What’s Wrong with the Right

GellerSigby Pamela Geller   4/18/14
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 ResistanceFollow her on Twitter here. • (2593 views)

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21 Responses to What’s Wrong with the Right

  1. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    And I thought I was tough on NRO. 🙂 Thanks to Pamela for letting us reprint this. She, like Mark Steyn, is on the cutting and courageous edge of free speech and other issues.

  2. Timothy Lane says:

    I would be happier if I knew more about this dispute, since I have no idea personally why NRO obamanates Pamela Geller, nor the details of their dispute. (They also don’t like Diana West because her charges are rather inflammatory. I find them reasonable, and quite likely would agree with Geller as well.) I suspect the problem, or at least a good bit of it, is that the GOP Establishment is located in the DC-NYC area, surrounded by what Bob Tyrrell calls the Kultursmog. They clearly aren’t immune to its deadening influence. Then, too, moral courage is a very rare quality, particularly at the top.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Pamela’s long been at the front of staring down Islam. And I have to admit I don’t really care what the specific issues are. But one the problems is, I should. I read some of the comments at the bottom of Pamela’s article at her own site and it seemed to be a mob of libertarians. Does anyone know the issue? There are people still pissed that Whitacker Chambers took a whack at Ayn Rand — something I’ve done myself a tme or two because she’s extremely kooky on two issues: religion and self-esteem.

      In fact, more and more the articles at American Thinker itself tend to have a libertarian mob mentality where conservatism seems to be considered uncool, if not illegitimate — and that’s assuming that this mob understands it at all, and I think many don’t. Not a hopeful sign for turning back the Left if the various Bolsheviks of the Right can’t figure out who the enemy is.

      But regarding Kathryn Lopez, well, she’s an extremely vapid political and religious writer. I hear that she’s personally a very nice person. But I think she adds absolutely nothing to the intellectual content of NRO.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        I gathered that Geller is an “Islamaphobe” (i.e., a critic of Islam). But then, so am I, and I made a strong case against the mosque she discussed (near the 9/11/01 Ground Zero) a couple of issues back in FOSFAX, in particular pointing to the similarity between the mosque (beloved of liberals), which was legal but very unwise (as at least some Muslims pointed out); and the Florida pastor’s proposed burning of Korans (hated by liberals), which was legal but very unwise (as many critics of Islam pointed out).

        Incidentally, an interesting fictional take on Ayn Rand in disguise (so to speak) can be found in Elegy for a Soprano by the libertarian (but evidently not Randite) mystery writer Kay Nolte Smith (whom I encountered in Laissez Faire Books catalogs).

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          From what I know, Timothy, she’s the female counterpart to David Horowitz. But apparently an “angry” version.

          Calling someone “angry” is a strange kind of insult. There are many times when the only thing for a sane person to be is angry. And regarding Islam, political correctness, and the squishy RINOs at NRO, a little anger is more than justified.

          But having real, raw, authentic human emotions seems to be too much for the Ivory Tower Club where a gentlemanly demeanor must be held at all times, no matter if your house is burning down around you.

          I’ll take all the “angry” Pamelas that I can get. We need them.

          • Timothy Lane says:

            A lot of people would consider me “angry” as well, so I certainly don’t consider it an insult to be called that, especially if done in lieu of explaining WHY the person is so accused.

            • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

              As long as it is an anger that is momentary, even motivational — fermenting and distilling perhaps into a useful passion — and not a way of life, that is good. But chronic anger is the cancer of the soul. This is the Left (and not only the Left). And some people are like that. And the angrier they get, the less satisfied they become, the latter then feeding the former. Eventually they find it necessary to share their misery, for it is an offense to them if they are unhappy and you are not.

              One of the best lessons I learned was from the movie “War Games.” I’ll take the message out of context because in context it was a little weak. The message was the very culmination of that movie: “The only winning move is not to play.” Mature people (and people such as Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are not emotionally mature people) don’t need to “fundamentally transform” the world just so their creepiness and eccentricities can be normalized. They need to learn to deal with their own shit.

              The Left is the party of the freaks, degenerates, moochers, kool-aid drinkers, and would-be aristocrats, in various mixes. Most of these people did not pass the Pascal test of being able to sit in a quiet room alone.

              • Timothy Lane says:

                Really, now, isn’t Alec Baldwin too easy a target? (Sorry, but I just read John Hawkins’s TownHall article.)


