Napolitano’s Approach to Homeland Security
Making “Conservative” a Dirty Word
Napolitano’s Approach to Homeland Security
Recently, Homeland Security came out with a report titled “Rightwing Extremism: Current Economic and Political Climate Fueling Resurgence in Radicalization and Recruitment.” At first, I thought, given the incendiary nature of the report, that it seemed like a really asinine thing for Janet Napolitano to disseminate throughout the world of law enforcement. She had to have known that such a widespread report would be leaked to the public. Consequently, I started questioning whether Janet Napolitano’s “asinine” dissemination was asinine or not. Could it be that the whole thing was intentional, with a more insidious purpose – one more gradual and cumulative in its effect?
As soon as the report was leaked, it quickly garnered intense scorn from just about everyone who felt unjustly tarred by the Department of Homeland Security as someone who could be or might become a domestic terrorist. Was Janet Napolitano surprised by the leak? Nope, I don’t think so. If she had been, it would certainly mean that Ms. Napolitano is a naïve airhead, and that she’s not.
To me, it feels more like an intentional attempt to tarnish the very idea of having thoughts and beliefs that are different from those of the Obama administration. Janet Napolitano and Obama are making it personal and trying to implant the idea that it is okay to make those who oppose Obama’s policies the object of ridicule. On closer inspection, this action looks remarkably similar to something straight from Saul Alinsky’s “Rules for Radicals” playbook.
“Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon. It is almost impossible to counteract ridicule. Also it infuriates the opposition, which then reacts to your advantage.”
Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it. In conflict tactics there are certain rules that [should be regarded] as universalities. One is that the opposition must be singled out as the target and ‘frozen.’….any target can always say, ‘Why do you center on me when there are others to blame as well?’ When you ‘freeze the target,’ you disregard these [rational but distracting] arguments….
Unfortunately, many people out of fear, a desire to belong, wanting to be seen as smart, to be seen as part of something or not to be seen as part of the targeted group will easily be led to acquiesce to the tarnishing of friends and neighbors (especially when one considers that the media will surely bombard us all with voices and stories sympathetic to the Obama Administration).
The tarnishing words of association that are coming from the Administration and that will be dutifully echoed or coyly referred to by the media are “rightwing extremists”. The branding of conservatives has begun. Implicit in Homeland Security’s report, the term “rightwing extremist” appears to surpass al Qaeda and Islamic terrorists in its danger to America as the others are not mentioned.
The Homeland Security report describes numerous characteristics and circumstances of people who should be watched by law enforcement. The ones that unjustly include millions of normal Americans whose apparent crime is love of country, deeply held moral concerns, or reverence for the Constitution are: Returning combat Veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan, people who are concerning about their Second Amendment rights to have reasonable access to firearms and ammunition, people who are opposed to illegal immigration and amnesty for illegals, those who believe in a limited federal government and states rights under the 10th Amendment, those who oppose abortion, those who think the Constitutional provision that only a “natural born citizen” may serve as President should be enforced, those who are concerned that Obama’s economic policies are leading the country to bankruptcy, those who worry that jobs are being lost overseas, those who do not want to see an increase in entitlement programs, the children of parents who have lost their jobs, those who belong to militias, those who criticize free trade agreements, those who oppose same-sex marriage, those who worry that the government may be infringing upon civil liberties, those who have a believe in “end times” prophesies, and those who want immigration laws enforced. It certainly seems to include everyone who opposes Obama’s policies.
My biggest objection to the report is that it purposely or negligently associates those who may hold one or more strong political/moral concerns listed above with hate groups, with the Timothy McViegh’s of the world, with racists, skinheads, bigots, and violence. Incendiary words are carefully interspersed throughout the report, allowing many readers to wrongly conclude or get the feeling that if you can be identified in the report, you’re a terrorist. As with all groups of people, liberal or conservative, there are always the few bad actors (Timothy McViegh, William Ayers, Rev. Wright) and these provide the few kernels of truth necessary to allow a Janet Napolitano to paint an entire group with the same brush. It just depends on who those in power want to target. Janet Napolitano’s target is clear – conservatives.
If you are an American who loves this country, maybe you attended a tea party recently, protested for the first time at a tea party, maybe you want the government to be fiscally responsible, or you have risked you life defending the freedoms that most Americans hold dear – then this official report from Homeland Security attempting to brand you as a possible domestic terrorist comes as an incredible shock!
Nevertheless, it does follow Saul Alinsky’s rules:
“Whenever possible, go outside the expertise of the enemy. Look for ways to increase insecurity, anxiety and uncertainty.”
