In his book, The Governor Listeth, Bill Buckley described John Kenneth Galbraith as someone, "…who always looks like he is on leave from Mt. Olympus." WFB may as well have been describing the haughty condescension which characterized media coverage of Governor Romney's recent remarks abroad which, considering the people they angered, can be judged a success. After all, any comment that manages to twist both Arab turbans and liberal boxers in knots is progress in the truest sense.
Observing the vast difference in the economic success of Israel over that of the territory managed by the Palestinian Authority, the Governor said, "…as I come here and I look out over this city and consider the accomplishments of the people of this nation, I recognize the power of at least culture and a few other things." Whereupon all of Liberaldom got a case of the vapors. "It is a racist statement…" said Saeb Erekat, a senior aid to Mahmoud Abbas, President of the Palestinian Authority, an entity whose heightened sense of racism permits the naming of streets, schools, youth centers, military units, sports teams and dance troupes after terrorists who murdered Israeli civilians, and whose aversion to racism instructs Palestinian children that Christians and Jews are, "inferior and smaller, more cowardly and despised." It is indeed a question of culture, and theirs is a culture of death. Yet Mr. Erekat fancies Governor Romney as the racist? Perhaps he will get around to denouncing as racist those Allied forces who liberated Hitler's death camps as well.
The allergic rash of disapproval to Mr. Romney's observation that a democratic culture inclined to free markets will yield superior results over a culture that straps bombs to its children wasn't confined to the fanatic weird beards of the immediate region. The American left had to get in on the act too. According to NewsBusters, a full 85 percent of the American media's coverage of Governor Romney's trip was negative. The same Brian Williams who four years ago remarked on Barack Obama's excursion overseas by saying, "...The man from Chicago, Illinois, the first ever African-American running as presumptive nominee of the Democratic Party, brought throngs of people into the center of Berlin, streaming into this city, surging to get close to him, to hear his message," now sums up Governor Romney's trip as one plagued , "with controversy, some hurt feelings, and some raw tempers."
Meanwhile, at US News, Leslie Marshall, who says that she lived in Israel for a time, writes, "…the reason the Palestinians can't compete economically with the Israelis is because they're living behind walls, in a ghetto-like environment. In short, they are oppressed." To which the obvious response is that they are "oppressed" in the same sense that mass murderer James Holmes would have been oppressed had the theater doors been locked against him on that awful evening in Aurora, Colorado. A 2009 Pew Global Attitudes Project poll revealed that some 68 percent of Palestinian Muslims favored suicide bombings, with 52 percent supporting Osama bin Laden. General Palestinian support for terrorist attacks culminated in the election of a terror network, Hamas, in Gaza, prompting a tight Israeli blockade as a necessary security precaution. As Marc A. Thiessen writes in the Washington Post, "The resulting 'chokehold' on the Palestinian economy is the fault, not of Israel, but of a Palestinian culture that prioritizes terror over prosperity and peace." In other words, Governor Romney was exactly, resoundingly, unflinchingly, right.
The salient point here is that the anguish over Governor Romney's candid acknowledgment of the obvious emanates from the same corner that daily demonstrates general confusion of, if not outright hostility toward, quintessential American culture. A culture where the individual is sovereign, in which freedom of association results in a marketplace which encourages and rewards excellence, is necessarily one in which the role of centralized state control diminishes and that, folks, is anathema to the aspirations of the statist. Is it any wonder then that Freedom's malcontents, whether within our shores or on Israeli borders, disdain free markets, free expression, and free people? Is it any wonder that a simple reaffirmation, from the owner of a fast food chain, of cultural lessons gleaned from human history itself animates claims of hatred and bigotry from those who themselves show unrelenting hatred for principles contained in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution? How intolerant the supposed forces of tolerance have become!
Thus, President Obama can lament those who, "...cling to guns, or religion…" while himself bitterly clinging to the superstitions of utopian dogma which hold that if the state can acquire enough of your property, of your freedom, of your life, … that if only they can do through government that which would be illegal for you to do on your own, that they can perfect the human condition. He accuses those who embrace American culture of simultaneously clinging to their religion while advocating a "Social Darwinism" where the strong thrive at the expense of the weak. His is a depressingly dumb understanding of the free market in which Christians hold to an economic system that contravenes their own faith, where the teachings of Christ somehow coexist with brute greed.
So it is, proceeding from the misguided precepts of the last century, that an American President and his acolytes in the Democratic Party look at the American experiment in human freedom as a failure which must be fundamentally transformed. The individual does not spend his money appropriately, they say, so let us take it. Better still, let us list the individual's earnings as government expenditures and lecture him that someone else earned his property, thereby setting the stage for confiscation by popular acclaim. He doesn't make wise choices, says the mastermind, so let us make choices for him. He cannot be trusted with weapons to defend himself and his family, so let us disarm him. Theirs is a culture so antithetical to the foundation of this country as to render it utterly alien and indefensible, and so they instead mock American culture and ostracize those who defend it.
"As for Israel, our biggest challenge is peace," writes Leslie Marshall in US News, to which the conservative says, "not quite." In fact, peace is not a challenge at all, and can be easily attained by means of simple surrender. Freedom, on the other hand, is challenging indeed for it is constantly under assault. Governor Romney has performed an important service to the culture of freedom generally, for which he has been dually chastised and mocked by those whose disapproval he should continually covet. Don't stop now, Governor. Sometimes, a person is also known by the enemies he keeps.