This week President Obama set Fox News and the Republican Party into an anti-UN, pro-Israel frenzy after he refused to veto a Security Council Resolution condemning Israeli Prime Minister Netanyahu's civilian settlement program in the West Bank. President Elect Trump tweeted that "things will be different," Lindsey Graham and Ted Cruz have demanded that the US pull funding from the UN until the resolution is somehow rescinded. The whole of the Right Wing has thrown their arms up in the same tired hissy fit, yelling the same exagerrated platitudes and talking points, "Barack Obama is the most anti Israel President," "Barack Obama is an anti-Semite," "The UN and Obama hate Israel," and on and on.
It is worth pointing out that every American President since 1967 has opposed the Israeli settlement program. It is worth noting that President Obama repeatedly called on Netanyahu to halt the settlement program and instead he accelerated it. Why is it unreasonable that President Obama then refused to veto a Security Council Resolution condemning that very settlement program? Nevermind the debate about whether or not the settlement program is right or wrong, or that the UN is anti-semitic, or any of the noise. There is a very simple cause and effect, and coming from a supporter of Israel, President Obama's decision was appropriate.
But this is beside the point. In the first place, who cares? The Republican establishment seems to be more outraged by Obama's slight to Israel than by the $20 trillion debt, their three decades overdue promise to secure the border, the welfare state, the regulatory state, the Federal Reserve, NSA spying, the failing war on drugs, imminent war with Russia, and so many other important problems facing America. I went to a Ted Cruz rally on the eve of the Iowa Caucus in January of 2015, and despite a half hour warm up by Glenn Beck, the most disturbing part of the evening came when Senator Cruz began describing what his first day in office might look like.
He started with a pretty standard list, turning over Obama's executive orders, tearing up the Iran Deal, and a few other Republican hallmarks; but maybe after item five or six Cruz said he would order the trasnfer of the US embassy in Israel from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. I don't disagree that the US embassy ought to be moved from Tel Aviv to the actual capital of Israel, that's common sense, it should be. What I disagree with is that somehow this is a high enough priority that a hypothetical President Cruz executes this order not just on his first day in office, but early on his first day in office!
Here's a little bit of background information for why this is offensive, wrong, immoral, disturbing, and treasonous. In 1788 the Constitution of the United States of America was ratified by the American People to create a federal government which consisted of an executive, legislative, and judicial branch. Through this social contract, the American People agree to delegate certain collective responsibilities to an elected government in order to protect their God given rights. The federal government, the executive branch of government, and the White House itself exist to serve and protect those American People and their country.
And presently this country faces existential threats so numerous that no American should be hearing anything about embassies or Jerusalem on day one, two, or three! This is not an attack on Israel or Jews. This is not pushing an anti-Semitic or anti-Zionist conspiracy. This is not sympathy for Hamas or any other Islamist organization. This prevailing concern is that the American President must put the American people first. After all, I guarantee that Netanyahu didn't promise the Israelis some token concession to the United States on his first day in office!
This country is at war with medieval Islamist barbarians, hurtling towards a shooting war with Russia or China, facing the largest debt bomb in the history of the world, attempting to absorb tens of millions of illegal immigrants, and coming to bear the consequences of the millions of legal immigrants yet to assimilate. Israel may be in peril but so are we, and we are in no position to get tangled up in a 1,300 year old religious blood feud over a piece of desert the size of New Jersey as we stare down a fate similar to the Roman Empire.
For voicing this reasonable position on Twitter, I was labeled an anti-Semite, a racist, a Nazi, a white supremacist, an alt-righter, and even a drunk. That's not playing the victim card, that's to say that for five years mainstream conservatives have beaten identity politics to death, yet turn around and smear anybody skeptical of the Israel obsession in the Republican Party as a bigot. The same movement that for years droned on endlessly with the tired, boring crusade against trigger warnings, safe spaces, and all the rest.
For months I tweeted that the Mexican anti-Trump rioters speaking Spanish and waving their flag ought to go back to Mexico, and not one conservative objected. Yet Ben Shapiro, who made his career off of the crusade against "identity politics" and college leftism decried me as an anti-Semite for suggesting the same thing about Zionists. Unsurpisingly, the entire Jewish-Zionist contigent of Shapiro's publication, Dailywire, descended from their enlightened American patriotism to argue with strawmen and call me a stupid, ignorant, Islamist sympathizing, idiot.
That sounds a lot like identity politics to me. Conservatives will run to the right of Robert Spencer to call Islam cancerous, dangerous, and downright evil, they rebuff accusations of Islamophobia by meekly retreating to the obnoxiously pretentious "facts don't care about your feelings" line. Yet God forbid some "free thinking" conservative dare question the conservative response to Obama's position on one Israeli policy, automatically labeled an anti-Semitic Nazi brownshirt. It is very easy to criticize identity politics while maintaining it for your own tribe; and that is called hypocrisy.
It would do conservatism a lot of good to cut down on the conservative platitudes which have been repeated more times than Seinfeld reruns and start thinking critically. We have enough "guns/God/beer is good" material, we have a consensus on that one. Now that Donald Trump has destroyed the Republican Party, we have an historic opportunity to reshape government and politics in a truly conservative vision, we ought to define it through discussion and critical thought rather than regurgitation. Conservatives have punched through accusations of racism, xenophobia, islamophobia, homophobia, and transphobia to tell the truth, we ought to defeat all false accusations of bigotry. We ought to put America First again.