    Pamela, if you’re reading this, know that one of the main reasons Brad started ST was because he couldn’t stand what NRO was becoming any more. It seems to be siding more and more with the Establishment Republicans who have done so much to damage the Conservative cause. Exactly what the problem is over there is hard to say: Tim mentions the kultursmog of the DC-NYC corridor, and Brad has made the same observation in the past, while I suspect immersion in the popular culture of the Left (mainly TV and movies) caused Jonah Goldberg to imbibe a fatal dose of its poison. The possible desire of Goldberg, Rich Lowry, and others who regularly appear on TV not to appear too far out of the “mainstream” and hence jeopardize their gigs is also a possibility. The fact that their managing editor, Jason Lee Steorts, seems to be resolutely anti-Conservative is certainly a large part of the problem. About the once voice on NRO that consistently speaks out against militant Islam is that of Andrew McCarthy, and I half expect Lowry to give him the boot any day now.

    I really have no idea who Tom Rogan is or why he went out of his way to savage Pamela – at least he was reasonably supportive of Ayaan Hirsi Ali and quite properly condemned Brandeis University for its dishonesty and pusillanimity in rescinding its awarding of an Honorary Degree to her. And Pamela does at least get better treatment from Frontpage Magazine than NRO. More and more I regret having spent so much time over on NRO in the past.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      I once told Nik that this site was built with him in mind. Not just him, but certainly including his type. Nik ought to be writing for National Review. He’s smart, even-handed, bold (no small quality), and forthright.

      It’s interesting to view the split between Cooke (The Problem with Cliven Bundy) and Williamson (The Rules of the Lawless) regarding Bundy vs. the Federal government.

      Williamson gets to the heart of it, as has Mark Styen and others: We are no longer living under the rule of law. The Federal government will marshal its police-state resources to repel an American citizen rancher but will do nothing to stem the tide of crooks, drug dealers, terrorists, and others, flooding over the Southern border. As one astute poster (Chris Mankins) characterized Cooke’s weak article:

      Republicans like Charles Cooke represent the reason we always lose. In his attempt to sound rational, cool-headed, responsible, etc., Charles Cooke vows to surrender quite amicably, because it is the “noble” act of a gentleman, when we are being overrun by savages.

      And as one poster (GeezerGeek) said at the bottom of Pamela’s article at American Thinker:

      I find that the Republican Establishment is more interested in defeating and repressing true conservatives than in defeating Democrats. Apparently NRO is now trying to stand athwart history and shout FORWARD!

      I think Nik outlined well the basic reasons NRO is going to pot (and sometimes not just figuratively). These people are steeped in the kultursmog; they complete for face time on TV and – not least of the influences – have gone through your typical university education where the leftistsmog is so thick, I don’t think many of these writers understand what conservatism is. To them it may mean no more than those screwy zealous Christians who hate “fags” and obsess on abortion.

      Perhaps the biggest factor (outside of the RINO establishment money flowing into that place) is simply the elitist factor. In order to sit at your keyboard and pontificate, it’s difficult not to get into the habit of imagining that one is of a higher class of people. After all, they have the degrees, they have the golden typewriters, they have the facetime on Fox or wherever. And you get to the point where simply upholding the image of the “noble” gentleman (defined, I might add, by the kultursmog) becomes more important than truth-telling. I think Mark Steyn understands this factor completely.

      The real threat of the Palin and Cruz types is that they burst the bubble of this elitism (which isn’t to forget for a moment that both of these are ambitious politicians as well, but hopefully with America, and not just themselves, as the cause).

      I should add one more to my list of what it means to be a conservative. And that is that it requires maintaining the common touch. Reagan had it. Michael Reagan (who I may get to meet next month) has it. Andy McCarthy, to some extent, has it, although he’s often given over to a prosecutorial view of things.

      And I think Kevin Williamson has it. When I disagree with him it isn’t because I think he’s a smug elitist. I think Williamson just has one or two pieces of the puzzle to put together and he could be a truly top-tier and premier conservative writer. But the man isn’t an elitist. At least not yet.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        I first noticed this elitism in the reaction of many Beltway right-wingers (or so they claim to be), such as Peggy Noonan and Chris Buckley, to Sarah Palin in 2008. There was never any doubt in my mind that this was elitism, hence my comments in the political analysis article on the election in FOSFAX 215 (“A Navy of One Versus the Audacity of Hype: The Calamity of 2008”) on this opposition (it was here that I referred to young Buckley as proof of the Theory of Devolution):

        “Much of the opposition came from moderate types, including a number (such as Colin Powell and the deluded Scott McClellan) who resented their past roles as spokesmen for George W. Bush. Much also came from conservative elites (such as Buckley, David Brooks, and Peggy Noonan) separated from the citizen wing of the party, epitomized by Sarah Palin. Naturally they didn’t want to admit that snobbery was their motive, so instead they attacked her because she was almost as inexperienced as Barack Obama and occasionally as incoherent as Joe Biden.”

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          You have a well-developed elitist radar, Timothy. I’m sure you’re right about Noonan and Chris Buckley. Noonan can still occasionally write a sensible piece. But David Brooks is a lost cause. He’s what I call part of the Ninny Wing of centrism….assuming centrism has any other wing, of course.

