I am getting a mite tired of the label “terrorist” being so loosely thrown about as to become almost meaningless. It is often remarked that one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter. Who gets to decide which is which; only the press?
Wm. Ayers, the infamous Weather Underground “terrorist,” is much in the news of late as an associate of Barack Obama. Listening to talk radio, one would expect him to be a rabid fire-breathing monster that any decent human being would refuse to even shake hands with, much less break bread with him as Obama has frequently done. I now disagree.
I would love to meet the guy and have repeated long conversations with him. I think they would be fascinating. I still think he is a Marxist and probably disagree with him about just about everything; but I can’t consider him a monster. Let me tell you how I got there.
James Rosen, the intrepid Fox News reporter wrote a biography, “The Strong Man,” about John Mitchell of Watergate fame. In the process, he interviewed Wm. Ayers long before his link to Obama ever surfaced in the media. He recently released some clips of the recorded interview on the Hugh Hewitt show, which I frequently Podcast from here. Ranging from one to two minutes of audio each, I found them rather thought provoking:
Listening to these, I was struck by a few insights. One was how calm and reasoned his responses were. James did a good job of getting into rapport with him, and he certainly was not on the defensive. I would have loved to ask follow up questions to explore his mind. Next, was how much they reminded me of recorded interviews of Timmothy McVeigh, who could also calmly explain his rationale for his anti-goverment violence. His was another mind I would have relished exploring. Then, it is rather sobering to contemplate that these two so-called “domestic terrorists,” who were polar opposites in ideology, each concluded that their only recourse, to get the attention of what they perceived as an out of touch and out of control government, was violence.
All the more so, to be candid, because I have said similar things myself of late, in my frustration with the pathetic lot of politicians in Washington, who are absolutely ignoring the wishes of their constituants in so many weighty matters. Who has not heard, and even sympathized with, calls to march on Washington with torches, pitchforks, and nooses? The smell of revolution is in the air, and I for one find myself almost looking forward to it. What other recourse do we have left, since they doggedly ignore our repeated pleas for sanity and relief?
How many members does it take in a revolutionary cause to graduate from being considered a “terrorist,” to being a “freedom fighter,” and finally attain “revolutionary?” If there is any hope for our country to survive Civil War II, which I deem inevitable, it is going to have to be led by militant moderates who can make common cause with “extremists” on both sides of the Left/Right duopoly.
If one fairly analyzes their primary grievances, one notices that neither side is focused so much on forcing the other to conform to their worldview, as conventional wisdom would have it. Instead, they are mostly interested in defending their right to have their viewpoint, and trying to get the government to stop carrying out (frequently unconstitutional) activities that they find onerous to it. The test of leadership will be in getting them to recognize their true enemies, and join forces toward the defeat of the oligarchy that is so adept at keeping their ire focused on each other.
It really isn’t all that hard to be sympathetic to frustrations on both sides of the Left/Right gulf. Regardless of what one thought of Vietnam or thinks of Iraq, (I supported both) the radical Left is absolutely right to claim that they were unconstitutional. The last Constitutionally required declaration of war was passed in December of 1941. Regardless of what one thinks of the abortion issue (I’m pro-choice), or what a few activist judges proclaim, on States’ Rights grounds, Roe v. Wade was an erroneous and unconstitutional ruling.
Speaking of States’ Rights and setting aside the issue of slavery (a practice I just can’t abide), the South was right to rebel against the unconstitutional notion of the Federal Government trying to tell them how them how to structure their society and laws. From the perspective of the Constitution, the wrong side lost the Civil War, and liberty and self-government has been on the decline in America ever since. Now, ask yourself, were the Rebels terrorists or freedom fighters? Just a throaty “Rebel Yell” could often strike terror in the hearts of Northern troops, but the South did not even start the war. They simply seceded and formed a new country, which the United States invaded and conquered.
Finally, how about our Founders, the original Patriots and Minutemen? They were a tiny minority of the Colonists in the beginning. From the perspective of King George and his Loyalists, had they our modern lexicon, they would surely have been labeled terrorists. Imagine the scandal of camouflaged Minutemen sniping Redcoats from behind the cover of trees, instead of marching on them in the open in well-formed ranks like real men!
Frankly, were it not for that provocative picture of Ayers trampling on an American flag, I would find Obama’s association with Reverend Wright and Acorn much more troubling than his friendship with William. But, “terrorist” is one of those hot button words that test well with the sheeple in focus groups , and Ayers is not black, so he gets the hotseat. I’d still like to chat with the unrepentant Marxist. Men with unbending principles, who can defend them calmly with a modicum of reason, are getting hard to find… even if they are terribly wrong. ◄Dave►