On September 11, 2001, Americans were awakened to a war of ideas whose outcome will determine the fate of this great nation and the ultimate disposition of freedom throughout the world. Yet despite the unimaginable tragedy that befell our country that day, to some the worst thing you can possibly still do is stand by your convictions regarding traditional conceptions of right and wrong, labeling those daring to take such moral positions as 'divisive" and "intolerant" in the process.
To commemorate the first anniversary of this terrible event, the Vice President appeared on The Rush Limbaugh Show. On the broadcast, Dick Cheney discussed the Bush Administration's policy on the pending conflict with Iraq.
From the response by the Democratic Party to the scheduled appearance, you would have thought a far more controversial or riveting topic was to have been discussed. In a statement by DNC Chairman Terry McAuliffe, Cheney is chastised and Limbaugh lambasted for somehow violating the sacred nature of such a solemn day.
McAuliffe said in a September 10th statement posted on the Democratic National Committee's website, "September 11th isn't a day for politics ... Vice President Cheney cheapens the day when he appears with an irresponsible and divisive figure like Rush Limbaugh." Someone of McAuliffe's stature should at least provide examples to support his claims or explain his accusations, information which McAuliffe neglects to provide.
In his brief statement, the only charge levied by McAuliffe is that of "divisiveness", something normal people hardly worry about but perhaps the most disturbing impropriety one can commit in the mind of the radical pluralist. The context and meaning applied by McAuliffe and those like him is highly eclectic and extremely hypocritical.
Instead of applying these criticisms across the board, McAuliffe selectively imposes such labels on those refusing to comply with his leftist political agenda. He apparently has no problem with high public officials addressing other controversial groups.
On September 10th, the day before Cheney's appearance on Rush, President Bush addressed a gathering of Arabs and Muslims at the Afghan Embassy. Where's McAuliffe's outrage regarding this appearance? Islamic leaders, after all, have not exactly been sterling advocates of American unity this past year as even those paraded before the American people by the Bush Administration as pillars of virtue have turned out on a number of occasions to have has ties to terrorist groups or at least expressed sympathies for these organizations in the past.
The President's appearance at the embassy could be justified on the policy grounds of needing to recruit support in the hopes of overcoming one's adversaries. That is, simply, the definition of good politics.
If politicians of both parties are going to view Muslims living within the borders of the United States as another constituency to be placated and wooed, why shouldn't Limbaugh's listeners be treated with the same degree of respect? At least those in Limbaugh's audience aren't known for flying jetliners into skyscrapers or hurling stones at Israeli security forces.
In condemning both Cheney's appearance and even Rush Limbaugh himself, what McAullife really means is that he does not want those in Limbaugh's audience having any influence over American public life. The millions of conservatives who tune into the program who embrace a wide range opinions ought to keep quiet so as to not rock the boat regarding what liberals have in store for the United States. Thus, McAullife has more respect for the six Muslims arrested in Buffalo on suspicion of terrorism, all registered Democrats by the way, than he does the average working American who continues to embrace the traditional Judeo-Christian values that made this country great despite the overwhelming cultural pressure to abandon these particular standards today.
It is highly ironic that DNC chairman Terry McAuliffe would go to such lengths to bring up the matter of "divisiveness" as one could make the argument that this shortcoming he now rails against has characterized his own career. Anyone remember the Global Crossings scandal?
Furthermore, if one is going to embrace the notions of radical absolutist inclusivism, isn't it an act of division to point out divisiveness in others if the appearance of a relativistic unity is to serve as the highest ideal? Those at the head of the Democratic Party (and the same with the GOP to a lesser extent with all its blather about "Big Tent Republicanism") can't very well celebrate the diversity of all viewpoints being equal and then proceed to ostracize anyone daring to disagree with them.
Copyright 2002 by Frederick B. Meekins