          Again, one of the bedrock conservative principles is the idea that we all put on our pants one leg at a time. I’m not intrinsically better than any other man, although I might be more accomplished in some area. America is that strange and great mix of egalitarianism with a meritocracy. As Dinesh D’Souza points out in “What’s So Great About America,” America is the only place where two millionaires will sit down to lunch and call their minimum-wage waiter, “sir.”

          But reputations are things that are like building castles in the clouds. They are real so long as we agree that they have substance. Having absorbed more than a little of the vibe of St. Francis and the Christian mysteries (yes, Objectivists, I’m a bit of a mystic myself), you can’t advance beyond the level of a gross animal without embracing our inherent poverty, the fact that from dust we come, and to dust we shall return. Those who puff themselves up thinking they are a superior breed of animal are laughable. But far too many, wanting to share in the glow of superiority, fawn instead of laugh.

          I like the fact that when Ronald Reagan took a little time off to return to his ranch and ride horses and build fences, he wasn’t doing so as a photo-op. It’s who he was, unlike the elitist Michael Dukakis who was caught trying to play the common man when he was photographed in a battle tank (not a Bolo, I believe) with a helmet on. He was self-evidently foolish. And Kerry is no less foolish in his sometime pretenses at being other than the Haughty John Kerry, as Rush calls him.

          • Timothy Lane says:

            Iago in Othello makes a couple of points about reputation that seem contradictory (though both could be applied to him). In one, he points out that reputation can be undeserved (as his certainly is), and in the other he points out that whoever robs him of his good name harms the victim without gaining any benefit (in effect, a form of vandalism). There are a lot of undeserved reputations among conservatives, and Brooks is a perfect example. If I were writing that passage today, I would list him as a moderate.

  4. Rosalys says:

    There is too much of the “get things done” mentality. Republicans who want to “get things done” feel they must buddy up with their enemies – and the Pres has referred to those on the right as the enemy – in order to appear credible. I know. It doesn’t make any sense to me, either!

    There are also too many people who want to be liked. Yeah, nobody likes being hated, but if you are going to stand for something somebody out there is going to hate you for it. The truth is the Marxists/Communists/Fascists/leftist/Progressives out there hate everybody and everything that doesn’t line up 100% with them. They are not content to just hate and call names, either. They are sworn to destroy everyone and everything that stands in their way. They hate us, they are never going to like us, and there is absolutely no way we are ever going to get these people to like us – so stop trying! The left has no rhyme nor reason to it; they are not reasonable and you can’t reason with them – so stop trying! You don’t have to become them and start lying, cheating, whining, throwing tantrums and calling names; just hold fast to the truth which we have on our side.

    Pamela Geller has been speaking and standing for truth. She’s gutsy and she doesn’t back down and that is why she is attacked and vilified! The fact that NRO is choosing to snuggle up to their enemies rather than defend their natural allies says a lot more about them than it does about the likes of Pamela Geller and Mark Stein.

    If “The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked…” (Jer. 17:9) then the natural inclination of the unregenerate man is toward the self-serving greed of leftism and always has been, long before the left was called the left. The only right thing to do is to stand firm and defend the truth.

    I’m sorry that Jonah Goldberg seems to be part of it. I like Jonah and his book Liberal Fascism is fantastic.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      There are also too many people who want to be liked. Yeah, nobody likes being hated, but if you are going to stand for something somebody out there is going to hate you for it. The truth is the Marxists/Communists/Fascists/leftist/Progressives out there hate everybody and everything that doesn’t line up 100% with them. They are not content to just hate and call names, either. They are sworn to destroy everyone and everything that stands in their way. They hate us, they are never going to like us, and there is absolutely no way we are ever going to get these people to like us – so stop trying!

      With the caveat that no man is an island, that we all have to live in our culture to some extent, and must…couldn’t these people try being a peninsula once in a while?

      Jonah Goldberg easily caved to the gay mafia. And if you can’t stand up for the sanctity of the traditional family, how can you call yourself a conservative? And this has nothing to do with homosexual people. Let them frolic in the hills with their “civil unions” until the cows come home.

      Anyone who has read any Theodore Dalrymple, or just looked at the breakdown of the family in our own culture, realizes the social anarchy that occurs when government policies and the kultursmog work to actively undermine the most important structure in any civilization: the family.

      I don’t know why Jonah sold out. But he did. And he is not alone.

      And I don’t know the issues between Pamela and Tom Rogan. Maybe Pamela is at fault. I don’t know. But one of the issues we face as conservatives is holding onto our patent. And that’s going to require some gumption. And doing so will certainly anger the people who have been kultursmog collaborators.

