The United States is unique among nations in that it isn’t nationality, race or even place that defines its people, it is a set of ideas. Natural Law and limited government of, by, and for the people preeminent among them. Freedom and free markets, republicanism and the rule of law. It doesn’t matter what your race, color, creed or sex is per se’. To be an American you need to believe in these American ideas and ideals. E Plurubus Unum.
It is hard for us as an open, tolerant society to understand the nature of evil. We either don’t see it or immediately go to our default setting and ask ourselves if it might be our fault, if perhaps we caused it. These are noble, mature impulses but they aren’t enough. We don’t like to see very bad things or, especially, people because it is hard to judge “lest ye be judged”. Like an alcoholic, if we refuse to see a problem, then we don’t have to deal with that problem. It’s easier that way. Maybe there isn’t really a problem at all!
Unfortunately, we are facing two existential threats at this time. So is the rest of the free world for that matter. Yet, in essence we’re all still “partying like its 1999” to quote an old Prince songs lyrics. Many, if not most of us, refuse to see the true nature of either of these threats.
There exists throughout the world, another ideology, one not based on freedom. Indeed it is utterly incompatible with it. Detests it and destroys it whenever and wherever it can. And it matters to those who hold this ideology what your sex and creed is. Does it matter. In fact, they “must” convert, kill or enslave anyone who doesn’t share their radical religious views. The Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) is just one of many offshoots of Islamic extremism.
Sure we “recognize” their existence, but we don’t really understand what it means. And we certainly aren’t taking action to deal with them as the existential threat that they are. Our president apparently believes that the Islamic State (the first IS in ISIS) is neither Islamic nor a state. Pythonesque.
Moreover, those in our government can’t decide from one statement or day to the next whether we are- or should be- at war with this non-Islamic, non-state (NINSIS?).
The other threat is climate change. You read that correctly. The threat isn’t from climate change itself, as in differing weather patterns, however. The threat is that the constant policing of political- correctness is beginning to turn ugly, as most evidenced by the climate change “debate”. Don’t believe in climate change? You are a “denier”. There have now been actual lawsuits filed and injunctions granted against those “deniers”. A columnist for a major magazine- and the magazine itself- were recently sued for an article the columnist wrote attempting to refute a professor’s work touting climate change. He hasn’t written for that magazine since. Freedom of speech itself is under assault. At least the kind that dissents from the politically-correct klan members views, those powerful elites that think they are the majority, but in reality are only attempting to dictate to the majority.
We must understand, both of these threats share the suppression of free and independent thought and inquiry!! And that, in large part, is why they are truly existential threats to mankind, and certainly to the United States.
And now this. The Huffington Post published a piece by professor Charles B. Strozier and his co-author Kelly B. Berkell (neither of whom are scientists or climatologists) stating that they believe climate change is, in large part, responsible for the formation and rapid growth of ISIS! Drought conditions, you see. Hard to know whether to laugh or cry. Hillary Clinton has also stated that climate change is a bigger threat to us than ISIS is.
It is getting scary. In their absolute, rigid insistence that we all believe in- and act on- their climate change theories, some of these folks actually share more traits with tyrannical ideologies of the past then they would ever admit.
Today, ISIS is expanding so fast, there are some saying that they want to be known as simply the Islamic State now, or IS. Some at the top of the U.S. government don’t know what to call them. “Impertinent Savages”? “Imperial Sexists”? “Insane Scalpers”? “Irrigation Seekers”? Perhaps “Immoderate Scamps”?
To paraphrase a former president, does anything really depend on what our definition of ISIS…is?
No. What matters is our ability to see and define evil, and act accordingly. This is a struggle between those who cherish freedom and life and those who worship intolerance and death. We may not want a war with "them". But they think a war with us is a "holy" neccessity. We can stick our heads in the sand, but they will find us. And they will cut those heads off. They have already, unbidden, "found" us repeatedly in recent years. In New York and Washington on 9/11. In our embassies around the world. On the USS Cole. In England and Spain, etc., etc., etc. This is a fight that's been ongoing for many centuries. They will never quit trying to kill "infidels". Ever. At least not until we prove to them that we, ourselves, cannot- will not- be defeated. Ever. No matter how long it takes. No matter what it takes.
The suppression of Islamic extremism is no vice.
The suppression of free speech…is.