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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

O’Donnell vs. Coons: Who is the Extremist

Giving money and power to government is like giving whiskey and car keys to teenage boys. — P. J. O'Rourke

I was watching the Bill O’Reilly last night and his guests Juan Williams and Mary Katherine Ham were discussing the results of the Delaware primary elections last week. Williams, a regular of the FNC and National Public Radio was blasting Christine O’Donnell and pontificating on the reasons she would not be able to win and its was Tea Party backed candidates like her were ruining the Republican party. This was in the latest revelations regarding O’Donnell’s dabbling in witchcraft while a teenager in high school

Williams claimed that this last revelation, while trivial, was part of a pattern that proved her to be too extreme for the voters. I wanted to jump through the TV and grab the uber-liberal Kool-Aid drinking Williams by the throat and ask him why he never saw the same patterns in Barak Obama when he was running for president. (I mean no disrespect to Kraft Foods in mentioning their refreshing drink. I use term in the context of Jim Jones and his Jonestown followers who drank the cyanide laced mixture in blind allegiance to the messianic Jones)

When O’Reilly mentioned the extreme socialist views of O’Donnell’s opponent Chris Coons and asked Williams who he would vote for in the Delaware senate race Williams responded in typical democrat loyalist manner — Coons.

While hearing a great deal about O’Donnell’s failings in the media I knew little of Coons so I did some research to find out what I was missing on the two candidates to see if there were any patterns and what exactly this extremism was.

So I did a Google search and quickly found criticism of her at the Huffington Compost. "What better source for getting the dirt, real and imagined, on a Tea Party candidate?" I thought. Yet I figured I knew what I'd find, and I was right. Had she ever proclaimed herself a Marxist? No, that was her opponent, Chris Coons. Had she ever belonged to a socialist party? No, that was Barack Obama in the 1990s. Did she once advocate forced abortions and sterilization? No, that was the president's "science czar," John Holdren. Had she headed up an organization that promoted "fisting" for 14-year-olds and books featuring sex acts between preschoolers? No -- while Obama's "Safe Schools Czar" Kevin Jennings did do that, O'Donnell's sin is far different.

O’Donnell believes in sexual purity. Wow, this is really an extreme view these days when we are bombarded with TV shows and promoting promiscuity and homosexuality on a daily basis. I guess Williams thinks this too extreme for him and his family.

To be precise, she is a Catholic who embraces the totality of the Church's teachings on sexuality. I could elaborate on that, as was raised and married as a Catholic, but this misses the point. To wit: The most the left can do when trying to cast O'Donnell as a danger in government is cite something that she believes has nothing to do with government. She won't propose the "Self-gratification Control Act" of 2011 any more than she will mandate that you must attend Mass on Sundays, fast during Lent, or believe in the true presence of Christ in the Eucharist. (Note that former senator Rick Santorum never did, and as a devout Catholic who often attends Mass even on weekdays, he presumably believes all O'Donnell does.) What the left is mischaracterizing as her ideology is actually her theology of the body.

I find it ironic how the word "extremism" is bandied about so thoughtlessly when it comes to conservatives, yet doesn’t enter the dialogue when it comes to the left. This isn't primarily because the label is often misapplied. It is because it is always misunderstood.

The late Barry Goldwater once said, "Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice." But to be more precise, extremism that reflects Truth is a virtue. After all, if you live in a land where everyone believes 2+2=5 and you insist it is 4, you'll be considered an extremist. This says that "extremist" means that your views deviate greatly from those of the mainstream. It doesn't mean you're wrong.

But the reality is that while Truth sometimes lies at the center of a culture, at other, times it occupies the fringes. Sometimes, like with an abolitionist in 1800, an extremist is just someone who is right fifty years too soon. Or you could say that an extremist may be someone who upholds the wisdom of the ageless despite the folly of the age. In this sense Abraham Lincoln and our Founding Fathers were extremists.

So saying someone is an extremist relates nothing about his correctness. The problem with Islamic extremists, for instance, isn't that they're extreme. Any truly religious person is thus viewed in a secular world. It's that they're extremely wrong. This brings us to O'Donnell's opponent, Chris Coons.

Since the left is digging up old O'Donnell quotations, it's only fair to delve into Coons' past. And when we do, we find this interesting bit of extremism: An article he wrote titled "Chris Coons: The Making of a Bearded Marxist." It details how a trip to Kenya that Coons took as a junior in college served as a "catalyst," completing his transformation from "conservative" to communist. Yet while one could elaborate further here as well, as with O'Donnell, this misses the point. To wit: Marxism has everything to do with government, as it is about transforming it through socialist revolution into something tried and untrue, something that slays the light and visits a dark age of a thousand sorrows upon its victims. It's something that killed 100,000,000 people during the 20th century and every economy it ever touched. That is a negative extremism if ever there were one, and it should scare the heck out of every one of us. And what is this supposedly balanced with on O'Donnell's side? Oh, yeah, the sexual purity thing. Mr. Williams chooses to ignore this documented fact while he swigs down another glass of liberal Kool-Aid. I use the term

Of course, Coons' piece was written 25 years ago when he was 21 and will be excused by some as youthful indiscretion. But I'll make two points. First, the ability to profile properly is always necessary when choosing candidates, as the information you will have on them is always limited and managed. A politician certainly wouldn't admit to harboring Marxist passions; thus, in keeping with the maxim "The best predictor of future behavior is past behavior," the best yardstick we have for measuring Coons is actions and pronouncements taken or made before he had a vested interest in lying about his aims. (And wouldn't we instinctively apply this when judging someone with a neo-Nazi or KKK history? Would we give David Duke the benefit of the doubt many would give Coons?) Second, when profiling, know this: People who embrace communism but then truly renounce it generally become passionate rightists. Those who remain leftists usually haven't renounced anything but honesty about their intentions.

The reason why we should fear Coons is the exact reason why leftists fear O'Donnell: In their universe, moral statements are synonymous with policy positions. If they don't like salt, fat, tobacco (as does Mayor Bloomberg) or free markets, they play Big Brother and give us a very unfree society. But traditionalist Americans are different: We don't think that every supposedly good idea should be legislated. We understand that government and its coercion aren't the only forces for controlling man's behavior; there is also something called society, with its traditions, social codes, and persuasion, and something else called individual striving. We can preach sexual purity while also practicing constitutional purity. As to this, note that while some snarky leftists have criticized O'Donnell for living in the 1800s, the men who gave us our Constitution lived in the 1700s. And the norm back then was to have traditional sexual mores. But guess what they didn't have — Marxism.

Speaking of which, that great adherent of Marx, V.I. Lenin, once said, "The way to crush the bourgeoisie is to grind them between the millstones of taxation and inflation." Given that we have a government poised to do just this — with steep tax increases and rapid money-printing that will cause inflation — should we really be concerned about a candidate's views on sexual propriety? Or should we be more concerned about a candidate who may be harboring Marxist passions?

As Mark Levine, the conservative radio talker often claims, “people are not perfect and all candidates are not perfect. What matters is a candidates’ adherence to the Constitution.” It is the Constitution that limits what a legislator can do. A little more passionate extremism towards the Constitution would be welcomed.

So all the libertines amongst us you should know that Christine O'Donnell will not take your sex toys away. But Chris Coons may want to take all your toys away. To vote for him is to play with fire.

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