "cultural left" -- the Enemy That Started This War By Opposing Traditional Islam.

Sigh.

Many libertarians have actively supported the war effort, and I don't know of a single libertarian who has made the alliance with Osama bin Laden which D'Souza complains the "left" (conflated into the cultural, no doubt) is making:

look at the Left's uncontrolled fury toward my book. These people are going absolutely nuts. They have never said anything remotely this harsh about the Islamic radicals. That's because I am attacking the Left's values at home, and exposing a link between the Left and the Islamic radicals that is the great unspoken secret of American politics. Basically the Islamic radicals supply the terror and the Left uses the terror to demoralize the American people and urge them to pull American troops out of Iraq and the Middle East. So on the one hand the Left dislikes the values of the Islamic radicals, and on the other the Left needs the Islamic radicals to fulfill its core mission in America, which is to wipe out the Right and send us back to the margins of American politics.
D'Souza's silence about libertarians couldn't be any louder. It is as if they do not exist. Criticism of his book comes only from the left (which refuses to criticize Islamic radicals).

For the record, I'm one of the people who has criticized his book, and I don't believe I have uttered a single word in favor of the Islamic radicals. Ever. (And that's a serious understatement, as any longtime reader of this blog knows.)

The closest D'Souza gets to an actual criticism of libertarianism is his complaint about the "liberal campaign of cultural imperialism that is trying to force the values of the Western Left on the rest of the world":

Already there have been working relationships between traditional Christians and traditional Muslims in the United Nations and some other international forums to block liberal efforts to declare abortion as a right under international law. In fact the U.N. Charter lists no such right, but this is part of the liberal campaign of cultural imperialism that is trying to force the values of the Western Left on the rest of the world. Planned Parenthood is distributing condoms to teenage girls on every continent. Leftist groups are suing to overturn restrictive abortion laws in South America. The Left is trying to force Turkey to liberalize its laws on homosexuality as a condition of joining the European Union. So here are opportunities for people who differ on theology but agree on morality to form an international coalition to block these bogus "rights" from being imposed on cultures that do not want them. I emphasize that I am not contesting any of the rights of classical liberalism. But this is a new liberalism that is trying to smuggle its own political preferences and call them "rights." Come to think of it, hasn't the Left been doing that here in this country for several decades now? Here are home we have to fight these bogus "rights" ourselves, but abroad we have the entire traditional world as an ally. Why wouldn't we want that? This has nothing to do with putting Pat Robertson and Ahmadinejad together, and everything to do with forming coalitions among mainstream groups across international boundaries.
I don't like the U.N. telling countries what to do, as I think it violates their sovereignty.

But let's look at Turkey. As to "laws on homosexuality," there don't seem to be any:

Homosexuality is a crime in most Muslim nations, where penalties range from prison to death. But Turkey has no laws against it, and Istanbul, the largest city, attracts those whose sexual orientation would be considered aberrant elsewhere in the Muslim world.

"When you see transvestites on the street, that is something," says Demet Demir, who was born a man 41 years ago but had a sex-change operation in 1996. "That is the first step for freedom in a country."

Turkey not only tolerates those with alternative lifestyles, it embraces them. One of its most famous writers, Murathan Mungan, is gay, and one of its most popular singers, Bulent Ersoy, is a transsexual.

Another gay singer, Zeki Muren, achieved such legendary status before he died a few years ago that his picture -- bearing an uncanny resemblance to Liberace -- is sometimes displayed alongside that of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the father of modern Turkey.

Nor is it hard to find gay gathering spots. The Internet site of Lambda Istanbul, a gay organization, lists almost 20 gay bars, clubs and discos in the city, in addition to sex shops, "blue movies," cruising areas and bathhouses. Even Time Out, the city guide distributed in luxury hotels, provides a half-page rundown of Istanbul's gay scene, including the most popular item in local sex shops -- a $70 "inflatable transexual doll."

According to the Turkey Gay Guide,
There are no articles on homosexuality in the law but vague references to public morals and public order. The police has the legal right to take anyone who looks suspicious to the police station for interrogation.
As to the charge that Turkey is being forced by "the Left" to change its laws to enter the EU, if this Wikipedia writeup is correct, the Left is Turkey's own left, and the EU is, well, the EU:
Turkish LGBT rights activists created the Radical Democrat Green Party to campaign for on a left-wing Green platform that included support for LGBT human rights. Several of its members participated in a hunger strike in 1987 to protest the police harassment of LGBT citizens.

In 1988 the civil code was amended to allow for transgender people to have a sex change operation, under medical approval. In the 1990s the LGBT movement fought against government bans on LGBT conferences, which prompted the creation of Lambda Istanbul, and in 1994 the newly created Freedom and Solidarity Party banned discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity within its party, and Demet Demir, nominated by this party, became the first transgendered candidate for the local council elections in Istanbul.

In 1996 The Supreme Court overturned a lower court's ruling and removed a child from her lesbian parent, on the grounds that homosexuality is immoral. While bias motivated violence against gay and transgender people intensified as did efforts at government censorship, the desire of Turkey to join the European Union has forced the government to grant official recognition to LGBT rights organizations, respect a greater degree of the freedom of speech and the press and to entertain gay rights legislation. Gay themed conferences and gatherings now regularly take place, particularly in Istanbul and Ankara. Several universities have LGBT associations.

Are libertarians now to be lumped in with meddlesome EU bureaucrats, simply because they would support a right of gays to organize? Does D'Souza want gay organizing banned in Turkey, or is he defending laws against homosexuality where none exist? Is he advocating Sharia-style laws for Turkey? I can't tell. But he certainly seems to be on the side of the Turkish Islamists, and he wants them to work with "natural allies" like him.

As a libertarian, I have to acknowledge that D'Souza and his supporters have every right to form an "International Coalition to Block Gay So-Called "Rights" and Stop Condom Distribution." But how will they feel about working with people who are also out to stop Bible distribution? And Jews? Not long ago, I wrote about one of Turkey's most popular films, which advances the idea that Jewish doctors harvest organs from Iraqi prisoners.

To be sure, Turkey hasn't been America's greatest ally in the Iraq War. Is it D'Souza's argument that if conservative Americans help their traditional Muslims stop homosexuality and condoms, Turkey will then become a better ally of the United States in the war against terror? Much as I'm trying for the sake of argument to entertain the idea, I can't see how that would happen. More likely, conservatives will look ridiculous, Hillary will be elected president, and certain conservative think tanks will then get more money.

And it will be tougher than hell for bloggers like me to maintain (as I have repeatedly) that there really is a huge difference between fundamentalist Christianity and fundamentalist Islam. Much as I hate to say this, I think Dinish D'Souza has done more to advance Andrew Sullivan's thesis of a "Christianist-Islamist alliance" than Sullivan ever could have.

