Posted by: trickyguy | November 19, 2008

Al-Qaeda And The American Conservatives

OK, I pulled you in with the title.  Don’t worry there is a legitimate point here.

Follow this link to a CNN story about comments made by the #2 man in Al-Qaeda (because there aren’t women in positions of power, I’d guess) regarding the election of Barack Obama.

There are two points to be made about this.

First is that if Al-Qaeda warmly welcomed the new president, I’d think they’d gone a bit off-message.  You know, they’re not really supposed to be in support of anything related to the US, certainly not our government.  And, to make a comparison to Malcolm X, and with it the not-too-thinly-veiled racism, well, while they couldn’t do that with Bush because he was white, it can’t really be surprising.

Second, and here’s where this blog will stir up the WordPress masses.  You don’t have to go far in cyberspace to find that Al-Zawahiri’scomments are actually more mild than many you’ll see from good ol’ Americans.  Yep, sour grapes, an American specialty dish, combined with doses of far-right Liberal hating and carefully disguised racism are driving some pretty outrageous posts.

On the first: what can we really do about al-Qaeda?  There will always be those who hate a free and open society — let’s just hope they aren’t as talented at violence as this group.  Hey, the comparisons to Malcolm X at least prove he did more research than is behind the bile they normally spew.

On the second, though, this points to a potentially serious problem.  If we take Obama at his word (which, it seems, few in the losing minority are prepared to do) that this government will be a unity government, collaborating across party lines to fix the nation’s problems, then this “take my ball and go home” attitude has to stop.

So, how to do that?  Well, if you liken the pouting conservatives to the kid in the schoolyard who didn’t get his way, then the best way is to show the wrongheadedness of their position is by the success that Obama’s approach will have.

Show them that Democrats, Republicans, Independents, people of all races, backgrounds, and political affiliations can work together to turn the economy around, make our nation safe, and reinvigorate the American Dream.  Have them ask their parents or grandparents what happened in WWII when a Democrat was president: Americans united against a common enemy.

We have to do that again.  There are too many smart, talented, and patriotic Americans in the conservative wing of the Republican Party to marginalize them (or to allow them to do it themselves) and not make them part of the success.  We need their energy, talent, ideas, and balance.

There will be other elections where they can work within our political system to put into place candidates that better represent their views.  But though this election is over, the work is just starting — and we need their help.

Won’t you please come back and play with the rest of the kids?


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