Jihad has blown up The Liberal Utopia.
The visionary liberal land of political and social perfection.
President Obama is not happy – and he isn’t alone.
You know the place.
• The Liberal Utopia is a land where gun background checks prevent mass murder.
• The Liberal Utopia is a land where Islamic fundamentalists have changed their perception of America because the President travels to Muslim nations to give lovely speeches, believes that the Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt and elsewhere is a wonderful sign of an Arab Spring, and refuses to use the word “terrorist” whether his administration is investigating Ft. Hood, Boston, or Benghazi.
• The Liberal Utopia is a land where a 2009 presidential video proclaiming a “new beginning” in American relations with Iran will halt the effort to build a nuclear bomb.
• The Liberal Utopia is a land where the good intentions of Social Security will never bankrupt the Social Security Trust Fund.
• The Liberal Utopia is a land where the good intentions of Medicare could not possibility result in trillions of unfunded liability.
• The Liberal Utopia is a land where the War on Poverty was supposed to end poverty – and instead winds up sending violent crime skyrocketing, and, in the words of Thomas Sowell, setting up the American black family for rapid disintegration in the liberal welfare state “that subsidized unwed pregnancy and changed welfare from an emergency rescue to a way of life.”
One could go on… and on and on… spotting those will-o-the-wisp glimpses of The Liberal Utopia (Obamacare here, the Obama stimulus over there, the promise to close Guantanamo way back there) with example after example of this miserably failed attempt to find or create a Liberal Utopia.
Or what our friend Mark Levin deftly calls Ameritopia.
The search for this Liberal Utopia has been going on in this country since at least 1932 and in fact before that when one keeps going on back to Woodrow Wilson’s progressives and beyond to the late 19th century when the progressive movement began to gain political steam with the likes of William Jennings Bryan and a whole host of other if lesser known figures.
The idea is always the same. To quote Levin: “Utopianism is the ideological and doctrinal foundation for statism.”
Or, to simplify: if only Americans are made to do X, The Perfect Society will manifest.
What is X? The above list suffices: background checks, a video sending nice words to Iran, opening up to the Muslim Brotherhood, setting up a government-run Social Security or Medicare or Obamacare, declaring a government-run War on Poverty. The Obama stimulus.
And let’s not forget the Philadelphia abortion scandal where live human babies outside the womb were repeatedly killed – a direct contradiction of the entire Roe.v. Wade sacrament.
Etc. Etc. Etc.
Let’s start with two stories that have dominated the news in the last week: gun control and the Boston Marathon murders.
Recall that after the Senate defeated the Toomey-Manchin background amendment, President Obama, outraged, took to the White House Rose Garden to say this:
“The gun lobby and its allies willfully lied about the bill. They claimed that it would create some sort of ‘big brother’ gun registry, even though the bill did the opposite. This legislation, in fact, outlawed any registry.”
Next up was former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who took to the Op-Ed page of the New York Times to say “I’m furious.” Giffords accused the Senate of being in the “grip of the gun lobby” fearful of political consequences.
Gifford’s statement was filled with irony. There are people aplenty out there who have also discussed issues other than guns as being a problem in this area of violence in America. Indeed just this last Sunday Boston’s Cardinal Sean O’Malley not only talked about guns but the role of abortion in what O’Malley called a “Culture of Death.” But did Gabby Giffords want to talk about abortion as a contributing factor? Did the president? Of course not – and for exactly the reason they attributed to those who oppose background checks. Which is to say, pro-choice politicians both, neither Giffords nor Obama have the guts to take on the abortion lobby.
But let’s stay focused on background checks and its role in the liberal Utopia.
Remember the Brady law? So named for President Reagan’s press secretary Jim Brady who was seriously and permanently wounded during the assassination attempt on Reagan.
