Criminalization of Conservatism

A member of the RSP staff has a son who has served this country admirably as a United States Marine during his two combat tours in Iraq. I have had the pleasure of meeting this young man and was very impressed with him. As a matter of fact, I was so impressed that I made a point to introduce him to my 6 and 7 year old children because I believe that he is a patriot and a role model for all young children. The Marine graduated from one of America’s top high schools and instead of going off to some high priced private institution of higher education (like I did), he chose to selflessly serve his country in the military at a time when he know that he would be sent off to war.

However, this afternoon, I find out that, courtesy of the Department of Homeland Security, my analysis of this brave man was totally incorrect. Earlier today, DHS issued a report entitled “Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment”. In this report, the author warns law enforcement officials about a rise in “rightwing extremist activity”, saying that the economic recession, the election of the first black President and the return of disgruntled war veterans COULD (emphasis added) swell the ranks of white-power militias. The report continues by saying that “rightwing extremist groups will attempt to recruit and radicalize returning veterans in order to exploit their skills and knowledge derived from military training and combat.”

So, now if my friend’s son is unhappy about something, he’s a rightwing extremist who endangers US national security. Or, it suggests, he does not possess the intelligence to overcome exploitation by those who are crazy. To say that this is an insult to all of our men and women in uniform is an understatement!

But this report doesn’t stop there. Nope, it also insults those who oppose abortion, those who want to stop illegal immigration and anyone who believes that we are a nation of fifty sovereign states. Evidently, based on his support of resolution in favor of the states’ rights under the 10th Amendment, Gov. Rick Perry (R-TX) is a rightwing operative who needs to be under the surveillance of the federal government, much like Osama Bin Laden.

Never mind that the report acknowledges that the federal government has no specific information that domestic rightwing groups are planning acts of violence. Also, it claims that that fringe organizations are gaining recruits without offering any evidence of this increase. DHS simply is taking the word of the notorously leftwing Southern Poverty Law Center. In other words, the Obama Administration is trying to criminalize and demonize those who oppose its policies on abortion, immigration and the expansive power of the Federal Government. Seems to me that that would include many members of the House of Representatives, the United States Senate, and several former occupants of the Oval Office in the past 30 years.

The left in this country, including President Obama and Secretary of State Hilary Clinton, often speak fondly of the progressive movement of the early 20th century. What they fail to tell you about this time in American history is that President Woodrow Wilson used fascist tactics against his political opponents. President Wilson often wrote how he had no use for the Constitution. Under the Espionage Act of 1917 and the Sedition Act of 1918, Wilson's administration shut down newspapers and magazines that opposed his policies. President Wilson sanctioned the American Protective League. The APL operatives, which at their height numbered 250,000 members, carried government-issued badges and beat dissidents and protesters and conducted warrantless searches and interrogations. Wilson even held political prisoners.

This report is just another in a long line of actions taken by Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano to politicize this department. First, she ended immigration raids that seek to detain and deport illegal aliens. She has refused to refer to terrorists acts and instead calls them "man made disasters". Now, she allows the issuance of a report that tries to criminalize the political philosophy of nearly 50% of the population of this country. If the unfortunate occurs and there is another "man made disaster" caused by Islamist terrorists, every American will realize that this report is nothing more than a political stunt.

Hopefully, the issuance of this report today is not the first step toward the Obama Administration’s return to the good old days of American progressivism as taught by Professor Woodrow Wilson. If President Obama is so sure of himself and his policies, he does not need to silence his critics on the right. If he does, it will signal a return to a dark time in our past. Clearly, this is not what my friend’s son fought for as a member of the United States military.


The Conservative Soldier said...

What will Newsweek's next cover headline be?

The problem here is that we need the Department of Homeland Security to be a legitimate entity, not a propaganda arm of the White House. DHS has serious work to do, or so I thought.

The Daily Pander said...

Holder/OLC/Solicitor General and DC representation. . . .DHS and "right wing extremism." Obama would never turn the government into a political apparatus, would he?

Lou said...


Interesting little side note of this story.