The truth is that the overwhelming majority of these Americans (especially the Veterans) unjustly described in Homeland Security’s official document would never in a thousand years believe or entertain the idea that they could possibly be considered a threat to their government! It is completely outside their experience (expertise).
So that’s what seems to be the obvious purpose.
As bad as it is for Janet Napolitano to appear to impugn the patriotism and good intentions of millions of Americans, there must be an additional benefit to the Obama Administration to make it worth the risk of lasting public backlash.
I think we need to ask a few questions.
When Janet Napolitano uses the term “rightwing” is she really referring to “conservatives”? Given the issues and implications that Homeland Security has laid out in their report, when coupled with military service, it would seem so. Although in reality the term “conservative” carries no homogeneous meaning that fits all people who self identify as being “conservative”, it does seem to carry for many TV viewers the stereotypical meanings cast upon it by the media and the “left.” However for most contemplative individuals the term “conservative” has meaning more along the lines of what the speaker or viewer thinks it means relative to their ideas of meaning regarding the terms “moderate” and “liberal.” “Conservatives” don’t agree on all issues; and on any given issue “they” can fall along the continuum of positions according to their own experiences, backgrounds and beliefs as to what each position means. However, Janet Napolitano appears to be trying to demagogue the term “conservative” for her own purposes. But, I’ll play along.
What can Janet Napolitano and Obama fear from Americans who love this country passionately, would defend her if necessary and who simply want her laws & Constitution followed? Could it be their principles, values, work ethic, independence, pride, determination, or maybe they might start organizing? “Conservatives”, and maybe “moderates,” of all parties becoming proudly organized and standing up is probably the Obama Administration’s biggest fear.
Are these targeted, country and Constitution first “conservatives” more likely to live in urban areas or in the heartland, suburban and rural America? It’s fairly clear to me that most are more likely to live in suburban and rural areas. Even in “Blue States” rural areas went for John McCain. Not withstanding the truth, Janet Napolitano would have you believe that most live barefoot in trailer parks.
Do most of these targeted Americans work hard, pay taxes, believe in some kind of higher power, help their neighbors, give a higher percentage of their income to charities, give more of their time, and have higher expectations of their children? As far as I can tell, the vast majority does. However, I can imagine Janet Napolitano explaining that at most “conservatives” church services there is a requirement that congregation members must bring their own rattlesnake to handle.
Are many of these targeted Americans hunters, shooting enthusiasts, and/or gun owners? That’s been my experience. I have three guns – two rifles and a shotgun. But I bet Janet Napolitano wants you to believe that most of us have AK-47s and grenade launchers in our closets.
Does a greater percentage of heartland, suburban and rural area young people enlist in the military to do the heavy lifting required to protect this country’s freedom? Absolutely! The Heritage Foundation reported that in…”1999 recruits were more highly educated than the equivalent general population, more rural and less urban in origin, and of similar income status. We did not find evidence of minority racial exploitation …. We did find evidence of a Southern military tradition in that some states, notably in the South and West, provide a much higher proportion of enlisted troops by population.” However, Janet Napolitano would like for you to believe that “liberals” are much more patriotic than “conservatives” and more importantly they exhibit the “right” kind of patriotism. I’m not sure what that means – sitting down for the National Anthem and not putting you hand over your heart?
Are many of the well known “liberal states” slackers when it comes to doing the heavy lifting required to protect this country? Unfortunately, yes. At the end of this article you will find a table I compiled from data available in the 2000 Census and an article written in The Heritage Foundation. New York, D.C., Massachusetts, Connecticut, Illinois, and New Jersey rank 43rd, 52nd, 48th, 46th, 40th, and 44th respectively when we calculate the military recruits to population ratios of the states and territories. These figures certainly support the stereotypes many Americans have when thinking about these states.
Are most of the young people who enlist in the military from states like New York, New Jersey, Rhode Island, or Connecticut likely to come from the same types of families with similar values as most of the other recruits? I would think that they would be somewhat similar. It seemed true when I was in the Navy and I gladly honor them for their patriotism.
Do Veterans have a higher or lower likelihood living in poverty than non Veterans? Veterans have a lower likelihood. “Overall, 5.6 percent of veterans lived in poverty in 1999…compared with 10.9 percent of the U.S. adult population in general.”
Do Veterans have a higher rate of incarceration as compared to the general population? Much lower, less than half the rate of the general population. I guess Janet Napolitano thinks many are gang bangers, gun runners and thugs.
Do these facts speak at all to work ethic and family values? When I was in the Navy it was all about pulling your weigh and following the rules. However, I was also raised that way. Given the chance and the expectation, I do believe that most people want to pull their weight. Regrettably, with the government and society we have now, America seems to be more about bailing out and creating more and more people dependent on government.
