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Fighting The Right Battles, Right

By Greg L | 20 November 2011 | 87th HOD District, Loudoun County, Prince William County | 12 Comments

This was a race that shouldn’t have been anywhere near close.  A strong conservative, running in a highly conservative district encompassing a swath of mostly Loudoun County and some of Prince William County, narrowly ekes out a 51 vote victory margin against a no-name liberal who runs a weak campaign amidst the biggest Republican wave that has ever hit Loudoun County.  A win is a win, and I’m mighty pleased it was a win, but I remain deeply disturbed by the unnecessary and utterly idiotic hurdle that almost prevented it.

Today the Washington Examiner writes about it in an article that should open a lot of soul-searching discussions.

But in winning elected office for the first time this year, Ramadan learned that religion carries a price tag even when it’s free. Anti-Muslim organizations attacked him as a tool of radical Islam, as one who — wittingly or inadvertently — aids, abets or is beholden to terrorists.

It might not have seared him as deeply had his wartime boyhood not put him in the midst of terrorism rooted in religion and nationalism.

“It was hurtful to see because it was not true and these people were making it up for political purposes. It was pathetic and it was bigoted,” he said. “But I have a tough skin, so I dealt with it.”

I thoroughly understand concerns about radical Islam, and have written pretty frequently about it.  Virginia has a number of deeply disturbing characters who have clear ties to terrorism financing, or have done things like make statements in front of the White House about how they support Hezbollah, and when we have individuals injecting themselves into the political discourse with these clear ties, I’m one of the people often at the forefront pointing out these associations.  Usually I’m doing that almost entirely by myself, without the benefit of ready-made protest squads to push the point home, and sometimes I even get called all sorts of names for doing so.  I’m OK with that.

When engaging on a hunt to root out and expose radical Islamists though, you can’t just assume that simply anyone with a foreign name, or any immigrant from the middle east is a closet terrorism enabler. It’s irresponsible, it’s counterproductive, and will ultimately be extremely harmful in so many ways.  The country is already very suspicious about middle easterners, and conveniently piling on that meme simply because it is politically convenient is a great way to cause entirely unnecessary and thoroughly unproductive ethic enmity that will do this nation great harm.  If your long-term goal is to hope we’ll someday exclude anyone of middle eastern heritage from political life in this country, this tactic is certainly for you.  If you’re actually motivated to learn the truth and react appropriately to it, this idea is utterly stupid.

If we are ever to see radical Islamism as a motivation defeated as an idea, the point is not to universally make Muslim-Americans bogeymen.  It is to demonstrate with credibility that the idea of radical Islamism is horrific, and responsibly identify those responsible for promoting that idea and hold them to account for it.  Those that reject radical Islamism and clearly demonstrate that they don’t just understand the beauty of American ideals but embrace them with gusto aren’t to be rejected.  They’re the answer — really the only answer — to shifting the dynamic among Muslim communities here and abroad.  Some guy that looks and talks like me isn’t going to shift thought within immigrant and international communities, but someone that looks like them, sounds like them, and is one of them ethnically, will because they are armed with truth and familiar to their audience.  These are international culture warriors in perhaps the most significant international intellectual battle of this century, and if we lose this one, life is going to be awfully difficult for our children and grandchildren, and their children as well.

Culturally assimilated middle eastern Americans are critically important to our future national security.  They are international ambassadors that can change one of the most fundamental national security challenges we face now and in the future.  Demonstrate to these people we hate them, and it just about proves true everything the radical Ayatollahs and Imams are saying about us.  That doesn’t mean at all ignoring valid domestic threats, but we have to be able to differentiate between allies and threats rather than simply assume anyone with a funny name and an accent is a threat.

So I’m going to a David Ramadan event one night late in the campaign in Tyson’s Corner, and it’s all I can do to not walk out in front of the building where the Jo-Ann Chase crowd is still protesting and slap some sense into these misinformed folks who have been whipped into a frenzy by a bunch of deliberately irresponsible idiots.  Do they not have a clue at all what they’re doing?  Apparently they don’t, but there’s a funny name involved, the guy they’re protesting has an accent, and that’s all they need to make it seem that the Republican Party is about as rational on ethnic matters as was Democrat Franklin Delano Roosevelt who rounded up people and incarcerated them in internment camps solely because of their ethic heritage.  It’s not just annoying, it’s deplorably enraging.  In the long-term, is phenomenally counter-productive.

Because of this idiocy David Ramadan lost in Loudoun County, and it fell to Prince William County to overcome that and provide him with the margin of victory.  This was at the same time the Loudoun County Democrats were in complete disarray to the point of losing seven seats on the Loudoun County Board to make it 9-0 Republican in the most stunning electoral turnaround in Loudoun County history since Reconstruction.  One of the most conservative house districts in Virginia almost elected a liberal Democrat while a portion of the Republican activist base wasn’t not only not supporting Ramadan, but actually protesting outside of his campaign events saying utterly silly things.