Winning a war requires building coalitions, and I'd almost swear D'Souza is doing his level best to destroy the shaky coalition between conservatives and libertarians which has (at least in the blogosphere) been the backbone of a less than monolithic group we call "war bloggers."

One of the blogosphere's most articulate longtime war supporters is Dean Esmay, who links a long, excellent post by neo-neocon about the hard choices required in war:

....those who require moral perfection in our actions on the world stage are either hopelessly idealistic and out of touch with the consequences of what acting on that idealism would have wrought (in this case, the triumph of the Soviets, and later the Iranians), or they are cynically mouthing arguments they don't even believe.

I wish the world were otherwise. But it's not, and pretending the lion has already lain down with the lamb is an absurdity, or worse. There are plenty of lions out here, about to devour huge herds of lambs, and sometimes all we can do is back the lion who seems less voracious.

The funny thing about the whole thing (and I mean funny-strange, not funny ha-ha) is that it is the neocon philosophy that represents one of the only strategies offering a possible way out of the realpolitik dilemma. And yet those who criticize our realpolitik decisions to back dictators also criticize our neonconnish decisions to overthrow them and try to institute a better and more democratic form of government. Odd, isn't it?

Make no mistake about it, however: the neocon notion that we should attempt actions designed to transform these countries into something better is not an easy one to execute, as Iraq has demonstrated (and, by the way, it does not always involve our waging war--sometimes it involves our supporting internal forces within the country itself, as suggested presently for Iran).

It's hard enough with the left making common ground with the Islamist enemy. With the right doing the same thing (if along slightly different lines), realism itself will become unrealistic. Previous coalitions will unwind.

The most disturbing aspect of D'Souza's argument is that, just as he engages in selective editing of radical Islam, he completely ignores libertarians -- thus leaving it to them to guess whether or not they are part of his "cultural left" and therefore part of The Enemy responsible for 9/11.

Might this be intentional?

Here's Andrew Wile, of Market News Network:

In America, liberalism is imposed on the American public through regulation. Around the world, and especially in the Middle East, such morality is imposed at the point of a gun. This is actually what Muslims are reacting to with such hatred - the imposition of a secular bureaucracy that contravenes the moral dictates of their religion. It is not Hillary Clinton's personal beliefs, whatever they are, that makes part of the world "hate" the United States. It is the regulatory enshrinement of those beliefs and their subsequent militarization and exportation.

What neither D'Souza nor Noah seem to touch on is that it is not individual views that are responsible for problems inside and outside the United States. It is government adoption of these views and subsequent enforcement. So long as the argument is framed as liberal versus conservative, there will be no end to it. The political structure, framed in this manner, lurches from one government fascist enterprise to another, with the mood of the country souring, its freedoms eroding. Only on the Internet, thank God, will you find the libertarian point of view to oppose the fraudulent liberal-conservative intellectual construct. (No wonder the Internet has enemies!)

Might D'Souza be part of this fraudulent liberal-conservative intellectual construct? It might go a long way to explain his selective quoting, and selective definitions.

I don't see how any of it is going to help win the war. I suspect that the book reflects D'Souza personal war against libertarianism.

Along that line, here's an excerpt from a chapter titled "the Libertarian Temptation" (in D'Souza's Letters to a Young Conservative):

Consider an example that contrasts the conservative and libertarian views of freedom. If you said to a libertarian, "What if 300 million Americans opt to become pornographers like Larry Flynt? Would that constitute a good society?" While the conservative would emphatically answer no, the pure liberatian would have to answer yes, because these people have chosen freely. As this example illustrates, libertarianism is a philosophy of choice without political concern for what people actually choose. Thus, although many libertarians live virtuously, libertarianism as a philosophy is indifferent to virtue. In this respect it differs markedly from conservatism.
In other words, freedom of choice means moral indifference to the consequences? I favor the right to keep and bear arms, and I do not believe the government should regulate consensual sex or the consumption of drugs, but I do recognize that there are social downsides attached to such freedom. Some people will die, and others will ruin their lives. Saying someone has a right to ruin his life is not the same thing as saying that it's good, nor is it blind to virtue. If 300 million Americans opted to become pornographers, I wouldn't say this was good. In fact, I'd wonder what was wrong with everyone. But that does not mean I would use government force to stop them. And since we're stuck with 300 million Larry Flynts as an example, I think having that many pornographers would make the use of government force an impossibility anyway. But the country wouldn't last long, as the economy would collapse. Yes, 300 million Larry Flynts is a bad idea! Does that mean I'm not a libertarian? Then what am I? A liberal? Or merely a "cultural leftist"? For D'Souza, Larry Flynt is emblematic of all that is wrong, and he seems unable to distinguish between the acknowledgement of a right to print Hustler and a declaration that its contents are virtuous. (Perhaps he is aware of this distinction but just wants to blur it as much as possible.)

Is libertarianism as a philosophy indifferent to virtue? In the strict sense, you could say the same thing about the Constitution. But can't virtue take other forms than speaking out against sexual immorality? Can't freedom be a virtue too?

If freedom is a virtue, that does not mean that all things flowing from freedom are virtuous. So let us assume that Larry Flynt is a bad man -- the "loathsome character" that D'Souza says he is, but that our freedom allows such loathsome characters to run around loose, make millions, and even (as D'Souza claims) be feted by Hollywood and the ACLU. Is it unreasonable to see such freedom as a virtue anyway? The freedom we're talking about is free speech, and while I'm no fan of Larry Flynt, I'm even less of a fan of Michael Moore, Ward Churchill, or the American Nazi Party. What makes Larry Flynt so much more odious? Is it that he peddles obnoxious sex, while the others only peddle obnoxious politics?

Ah but if only the choice were between pornographers and people who want to kill us.

What a world.

Seriously, I don't know what to say. Rational debate about freedom is becoming impossible.

Hugh Fitzgerald, in Pajamas Media, pulls no punches with a very thorough fisking of D'Souza, and concludes,

With this book, he should lose any residual respect any one of sense might once have harbored for him. He has lost the right to an audience. He should no longer be given a hearing at National Review or, for that matter, anywhere else that wishes to be taken seriously.

This book is beyond the pale. Beyond all pales.

A little thing like being beyond the pale never stopped anybody from making money and achieving success.

Being beyond the pale is part of our freedom in America.

(Just ask Larry Flynt.)

MORE: Born Again Atheist is skeptical about D'Souza's sincerity, and quotes from a piece he wrote back in 2003:

America is under attack as never before -- not only from terrorists but also from people who provide a justification for terrorism. Islamic fundamentalists declare America the Great Satan. Europeans rail against American capitalism and American culture. South American activists denounce the United States for "neocolonialism" and oppression.

