Newt Gingrich says that defeating President Obama is a matter of national security, because he is incapable of defending America. Newt also points out that we run the risk of “someday in your lifetime of losing an American city” to a terrorist attack.
Well, yes, I suppose that’s true. That is a possibility. It could happen! But let’s be clear. It would be just as possible under President Gingrich, President Romney, President Paul, President Santorum, or President Anyone-the-hell-else. Isn’t fear-mongering fun?
Every time I step into the subway I run the risk of being in an enclosed space with someone that has the Ebola virus. It could happen!
Every time I go out to eat, I run the risk that some USDA APHIS agents fell asleep on the job and my burger contains active mad-cow prions. It could happen!
Is America at risk of suffering a terrorist attack? Of course it is. To pretend otherwise is naive. But what does that mean? Should we give in to fear and let the threat control and define us as Newt Gingrich and Karl Rove before him seem to want? Or should we go about our lives?
I, for one, will continue taking the subway, eating burgers, and living in American cities.
And I’ll leave you with this, from The West Wing (I know, I know). Newt (and Rick Santorum) would do well to take note:
What’s Islamic extremism? It’s strict adherence to a particular interpretation of 7th century Islamic law as practiced by the prophet Mohammed, and when I say “strict adherence,” I’m not kidding around. Men are forced to pray, wear their beards a certain length. Among my favorites is there’s only one acceptable cheer at a soccer match: ‘Allah-uh-Akbar.’ “God is great.” If your guys are getting creamed, then you’re on your own. Things are a lot less comic for women, who aren’t allowed to attend school or have jobs. They’re not allowed to be unaccompanied, and oftentimes get publicly stoned to death for crimes like not wearing a veil. I don’t have to tell you they don’t need to shout at a soccer match because they’re never going to go to one. So what bothers them about us? Well, the variety of cheers alone coming from the cheap seats at Giants stadium when they’re playing the Cowboys is enough for a jihad, to say nothing of street corners lined church next to synagogue, next to mosque, newspapers that can print anything they want, women who can do anything they want including taking a rocket ship to outer space, vote, and play soccer. This is a plural society. That means we accept more than one idea. It offends them… You want to get these people? I mean, you really want to reach in and kill them where they live? Keep accepting more than one idea. It makes them absolutely crazy.
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