Mark Steyn: How the GOP earned its date with destiny | percent, america, vote - Opinion - The Orange County Register
Mark Steyn: How the GOP earned its date with destiny | percent, america, vote - Opinion - The Orange County Register
To an immigrant such as myself (not the undocumented kind, but documented up to the hilt, alas), one of the most striking features of Election Night analysis was the lightly worn racial obsession. On Fox News, Democrat Kirsten Powers argued that Republicans needed to deal with the reality that America is becoming what she called a "brown country." Her fellow Democrat Bob Beckel observed on several occasions that if the share of the "white vote" was held down below 73 percent, Mitt Romney would lose. In the end, it was 72 percent, and he did. Beckel's assertion – that if you knew the ethnic composition of the electorate you also knew the result – turned out to be correct.
This is what less-enlightened societies call tribalism: for example, in the 1980 election leading to Zimbabwe's independence, Joshua Nkomo's ZAPU-PF got the votes of the Ndebele people while Robert Mugabe's ZANU-PF secured those of the Shona – and, as there were more Shona than Ndebele, Mugabe won. That same year America held an election, and Ronald Reagan won a landslide victory. Nobody talked about tribal vote shares back then, but had the percentage of what Beckel calls the "white vote" been the same in 2012 as it was in 1980 (88 percent), Mitt Romney would have won in an even bigger landslide than Reagan. The "white vote" will be even lower in 2016, and so, on the Beckel model, Republicans are set to lose all over again.
File: Republican presidential candidate and Former California Governor Ronald Reagan in 1979.
ANONYMOUS, ASSOCIATED PRESS
Hence the urge to get on the right side of America's fastest-growing demographic. Only 27 percent of Hispanics voted for Romney. But all that could change if the GOP were to sign on to support some means of legalizing the presence of the 12-20 million fine upstanding members of the Undocumented-American community who are allegedly "social conservatives" and thus natural Republican voters. Once we pass amnesty, argues Grover Norquist's Americans for Tax Reform, "future immigrants will be more open to the Republican Party because, unlike many immigrants who are already here, they won't have been harmed or insulted by Republican politicians."
So, if I follow correctly, instead of getting 27 percent of the 10 percent Hispanic vote, Republicans will get, oh, 38 percent of the 25 percent Hispanic vote, and sweep to victory.
Everyone talks about this demographic transformation as if it's a natural phenomenon, like Hurricane Sandy. Indeed, I notice that many of those exulting in the inevitable eclipse of "white America" are the same people who assure me that demographic arguments about the Islamization of Europe are completely preposterous. But in neither the United States nor Europe is it a natural phenomenon. Rather, it's the fruit of conscious government policy.
According to the Census, in 1970 the "Non-Hispanic White" population of California was 78 percent. By the 2010 census, it was 40 percent. Over the same period, the 10 percent Hispanic population quadrupled and caught up with whites.
That doesn't sound terribly "natural" does it? If one were informed that, say, the population of Nigeria had gone from 80 percent black in 1970 to 40 percent black today, one would suspect something rather odd and unnatural had been going on. Twenty years ago, Rwanda was about 14 percent Tutsi. Now it's just under 10 percent. So it takes a bunch of Hutu butchers getting out their machetes and engaging in seven-figure genocide to lower the Tutsi population by a third. But, when the white population of California falls by half, that's "natural," just the way it is, one of those things, could happen to anyone.
Every four years, the Republican Party pines for another Reagan. But Ronald Reagan, governor of California for eight years, couldn't get elected in today's not-so-Golden State. Jerry Brown, Governor Moonbeam back in the Seventies, now presides as Governor Twilight, lead vampire of a malign alliance of unionized bureaucrats and a swollen dependency class that maintains them in office at the expense of a remorselessly shrinking productive class. As the nation's demographic profile trends ever more Californian, perhaps Norquist's predictions of naturally conservative Hispanics pining for a new Reagan will come to fruition. Or perhaps Bob Beckel's more crudely determinative analysis will prove correct – that, in a multicultural society, jostling identity groups will stick with the party of ethnocultural spoils.