"Anti-Americanism from abroad would not be such a problem if Americans were united in standing up for their own country. But in this country itself, there are those who blame America for most of the evils in the world. On the political left, many fault the United States for a history of slavery, and for continuing inequality and racism. Even on the right, traditionally the home of patriotism, we hear influential figures say that America has become so decadent that we are "slouching towards Gomorrah."

If these critics are right, then America should be destroyed.

Says Born Again Atheist,
Dinesh, in The Enemy At Home, you run the gamut. You Justify terrorism, affirm that America is the Great Satan, and rail against American global cultural hegemony and cultural oppression. You blame America for 911. You fault it for 911, and for continuing insulting the terrorists and their supporters with its culture. Slouching towards Gomorrah? By your own admission, we're already there.
If these critics are right, then America should be destroyed.
"If those critics are right?" Dinesh, you've joined them.
Hmmm...

Does that mean D'Souza was against destroying America before he was for it?

(Sorry! But such evolution in thinking has become a trend lately....)

UPDATE: My thanks to Glenn Reynolds for linking this post. Welcome everyone; I appreciate the comments.

I should stress my belief that this is the most disturbing political development I have seen in years. Please bear in mind that my goal is not to bash social conservatives here; I only hope and pray that they stop and look within themselves before making the drastic, possibly irreversible about-face that D'Souza advocates.

UPDATE (1/21/07): Dean Barnett has a brilliant review of the D'Souza book:

....intellectually obtuse, poorly informed and, most importantly, an irresponsible exercise in putatively conservative bomb-throwing.
And more:
....if the book's principle theory gains any traction it would be destructive. If conservatives decided that liberals are the reason we were attacked and why we're hated, it won't do anything for domestic unity. D'Souza's theory in this regard is not only misguided, it is offensive. Liberals won't have to bother to caricaturize D'Souza's argument. He did that himself.

Second, and this is also no small thing, it's not liberals' fault. Radical Islam hates a respectable Church-going Presbyterian family man every bit as much as it hates a spoiled libertine like Paris Hilton.

And finally,
It is dispiriting to see D'Souza stumble so badly, and distressing to think that he is selling the theories of this book as a de facto spokesman for America's conservatives.
Barnett doesn't get into polemics with D'Souza; he methodically shows how wrong he is. Read it all!

UPDATE: My thanks to Virginia Postrel for the link to this and my earlier post in her discussion of the Alan Wolfe's New York Times review of D'Souza's book. As to whether Wolfe has "willfully overlooked the strong negative reaction to the book that has, in fact, come from 'decent conservatives,'" perhaps Wolfe could answer Jules Crittenden's question:

Anyone else find it highly ironic that the New York Times should run a piece attacking anyone for being an treasonous al-Qaeda symp?
Well, the Times had to start somewhere.

One step at a time. Should I be holding my breath?

UPDATE: My thanks to Kim du Toit for the link, and for reminding me that D'Souza indeed does not speak for all conservatives, much less all Republicans.

Some of the commenters (both here and at du Toit's blog) make me think that perhaps I should have stressed the first word of this post -- "IF."

It is of course my sincere hope that D'Souza is not "any indication of what's going on with the Republicans" -- hence this post!

At the risk of being redundant, perhaps I should stress again that allowing something is not an endorsement of it. FWIW I do not endorse Larry Flynt, nor do I endorse D'Souza's latest meme. To some commenters, that makes me a liberal (one of du Toit's commenters was especially outraged by my sarcastic statement that "being beyond the pale is part of our freedom in America"). Considering that I am routinely called a conservative, perhaps I should be grateful to be smeared as a liberal!

BTW, I'm seeing a report in today's new that Jimmy Carter is apologizing for his book. If Carter in fact apologized, and if D'Souza does not, would it be a false contrast to point that out? Or a false comparison?

Much as I'd be delighted to retract a tentative comparison I never knew I'd fully made, perhaps I should apologize for creating the appearance of a comparison. (Usually, when I make comparisons -- like these two examples -- I like to think I am being, um, perfectly clear.)

posted by Eric on 01.19.07 at 05:38 PM










Comments

What a thoughtful, if agonizing post. I've long since come to the conclusion that any alliance with the religious right in this country is doomed. D'Souza, Pat Robertson, James Dobson, Jerry Falwell -- all the same. D'Souza is just more articulate, and honest.

Frank   ·  January 20, 2007 12:25 AM

Have you every notice that the “real reason” Islamists attack us seems to depend on politics? I’ve heard the follow from some members of each group:

1. Libertarians tell me our interventionist foreign policy is at fault.
2. Socialists tell me it’s globalization and our corporations in their country.
3. Anti-Semites … I mean anti-Zionists … tell me it is Israel.
4. Others say it is our support for dictators in the region.
5. Or our support for democracy by those evil neocons.
6. Free traders say it is the welfare state (for example in France)
7. Social conservatives are now saying it is our lewd behavior.
8. Anti-religious say it is Christian proselytizing or its legacy.
9. Then there are those that blame European totalitarianism.
10. Don't forget poverty which is because we don't share!

Why is it always about us? And why is jihad, sharia, terrorism, and self-immolation an “understandable” response to real or imagined grievances? Why can’t people criticize Islam? Is it odd that their ideas have something to do with their behavior?

I have to admit that I’ve worried that the right doesn’t have its heart in this battle unlike its resolve in the Cold War when the enemy was called “atheistic communism.” I once wrote about it in depth. However, some of the best critics of Islam, like Robert Spencer at Human Events, are on the right. Others, like Sam Harris, are on the left. However, both seem to be running into resistance.

Jason Pappas   ·  January 20, 2007 9:24 AM

Dinesh D'Souza is hardly a mainstream Republican, though. He's an extreme social conservative, almost in the vein of Pat Bucannan, so it's not exactly crazy that he should start thinking like Mr. Buccannan in other areas.

JeremyR   ·  January 20, 2007 4:14 PM

I think using D'Souza to stand for conservatives/Republicans is a reach.

He is just a somewhat obscure author of wonky books and articles. He has never been elected to anything, has no popular following and no ability to raise money. Until politicians start using his ideas he is pretty inconsequential and there are lots of competing moderate voices. (Does D'Souza have more influence than Glen Renyolds? Is he any more conservative than talk radio?)

Conservatives/Republicans may be unhappy with their choices but it remains that the leading GOP presidential candidates (McCain, Guiliani and maybe Romney) all have a mix of liberal and conservative social issue stances and backgrounds. Tancredo, Duncan Hunter, Huckabee, Brownback, etc. may breakthrough but I wouldn't bet on it.

Kevin

Kevin   ·  January 20, 2007 5:11 PM

I think you've got your panties in a wad. Certainly, Jimmuh Cartuh is typical of DHIMMIcRATs, but just as certainly, Dinesh is NOT typical of the stupid party.