What states have passed or have attempted to pass legislation or resolutions these past 3 or 4 months aimed at protecting their sovereignty under the 10th Amendment of the Constitution from the federal government (Obama’s government)? There’s a fairly long list. I’m sure Janet is taking names and keeping her eagle eye on them. However, it’s about protecting the states from an overly intrusive federal government. The Tenth Amendment reads: “The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.” It is perfectly clear that power flows up from the people and the states – not the other way around. What’s going on now is a power grab by the federal government.
What states have higher ratios of enlistment of eligible young people in the military? Many of the same states that have passed or have attempted to pass legislation to protect state sovereignty are at the top of the list. (See the table below.)
What states have the highest percentage of Veterans as state residents? Many of the same states that have passed or have attempted to pass legislation to protect state sovereignty have the highest percentages of Veterans living there. (See table below.)
Do the many law enforcement personnel have military service as part of their life’s story? I have no doubt about it, because I have worked with law enforcement many times in my working life. In fact, it appears that they are more than 3 times as likely as the general population to be Veterans. “In a 2009 survey of more than 1,000 urban policemen reported in Criminal Justice and Behavior, 35.4 percent of police officers had prior military service.” I would suspect that this rate is even higher in suburban and rural areas.
Do you think that a substantial percentage of law enforcement falls within one or more of the suspect categories identified in the Homeland Security report; or have friends and family members who do? I believe so, especially if they happen to come from rural areas. It would also not surprise me if many would privately identify themselves as “conservatives” in the noblest tradition.
Do you think, given “the consequences of a prolonged economic Downturn, including real estate foreclosures, unemployment, and an inability to obtain credit” (as stated in the Homeland Security Report) and the fact that Attorney General Eric Holder and Janet Napolitano are now in charge (and transnationalist Harold Koh is possibly coming on board soon) – that “conservative” law enforcement personnel might also be worried about keeping their jobs, rocking the boat, and/or risking their families security? With the kind of demagoguery of the term “conservative” coming out of Homeland Security, I certainly would be.
All kidding aside, I do believe that the likely answers to these last three questions point to Janet Napolitano’s insidious reason for disseminating the Homeland Security report. Because many in law enforcement may self identify as conservative, Ms. Napolitano may be trying to instill a degree of uncertainty and insecurity within the ranks of law enforcement.
Life is a corrupting process from the time a child learns to play his mother off against his father in the politics of when to go to bed; he who fears corruption fears life.
By disseminating this report across the law enforcement community, it makes it clear that the upper echelon of power in law enforcement now scoffs at the very notion of a “conservative American”. This might be an attempt to establish a new unspoken paradigm for professional advancement within the law enforcement community; one that makes it difficult for the conservative officer to know who to trust or who he or she can speak freely with. In my opinion, this is Janet Napolitano’s attempt to crush conservative political speech and ideas from the ranks of law enforcement. Hopefully, the rank and file law enforcement officers will see what Napolitano intends, muster their courage and hold tightly to the freedom to have and express different opinions.
The greatest enemy of individual freedom is the individual himself.
I would add three words to the quote “…the individual himself” + paralyzed by fear.
Napolitano’s actions and continuing support for this report conveys the clear intention to create a chilling effect on free speech and conservative political thought within the law enforcement community and the general public at large.
In fact, last week the Thomas More Law Center filed suit against Homeland Security’s Janet Napolitano on behalf of Michael Savage, Gregg Cunningham of the Center for Bio-Ethical Reform, and Iraqi War Veteran, Kevin Murray. The suit alleges Homeland Security “…has violated the First and Fifth Amendment Constitutional rights of these three plaintiffs by attempting to chill their free speech, expressive association, and equal protection rights.” It also charges that Homeland Security “encourages law enforcement officers throughout the nation to target and report citizens to federal officials as suspicious rightwing extremists and potential terrorists because of their political beliefs.”
Instead of being filled with insecurity and uncertainty, we (conservatives, moderates and liberals) need be proactive and stand tall against such blatant attempts to vilify and tarnish millions of Americans. Who knows, the government may next target your group.
Even though the media will likely take every opportunity to equate “conservatives” in some degree with “rightwing extremists” (and ignore any news that challenges the Obama “fairy tale” such as William Ayers, Rev. Wright or Larry Sinclair’s allegations), 99.99 percent of conservative Americans have no reason to hang their heads. Obama and his Administration are the ones who should be hanging their heads in shame for engaging in such divisive “Alinsky” tactics and demagoguery targeting Americans whose main crime is love of country.
It’s important for “conservatives” of all persuasions to remember that both Obama and Hillary are intimately versed in Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals; and that “conservatives” should always be on guard.