The Brady law mandated background checks across the country. Challenged in the Supreme Court, the law was mostly upheld in 1997, with the exception of the mandate. States however, were free to do background checks. One of the states that picked up on this – as did most states – was, yes, Massachusetts. In 1998 Massachusetts, headed on that endless journey to The Liberal Utopia, passing what has been called “the toughest gun control legislation in the country.” Reported Boston Globe columnist Jeff Jacoby – just two months ago on February 17, 2013 – the “toughest gun control legislation in the country” was signed into law by the-then Republican governor and praised to the hilt by the Democratic Attorney General, as well as a leading anti-gun activist. Jacoby quoted from the Globe story of 1998 that trumpeted the bill’s signing:
“Today, Massachusetts leads the way in cracking down on gun violence,” said Republican Governor Paul Cellucci as he signed the bill into law. “It will save lives and help fight crime in our communities.” Scott Harshbarger, the state’s Democratic attorney general, agreed: “This vote is a victory for common sense and for the protection of our children and our neighborhoods.” One of the state’s leading anti-gun activists, John Rosenthal of Stop Handgun Violence, joined the applause. “The new gun law,” he predicted, “will certainly prevent future gun violence and countless grief.”
Catch all that? Massachusetts was “cracking down on gun violence.” This “will save lives and help fight crime” in the state’s communities. The new law was a “victory for common sense” that was a “victory for common sense” and “the protection of our children and our neighborhoods.” The law “will certainly prevent future gun violence and countless grief.”
Now let’s leave aside the point of Jacoby’s column – that in fact the law did none of that and that indeed, in Jacoby’s words:
…the law that was so tough on law-abiding gun owners had quite a different impact on criminals.
Since 1998, gun crime in Massachusetts has gotten worse, not better. In 2011, Massachusetts recorded 122 murders committed with firearms, the Globe reported this month – “a striking increase from the 65 in 1998.” Other crimes rose too. Between 1998 and 2011, robbery with firearms climbed 20.7 percent. Aggravated assaults jumped 26.7 percent.
Let’s stay focused on the fact that the Boston bombers did in fact have guns.
That’s right, in addition to bombs, the brothers Tsarnaev had guns. And surprise surprise, in spite of all that “toughest” gun law in the country business – you guessed it.
The brothers didn’t apply for a license.
That’s right. As the Huffington Post has noted here:
WASHINGTON – The Boston bombing suspects engaged in a deadly firefight with police last week, possessing six bombs, handguns, a rifle and more than 250 rounds of ammunition. But the Tsarnaev brothers did not have proper licenses to possess the firearms, according to the Cambridge Police Department – a revelation that comes just days after the Senate voted against strengthening and expanding background checks for gun sales.
Cambridge Police Department spokesman Dan Riviello told The Huffington Post that neither Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, 19, nor Tamerlan Tsarnaev, 26, appeared to have a license to own a handgun.
“The younger brother could not have applied as he is not 21 years of age and the older brother did not have a license to carry and we have no record of him ever applying,” Riviello said.
Got all that?
So in spite of the Brady law, which subjects law-abiding gun owners to all manner of rules and regulations, and in spite of the Massachusetts law, which was “the toughest” gun control law in the country, and in spite of the hundreds (thousands) of other gun control laws that bind the country, Tamerlan Tsarnaev, hell bent on murder and mayhem, never bothered to get a “proper license.” Brother Dzhokhar, of course, wasn’t permitted to have a license because he was just too young.
Yet somehow, without being licensed, the two managed to have “handguns, a rifle and more than 250 rounds of ammunition.” With which the unlicensed brothers shot MIT policeman Sean Collier to death – and came close to killing Boston Transit policeman, Richard Donohue.
Shocker, isn’t it?
Yet there is no more shock in listening to the reasoning of liberals on gun control than there is in listening to their reasoning on Islamic fundamentalists. The subjects may be different – although they happened to become two stories in one this last week – but the reasoning is always the same.
Let’s hear from Andrew McCarthy, who was the Clinton-era prosecutor of the Blind Sheikh, the brains behind the first attack on the World Trade Center in 1993. Andy later wrote the more than aptly titled book Willful Blindness: A Memoir of the Jihad and now writes this from National Review in an article headed:
Jihad Will Not Be Wished Away: But willful blindness remains the order of the day.
“Outlook: Islam.” So reads the personal webpage of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who ravaged Boston this week, along with his now-deceased brother and fellow jihadist, Tamerlan – namesake of a 14th-century Muslim warrior whose campaigns through Asia Minor are legendary for their brutalization of non-Muslims.