Once upon a time, the Democrats thought differently. It was their first progressive president, Woodrow Wilson, who imposed the concept of "self-determination" on post-Great War Europe, insisting that the multicultural empires of the Habsburgs and Romanovs be replaced by a patchwork of ethnic statelets from the Balkans to the Baltics. He would be surprised to find his own party presiding over a Habsburgian America of bilingual Balkanization as a matter of electoral strategy.
The short history of the Western Hemisphere is as follows: North America was colonized by Anglo-Celts, Central and South America by "Hispanics." Up north, two centuries of constitutional evolution and economic growth; down south, coups, corruption, generalissimos and presidents-for-life. None of us can know the future. It may be that Charles Krauthammer is correct that Hispanics are natural Republicans merely pining for amnesty, a Hallmark Cinco de Mayo card and a mariachi band at the inaugural ball. Or it may be that, in defiance of Dr. Krauthammer, Grover Norquist and Little Mary Sunshine, demographics is destiny and, absent assimilationist incentives this country no longer imposes, a Latin-American population will wind up living in a Latin-American society. Don't take it from a right-wing bigot like me, take it from The New York Times. In 2009, Jason DeParle filed a story about suburban Maryland, in which he helpfully explained the municipality of Langley Park to Times readers:
"Now nearly two-thirds Latino and foreign-born, it has the aesthetics of suburban sprawl and the aura of Central America. Laundromats double as money-transfer stores. Jobless men drink and sleep in the sun. There is no city government, few community leaders and little community."
Golly. You'd almost get the impression that Mr. DeParle thinks that laundromats doubling as money-transfer stores, jobless men drinking and sleeping in the sun, and dysfunctional government are somehow characteristic of Central America. That sounds awfully judgmental for a Times man, no?
Republicans think they're importing hardworking immigrants who want a shot at the American Dream; the Democrats think they're importing clients for Big Government. The Left is right: Just under 60 percent of immigrants receive some form of welfare. I see the recent Republican proposals for some form of amnesty contain all sorts of supposed safeguards against gaming the system, including a $525 application fee for each stage of the legalization process. On my own recent visit to a U.S. Immigration office, I was interested to be told that, as a matter of policy, the Obama administration is now rubber-stamping all "fee waiver" requests for "exceptional hardship" filed by members of approved identity groups. And so it will go for all those GOP safeguards. While Canada and Australia compete for high-skilled immigrants, America fast-tracks an unskilled welfare class of such economic benefit to their new homeland they can't even afford a couple of hundred bucks for the necessary paperwork.
It's hardly their fault. If you were told you could walk into a First World nation and access free education, free health care, free services in your own language, and have someone else pay your entrance fee, why wouldn't you? So, yes, Republicans should "moderate" their tone toward immigrants, and de-moderate their attitude to the Dems who suckered the GOP all too predictably. Decades of faintheartedness toward some of the most destabilizing features of any society, including bilingualism (take it from a semi-Belgian Canadian), have brought the party to its date with destiny. Or as Peggy Lee sang long ago in a lost land, "Mañana is soon enough for me."
A War of Laws
Posted by Daniel Greenfield @ the Sultan Knish blog 8 Comments
Civilization is law. A civilization makes its own laws and enforces them. And it views those who do not abide by those laws as lawless savages. Who the civilized lawkeepers and who the lawless savages is a matter of perspective.
Similar alliances between Muslims and Leftists, whether in Iran or Egypt, have always broken in favor of the Islamists. The determining factor in those countries was ruthlessness and lower class support. In a global struggle for our civilization, it will be demographics that will determine the losers and winners. If Muslim immigration can shift the demographics of a region or of our entire civilization sufficiently in favor of their creed then freedom will be as dead as a rebellious daughter in Afghanistan.
The Clash of Civilizations is at its most essential a clash of laws. Law is the organizing principle of a civilization. It determines who has what powers and what rights. It structures responsibilities and penalties to create a system that encompasses any and all possibilities that may arise within a society. Western societies have attempted to impose their laws on their own Muslim immigrants and on entire Muslim countries. Muslims are attempting to impose their own laws on Western countries through violence and demographics.
