When was the last time you heard a politician talking like Carl Paladino?
Carl Paladino, a Republican candidate for Governor of New York, has come out against the Islamic supremacist mega-mosque at Ground Zero.
"As Governor," Paladino said Wednesday in a radio ad, "I will use the power of eminent domain to stop this mosque and make the site a war memorial instead of a monument to those who attacked our country."
I like this guy. I really like this guy. If the Supreme Court could rule, in the notorious 2005 decision Kelo v. City of New London, that the government could seize private property for a private developer and then never develop the property, surely Americans should be able to use eminent domain to designate the Burlington Coat Factory building a war memorial.
That building is a war memorial since part of one of the 9/11 airplanes crashed into it, causing severe damage. That makes the building a war memorial, no less than Gettysburg or Pearl Harbor. There should be no mosque there, and nothing there but a memorial to the people that America lost to that heinous Islamic jihad attack on September 11, 2001.
Instead of a mega-mosque at Ground Zero, we should build on that site a museum dedicated to the 9/11 victims. That will give us the opportunity to redress yet another insult: the current plan for a 9/11 museum is several floors underground, like a dungeon. In contrast, the plan for the "Islamic center" at the Burlington Coat Factory site calls for the mosque to be on the top floor of a thirteen- or fifteen-story building, looking down triumphantly on the burial ground of Ground Zero.
I don't think so.
The Burlington Coat Factory building must be designated a war memorial, a historic landmark. It is part of American history. To do anything less would be sacrilege, let alone build a 15-story mosque. And so far only Carl Paladino has the guts to say so. Three thousand good and decent Americans did not die in vain on September 11, 2001. And we have not forgotten them, even if Andrew Cuomo, Mayor Bloomberg and the rest of the New York political establishment have. The fact that they ignore the historical significance of the building is outrageous, and disrespects the victims of 9/11.
"I've been driving land-use issues for 40 years," says Paladino, "and I understand the full powers of the governor. If the ACLU or anyone else wants to challenge me in court, I'm ready for the fight."
I like his moxie. Not surprisingly, his Democrat opponent Andrew Cuomo is for the mosque. Paladino explains: "Andrew Cuomo supports the mosque. He says it is about religious freedom and he says the mosque construction should proceed."
Didn't New York suffer enough under Cuomo statism during the gubernatorial reign of Andrew's father Mario Cuomo? Enough with these political dynasties. Paladino knows that the issue of the Ground Zero mega-mosque isn't about religious freedom at all: "I say it is disrespectful to the thousands who died on 9-11 and their families, insulting to the thousands of troops who've been killed or injured in the ensuing wars and an affront to American people. And it must be stopped."
Paladino explains why it should be stopped, too. Ground Zero mosque imam Feisal Abdul Rauf is an open proponent of Sharia, Islamic law, a system that denies free speech and the legal equality of all people. Paladino knows what Sharia, Islamic law, involves -- and the implications of Rauf's open support for Sharia. Paladino said: "There is little to no democracy in the Middle East other than Israel. The Islamic fundamentalists are Fascists -- women have limited rights, there is no free speech or freedom of expression, and citizens are subject to the often barbaric Sharia Law. I oppose a mosque near the site of Ground Zero, not because of race, but because of the ideology of the Islamic fundamentalists."
Do you really want that ideology taught at a mega-mosque in lower Manhattan? If this mosque is built, it will be a lasting blemish on the record of Mayor Bloomberg and all the other politicians who supported it. History will judge them harshly. Very harshly.
When was the last time you heard a politician talking like Carl Paladino? Outside of Sarah Palin, that is.
Let's elect real people who understand real problems, and are unafraid to address real issues. Paladino for Governor. Pamela Geller is the editor and publisher of the Atlas Shrugs website and former associate publisher of the New York Observer. She is the author of The Post-American Presidency (coming July 27 from Simon & Schuster).