Monday, November 06, 2006

Dare to Struggle; Dare to Win

The slogan of the old Students for a Democratic Society back in the late 1960s...true then; true now. Tomorrow is Election Day...I suggest you vote as if your life depends on it.

Because, of course, it does, and in a very real sense.

I've gotten several e-mails on the Dems born-again support of firearms and the Second Amendment and why it makes me a bit queasy. Here's an interesting tidbit from the other side. the University of Chicago Maroon, the independent student paper (courtesy Glenn Reynold @ InstaPundit):
Election season is indeed in full bloom. Yet I can’t help but notice that something is conspicuously absent from this year’s festivities: Charlton Heston.

It is almost impossible to fathom, but it seems that gun control has seen its last days as a big-ticket issue for elections. This is in no way to suggest that the issue has fallen out of favor with the Republicans’ largely gun-toting constituency. It merely reflects the fact that the Democrats have moved on to issues that actually mean something...
Now, here's the real shocker part (and I don't think this particular editorial resulted in any riots, sit-ins or all-night beer drinkathons, although I'm not sure about the last one):
Finally, we must consider if it is really worth changing the Constitution in order to accommodate legislation whose benefits are questionable at best, since more extensive weapons bans would run contrary to our second Amendment right to bear arms. Removing a fundamental right is nothing to be taken lightly, should be done so only if the benefits are permanent and far-reaching. Though many in the intelligentsia roll their eyes at the possibility that we might need weapons to resist our own government, the founding fathers wrote that clause in our Bill of Rights for a reason. Indeed, we are currently fat and happy, and the idea of revolution and turmoil is farfetched at best. But have we forgotten the nationalist rhetoric that followed 9/11? Do we not remember that opposing the president’s absolute power, in those months, amounted to political suicide?

Demagogues and dictators can arise in all forms of government—just throw a pinch of disaster into a churning pot of desperation, and the fall of democracy isn’t unimaginable. (I am in no way comparing the president to a dictator I am merely demonstrating that the ideals of democratic debate can disappear very fast.) As Machiavelli claims in his Prince, a government best preserves itself by arming its citizens. What more powerful deterrent could there be to coup than having to go through Iraq—times 15?
Maybe there's hope for the younger generation after all! My own queasiness comes from the fact that for most Dems the scales fell off their eyes only after the Democratic Leadership Council suggested there was simply no way to win in while embracing a gun-control agenda. there are numerous examples (see them all here), but here's the uber-example that outlined the "Third Way" on guns from DLC's Blueprint Magazine article in 2001:
The party will have a hard time recapturing the presidency and building a durable majority if it treats gun-owning Americans like sociopaths. After all, roughly 40 percent of Americans have a gun in their home -- with even higher proportions of gun ownership in Southern and mountain states.
The solution isn't to clam up on guns, but rather to change the terms of the gun debate. There are gaping loopholes in our laws that make it too easy for criminals to get guns -- like the law that allows anyone to buy a gun at a gun show without a background check. It's time for Democrats -- and progressive Republicans -- to embrace a "third way" gun policy that treats gun ownership as neither an absolute right nor an absolute wrong and that calls for a balance between gun rights and gun responsibilities.
In this election, the "Third Way" policy is coming to fruition. It depends on the person, of course...I believe that Colorado's Salazar brothers, Senator Ken and running-for-reelection in Congress John — both Dems — will stand their ground. John picked up the NRA endorsement, BTW. But how many of the born-again Gun Dems simply picked up the DLC's working papers and said what they needed to get elected?

The real problem is that the leaders of party, as opposed to the DLC, are left-wing moonbats. The only people the leaders of the party are in touch with are al Quaeda and the editorial staff of the New York Times, which is of course pretty much the same thing. The new crop of pro-2nd Dems will have to weather staggering pressure from their leaders...I never like to bet on politicians of either party standing up to much more than a very light breeze.

From our standpoint, the potential disappearance of gun control from the national debate is very bad, because it leaves us fighting hundreds of local battles instead of one primary battle in Washington. And over the last three decades, we've become very good at fighting the big battle, but less so on the grassroots organizing level...the U.S. Forest Service war on guns in national forests is a good example. It has proven much harder for us to rally our forces around a diffuse localized problem as opposed to something debated on CNN.

A QUICK NON-SEQUITUR: I just finished reading columnist Mark Steyn's new book, AMERICA ALONE: THE END OF THE WORLD AS WE KNOW IT, and I'd have to put it on the "must-read" list for any American. Essentially, Steyn, who's a super writer BTW, looks at the growth of worldwide Islam through the lens of demographics; i.e., the European countries are not breeding enoughly itsy-bitsy Europeans to replace themselves and fuel their huge statist welfare systems. They're betting on immigration to provide the additional population. Where is this immigration coming from?


He predicts the primary countries of the E.U. will be Moslim countries in the not too distant future. Here's a little bit of Austin Bay's review:
"As fertility dries up," he [Steyn] writes, "so do societies. Demography is the most obvious symptom of civilizational exhaustion, and the clearest indicator of where we're headed."

Islam cannot enjoy "political sovereignty" in Europe. Steyn adds: "Those lefties who bemoan what America is doing to provoke 'the Muslim world' would go bananas if any Western politician started referring to 'the Christian world.' When such sensitive guardians of the separation of church and state endorse the first formulation but not the second, they implicitly accept that Islam has a political sovereignty, too."
Steyn also makes some other great points. Here's one of my favorite, on the success — or lack of it — of statist solutions to what should be an individual issues [this from Page 187; in Internet reference]:
But the only reason "a box-cutter can bring down a tower" is because on September 11 our defenses against such a threat were the exclusive province of the state. If nineteen punks with box-cutters had tried to pull some stunt in the pakring lot of a sports bar, they'd have been beaten to a pulp. The airlne cabin, however, is the most advanced model of the modern social-democratic state; the sky-high version of the wildest dreams of big government; it's Massachusetts in cloud-cuckoo land,

So on September 11 on those first three flights the cabin crew followed all those Federal Aviation Administration guidelines from the seventies. By the time the fourth plane got in trouble, the passengers knew the government wasn't up there with them. And within ninety minutes of the first flight hitting the tower, the heroes of Flight 93 had figured out what was going on and came up with a way to stop it.

That's been my basic rule of thumb since September 11; anything that shifts power from the individual judgement of free citizens to government is a bad thing, not just for the war on terror but for the national character in a more general sense.
Read the me...


Anonymous said...

The reason why Lefties aren't using the "Gun Control" issue is because now that they see themselves "out of power" and with all their percieved "loss of liberties" they want to be able to have the option of armed insurrection (should it be neccessary for them), so they'd be shooting themselves in the foot if they kept on the anti-gun agenda.

Anonymous said...

I would not take too much heart about the direction of America's youth from this opinion at the University of Chicago. That university is among the most conservative in the country and the student body is pre-selected by their choosing to apply there--not a representative sampling of the nation, I am afraid.

Thank you, Michael, for your work to make our country as good as it can be.

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