Debate Forum Left 08/11/10

M ore Conservative Socialism

By Mark Luedtke

Mark Luedke

I’m sick of hearing about the so–called mosque at Ground Zero. From the way conservatives have whined about it, you would think the U.S. was surrendering to Osama bin Laden. It only took a couple of seconds of research to find out all the alarmism is a sham. First of all, the proposal is not for a mosque; it’s for an Islamic center. Second, it’s not at Ground Zero; it’s four blocks away. Third, there’s already a mosque, an actual mosque, four blocks from Ground Zero. I bet you haven’t heard that information from the conservative media.

I don’t believe for a second that this project is just an innocent Islamic center. I have no doubt that Islamic radicals are behind this project in order to make a political statement. As much as it burns me up, we have to be smart, not emotional. Reducing the radicals to making peaceful political statements is a good thing. They’re absorbing our values and playing by our rules. Supposedly Islam has a history of building mosques on the sites of great victories. Have you noticed all the churches and synagogues on the land our ancestors conquered from the
Indians? All cultures do it. The question is: how should Americans respond?

Conservatives want to respond with socialist violence – the government’s gun – to stop this peaceful political statement. Violence is the traditional value of the terrorists, and conservatives are tossing away American values in
favor of terrorist values. That’s the emotional and wrong way to respond, and it’s why we’re losing the war on terror.

Americans have a bad habit of throwing away traditional values and adopting the
inferior values of our enemies to our detriment. In the 1930s, Americans traded their traditional
values of freedom, private property rights,
social organization through a system of voluntary exchange and limited government for FDR’s policies modeled after the European fascists. As a result we suffered the Great Depression and World War II. Afterwards Americans surrendered their freedom to the giant bureaucracies of the federal government that were modeled on the Soviet Union. The result was four decades of Cold War and the enslavement of one–third of the world’s population. Since 9/11 we’ve surrendered more freedom, property rights, our system of voluntary exchange, privacy, the presumption of innocence, equality under the law, and our natural tolerance for others in favor of violence, becoming more like the terrorists to their benefit
and our detriment.

Osama bin Laden is pointing at us and laughing. He knows there’s no way terrorists could cause as much damage to our society as we’ve done to ourselves. Every time socialist liberals or socialist conservatives call on daddy government to use his gun to violate the property rights of others, the terrorists win another victory. The terrorists have no power to destroy America, but our government does, and because we continue to surrender our freedom to government, it has brought us to the brink of destruction. We’re committing suicide by government while Osama bin Laden laughs.

One of the reasons this is such a big deal is nine years after 9/11, Ground Zero is still barren. The failure to build a building a half–mile high with fierce eagles on watch over all of New York City and an anti–aircraft battery on top to back up the symbolism is a colossal embarrassment that could only be orchestrated by government. There is no more stark reminder that government is the enemy of progress, healing and the people than the failure to develop Ground Zero. If such a tower existed today, as it would if the land was privately owned, nobody would care about the not–mosque at not–Ground Zero.

But the conservative pundits know how to work their audiences into a frenzy to win ratings and make more money. The outrage is real, but the manipulation of it is phony. Sean Hannity, Rush Limbaugh and others say we need to know who is funding the not–mosque at not–Ground Zero. No we don’t. That’s between buyer and seller. It’s nobody else’s business. The only reason anybody makes that claim is to follow with a request to use government’s gun to stop the development.

Instead of calling on their socialist government daddy to stop the project, if Hannity, Limbaugh and others really want this project stopped, they should embrace traditional American values – buy the developers out. With their fortunes, connections and audiences, conservative pundits should be able to raise enough money to make the owners an offer they can’t refuse. They should put their money where their mouths are or shut up about it. If the developers won’t sell, put up a competing structure next door. That’s the American way.

The founding principles of America – property rights, personal responsibility, tolerant people structuring society though a system of mutually beneficial voluntary exchange, equality under the law, the presumption of innocence, and severely limited government – enabled our ancestors to create the greatest nation the world has ever known. That traditional American value system is superior to any in history. If we are to avoid self–destruction and win the war on terror, we must once again embrace that value system.

Mark Luedtke is an electrical engineer with a degree from the University of Cincinnati and currently works for a Dayton attorney. He can be reached at contactus@

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