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9/27/01

STRAPPADO WRACK

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The most radical revolutionary will become a conservative the day after the revolution.
- Hannah Arendt

The Identity Crisis For Conservatives

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We have heard the resounding voices of our patron saints from the Right lately that depart from the usual message of common sense and advocacy of Liberty. They have become the 'new jingoist', defender of the State and 'revenging angel'. You know of who they are: David Horowitz, Bill O'Reilly and Rush Limbaugh. They all claim to be Conservative. But what does that really mean, especially in todays crisis environment?

Take the following Ideology Test for yourselves:

Ideology Selector TEST

Get a handle on where you stand! For the record, this pundit tops off as a 'paleolibertarian'.

With the race to establish your credentials as red, white and blue; we read in their comments, hear and view in their programs a vigorous attack on those who question the wisdom of our current world policy. David takes up the banner of his ancestral homeland, while Bill and Rush equate those who urge restraint in response as having sympathy for crazed criminal madmen. To them, a pacifist is the same as being a traitor. Does that then mean that the new test for a Patriot requires enthusiastic retribution and acceptance of 'collateral damage'?

No one on the radar screen is arguing that accountability for those who trade in terror should go unpunished. That conclusion is not up for debate. But the manner and means that are used to hold those responsible and accountable, needs to be the focus of our national policy. As a People, Americans must seek justice through just ways. It seems that President Bush has demonstrated more prudence, up to this point, than our new hawks of the machismo State.

None of us are surprised when 'Celebrities' discover their feelings for the victims of terror? But 'Stars' waving the flag seems a little unsettling and out of place. Let's hope those recent images of all those limousine liberals are a sincere reflection of true concern for country. Is this an about face for Julia Roberts and Robert Di Nero? Yes, "I'm talking to YOU", Bobby . . . Some of us reserve judgment on their true motives, based upon a life's career of disingenuous good citizenship. But when we see our own standard bearers abandoning their normal standards of rational assessment and sensible prognostication, we become unnerved that the NYC destruction extends far beyond the twin towers.

Just what does it mean to be a CONSERVATIVE in this brave new world? What is being conserved at this point, the defense of the principles that has made America unique, or the government apparatus that is hell bent upon issuing national ID cards for all law abiding citizens, tracking and reading our messages and restriction of our travel?

The solutions for legitimate security needs should be obvious, but are being ignored. The risk that is real and requires action is on the home front. The fifth column of illegal anarchists of a perverted cause, that resides among us, is the immanent danger to our way of life. Our efforts to trace, track, isolate and repatriate those who have evaded the inadequate performance of the INS, is the most pressing problem. Why not fill all those empty airline seats that are going begging, with those who have no intention of accepting the duties and responsibilities of American citizenship. Our borders are open to every sorted element that means harm to your country. The will to correct this glaring and evident invitation for further kamikaze attacks must become the primary task. 'Homeland Defense' IS the objective.

Deploying troops in hostile lands will not make American's safe in their own homes. Don't confuse an appeal to resist the use of massive military might, as a rejection to bring those involved with the evil deeds of a deranged murderer, to justice. Accountability is crucial, but so is real security based upon intelligent policy.

Our Conservative friends are trading their Libertarian inclinations for a tour of duty on the frontier. That is not necessary or required to accomplish the objective that America wants, needs and deserves. When Rush says that a Pacifist is a supporter of the Terrorist for not endorsing the mission of 'Infinite Justice', he does not deserve any 'dittos'. When O'Reilly extols that dissenters are committing treason, he is not promoting 'Enduring Freedom'. Even the imbecile in the Pentagon who selected the original assignment statement, corrected his error. Talk about adding fuel to a fire! Why can't the 'so called' Conservative missionaries recognize that they are acting like 'closet champion' Statists?

When the Stars sang 'God Bless America', I did not hear Kate Smith singing. Now I'm hearing from the 'twisted trio' the sounds of Strangelove McNamara. Haven't we heard this record before? Did we not learn that you cannot force a false allegiance upon people when they know that the underlying policy is immoral? If this is the new face of Conservatism, it is leaving behind the very principles that have earned it the respect of men of good will.

We should be the defenders of traditional values, and resist becoming the 'Ugly American'. Patriotism is defined as: "Love of and devotion to ones country". Just what is the duty of a loyal citizen when her country discards fundamental principles? This is one time to listen to the appropriate paraphrase of that 'Cajun Scoundrel' James Carvell. "It is about the failed Foreign Policy, STUPID" !!! Now that you have taken the TEST, what are you; my fellow Conservative friend, and what are you going to do about it?

SARTRE - September 27, 2001

...the differences between the conservative and the radical seem to spring mainly from their attitude toward the future. Fear of the future causes us to lean against and cling to the present, while faith in the future renders us receptive to change. - Eric Hoffer

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