Brutalizing our own non-Muslim country has been the principal objective of jihadists for the last 20 years. This week marks a new and chilling chapter: the introduction on our shores of the tactics the self-styled mujahideen have used to great, gory effect for the past decade in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Willful blindness remains the order of the day, as it has since the World Trade Center was bombed in 1993. It is freely conceded that, when the identities and thus the motivation of the Marathon terrorists were not known, it would have been irresponsible to dismiss any radical ideology as, potentially, the instigator. But in our politically correct, up-is-down culture, to suggest “Outlook: Islam” was unthinkable. So the most likely scenario – namely, that jihadists who have been at war with us for two decades had, yet again, attacked innocent civilians – became the least likely scenario in the minds of media pundits. Instead, they brazenly prayed (to Gaia, I’m sure) for white conservative culprits with Tea Party hats and Rush 24/7 subscriptions.
To borrow from the gun control debate, closing one’s eyes to Islamic fundamentalism is not just displaying a lack of common sense (to borrow a phrase from the gun control debate) – it is indeed, as Andy McCarthy accurately calls it, willful blindness.
And this particular willful blindness on jihadists is lethal.
It is exactly the same as the willful blindness that kept the State Department from understanding that there was a reason for the repeated pleas from the now murdered Benghazi diplomats for security assistance. When the attack came on those diplomats last September, the U.S. government had been willfully blinded – right from the top – that such a thing could be the result of Islamic fundamentalism
Ditto with the attack on Ft. Hood by the Islamic fundamentalist Nidal Malik Hasan, a U.S. Army major. Shouting “Allahu Akbar!” – God is Great – as he opened fire, Hasan killed 13 and wounding more than 30. The response from the US government? To declare yet another mass murder in the name of Islam to be “work place violence” – and then have the then-Army Chief of Staff murmur aloud that to treat this as anything else would somehow hurt the military’s diversity push.
And so it goes.
From the promises of Obamacare that you can keep your own doctor to the massive indebtedness of Social Security and Medicare to the War on Poverty that wasn’t and the Obama stimulus that wasn’t either – and on and on and on – liberalism’s Achilles’ heel is that it isn’t about serious, common sense ideas that display an understanding of everyday human reality.
What liberalism is about is creating Utopia.
A Utopian world where gun control stops criminals, being politically correct with jihadists means they won’t attack, the value of helping the aging means Social Security and Medicare cannot possibly be in debt to the tune of trillions, that Obamacare will work just as the War on Poverty worked, and that forcing banks to give millions of Americans the money to buy homes they can’t afford can’t possibly crash the economy.
And on goes the endless parade.
Substituting sentiment for common sense, then watching the results crash and burn in a hurricane of dead Americans, impoverished Americans, massively indebted Americans or continually impoverished, jobless and hopeless Americans.
Does anyone really wonder why so many Americans listen to President Obama say that “the gun lobby and its allies willfully lied about the bill” – and believe it’s the President who lies? And that they believe this for the simple reason that all the other liberal Utopian promises haven’t been kept? With a lie just this last week about the results of Massachusetts gun control being all too painfully obvious? Who, based on hard real-life experience with these Liberal Utopians, would ever believe that the Toomey-Manchin bill will never result in what Obama calls “some sort of ‘big brother’ gun registry”? If you believe this, you believe the Boston bombers simply forgot to apply for a license to carry a gun.
The response by liberals to these repeated liberal disasters is to simply ignore the results and walk away. Then finding yet another “problem” on which to visit this same disastrous pattern of emotionally charged non-common sense.
Promising once again that if Americans just do this next X, Utopia will finally arrive.
The question here is whether a majority of Americans will ever come to understand the game.
To know that the real meaning of Utopia is not some visionary system of political or social perfection, as the dictionary says.
Utopianism is, precisely as Mark Levin documents, the ideological and doctrinal foundation for statism.
It is dumb. It is wrong. It is a call to mindless emotion instead of careful, logical thought. It can and will bankrupt. It can and will – and as we have seen this last week it does – kill.
Which makes the ideas of a Liberal Utopia not just wrongheaded.
It makes them dangerous.
Which makes it time to say enough is enough.