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LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Ten years later, radicalism is on the rise

- The Washington Times - Wednesday, August 31, 2011

How have we changed in just 10 years? A decade ago, the Twin Towers were felled deliberately. American flags flew from every home. We had been attacked; we were all united in defending ourselves and defeating the enemy that wanted to kill us. President George W. Bush had an approval rating of more than 80 percent.

How did we get from being united against radical Islam to the point where even speaking the term "radical Islam" is considered bigoted? We've changed. Some say we are losing the war on terrorism; our culture is even beginning to embrace aspects of radicalism. Shariah, Islamic law, seems to be working its way into our culture. An Islamic center is set to be built at Ground Zero, and we are afraid to stand up to radical Islam. Islam is not our enemy; Islamism is.

In 10 short years, why have we gone from being united against a common enemy to cowering in fear? The short answer is: the Democrats. A longer answer dates back to 2002. James Carville and Paul Begala recognized that a popular President Bush would be impossible to defeat in 2004. So they developed a strategy to make him unpopular: The Democrats would oppose everything Mr. Bush proposed - judges, legislation, everything. Even Hurricane Katrina was blamed on him. The Democrats had to convince the nation that anything and everything Mr. Bush did was un-American. In their narrative, the Iraq war was undertaken by Mr. Bush to finish what his father, former President George H.W. Bush, hadn't finished.

The Carville-Begala plan relied on the far-left media for the bulk of its accusation. Those in Congress would simply comment on the news stories. As the effort took root, Mr. Bush helped by not fighting back. He simply was too nice to get into a fight.

The effort didn't work in time for the 2004 election, but by 2008, it did. By then, Mr. Bush was hated, and anything he favored also was hated. The war on terrorism and radical Islam was seen as racist; the left-wing press went so far as to oppose anything that even hinted of Mr. Bush or the Republicans. Mr. Obama was their "anyone-but-Bush" hero. They knew nothing about him, other than that he was not a Republican.

The Carville-Begala plan has evolved to the point where radical Islam is taking hold in mainstream America. "Honor killings" are taking place in our country; radical Muslim men are killing their wives and daughters for being too Westernized. In schools, Christian events are barred, but Muslim events are allowed. That's what a decade has done.

WILLIAM KERCHER

Vancouver, Wash.

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