At its most naked, law is control. Those who can force others to comply with their laws are the lawmakers. Those who cannot can be rebels or philosophers.
Compliance with the law can be obtained through the higher means of convincing people that it represents an ideal. It can be obtained by convincing them that the law is in their interest. Or it can be obtained through the lowest barbaric means of pure compulsion.
Islamic law, with its manifold punishments and its ubiquitous brutalities, is rooted in the compulsion of force. Islam spread through conquest and retained its grip through empire. Its seduction of self-interest enlisted Muslim converts by sanctifying banditry and rape. The bandits became Emirs and Caliphs, and put on airs, filling their gardens with singing birds and their throne rooms with exotic treasures, but their power always derived from naked force.
The instability of the Muslim world is tied to this essential lawlessness. For all the proliferation of scholars and clerics, the second-hand legalisms cobbled together from Jewish and Greek law, the essential foundation of Muslim civilizations is in the drug-peddling Taliban raiders and the Shiite militias in Iraq and Lebanon. Islamic law is a convenience that enshrines the force of the bandit into religious law.
A Muslim regime lasts only as long as the essential tensions in its society act to tear it apart. The Arab Spring was not a tremendous step forward, but a repetition of the long history of the region where the final law is the law of force.
Tethered to the law of force, the Muslim world remains violent and unstable, and exports its bandit civilization with the same means. It imposes its laws, whether on Afghan schoolgirls or French artists, with the same measures that their barbaric tribal ancestors did over a thousand years ago. All the sophistication of Islamic legalism eventually comes down to the sharpened sword.
That paradox makes Western law a “slave religion” that appeals most to the oppressed. It holds little appeal for Muslim men who risk losing power over their wives and daughters. It holds little appeal for wives who risk losing power over their daughters. It holds little appeal for religious majorities who risk losing power over minorities. It holds little appeal for strong tribes and strong families who risk losing power over weaker tribes and families.
The problems exporting Western law also hold true for maintaining it in areas of America, Europe, Canada and Australia that have been overrun by Muslim immigrants. Honor killings are how Muslim men retain control of their women and how Muslim women retain control of their daughters nullifying the appeal of Western legal equality.
While Western law is trying to push forward, Muslim law is working to go backward. The Arab Spring and the No Go Zones of Europe show that when it comes to pure control, backward is more effective than forward.
The blasphemy clash is a war of laws. But those laws are more than mere technicalities. Freedom of Speech is a means of power redistribution. By making it possible for any idea to be expressed, this freedom deinstitutionalizes culture and political authority. Maintaining a monopoly on law and power is difficult when any idea can be expressed.
Blasphemy codes on the other hand are a monopolization of ideas. Blasphemy makes Islam and the dominant form of the religion unchallengable. It takes religion and law away from the people and assigns them to a specialized class of interpreters and scholars. And it makes the political system dependent on faith in the system, rather than in open government. To believe in Islam is to believe in the Islamist politician. The outcome is not a government of laws, but a system of faith, not faith in any divinity, but in the power of Mohammed and his political descendants.
Mohammed represents the Divine Right of Caliphs, he cannot be blasphemed against because he embodies the power principle that underlies Islamic law. Without Mohammed there is no Islamic law and without Islamic law, there is neither law nor government, only the nakedness of the existing power struggles without the sanctification of any higher power.
The Bill of Rights can survive the complete discrediting of Thomas Jefferson because we are not obligated to take its premises on faith. Islamic Law cannot survive even gentle mockery of Mohammed because to question the central figure is to destroy an entire edifice built on unquestioning faith.
Western governments have attempted to impose their law on Muslims by appealing to their ideals and their self-interest, and both approaches have failed. Far more Muslims believe that they have something to lose from universal rights than they have to gain from them. Add up every Muslim who can look down on someone else, even if he has to do it from the bottom rung of the ladder, and you have a compelling opposition to universal equality.