Time to breathe a bit deeper and chill a bit. We've not had a single successful terrorist incident in America since 2001, so we've not lost the war on Islam.

paul a'barge   ·  January 20, 2007 5:32 PM

With the Sundance Film festival current crop of films featuring America's 'dark side' such as Abu Ghraib torture documentary or a film depicting the rape of a twelve year old girl I'm not sure why D'Souza is called to task for pointing out something that Hollywood's creative types have profitting upon for years. Film after film is about how evil is America so why pick on one guy when there is an entire industry selling the idea of America's decadence.

Like Paul said "I think you've got your panties in a wad"

Fret not, you'll still get your porn.

syn   ·  January 20, 2007 6:05 PM

Why do you write such nonsense? The Sundance festival is NOT Hollywood.That said, a film is a film. By contrast D'Souza claims to be writing non-fiction. Hollywood filsm: like the Spielberg film Munich or the one with Tom Hanks, or the conservative Clint Eastwood filsm on WWII

Abu Ghraib: gosh. you mean this is make believe stuff?
In fact, Hollywood (not Sundance) made 9/11 film. In fact--Abu Ghraib is hardly unique in what atroities America (lie pother nations) commits during wartime--if you don't k.now firsthand then read up with the proper sources.
I recalal just this past week that Lefty commie Alan Dershowitz condemned Carter for a bad book--Carter is Carter and hardly the Democratic party. I would hope that the homophobes and 700 Hundred Club leadership is not the GOP. I don;t thibnk they are. Every group has its nutters. Why label 50percent of the nation with the label these misfits wear?

fred lapides   ·  January 20, 2007 6:14 PM

Sundance is not Hollywood?

Having been the business I take that as a joke. I'll make is easier for you Fred, it's a festival which sells what Hollywood wants the audience to see.

Ah, Carter was nominated, elected and served as a Democrat.

You're funny Fred.

syn   ·  January 20, 2007 6:23 PM

And, a book is a book.

syn   ·  January 20, 2007 6:24 PM

"I've long since come to the conclusion that any alliance with the religious right in this country is doomed."

What? You are aware that the names you mentioned are pretty far outside the mainstream of, you know, actual religious people, aren't you?

Rick C   ·  January 20, 2007 6:55 PM

I don't think D'Souza's book is the problem you fear it to be. I'm very socially conservative - beleive homosexuality is wrong, abortion should be restricted even in case of rape or incest (if you can kill someone before they are born because their parents are closely related, why not after?), and although I'm not sure that condoms are essentially wrong it is clear to me that those who push them do so to promote a [i]libertine[/i] morality. The distinction between libertarian and libertine is what D'Souza is misses or choosed to miss. He appears to be obsessed by hatred of left-liberals and that overshadows everything else.

Maybe its because I read as much as I do on the internet that I've become so sympathetic to libertarians, but how can I not think highly of the only people I have ever known to critizise the War on Terror without betraying an anti-western animus. Isn't it sad that I find that almost exhilarating after being unable to read left-liberal blogs anymore because of the apparent desire for defeat.

James Dobson is one of my heroes, my church beleives the ideal society would be a theocracy, and I found myself saying a little "amen" to many of the points in your post Eric. Its transparent to me that allowing freedom to do something is far from condoning it, although I think you're incorrect to claim that pornography should be protected free "speech" - but I also think you're wrong that D'Souza's book is as big and bad of news as you think.

Robbie Hingston   ·  January 20, 2007 7:17 PM

Remind me again to what office Dinesh D'Souza has been elected to as a Republican? Has he even been a precinct chairman?

Don't think so.

Why folks pretend that nutcases like D'Souza, Buchanan and David Duke somehow represent the Republican Party, much less the mainstream baffles me.

On the other hand, folks like Carter, Murtha, and Jefferson are not only elected as Democrats, they are party leaders.

I guess we have to see their leader and raise one of our nutcases just to make things even.

Mark L   ·  January 20, 2007 7:27 PM

You wrote:
"If Jimmy Carter is any indication of what's going on with the Democrats, and Dinesh D'Souza is any indication of what's going on with the Republicans, not only is the war on terrorism lost, I'd say so are the two parties."

Your comparison doesn't work. Perhaps you might ask whether Michael Moore & Dinesh represent their parties. Alternatively you might wonder whether Carter or GHBush represent their parties. Carter has given the democrats the perfect opportunity for a sister Souljah moment. I'm far more concerned about the lack of reaction among the democratic party leadership about an ex-president's over the top rhetoric, than a ridiculous screed by a second rate pundit. By the way, the Dinesh book has not exactly been embraced by the right:

http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=ZTBlNmFiZWQxMGM2NTYwNDA3Nzg3ZmY5NDU2NDQ2MTg=

http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=NzgzNDdhYjNhMDQ5MzFjYzQ4MjIyNDVlNmIzMjY1Yjg=

http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=OWZjNWY2NmIzYmM4MTdhNjdjMWQ3ZjExNjc4MTUxNzk=

http://corner.nationalreview.com/post/?q=NmY2NDc5YmIxZDJhNDExZTM4NWJhMzIzM2RlMWU1NWM=

anon   ·  January 20, 2007 7:40 PM

Buchanan, in recent years, has grown somewhat more reasonable. D'Souza, upon reflection, has found a way to lose every ounce of my respect.

There is no conservative/Islamist alliance. It exists in D'Souza's mind, but nowhere else.

section9   ·  January 20, 2007 8:20 PM

It looks like you are discovering the commonalities between the "left and right" of conventional politics, and how thoroughly freedom itself (as represented by libertarianism and politically similar outlooks like "classical" liberalism and political Objectivism) are defined out of existence by that spectrum.

Is it any wonder that a culture stuck in this box of conventional politics can't have a "rational debate about freedom"? As far as they can tell, you can't get there from "here"! As Bill Whittle might put it, it's time for a new map.

Andrew Wile is right on; the "liberal-conservative" construct is indeed fraudulent -- it is **designed** for the express purpose of excluding freedom from mainstream political thought.

But that's only the political manifestation of the real battle going on, between the Enlightenment and its twin enemies: conservatism and the Left. Those two are not opposites, any more than one's Left foot is the enemy of one's Right. While they may move 180 degrees out of phase with one another, they actually work together to move all of us in the same direction: away from the Enlightenment.

As for the "mainstream", Robbie Hingston has it backwards; the mainstream does not lead, it follows. Those who lead are what I call the **core**, and based on my readings of other core conservatives such as Russell Kirk, D'Souza is very much part of the core.

seerak   ·  January 20, 2007 8:47 PM

I think that the reason you find "rational debate about freedom" to be so difficult here is that you're tilting at a straw man. I haven't read Mr. D'Souza's book, but unless there's something in there which you failed to reference, it seems to me that you badly misrepresent his position.

