Thursday, January 06, 2005

Now *Here* are the Kind of Conservatives I Know

So, this caught my eye:

I humbly beg anyone who thinks that Michelle Malkin and Daniel Pipes are "conservatives" -- and that everyone criticizing them are therefore necessarily "leftists" -- to take five minutes and read Barry Goldwater's 1964 acceptance speech to the Republican National Convention.

The difference in vision -- in what constitutes a "conservative" vision -- is profound. Malkin calls for a massive network of federal "internal enforcement agents" and the suppression of local police autonomy in favor of central state control, disloyalty trials (with secret evidence) for internal enemies, and a belief that "civil liberties are not sacrosanct."

Goldwater argued, though imperfectly and with some careful evasions, for freedom, freedom, freedom, and freedom:

And I was corrected by my husband; he isn't a "paleo-conservative", he says, because he's not isolationist. He says he's "Old Right". Besides him, I live in a red county in the rural hinterlands of a blue state, where "constitutionalists" are popular enought to have got one of their number elected as a county supervisor. (She was nutty enough, though, that she was recalled.) Constitutionalists are the folks that think laws that require you to get a dog license are oppressive, and that it's really a military court if a the courthouse flag has a fringe on it. O.K., so that's off the deep end, but the point is that you don't have to be a lefty to be into the rule of law and cherishing civil liberties. My father's side of the family are devout economic conservatives, of the "less taxes and regulation" variety. I was scared to death that one of my kids might let it slip to my grandparents on their last visit that I didn't vote Republican; there was a real possibility of my being disowned. :-) However, my aunt is so enraged by the Patriot Act that she voted Libertarian. (Voting for Kerry was, of course, out of the question.)

Now, I'll admit to drifting further left than any of them, but I was not upset with Pipes and Malkin's vision because of any sort of generally leftist outlook, but because I want folks like them to keep their grimy mitts off my rights and freedoms -- and out of simple fairness, I would expect them to do the same to any other citizen as well.

There was another
in the same blog that mentions just how vague this sort of "increased monitoring" of Muslims they are advocating is. How, exactly, are we supposed to keep an eye on the six million or so Muslims in this country? No matter how you slice it, it still comes back to targetting people who you would have some real reason to suspect -- other than their just being Muslim.

In fact, I ran into a
partial transcript of Pipes' radio interview
, where he complains that at airports they randomly check people that are very low-risk, refusing to go for the people who are more likely to be a danger. Since he admits that Muslims could be of any ethnicity, he apparently wants airline passengers to be grilled about their religious beliefs, and I would assume, anybody who admits to being Muslim to be searched for weapons. Oh, yeah, like any potential terrorist is going to have any compunction about lying about what his religion is.

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