That leaves ideals and ideals come too close to faith and it is difficult to convert people with their own faith to your own faith. Western systems combine the populist mysticism of democracy with rational appeals to self-interest. Both fall flat when confronted by the denizens of medieval societies who do not accept universalist premises, either as self-interest or as mystic populism.
Muslim attempts to export their law into the West have become altogether direct. America has faced the same treatment as any domestic minority group has in the Muslim world. The gathering mobs had a very simple message, either prosecute blasphemy or face the mob.
Obama chose to drag the Mohammed filmmaker to prison rather than face the mob. And so Islamic law was complied with, if not openly, but as a covert gesture that allowed both sides to save face. This has been the usual tactic adopted by Western governments that punish blasphemy as crimes against tolerance and social harmony.
Western countries hold on to a facade of being free nations governed by reason and progressive politics, rather than medieval blasphemy laws. Muslims get to see blasphemers punished, but without the penal system acknowledging the Islamic law that serves as the basis for that punishment. The West loses its freedom while Muslims remain dissatisfied with the outcome. Through such means the transnationalists hope to integrate Muslim codes into their codes, but the effort is doomed from the start.
Law is control and Muslims have used violence to take control of the process. For the last fifty years they have turned the problem of their violence into a challenge for civilization. That challenge intensified with the attacks of September 11 and in response the integrationists have worked overtime to align Muslim codes with our own. They have been willing to compromise, but Muslims have not.
The Clash of Civilizations will come down to control of spaces, the physical spaces in which we live and the conceptual spaces that define how we live. The nervous reaction to Muslim blasphemy laws shows the extent to which our conceptual spaces have already been taken care of. The No Go Zones carve out their own alien territories, imposing their systems on our cities and the way we live.
The extent to which we maintain control of these physical and conceptual spaces is also the extent to which we remain free.
Our leaders are willing to pay almost any price to retain the multilateral and multicultural narrative, but as individuals, as societies and as nations, we cannot afford to lose our civil rights and our future for the sake of their Sisyphean progressivism. The conceptual spaces that they have imposed on us have no room for a world without multiculturalism and multilateralism. But to survive we must break with their discredited philosophies and their bloody cost or risk losing everything.
Law is the fundamental characteristic of a civilization. And law must be defended. To save our civilization, we must save our laws, and protect our territories, the physical territories of our cities, towns and villages, and the spiritual territories of our minds and cultures. Within those territories we must find the fortitude to defy the brute force of the lesser law that the savage would impose on us in the name of his bandit-prophet and his license to rule over those he can crush beneath his boots.
by Caroline Glick
August 24, 2012, 9:27 AM
This week a German doctor in Bavaria filed a criminal complaint against Rabbi David Goldberg.
Rabbi Goldberg's "crime"? He performs ritual circumcisions on Jewish male infants in accordance with Jewish law.
The doctor's complaint came shortly after a ruling by a court in Cologne outlawing the practice of male circumcision.
The Austrians and the Swiss also took the ruling to heart and have banned infant male circumcision in several hospitals in Switzerland as well as in the Austrian state of Vorarlberg. Denmark and Scandinavian governments are also considering limiting the practice of circumcision which has constituted one of the foundational rituals of Judaism for four thousand years.
Meanwhile, in Norway Dr. Anne Lindboe has come up with the perfect way out of the artificial crisis. Lindboe serves a Norway's ombudsman for children's rights. And she proposes that we Jews just change our religion to satisfy anti-Jewish sensitivities. She suggests we replace circumcision with "a symbolic, nonsurgical ritual."
It's worth mentioning that circumcision isn't the only Jewish ritual these enlightened Europeans find objectionable. Sweden, Norway and Switzerland have already banned kosher slaughter.
Attacking circumcision isn't just a European fetish. The urge to curb Jewish religious freedom has reached the US as well. Last year San Francisco's Jewish Community Relations Council had to sue the city to strike a measure from last November's ballot that would have banned circumcision if passed. The measure's sponsor gathered the requisite 12,000 signatures to enter the proposition on the ballot. Circumcising males under the age of 18 would have been classified as a misdemeanor punishable by a $1,000 fine and up to a year in prison. Sponsors of the measure distributed anti-Semitic materials depicting rabbis performing circumcisions as villains.