Notably, you mention nothing from him which could be remotely construed as suggesting an alliance with Islamists.

What you do is quote from him on the prospect of common ground between traditional Muslims and Western social conservatives, and then substitute Islamists for traditional Muslims in your rhetoric. If you want to equate the two, feel free to make an argument for the 'Islam=Islamist' notions of Robert Spencer et al., but that's apparently not D'Souza's opinion.

Indeed, you even acknowledged here in this post that he pointedly contrasts traditional Islam with the limb-choppers and headscarf-mandaters. (That was originally Daniel Pipes' formulation, incidentally.That majority of Islam often called "moderate" Muslims, he calls "traditional," because they're no less devout than their fanatical coreligionists, but their Islam - as "traditionally" practiced - doesn't condone compulsion or oppression, and much as they may commit the sin (in your eyes) of espousing traditional Abrahamic morality, they're opposed to the everlasting jihad and a theocratic caliphate.)

If we make common cause with Muslims, we need to accept that they're not going to be joining in any Gay Pride parades in Greenwich Village or pushing taxpayer-funded schools to teach preteens about contraception. They may even think that life begins at conception, with all that that implies. A lot of Americans agree with those ideas. (Including me, and I'm as libertarian as they come.) You can distinguish between this "pro-family" set of cultural mores and policy preferences and an oppressive, Taliban-style society, can't you? We are free to disapprove of Hustler without having to support executing his models for immodesty, aren't we?

James M.   ·  January 20, 2007 9:44 PM

I think there's a major difference between a former president and a minor commentator on politics.

Leora Amdur   ·  January 20, 2007 10:53 PM

I read a short article written by Newt Gingrich a couple years ago that made the same argument as D'Souza's, except I dont think he called for an alliance with 'traditional' muslims. But he did place blame on Hollywood, porn, secularism, liberals, etc... for terrorism/911. So this is not as far out of the mainstream of conservative thought as you might think. Maybe this book will bring it more out in the open.

I remember back when 911 happened and Falwell made his remarks, there was alot of support for it on FreeRepublic too. It was obvious to me that many on that site actually enjoyed the fact that liberal NY City got attacked.

Jonesy   ·  January 21, 2007 1:34 AM

I just saw this article, and then followed a few links to read a few other articles that are also criticizing, either indirect or directly, some of the same points made by Dinesh's argument(s). Hopefully I myt post is not too confusing. I apologize for some sarcasm but I really got upset with the libertarian viewpoint that we not enforce any kind of moral standards in this country (which, with an attitude like that, someone eventually, and are already, going to enforce SOME kind or morals). Also, I apologize for any spelling/grammar errors. A doctoral canidate or writer I am not... also, its 2:30 in the morning. :)

I do agree that a person can NOT be made/forced to follow the exact same moral standards as me, but to use the law of the land to protect so-called liberal "rights" and "freedoms," such as gay marriage and porn, and abortion, etc... is wrong. In fact, the liberals are using the system to have their morals accepted and anyone else who has more conservative morals is looked at as an "extremist." Many of these same conservative moral standards are/were the very same standards the founding father's lived by and what made this country great.

where does it say anywhere, or even infer, in the constitution that the 4 big liberal "rights" of abortion, porn, gay marriage, and the lewdness of Howard Stern are protected as rights? And yes, it doesnt say that these "freedoms" are not protected, but lets use some common sense!!! In the founding fathers' time, abortion, lewdness and porn and gay marriage were not protected by the law. This moral evolutionary interpretation of the consitution is bull.

I am not saying throwing gays in jail, I am only saying that legally protecting their unions as another form of marriage is insane. It is not the same as protection under the law from physical harm.

In terms of pornographers, yes that should be criminal activity under the law. It always was in this country until the mid to late 1960s. Why all of a sudden is a pornographer a symbol of American liberty and freedom? These peopel have only created an atmosphere of abuse of the system. Abuse is not a right.

Is some updating to our law necessary from time to time? Yes, some change is correct and good. I realize some laws in the past even made it a crime to simply be a gay person. Again, common sense must be used. A gay person does not deserve to be criminalize because he or she is gay. But that is a far cry from changing the institution of marriage.

Because we are not using common sense, we are causing extremists to abuse our system. The system must have limits are it will implode. You cannot give rights to every moral deviation. There is a point where the far right and far left meet, and morality will simply not exist at all but in a anti-moral manner.

What libertarians need to watch out for is that its much easier to be bad then good. It is the government that needs to also protect the weak and innocent, in additon to the family. As we see everyday, the weak in this country, especially children and teenagers, are being left wide open for moral corruption & physical abuse. It is impossible for even the best parent to be everywhere at all times to protect the morality and physical wellbeing of their children. Parents need the public school's and the governemt's help to protect their child in the public arena. Again, this is common sense. A child at 5 yrs old gets sent to school, the parent should not have to worry if their child's morality will be corrupted, or that the child can be kidnapped.

Sadly, that is the case today: the children are being corrupted, and in some cases being physically abused, by the very system that should protect them. When parents say one thing and the government says and does another, you will only get chaos, which is what is going on today.

I was 6 yrs old when a fellow 1st grader brought porn to class and showed it to most of the boys. It is an experience that haunts you for the rest of your life. Your childhood is gone in an instant.

Sex is a good & beautiful thing when used for what it was meant for. Unfortunately, a great many peopel do not know what sex is meant for accept losing one's innocence. When sex is used for the right reasons it is the most innocent of experiences, and helps bring innocence into the world.

Sex has been made a gross thing not by moral conservatives but by liberals. Lets face it, it is not the Puritans who created the modern contracepted & aborted society but the libertines who did not and do not want to be responsible for their actions.

one thing both the Puritans and Native Americans agreed on is that children were a good thing and they had many of them, through the sexual act, which is more than what can be said for contemporary society.

Lets get real, all those 4 modern liberal "freedoms" have nothing to do with the freedoms that the U.S. Constitution grants. Just as abortion, gay marriage, and even porn, in some communities, is now being restricted more and more, the same can go for the 4 big "freedoms" of liberals.

Without having any restrictions on freedom, you have license, which allows anti-Semites and a host of other bigots and racists in this country to shake the foundations of this country. It does not make our country stronger in the least. If you do not care about the morals of a person, you will eventually not care about their bodies. Why do we see on a more regular basis anti-Semitic and anti-Christian acts of vandalism? Why do you think radical Muslims like CARE, are now using our own system against us? Because, at present, anti-semitism and anti-christianity are protected under freedom of speech.

to not see that the libertines in this country are the worst abusers of our wonderful system is foolishness that will have dangerous consequences to the moral and physical well-being of the U.S.

