On December 19, 2015, on Saturday night, the week before Christmas, when vast numbers of Americans are out and about, the Democratic Party held its last “debate” of the year, hosted by ABC News. If you missed it, you weren’t alone. The Democratic Party bigwigs obviously don’t want Americans to see it – hence, the reason for holding it on a weekend night, and the New York Times didn’t even bother to report on it. Take a look at the Sunday, December 20, 2015, print edition of the NY Times; you will find nothing about it.
The “debate,” which took place in what appeared to be a small lecture hall at St. Anselm College, in Manchester, New Hampshire, was filled with a handful of the Party faithful. Hillary Clinton, grinning, as always, but not smiling, looked as if she would rather be somewhere else. She did her best, as always, to avoid answering pointed questions. Her responses invariably carried the message: if I am elected your President, you can rely on me! Two of the salient issues covered during this debate concerned the continuing threat posed by Islamic extremism, and, one of the Democratic Party’s favorite subject: gun control.
So, where does Clinton stand on threats to the Nation posed by Islamic extremists and on Americans’ right to keep and bear arms in their own defense? Since Clinton has a lock on the Democratic Party, her responses to last night’s debate, give some clue of what a Clinton Presidency would look like.
The ABC news moderator, David Muir, established the setting for the first set of questions, directed to Clinton, Sanders, and O’Malley. They concerned the San Bernardino incident. As Muir pointed out, that incident, is deemed to be an act of terrorism, as acknowledged by Obama, who had said, dubiously, just before Thanksgiving, that there was no credible intelligence, indicating a plot on America. Muir pointed out that the couple who had committed the act of terrorism on U.S. soil had assembled an arsenal, were not on law enforcement’s radar, were completely undetected by intelligence and yet, for all that, just before Christmas, Obama is again telling the American people that no credible terrorist threat exists against America. That remark is inconsistent with the reality of the fact of an Islamic terrorist attack on our land. Therefore Obama’s remarks are altogether inexplicable.
Muir asked Clinton to respond to how confident Americans should be, in spite of, or, perhaps, precisely, because of Obama’s remarks, that there aren’t other such couples in the U.S. who are as yet going undetected, and how Clinton would go about finding them. Clinton responded as she usually does, by evading the question and interjecting empty feel-good pronouncements. She said that her job is to keep America safe and to keep the families of America safe and that she has a plan to go after the Islamic State. That, of course, is all well and good. But, what would she actually do to keep Americans safe in this Country? She said only that she would work with Muslims in this Country who would be “our early warning system” and that she would rely on them to learn what they are doing about dealing with the radicalization of Muslims.
Clinton intimated that technology companies must work with government. What she meant by that, as she clarified her remarks, later in the debate, is that technology companies must be willing to give up their encryption keys to government. This of course weakens our Fourth Amendment right to privacy and opens Americans’ computers to hackers both here in this Country and abroad.
Martha Raddatz, the second ABC news moderator, pointed out to Clinton that, in the wake of the San Bernardino attack, Clinton has emphasized gun control but that in recent ABC poll most Americans now feel that arming themselves, rather than stricter gun laws is the best defense against acts of terrorism. Raddatz pointedly asked Clinton, “are they wrong?” Clinton responded, with her wry smile, that you have to look at the role that terrorism plays at home and abroad, “and the role that guns play in delivering the violence that stalks us.” Clinton then went off on a tangent talking about the need to build a coalition at home and abroad to take on the “Islamic State.”
Raddatz then brought Clinton back to the question at hand, asking Clinton, “can we stick to the question about gun control? Clinton responded: “Guns in and of themselves, in my opinion, will not make Americans safer. Arming more people . . . I think is not the appropriate response to terrorism.” Applause from the peanut gallery. “I think what is, is creating much deeper, closer relations, and, yes, coalitions, within our own Country. The first line of defense against radicalization, according to Clinton, is in the American Muslim community. People we should be welcoming and working with.” Clinton then goes into a diatribe against the Republican Party generally and Donald Trump in particular. Clinton begs the question when she says that the Republicans are sending the wrong message that there is a clash of civilizations. Perhaps, there is just that: a clash of civilizations. Certainly, from the standpoint of Islamic State, there is a clash of civilizations. And, we would do well to consider the problem posed by Islamic State as just that serious. Clinton ends her response, with this: “guns have to be looked at as their own problem, but we also have to look at how we are going to deal with radicalization here in the United States.”
Guns, in the minds of both Clinton and Obama are seen as a broader problem that encapsulates terrorism. Thus, Clinton speaks of the San Bernardino attack on innocent Americans, not as an act of Islamic terrorism but, rather, as a gun issue. The killers are described as “shooters,” not “terrorists.” Thus, Clinton places emphasis on the weapon used in the attack, rather than emphasizing the reason for the attack. She therefore places Americans in danger of further attack by Islamic radicals, for she absolutely refuses to consider that more armed Americans would best forestall such attacks.
And, there you have it. Clinton says, not only that guns serve no purpose as tenable means of self-defense, but that they present their own “problem.” And, as for Islamist radicalization, her answer to lone-wolf acts of terrorism is that Americans should simply rely on the Muslim community, who harbor them, to turn them in to the authorities.
What can Americans expect from a Clinton Presidency? Just this: one, further erosion of the Fourth Amendment right of Americans to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures; two, erosion of the First Amendment’s freedom of speech clause, out of fear of retribution from Islamic extremists and to spread the gospel of “political correctness;” and, three, destruction of the Second Amendment because ownership and possession of firearms in this Country is to be perceived not as a fundamental right but simply as a problem.
We have a question for each of the candidates from either party: “If you were given carte blanc, to rewrite any one or more Amendments of the Bill of Rights of the U.S. Constitution, would you desire to do so? And, if so, how would each of the Amendments, that happen to remain, if any, read? We would especially like to see Clinton’s honest response to thatCopyright © 2015 Roger J Katz (Towne Criour), Stephen L. D’Andrilli (Publius) All Rights Reserved.