The people involved in banning or attempting to ban circumcision are not on the political fringe of their societies. They are part of a leftist establishment. They are doctors and lawyers, judges and politicians. This doesn't mean that all their fellow leftists are anti-Semites. But it does mean the political Left in the Western world feels comfortable keeping company with anti-Semites.
This state of affairs is even more striking in international affairs than in domestic politics. On the international level the Left's readiness to rub elbows with anti-Semites has reached critical levels.
While the Europeans have long been happy to cater to the anti-Semitic whims of the Islamic world, the escalation of the West's willingness to accept anti-Semitism as a governing axiom in international affairs is nowhere more apparent than in the Obama administration's foreign policy.
And the American Left's willingness - particularly the American Jewish Left's willingness - to cover up the administration's collusion with anti- Semitic regimes at Israel's expense is higher today than ever before.
A clear-cut example of both the Obama administration's willingness to adhere to anti- Semitic policies of anti-Semitic governments and the Left's willingness to defend this bigoted behavior is the Obama administration's decision not to invite Israel to participate in its new Global Counterterrorism Forum.
The GCTF was founded with the stated aim of fostering international cooperation in fighting terrorism. But for the Obama administration, it was more important to make Turkish Prime Minister Recep Erdogan, who supports the Hamas and Hezbollah terrorist groups, feel comfortable, than it was to invite Israel to participate.
Not only did the US exclude Israel, at the GCTF's meeting last month in Spain, Maria Otero, the State Department's under secretary for civilian security, democracy and human rights, seemed to embrace the Muslim world's obscene claim that Israelis are not victims of terrorism because terrorism against Israel isn't terrorism.
In her speech, titled "Victims of Terrorism," Otero spoke of terror victims in Jordan, Turkey, Pakistan, Uganda, Colombia, Northern Ireland, Indonesia, India and the US. But she made no mention of Israeli terror victims.
Rather than criticize the administration for its decision to appease bigots at the expense of their victim, American Jewish leftists have defended the administration. Writing in The Atlantic, Zvika Kreiger, senior vice president of the far-left S. Daniel Abraham Center for Middle East Peace, wrote that allowing the Jewish state entry to the GCTF parley would have "undermined the whole endeavor."
Kreiger sympathetically quoted a State Department official who explained that actually, by ostracizing Israel the administration was helping Israel.
The source "reasoned the progress made by the organization would ultimately better serve Israel's interests (not to mention those of the United States) than would the symbolic benefits of including it in a group that likely wouldn't accomplish anything. [Moreover]... once the organization was up and running, and its agenda was established, they could find ways to include Israel that would not be disruptive."
So despite the fact that Israel is a major target of terrorism, and despite the fact that many of the states the US invited to its forum condone terrorism against Israel and support terrorist groups that murder Israeli Jews, Israel is better off being excluded, because the anti-Jewish governments invited by the Obama administration will somehow totally change their perspective on anti-Jewish terrorism as long as they don't have to suffer the irritation of sitting in the same room as real-live representatives of the Jewish state.
THE CYNICISM of the State Department official's statement to Kreiger is only outpaced by Kreiger's stubborn refusal to acknowledge that cynicism.
Kreiger's behavior makes sense. If he acknowledges the bigoted nature of the Obama administration's policies he will have to stop defending them.
To a degree, Kreiger's willingness to defend and justify the Obama administration's anti-Israel behavior parallels the behavior of Israelis who argue against Israel unilaterally striking Iran's nuclear facilities in order to delay the Iranian regime's acquisition of nuclear weapons.
Since 2003, when Iran's nuclear weapons program was first revealed to the world community, Iran's leaders have succeeded in convincing world leaders that Israel is No. 1 on their target list. And so, the international debate about what a nuclear-armed Iran will mean for the world has always followed the Iranians' lead and centered on the dangers it would pose to Israel.