The problem with Dinsesh is he does not see that Osama is also using our system to "divide and conquer." Dinesh could have made the same arguments he is making without even touching a devil like Osama.

for years, moral conservatives have done just that, whether they be Catholic, Protestant, or Jewish.

We do not need the words of a terrorist to validate a positon that even the founding fathers would agree.

If the founding fathers agreed that "anything goes," then this country would have been dead years ago.

louis   ·  January 21, 2007 2:39 AM

Amen, great post. Your thoughts mirror my own almost exactly, but you expressed them much better. :-)

Cynical Nation   ·  January 21, 2007 11:03 AM

Let me make a few points:

1. As others have said, there is a real difference between President Carter and minor pundit D'Souza. Your first point is disproved. Sorry to be so harsh, but this notion should be rejected.

2. I still think the war is winnable. So do the troops.

3. As to Libertarianism not being on D'Souza's scope, its a traditional Libertarian arguement that they should be counted among the biggies. Unfortunately, while you guys do punch above your weight, you're still only about 2% of the population. In a battle between two tanks the war reporter might be forgiven for not mentioning the one guy with a pistol off to the side.

4. Yes, Anti-Semitism might be a bigger issue than our own cultural degradation to the Muslims. Of course, D'Souza is probably not concerned with Osama's views, but as he says, the views of the 'traditional Muslim'.

5. Now you seem somewhat doubtful about the existence of the traditional Muslim. This has two problems for you. One, they don't exist, and therefore we might as well send over the ICBM's now. That is, if there is no one over there able to be dealt with and reformed and made friends with then the only thing left to do is to kill them all.

The Second problem flows from this. We, as national policy, assume that the Muslim culture can be reformed. This leads to the question of what is the best way to do this? Is it to turn them into Leftists who support welfare, gun control, and homosexuality, OR to turn them into Libertarians who support gun rights and homosexuality OR is it to turn them into Conservatives who support Gun rights and are politely against homosexuality?

What has you so upset is I think the obvious answer that turning them into Conservatives would be FAR easier, and that most of the problems we have them would be gone. And thus the Conservatives would win the spoils of the war, and the Libertarians would get the crumbs.

I actually don't see it as the crumbs, but Libertarians tend to have a seriously inflated notion of what they should get as a reward for their endeavours and for the amount of help they provide. And when they are not given the hero's crown for holding the horses at the battlefield, they sometimes get a touch tetchy. And they should not demand the lion's share of the spoils after they have done the mouse's share of the work.

And I say this not to denigrate the heroism of many Libertarians. I consider many of them to be the officer corp in the Conservative Movement. They do punch above their weight, but their weight is so small to begin with that they still get crumbs. And that, in a democracy, is the way it should be. After all, there are probably more model railroaders than Libertarians, but how many polticians care much about model railroaders?

Let us also not forget that the Libertarians have long had strong disagreement with the war. Enough so that Neal Boortz, a Libertarian who supported the war, was not allowed to speak at the Liberertarian Party for this crime.

Myself, I disagree with our host on some issues, and gladly agree with him on others, and would accept having him speak at the Republican Convention. But then socons are notoriously tolerant.

One last point: I've seen the Libertarians try to inflate their worth to the Rep by threatening to desert to the Dems. They do this every election cycle.

I've seen the Left make common cause with the radicals.

Why shouldn't the Right make common cause with the hoped-for 'Arab guy who just wants to get along, have lots of kids, and eat some good lamb and rice while watching a soccer game on his new TV'?

Maybe if we did that we could call the Libertarians bluff and get them to descend down to reality from the cloud palace they current inhabit. And thats modern America: The Left is diseased and dying; the Libertarians are running a big bluff; the Country Clubbers are clinging to their perks; and the Socon Tidal Wave slowly moves forward changing the face of reality mostly for the better as it goes.


Eric   ·  January 21, 2007 1:48 PM

Wow, that must have taken a long time to write. You too, Jonesy.

Do you folks have real jobs or anything?

Chester White   ·  January 21, 2007 2:59 PM

It is Sunday, y'know. All over the States, even when it rains.

Although the ladywife was giving me a bit of a fisheye for typing so long.

But thanks for admitting how brilliant and incontrovertible my arguements are. I 'preciate the ego boost.

Eric   ·  January 21, 2007 4:48 PM

section9:
"Buchanan, in recent years, has grown somewhat more reasonable. "

I strongly recommend, for your own health and well-being, that you get off the crack pipe. Buchanan is, as he has ever been, a fanatic antisemitic hatemonger who grovels before such noted exemplars of his vaunted "Western" values as Sheik Yassin and Ahmedinejad as long as they are mortal enemies of the Jews.

Gary Rosen   ·  January 21, 2007 5:36 PM

Thank you very much Cynical Nation. I am sure many other people, including yourself, can write about the same thing.

I sincerely believe that if the Republican party had not given up on promoting moral, as well as political, conservatism, many of our Republican senators & congress people would still be in office. Instead they played the old-boy network combined with moral relativism and lost a great great many seats because alot of morally conservative democrats and other independent minded voters looked elsewhere. Instead, these non-republican conservatives and moderates who respect republican conservatism in the mold of Reagan, jumped ship and went for conservative in the Democratic Party. Its sad that the upper Republican heirarchy is trying to attract moral ambiguous voters and at the same time lose its morally conservative base that for 30 yrs had brought the Republican Party so much success.

In PA, Bush had Rove convince Santorum to vocally support and campaign for Arlen Spector, a pro-abortion senator, as well as weak on terror, against a fellow pro-life republican candidate...wtf was that all about?

Why do people think Santorum lost to a pro-life Democrate, whoes father had also been a pro-life Democratic govenor. Santorum sold out the moral conservatives so they went elsewhere. Santorum and the Republicans could have had two pro-life, tough-on-terror senators and now they have neither. Utterly utterly incompetent, pathetic, and disgusting. Specter is a liberal and hardly helpful to the party over the decades. He consitently & notoriously worked against the party and conservatives.

And look at what Bush and Specter did with the Harriet Myers nomination....insanity. And Hurrican Katrina...further incompetence.

But what were the fruits of the success of so many elections since 1980, on the Republican leadership since Reagan? Inflating the national budget and beaurocracy, not doing anything to turn back abortion at the federal level, and also not standing up against the illegal immigration and gay marriage lobbies, as well as the radical environmental lobby, and lets not forget the radical muslim lobby. Unfortunately, some of the worst republican offenders are still in office.

Peopel should realize that the lack of concrete political & legal action on the part of the Republican party in the death of Terry Schiavo has left a moral vacuum for ALOT of voters, and not just for conservatives and Republicans

If one looks at the critical event that began the downward spiral to Bush's presidency and the Republican Party, it can be the day of Terry's death. Bush and the party have never recovered from that fateful day when a helpless and innocent American handicapped woman was put to death by or great political and legal system. A system that was abused and used in a manner that our forefathers, as well as Reagan, would have done everything in their power to prevent.