      It is apparently true that one reason that corporations have to come down on otherwise innocent patent or trademark stealing (such as some kid holding a Mickey Mouse bake sale) is that if these trademarks become so much a part of the culture and are left undefended as intellectual property, they lose the trademark. I’m not a patent lawyer, but I believe there have been cases where this has happened.

      Conservatism is in the same boat. Few have defended our trademark, the GOP being by far the worst offenders. And if you don’t hold onto the idea, and let others use and abuse it, you will soon lose that patent or trademark. And that is exactly the situation we face. Objectivists, libertarians, Leftists, Progressives, “centrists,” and more than a few “conservatives” have little to no idea what conservatism is. There are staunch defenders such as Rush Limbaugh, but they are few and far between.

      Me, being naturally stubborn, I don’t give up so easily. Rather than inhale the kultursmog as Goldberg and others have done, I’ll hold my breath. But I realize this is an uphill battle. Perhaps that’s where this site’s name comes from.

      • Rosalys says:

        That’s exactly what we need, gumption! And you have it! I hope I have it, too.

        Speaking of patents and copyrights and such… The Mickey Mouse brand was about to become part of the public domain, Disney’s 75 years allowed by law being up. But you can’t let a cash cow like that succumb to mere law! So special legislation extending the copyright was passed. I believe it was special for Mickey only,; not every one’s copyrights were extended. Special favors for special people and only the ruling class and those who support and kowtow to them are special.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      That “get things done” mentality is what I refer to as “short-term pragmatism”. Long-term pragmatism is seeking out policies that actually work, and is thus very conservative as opposed to ideological. But short-term pragmatism is the desire to “do something” regardless of whether or not it accomplishes anything (or has excessive unintended consequences). When a short-term pragmatist (such as a RINO) deals with an ideologue (such as most Democrats), the latter gets just about everything he wants. This is fine if you really don’t mind what the latter wants, but in that case you’re one of them, not one of us.

      • Rosalys says:

        Another thing that gets my goat is the whole “moving forward” shtick. Some times it’s best not to keep moving forward – especially if you’re headed for a cliff!

  5. Doyl L Watson II says:

    Wow.. There is so much to be gleaned both from this article AND from many of the comments. The One thing that I believe is missing from the discussion, is that – as I am convinced – the problem with the “Leadership” of the Right, is not Just that they dont get it & Dont want to fight for What Is Right; The Problem is that they ARE the Left Merely PRETENDING to BE on the Right. THAT to me, is the ONLY explanation that makes sense [If you eliminate Insanity]. Whether you claim to be Left or Right or Anything Else: If you refuse… to Protect the Life of the Unborn; Marriage as a Foundational Plank of EVERY Healthy, Free & Prosperous Nation; Freedom of Religion; and the Right to Own Property, Improve it & Sell it, THEN You ARE EVIL, Right, Left, or Whatever Else you call yourself.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      The Problem is that they ARE the Left Merely PRETENDING to BE on the Right.

      I agree that there are probably a few of those. But I think there’s also a deep chasm of knowledge about what conservatism is. Who is teaching it anymore? Not everyone goes to Hillsdale College.

      What we have instead are various heresies of conservatism arising, including libertarianism which shares many elements with the Left. Again, I think part of the problem is a lack of understanding of what conservatism is. So few people are sticking up for it. The “brand,” as it were, is losing it power to persuade. It’s losing its clarifying influence. It’s been muddled and mudded by so many people.

      But probably the main aspect is that we are living in a progressively (no pun intended) liberal culture. And like Madge said to her many Palmolive clients, “You’re soaking in it.” And I don’t think most “conservatives” (let alone libertarians or Objectivists) understand just how much of that kultursmog (as Timothy puts it) they have inhaled.

      It’s okay to be liberal if that’s how you want to be. But then don’t go and rationalize it. Don’t go telling me that this is so because conservatives are really all theocrats, or that Lincoln was actually the greatest threat to liberty we’ve ever had. Deal with your own ignorance and we conservatives will as well try to deal with the fact that so many people have intentionally misrepresented this philosophy and that so many supposed conservatives have not defended against this misrepresentation (which means we really could have done entirely without the Bushes and Karl Rove).

      All your points are good ones: If you can’t protect man’s most basic right (his life), if you can’t protect the right to own the fruits of one’s labor (private property), if you can’t protect marriage as the one and only alternative to government becoming a run-away nanny, if you can’t protect the First Amendment, then a person has no right calling himself a conservative, let along a creature of “the right.”

    • Rosalys says:

      You are on to something there. You’ve really got to wonder sometimes about some of these so-called Republicans and even some so-called Conservative. As the old saying goes, if it walks like a duck and it quacks like a duck, it’s probably a duck.

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