Israel's leaders from then-prime minister Ariel Sharon down to the last governmental spokesman have maintained that Iran's nuclear program threatens the entire Free World. Sharon - like his leftist disciples today - claimed that given the threat Iran's nuclear program constitutes for global security, Israel has no reason to lead the global fight to destroy Iran's nuclear weapons program. Indeed, Israeli leadership of the campaign against Iran's nuclear program would cause some countries to do nothing because they hate Israel even more than they fear Iran.
Like his followers today, Sharon insisted that the US, as the leader of the Free World, is responsible for preventing Iran from acquiring nuclear weapons. And they are right. Iran's nuclear program does threaten global security and Iran's nuclear program does threaten the US specifically. Iranian dictator Ali Khamenei just ordered his troops to carry out terror attacks against the US in retaliation for US moves to overthrow Iran's Syrian puppet Bashar Assad. Iran was the principle sponsor of the insurgency in Iraq and remains the principle supporter of the Taliban in Afghanistan.
It's not that Israel's leaders belittle the threat Iran's nuclear weapons program constitutes for Israel. Across the spectrum on the Iran debate in Israel - from former Mossad director Meir Dagan and President Shimon Peres on the Left to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Ehud Barak on the Right - everyone agrees that in light of the Iranian regime's religious fanaticism and its millenarian belief that Armageddon will hearken the coming of the Shi'ite messiah, Iran cannot be trusted not to use nuclear weapons against Israel.
Everyone admits that given Iran's open sponsorship of terrorism, it is a certainty that terror groups would use the Iranian nuclear umbrella to massively expand their terrorist war against Israel.
Just as Dagan, Peres and their associates share Netanyahu's assessment of the threat Iran's nuclear program poses for Israel, Netanyahu agrees with their assessment that Israel's options for contending militarily with Iran's nuclear program are limited and imperfect. No one argues that Israel has a magic bullet to destroy Iran's nuclear project.
Netanyahu and Barak have repeatedly warned that Israel has no perfect strike option. They have also warned that a response from Iran and its proxies in Syria and Lebanon to an Israeli strike will likely be harsh and deadly. All they say is that it is better than the alternative of Iranian acquisition of nuclear weapons.
The doves agree with Netanyahu that a limited Israeli strike is better than the alternative of a nuclear-armed Iran. They differ with Netanyahu on only one issue: their assessment of the US's willingness to use military force to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power.
Voicing the doves' assessment of the Obama administration and Europe, this week former commander of Military Intelligence Maj.-Gen. (res.) Aharon Zeevi Farkash told NBC news, "I think Western leaders realize a nuclear Iran is the No. 1 challenge facing the world."
Unfortunately, Farkash is wrong. Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff, made this point earlier this week in an interview from Afghanistan. There Dempsey said frankly, "Israel sees the Iranian threat more seriously than the US sees it, because a nuclear Iran poses a threat to Israel's very existence."
In other words, Dempsey told us that Iran's cynical packaging of its nuclear program as an anti-Israel initiative has worked. The Americans - and the Europeans - believe that Iran's nuclear program is Israel's problem to deal with. The Israelis are right that as the leader of the Free World it is the US's responsibility to prevent Iran from becoming a nuclear power. But as Dempsey's statement shows, the US is not interested in fulfilling its responsibility.
Like the Europeans, the Americans will only act when Iran forces them to do so. And that means they will do nothing to prevent Iran from developing the bomb. They will only move when Tehran has already crossed Israel off the top of its target list.
Israeli opponents of an Israeli strike against Iran don't want to believe that Americans are capable of such cynicism. They would like to believe that the only government capable of behaving cynically is their own. They want to believe that the US - with its vastly superior military capabilities to destroy Iran's nuclear program - will do the right thing and not leave it to Israel - with its limited means - to take care of the problem for a cynical world.
But just as Kreiger's defense of the Obama administration's courtship of anti-Semites at Israel's expense crosses the line separating naivete from willful, bigotry-enabling blindness, so Peres, Dagan and their colleagues cross the line. And it is not mere bigotry they are enabling.
Originally published in The Jerusalem Post.