January 22, 2017

Linda Sarsour and Modern American Politics

Let me open today's blog post by saying I was moderately impressed with President Donald Trump's Inauguration Day Speech. I thought he touched on many important points. The point that struck me closest to home was his promise to remove control of the federal government from career politicians and return it the American people. I applaud this idea wholeheartedly. I am not convinced he can actually pull it off, but I am looking forward to watching him try.

The day after the Inauguration of President Donald Trump there was a nationwide march organized by a variety of women's rights groups. One of the organizers was a woman named Linda Sarsour whom I had never heard of prior to today. Her sudden entrance onto the national stage has captured the interest of many people on both sides of the aisle. Since the Democratic Party remains obsessed with identity politics, her connection with yesterday's Women's March has sent a wildfire burning through both liberal and conservative social media.

Apparently, the radical wing of Islam in America is far less impressed with Linda Sarsour than Jan Morgan realizes.

Ikhras: Linda Sarsour, Fake Activist

Former friends of Sarsour tell us with her rising public profile came a remarkable change in her private and public behavior. Her unabashed, self-serving approach has alienated many people and her early connections to the community and former colleagues are now virtually non-existent. She has also cultivated a public persona that those who knew her tell us is dramatically unlike the Sarsour they had encountered and previously worked with. Even Palestinian-Americans who do not know Sarsour personally recognize a caricature type quality to her public behavior.

The fundamental problem with politics in America today is that it has become impossible to distinguish between the corrupt, self-serving narcissists who use the system to enrich themselves and those individuals who are deeply concerned with protecting and improving the lives of we who are not members of the political class. The professional politicians have become very skilled at misdirection, deception, and hypocrisy. For all intents and purposes, the most corrupt politicians in Washington D.C. look identical to those politicians dedicated to public service. Even those of us with highly developed internet search skills often have problems accurately discerning between the heroes and the villains. This is true across both major parties along with the myriad of tiny, independent parties that dot the American political landscape. The unfolding story of Linda Sarsour and her growing fame within New York City is a perfect example of this conundrum.

As of this writing, Linda Sarsour's Wikipedia entry has only three sentences:

Linda Sarsour (born 1980) is a Palestinian-American activist who is the executive director of the Arab American Association of New York. Sarsour was a National Co-Chair of the Women's March on Washington, held on January 21, 2017, the day after the inauguration of US President Donald Trump.

In 2016, Sarsour endorsed Democratic Senator Bernie Sanders for President of the United States.

And yet, judging from Jan Morgan's Facebook post, along with the blog post at Ikhras, she has been very active in local New York issues for quite some time. Since she is a woman, a Muslim, and a Palestinian, she is the perfect identity politician for the modern Democratic Party. Between now and 2024 I suspect that not only will we see much more of Linda Sarsour, her Wikipedia entry will rapidly expand. Clearly she has been tagged by those within the New York and national political establishments as someone who has both the charisma and the background to become a female version of President Barack Obama. 2024 will probably see her already serving in either the House of Representatives or the Senate and no doubt she will be a highly visible component of the 2024 political season. If a Republican wins the White House in 2024, then no doubt Linda Sarsour will be pushed into the front of the party as a candidate for president in the 2028 season.

Those on the far right have already begun their campaigns to cut the legs out from under her political aspirations. In addition to Jan Morgan's Facebook post, there are a couple dozen "conservative" blogs and "news" websites where her ties to radical Islam are being listed up along with links to both one another and to all the available news reports about her past activities. Meanwhile, MSNBC, CNN, and the rest of the "mainstream" media have been very careful to list her as the National Co-Chair of the committee that organized yesterday's march. It is not accidental that her connection to this protest is the very first item mentioned in her brand-new Wikipedia entry. This is how political careers are born. They start with a few minor mentions in national news, then a local political campaign, then a national political campaign.

But who is she really? The dichotomy between her alleged links to radical Islam and her public presence is going to continue to grow. Meanwhile, as time goes by reports by minor players such as Ikhras and myself will vanish into the background. The search for genuine clarity will be ignored, questions about her motivations will be side-stepped, and no one except her immediate family will ever have a true measure of who she is as a person. From today forward, her public persona will be carefully cultivated and controlled. Provided she, like Barack Obama before her, is able to avoid any form of public scandal, there is nothing to stop her from making a run at the White House in 2024 or 2028. She is clearly ambitious, she is clearly loved by the fundraisers and organizers who make a presidential campaign possible, and her background in activism is a perfect launching pad for an identity politician of the kind the Democratic Party now prefers.

Let me state here and now, at the very cusp of her meteoritic launch onto the national stage, I believe it is possible for a Muslim woman to both become president and to be a good president. There are a few caveats. Her love for America must be greater than her love for Allah. Her devotion to the Constitution should be greater than her devotion to the Qur'an. She can have no tolerance or acceptance of any aspect of Shari'a, although making jokes about its perceived "advantages" would probably be a good strategy for winning support within the Muslim American community. If a Muslim woman can be dedicated to the Constitution, the nation, and the people of these United States then I have no problem with her running for president. If she puts forth a platform dedicated to a smaller, less intrusive, less expensive federal government and an absolute adherence to the Second Amendment, I would even vote for her, regardless of which party banner she ran under. If either of the major parties can find a Muslim woman who has all of these qualities and is also a veteran of the Afghanistan/Iraq wars, then she would have no problem winning enough support to become president. Linda Sarsour is not a veteran, but is she a woman capable of appealing to the full range of the American political spectrum? I don't know, but I'll be keeping an eye on her as she rises through the ranks.

I am not endorsing Linda Sarsour. I am merely using her as an example of how our political system works and how she could use the system to one day run for president. At this point, she is not someone I could trust for city council, let alone for the highest office in the land. I am not impressed by her ties to yesterday's Women's March. If anything, for me that is a major demerit. But she could redeem that demerit by taking on New York City's oppressive gun control regimen and restoring the Second Amendment rights of people living in New York City. If she does run for New York City Council, wins, and uses her new platform to create incentives for better access to firearms and firearms training by the people of New York City, then I would be very impressed. However, if she runs under the Democratic Party banner, then no doubt her emphasis will be better educational opportunities for minority children, higher taxes on New York's elites, stronger gun control within the city, and further restrictions on the ability of the New York City police department to do its job. The only aspect of such a platform I would find attractive is improved educational opportunities for minority children, provided it can be accomplished without raising taxes.

Naturally, since I do not live in New York City, my opinion is completely irrelevant. The only reason I am offering it here and now is to point out that if she begins her political career as a member of the New York City Council, she is going to have to remember that when she goes national she will also have to find common ground with people like me: small government, fiscal and social conservatives who emphasize the Constitution and whose first priority is preservation of the Second Amendment. As I pointed out on November 14th (Hillary's stance on gun control may have helped Trump win), people like me are a very important voting block at the national level.

So, Linda Sarsour, if you are hoping to one day be President of the United States, then it would behoove you to keep in mind the Jan Morgans of the world and their complete disdain for Islam. Calling them "Islamophobes" is not going to help you become president. The best counter to their inherent distrust of Muslims is to champion their love of firearms by fighting to both reverse gun control and to expand firearms ownership.