It is very sad that so many Republicans, as well as Democrats, are paper tigers in the face of those who pervert and abuse this great system of the U.S. I hope they come to their senses before it gets any worse.

Also, if anyone wonders why Jeb Bush will never run for office again, he can thank his brother and himself for the lack of action in the face of perverting our laws to put to death Schiavo. And all the Bushes and Congress did was just watch.

Doesnt the Republican Party realize that if you cant get the simple things right, like saving a person in Schiavo's condition, how do you expect to solve the complex problems of the entire country or those that are on a global scale? Because the Republicans played politics with Schiavo's life and subsequent death, the Republicans were all show and no action. No real concrete action, unencumbered by the cloud of ambiguity that Bush and so many morally ambiguous other politicans love to revel in.

Schiavo was the test for Republicans and Bush to put up or shut up... and both caved in and showed to fellow Americans, that they were moral cowards.

If Schiavo were Elian (sp?), Clinton would have gone in and forcibly taken Schiavo and gotten here more medical treatment & worked out a legal deal to give her to her parents to take care of. That is excatly what Clinton did when he gave Elian back to his father. Isnt it scary the the Bush and the Republicans couldnt do the same in the face of that innocent woman being out to death? Isnt it? They all stood around and did NOTHING, just like they are doing with a host of other domestic and foreign issues.

Does one wonder why Bush and Company cant get the border issue in this country solved? Or social security or education? And how about the inability to protect the border of Iraq against terrorists from other countries?

BTW, I voted Repulican across the board in NY, so I am loyal, the sad thing is the Party has not been loyal to the voters who put them in power. We did not put them in power to make the borders wide open, or to allow abortion to go on unrestricted or to all muslim terrorists to hold the nation hostage.

so now many groups looked away from the Republicans, and now they dont have the political power anymore. Again, how sad and pathetic. at least there is hope that the Republicans can do what the Dems did in 2006, and attract conservative and moderate voters who are attracted to conservative values, just like Reagan did.

we shall see in 2008, if Republican Party "inclusiveness" will include the moral conservatives who helped them take the presidency and eventually both houses of Congress (and yet they still squandered their power, reputation, and responsibility).

We shall see...

louis   ·  January 21, 2007 8:18 PM

Thanks Eric for such a thought-provoking post. I will remain a libertarian DINO, myself. The comments from "moral conservatives" do show how right you are to be concerned; there are those all too willing to shred the constitution to shove their sanctimonious "morality" down the throats of us all.My ancestors left Europe to escape the persecution of "moral conservatives" who found Presbyterians too radical and heretical. I don't think America will be brought down by "libertines", it will be brought down by those who with clear ideas use the police power of the state to force citizens into becoming subjects, forced into conformity with the "moral" whims of our Dear Leaders.

Stewart   ·  January 21, 2007 9:16 PM

Eric:
"As others have said, there is a real difference between President Carter and minor pundit D'Souza. Your first point is disproved. Sorry to be so harsh, but this notion should be rejected."

Not that I would wish Jimmy Carter comparisons on anyone, mind you, and maybe Eric (Scheie)'s comparison wasn't apt. But D'Souza seems to have a habit of pushing to the provocative extreme of conservative thought, so I don't think paying attention to him is a mistake. He's a minor pundit in terms of man-on-the-street name recognition; it's fair to say that he's much less minor as an influence on movement-conservative opinion-shapers.

Sean Kinsell   ·  January 22, 2007 9:10 PM

years ago when sanctamonious moral conservatives were in the majority in both American political parties and in both houses of Congress, rape was down, unwanted pregnancies were down, euthanasia was down, divorce down, drug related deaths & crime down, sexual diseases down..and the United States was strong in the face of crime as well as againts dictators and knew how to be unified and fight a war for their freedoms.

Today, now that the libertines are in control and morality is based on relativism and an anything goes mentality, the divorce rate is going up all the time, serials killers are becoming a new profession for the American male, female rapists are becoming the resume requirement for female teachers, sexual disease are being generated that make cancer look like the common cold, and over 1 million babies are murered in the womb, cauing the need for illegal immigrates to flood the U.S.

Yeah the moral conservatives certainly ruined this country
while the libertines have made America the envy of the modern world. It would be nice to know what the libertines stand for that isnt about their own selfish self-gratification while the rest of the U.S. becomes ruined.

Lets just write a blank check for all the security we need to protect women on college campuses, who are becoming an endangered species along with the American young male to murderers, pedophiles and pederasts.

yeah, the libertines are certainly the moral saviors of the United States. We need alot more to help everyone feel safe and secure. I hear they are now promoting bestiality at the Sundance festival.

Well well...Sundance is just in time to show the rest of the world how the libertines can sink the U.S. even lower than they already are. Bravo!

oi vey...

louis   ·  January 23, 2007 1:19 AM

revision:

....and over 1 million babies are murdered in the womb, causing the need for illegal immigranes to flood the U.S.

...AND, lest we forget all the terrific benefits of a libertine society....the rise of anti-Semitism and anti-Christianity based on a a new libertine interpretation of the U.S. Constitution that freedom of speech stands for the freedom to preach bigotry and racism.

..almost forgot all those wonderful accomplishments of the modern-day libertine society.

thanks again guys.

louis   ·  January 23, 2007 1:27 AM

Jerry Falwell blamed the 9/11 attacks on homosexuals, femanist and secular humanists. Ann Coulter mocked victims of 9/11. Now Osamo Bin Souza has blamed "social liberalization" for terrorism. This is just another form of the "blame America first" mentality sometimes found on the left And like the far left, they are out of the mainstream of American society.
At least when the left bashes America, they don’t wrap themselves in the flag.

George Arndt   ·  January 23, 2007 2:50 PM

>At least when the left bashes America, they don’t wrap themselves in the flag.


George, I agree with you, but it does not make me feel any better.

I have a left wing theocrat of an aunt who told me I am going to hell because I (i) support gay marriage, (ii) believe in evolution, (iii) supported the invasion of Iraq and (iv) voted for Bush twice (though I think I would be forgiven if I voted for Kerry). Her opposition to gay marriage is in part due to the fact that it angers Moslems.

When gay marriage was a big issue about a year ago, one of the arguments I heard friends and family say against it was that it would make the Moslem angry. My new theory is anything that makes radical Moslems angry is probably something that is good.

Room 237   ·  January 23, 2007 3:37 PM

>Schiavo was the test for Republicans and Bush to put up or shut up... and both caved in and showed to fellow Americans, that they were moral cowards.

