Our Founding Fathers were wise to create a constitutional republic rather than a direct democracy. Although, given the caliber of many of our elected representatives — whose role it is to intermediate between the rashness of the public and the safety of the nation —it seems like rather thin protection. Nonetheless, we must be grateful for small blessings.
On Monday on the left-wing DailyKos (as pointed out by the blog American Thinker (which apparently monitors that citadel of leftish chat so we don’t have to) had the following entry from one of its readers: “I know I’m a Jewish lesbian and he’d probably have me killed. But still, the guy [Mahmoud Ahmadinejad] speaks some blunt truths about the Bush administration that make me swoon…
“Okay, I admit it. Part of it is that he just looks cuddly. Possibly cuddly enough to turn me straight. I think he kind of looks like Kermit the Frog. Sort of. With smaller eyes. But that’s not all… I want to be very clear. There are certainly many things about Ahmadinejad that I abhor — locking up dissidents, executing of gay folks, denying the fact of the Holocaust, potentially adding another dangerous nuclear power to the world and, in general, stifling democracy. Even still, I can’t help but be turned on by his frank rhetoric calling out the horrors of the Bush administration and, for that matter, generations of US foreign policy preceding.”
While some people might view this as merely an extreme case of Bush derangement syndrome, it is even worse. After all, the writer is able to articulate that while Mr. Ahmadinejad would kill people like her, she nonetheless finds him cute and appealing because he speaks with “frank rhetoric” not merely about Mr. Bush, but regarding generations of U.S. foreign policy.
This is a telling example of the state of left-wing thought today. Even if, arguendo, one accepted the substantive objectives of left-wing thought as wise and true, it is still deranged to find appealing that which would kill you. Left-wing thought has become disconnected even from the left wing’s own view of reality.
Admittedly it can be noted that the author of these sad convulsions of thought is, presumably, an obscure and inconsequential person. All shades of the political spectrum have such sad figures, perhaps victims of chemical imbalances, or excessive dodge-ball playing in their youth.
But what are we to make of the comments of the exalted president of Columbia University, Lee Bollinger? After all, as the president of one of our greatest liberal universities he must surely be judged by the liberal elite who selected him to be an exemplar of their breed and a paladin of their cause.
Let us examine two of his statements in this affair: the first, crushingly inconsistent with prior expressions; and the second, more explainable by pathology than philosophy. Regarding his first mental failure: Mr. Bollinger had previously barred the ROTC from his campus because they discriminate against homosexuals. And yet he invites Mr. Ahmadinejad to speak on campus even though he would — as an act of state policy — murder homosexuals. Mr. Bollinger’s anti-ROTC policy reflects an extreme solicitude to homosexual interests, while his Ahmadinejad policy completely abjures that concern.
But it is his second statement that truly stuns. He asserted that under similar circumstances he would invited Hitler to speak — in the interests of freedom of speech. Keep in mind that Mr. Ahamdinejad is currently — according to the undenied testimony of several of our senior generals in the last month — directing Iranian policy to kill American troops in Iraq. So, this is the equivalent of inviting Hitler to speak in, say, 1943 — not 1937.
The fact that Congress may pass no law abridging the freedom of speech is a non sequitur to the proposition that a patriotic president of a college ought not to offer his campus to the leader of a war-time enemy (and provide him with a chance to propagandize against us. Indeed, the mere presence of such a person in such a location enhances his position and his cause in the eyes of many feebleminded people). I do not suggest that Mr. Bollinger is unpatriotic. Rather, I think he suffers from a worse disease than Bush Derangement Syndrome. He suffers from a loss of the first instinct that nature implanted in every creature: the instinct for self preservation.
It used to be said back in the 1970s that a conservative was a liberal who had been mugged. But if liberals permit America to be mugged by our lethal enemies, they (and we) may not survive to become sadder and wiser conservatives.
Tony Blankley is executive vice president for global public affairs at Edelman International. He is also a visiting senior fellow at the Heritage Foundation.