Okay Progressives, here's a riddle for you: a large majority of the American people are polled supporting President Obama on a particular issue but some in his own party do not, should he proceed with his current policy on that issue or bend to political and media pressure and abandon said policy even though a majority of Americans agree with him on it?
You'd think that's an easy answer, right? But what if that particular issue was the usage of drones in combating terrorism and the targeting of American defectors who have joined al Qaeda specifically to kill Americans? Aha!
Several of the polls I've seen, including MSNBC's Ed Schultz's own admittedly progressive-laden poll from one of his recent nightly shows (which was 78% approval), indicates that a majority of Americans agree with President Obama's policy on targeting terrorists (even ex-American terrorists) with drones. A Washington Post/ABC poll had the number as high as 83% approval just last February and a recent HuffPost/YouGov Survey found that a majority of both Republicans and Democrats approve of the use of drones. By the way, I think it's very funny that I have not seen much of this kind of polling on any of the left-leaning shows. Could that be because the polling goes against their narrative of always knowing what's in the best interest for the country?
Day after day, night after night, on left-leaning cable news and radio shows, I hear the constant battle cry of 'if the American people are with you Mr. President, stand your ground!' I hear it on gun control, on health care, on Medicaid, Social Security, Medicare, finance reform, immigration reform, taxes, education, climate change, etc. The loud and proud members of the left constantly implore the President to "stick with the American people." Well this time, as far as the will of the American people, it's the Progressives who are on the short end of the poll and what I want to know is this: Does the constant cry from Progressives for the president to "stick with the will of the American people" only apply when he's going up against Republicans or does it count for Democrats as well? Because like it or not, the majority of the American people are on the side of the president on this one.
What many people are not talking about is what has always been our main alternative to the use of drones... sending in our military personnel and possibly endangering more American lives. Now if this is what the critics of drones would prefer then they should just come out and say it... "don't use drones, send in the military!" Then we can sit and listen to them change subjects and whine about the use of ground troops and how wrong that is. I can't help but wonder just how many of the over 30,000 military casualties in Iraq and over 10,000 in Afghanistan could have maybe been prevented had we had a more targeted use of drones from the beginning of these wars instead of sending in 100,000-plus military troops.
Believe me, I am in no way for the killing of innocents, even in fighting terror, and I am no hawk... I was vehemently against the wars in both Afghanistan and Iraq (which I had family and friends that served in both). But I was watching the movie The Siege this weekend on television (which coincidentally came out only two years before 9/11) and I remember a line from one of my favorite scenes in which government officials were trying to figure out how best to deal with escalating terrorism and the targeted killing of Americans in New York City. One of the officials at the table was trying to be 'politically correct' in their discussion of how to combat the terrorists and another member chimed in with, "you can't fight a junk-yard dog with ASPCA rules, you have to take the leash off of you own bigger, meaner dog!" I found myself thinking... damn right!
And as for the argument of 'well, who knows who the next president might be and how they would use the policy', I have news for you... the majority of us just want to feel safe and if this is what it takes, then so be it! We don't care that a so-called "American citizen" who has joined a terrorist group specifically to target and kill Americans does not get a tax-funded trial and a last meal! We don't care that some countries that are harboring known terrorists are complaining about our country's use of drones against them! My mother always taught me that "you are the company you keep" and if someone has a relative, friend or neighbor that is a known terrorist member of al Qaeda and they continue to hang around them, then they must also know that they are taking their own life into their hands by being in their company and with that known risk comes known consequences. If I have a friend or relative that I know has a history of robbing gas stations then the chances of me jumping into their car one day to go to the gas station is slim to none. Because guess what, if the police are shooting at the car and I'm in the car it doesn't matter if I may be innocent I have to know that I may get shot as well because I'm in the car with a person who just robbed a gas station.
Political correctness is all well and good until it's you or a member of your own family blown out of the sky by a terrorist bomb. We all know very well just what kind of bi-partisan, "Kumbaya" jamboree has been taking place in Washington D.C. lately. They can't even agree on what day it is and heaven forbid this country is hit again with another 9/11 style attack, I would be very interested to hear what the drone critics would say if it later came out that the perpetrator of the attack could have been taken out by a drone but the so-called "independent" hearing on whether or not to attack was held up in committee or court and the power to strike had been taken away from the President so nothing was done in time. Okay tree-huggers, what then?!
D.C. is Grand Central Station for gridlock (especially now) and that is one reason the president of the United States is given this kind of power to act on behalf of the safety and security of the American people. The unfortunate price we pay for that power is that sometimes it may be abused but the price we may pay for not having that power could in the end be much, much higher! A good example of that power is police officers. They are endowed with tremendous power to sometimes act unilaterally for the sole purpose of keeping our country's citizens safe. Sometimes, as we have seen in the past, that power can be abused by bad cops but God forbid a police officer had to wait to check with an 'independent committee' before shooting a criminal.
Someone in history once asked, 'what price freedom?' Well the price is different for everyone. If you are a soldier in Afghanistan or a member of a police force in Chicago then you may have different price than a stay-at-home mom in Kansas or a football coach in Texas. A congressman in D.C. may have a different price than a congressman in Jonestown (Guyana). A school teacher in Paris, France may have a different price than a school teacher in Newtown, Connecticut. An American citizen in Iraq may have a different price than an Iraqi citizen in America. A president of the United States may have a different price than a political party or the media in the United States. The point is that we all view the price of freedom differently but the biggest difference of all in how we view it is that most of us are not the ones who have to pay the final bill!