Why Louis -- what exactly did the federal government have to butt in for? I have made it clear to my wife that in the same situation, she is to keep my feeding tube in (and probably should figure out where that health care proxy is).

Room 237   ·  January 23, 2007 3:44 PM

I have never understood the logic of "What if 300 million people did it?". Somehow, D'Souza's thought seems to be that if it would be bad for 300 million people to be pornographers, then it must be wrong for one person to be a pornographer.

I am a programmer. I do not think it is wrong for me to be a programmer. But if 300 million Americans decided to be programmers, we would all starve to death.

How does anyone who is purportedly intelligent and educated get away with making that level of logical incoherence in published print? Are there no editors?

Fritz   ·  January 23, 2007 3:48 PM

Room 237: why? to save a life and have the case reviewed by an impartial judge who did not have campaign contributions given to him by the same pro-death group that funded Terry's husband' s lawyer, who were and are ALL PRO-DEATH ORGANIZATIONS AND/OR PERSONS.

Again "why" you ask? Wwwwell, now that Terry is dead, the autopsy showed Terry did not suffer from lack of nutrition to cause this severe of a physical collapse. Her autospsy did not show she suffered from malnutrition nor that that there was inconclusive evidence that she was in a persistent vegetative state or that treatment couldnt eventually help her. In fact, a year after she died, a few people in comas and diabilated for 20yrs have recovered. Her parents were RIGHT.

SO IN THE CASE OF DOUBT, EVERYONE ERRED ON THE SIDE OF PUTTING HER TO DEATH..HOW SMART WAS THAT? this was a human being not an animal?

My God, people swarm all over beach when dying whales beach themselves to save the whales, and yet, for a human being people like you think its nothing to put her to death. please...

Why? Because Congress ordered that here case be brought to Washington for review. The FLA judge thumbed his nose and was in contempt of Congress and yet NOTHING, ABSOLUTELY N-O-T-H-I-N-G! WAS DONE.

YOU ASK WHY, I SAY WHY NOT? HER PARENTS WOULD HAVE TAKEN CARE OF HER INSTEAD OF THE STATE PUTTING HER TO DEATH? Hows that?

Bush is completely on the ropes because he doesnt have a clue on how to handle all the peopel upset with his INACTION in the face of so many important moral and political issues. He says he doesnt care for the polls..I say BULL. Thats ALL he cares about. Bush and Clinton both cared about the polls and that is why they cannot do the right actions when the time comes even in simple matters.

George Arndt: the left doesnt drap its criticism of America in the flag? BULL

Then why call their main leftist radio station "RADIO AMERICA" and have its host(s) sit under a flag when it was on cable?

Many social conservatives dont give a crap what makes Moslems angry. "Gay marriage" is a ridiculous idea period. Already the first gay married couple in MA is filing for divorce. And the major gay paper of NYC, the Gay Blade doesnt even agree with the idea. go figure...

more than just moral conservatives wrap their criticism of the USA in the flag and more than just moral conservatives think gay marriage is a lousy idea.

Bigotry wil get you nowhere.

Louis   ·  January 23, 2007 9:42 PM

Get used to the idea of gay marriage and other progressive ideas. People in their 20's overwhelmingly are socially liberal,and in 30 years they will control the country.
Thank goodness! You so called libertarians sound like a bunch of bigoted conservatives to me. I will wait for the day when libertarains stand for small government which means stay out of American's wallets AND their bedrooms. Most of all equal rights for ALL

Paul   ·  January 23, 2007 10:44 PM

Thanks for the comments! I really appreciate them. To defend myself on one minor point, please remember that the first sentence of this post began with the word "if." I sincerely hope D'Souza is NOT a real representative of the GOP, nor even the social conservative wing. Whatever he is (and I used to have a great deal of respect for him), his book seems to be dividing libertarians and social conservatives, without helping either side.

Eric Scheie   ·  January 23, 2007 11:34 PM

to paraphrase soem ideas of Winston Churchill:

most young people are liberal because their young and have high emotions, ideals and enthusiasm...

...most older people are conservatives because they know better.

actually, his exact words are more telling:
"Show me a young Conservative and I'll show you someone with no heart. Show me an old Liberal and I'll show you someone with no brains."

GET USED TO IT. The revolution EATS ITS OWN!

get used to it. since divorce is rampant, gay marriage is dead in the bedroom. now all of a sudden progressives are for stable families and "marriage-until-death-do-us part" type relationships.

absolutley pathetic the hypocrisy by the libertines. they dont care at all about the institution of marriage. THE LIBERALS AND GAYS F THE WORLD THINK MARRIAGE IS A DEAD INSTITUTION ANYWAY. WHY GET MARRIED WHEN YOU CAN LIVE TOGETHER? wasnt that the mantra of "old-tyme liberals"?

like I said, the first married gay couple of the USA is already going to divorce court. absolutley pathetic. The most insincere, staged form of political & moral hostage taking I have ever scene.

what an abuse & travesty of the system.

louis   ·  January 24, 2007 2:04 AM

One gay couple gets a divorce and MR. conservative is ready to throw in the towel on gay marriage. Since 50% of straight marriages end in divorce, I guess we should stop marriage altogether. Their hatred disguised as "common sense" is appalling.

Paul   ·  January 24, 2007 10:27 PM

how do you know it just one gay couple getting divorced mr liberal? So oyu feel I have infallible knowledge on the topic? So you must agree with EVERYTHING I SAY THEN hmm?

FYI: I am pointing out that those who thought it was SO IMPORTANT A TABOO TO break, i.e. TWO GAYS GETTING MARRIED, CANT EVEN STICK IT OUT. GAY& LIBERAL HYPOCRACY. You have thrown this same arguement against straights for YEARS that marriage is dead since so many straight peopel get divorced...so NOW HOW DO YOU LIKE IT?

gays and u must think so highly of marrriage that you NEED MARRIAGE TO VALIDATE YOUR LIFESTYLE . why cry that gays need marriage rights then? your the ones SCREAMING THAT YOU NEED , NOT THE STRAIGHTS. WHICH WAY DO YOU WANT IT THEN?

pathetic liberal hypocrites.

louis   ·  January 27, 2007 11:28 PM

Bush goes ballistic about other countries being evil and dangerous, because they have weapons of mass destruction. But, he insists on building up even a more deadly supply of nuclear arms right here in the US. What do you think? How does that work in a democracy again? How does being more threatening make us more likeable?Isn't the country with
the most weapons the biggest threat to the rest of the world? When one country is the biggest threat to the rest of the world, isn't that likely to be the most hated country?
What happened to us, people? When did we become such lemmings?
We have lost friends and influenced no one. No wonder most of the world thinks we suck. Thanks to what george bush has done to our country during the past three years, we do!

Antibush   ·  February 12, 2007 11:38 PM

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