What's Wrong with the Right
National Review Online took another gratuitous shot at me Thursday in an article defending Ayaan Hirsi Ali, saying: “Hirsi Ali is no Pamela Geller. On the contrary, for her whole life, Hirsi Ali has used anger as a catalyst to great good.” Is it necessary to smear me in order to defend Hirsi Ali? And this is not the first time that NRO has allowed insults and defamation against me and other freedom fighters to run unedited. I hardly know why. But I do know that NRO has no guts, no spine, and no conviction.
What’s more, Hirsi Ali has said things about Islam that I have never said, yet somehow she is acceptable and I am not. How does Rogan intellectually wrestle with the irreconcilable? His premise is completely and utterly false; on what does he make these ugly assertions?
Each time NRO gratuitously smeared me, I politely asked Kathryn Lopez for an opportunity to respond, and was ignored. By contrast, in similar circumstances, even the most left-leaning sites have responded to my queries. Take, for example, the National Post and Haaretz: both ran vicious attack pieces on me and while they didn’t give me the same space or column inches, I was able to respond in 250 words. NRO won’t deign even to answer me.
The author of the latest NRO piece, Tom Rogan, retails sly slurs and baseless insults that are the stuff of CAIR fiction. Rogan seems to think that I have not “used anger as a catalyst to great good” because I opposed the Ground Zero Mosque. Yet so did 70% of Americans; are they wretched souls as well? Rogan also lambastes the now mortally wounded English Defense League (EDL), implying that I applauded its worst excesses and ignoring the fact that I publicly called for a cleansing of their ranks from actual racists and other unsavory characters. I supported their opposition to British jihadists and Islamic supremacists who were verbally attacking returning soldiers with cries of “Baby killers,” “Murderers” and the like. This is something British people should have just passively accepted?
Mark Steyn has parted company with NRO as well. He wrote in January: “As readers may have deduced from my absence at National Review Online and my termination of our joint representation, there have been a few differences between me and the rest of the team. The lesson of the last year is that you win a free-speech case not by adopting a don't-rock-the-boat, keep-mum, narrow procedural posture but by fighting it in the open, in the bracing air and cleansing sunlight of truth and justice.”
Once again, the establishment right takes its marching orders from what the destroyers on the left dictate. The right consistently allows the left to destroy our most effective voices – Sarah Palin is a major example. Unequivocal voices like Palin’s are tarred and smeared, while the right instead offers up weak and meandering fools like John McCain – and stands by him even when he poses with al-Qaida leaders in Syria and insists that they’re “moderates.”
We see many come out in a burst of light, political supernovas like Allen West, Palin, and now Ted Cruz. But we also see the right abandon these same people when the left goes after them like the jackals and the vultures they are. Did the GOP establishment have Palin’s back? What did the GOP establishment do to defend Palin from the attacks by vultures in the media like the affable Eva Braun, aka Katie Couric, and the contemptible Charlie Gibson?
The leaders of the conservative establishment are clearly more comfortable with the weakest and most liberal figures on the right than they are with genuine conservatives. And then they abandon their flavor of the month as soon as the leftist sharks start circling.
This is how the establishment right makes it bones: on the bones of the principled right. This is how the establishment right gets legitimacy: by pandering to the left and selling out the clear, uncompromised voices on the right. Instead of destroying our philosophical enemies in the war of individualism vs. statism, the establishment right trims its message, then trims it some more, desperately hoping to appease leftists and their media lapdogs.
Is it any wonder that we can’t win elections? McCain? Romney? We can’t win until we find our spine. NRO best represents the abject failure on the right.
Why was NRO wrong to defame me in particular? Because I am fighting against the leftist/Islamic war against free speech – a topic of immense significance that I am sure gets scant mention at NRO. I am embroiled in three free-speech lawsuits at home and two abroad. I have successfully sued and won (with the able legal counsel of American Freedom Law Center). We have set precedent and written into history good law in the defense of freedom. The First Amendment is the foundation of this country and the conservative movement. NRO’s indifference to all that speaks volumes about where it really stands.
There’s a war raging, and the right thinks that if it doesn’t engage or doesn’t show up, then that war doesn’t exist. How irrational. If you don’t show up, you forfeit, and the right is forfeiting. Anytime someone takes a bold or brave stance against statism or collectivism, or against jihad and Sharia, they suffer withering attacks from both outside the movement and inside the movement.
The leadership on the right does not understand its own philosophy. They do not understand free markets, capitalism and individual rights. If they did, they would be more ferocious, fiercer and more courageous in the fight for freedom and equality of rights before the law against the second-handers, moochers, and looters on the left.
The right appears to be waiting for Godot. But he ain’t coming. The right is on life support at a time when it should be standing in defense of free speech. This most certainly should be our issue, our moment. There have been these moments in American history when right and wrong, good and evil were very clearly defined. The Republican Party was born at such a moment. We elected Lincoln at such a moment, and we took the country back from the slave party, the Democrats, at such a moment.
We need a moral and rational force to push back. We need a true “New Right.” NRO had an opportunity to start building it. Instead, it has been snuffed out and stifled by cowards, trimmers, and RINOs.
We need a fierce offensive under a banner of individual rights and morality. I believe that such an intellectual movement would seize the collective conscience of this country. But when that movement arises, it will be no thanks to NRO.
Pamela Geller is the President of the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), publisher of PamelaGeller.com and author of The Post-American Presidency: The Obama Administration’s War on America and Stop the Islamization of America: A Practical Guide to the Resistance. Follow her on Twitter here.