Were there some folks making some criticisms that were at least rational, and not based wholly on ethnically-based fear mongering?  Sure.  I don’t agree with those assessments, but just as I urge others not to pigeon-hole anyone from the middle east as a terrorist threat I’m not going to claim that everyone who didn’t support David was doing so solely out of cultural ignorance whipped into overdrive by some irresponsible parties.  You want to engage responsibly, I’m fine with that, even if I don’t agree.  You’re not the ones I’m throwing rocks at today.  The “anti-shariah taskforce” crowd have earned every one of these and more, but not you.

Over the next two years those folks are going to have an opportunity to see how David Ramadan acts in the General Assembly as a Delegate.  I’m certain actual experience and fact established over this period will be sufficient to encourage them to think long and hard about how easily they were mislead by some individuals not worthy of their trust, whose lie-fueled behavior has been beyond reprehensible.  Two years of experience should be utterly damning to the trustworthiness of these characters, and I look forward to the reckoning for them I know will be coming.

We will all be better for it.

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  1. Lovettsville Lady said on 20 Nov 2011 at 11:28 pm:
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    Outstanding post!

  2. Gaius Baltar said on 21 Nov 2011 at 5:50 am:
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    Great post Greg! I’ve been saying the same to anyone who will listen. I was embarrassed when I saw the results coming in on election night.

    We NEED Muslims like David Ramadan to be examples to other Muslims here in the US to show them that assimilation is the best path to success. It completely destroys our argument when a person does everything right and then he is still castigated. We do not want to give a gift to victim pimps like CAIR who actually want Muslim-Americans to feel victimized and hence need them (i.e., keep them employed)

    For all the Jo-Anne Chase types:

    - Islam isn’t going anywhere.
    - There are many different versions of Islam and not one “true” Islam.
    - Since Islam isn’t going anywhere, then we should prefer the gelded Islam of people like David Ramadan and Zhuddi Jasser
    - Your conspiracies about Muslims somehow turning the US into Saudi Arabia sounds nuts to regular people.

    Here is wishing David the best.

  3. Badger said on 21 Nov 2011 at 7:37 am:
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  4. Anon said on 21 Nov 2011 at 8:59 am:
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    Best post ever, Greg!

  5. G.Stone said on 21 Nov 2011 at 9:53 am:
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    Kudos to you again Greg. Thank you for your astute observations. You hit this one out the park, my friend.

    As someone who knows David Ramadan very well, I agree with your observations. You and I both know David very well. We know the truth about him, his past, his political beliefs and his family. We also know all were attacked by those who frankly knew little, were led around by their noses by those who were in this for other reasons or were bigoted in their approach to a primary politics. The entire primary process achieved very little other than to prove that we have some who are more interested in making noise than making a difference.

    Of all the Loudoun / Prince William races, David had to put up with more crap than any other candidate. He got it from all sides. It was unfortunate that some within our own ranks caused David the most damage, almost costing him the election.

    The good news is, the good guy won ! David is a good man, a man who will serve us well in Richmond because he loves his country and the Commonwealth. David is a conservative in the mold of our current Gov. McDonnell , a guy who will take principled positions, back up those positions with hard work and a strong desire to make Virginia the best in the country.

  6. Fear & Loathing said on 21 Nov 2011 at 10:34 am:
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    I agree wholeheartedly with your post. The statement that this is much like the internment of the Japanese during World War II is absolutely dead on. We, as a a Country, must look beyond ones race, religion, and their birth place and instead focus on ones ideas and whether we agree or disagree with those ideas and convictions. Do we need to be weary of terrrorist is without question. Everyone needs to keep their eyes open to that possibility. But to exclude and persecute someone due to where they were born is just plain wrong. Thank you for this excellent piece and I think David Ramadan will prove to be an outstanding member of the House of Delegates.

  7. Reasonable and Rational said on 21 Nov 2011 at 2:15 pm:
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    This articles will make the Birthers proud.

  8. Freddie said on 21 Nov 2011 at 3:57 pm:
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    Franklin Delano Roosevelt had a funny accent too.

  9. The Bulletproof Monk said on 21 Nov 2011 at 9:07 pm:
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    Greg, you outdid yourself….again!
    Your piece on David back during the campaign that introduced folks to his “real” history and his American success story was great, but this one just went one better.

    Everyone who had a bad thing to say about Ramadan should read this objectively….and get real with themselves.
    If you were one of the idiots who donated your hard-earned money to Fred Grandy’s new venture…or JoAnne’s crazy ranting..you , too, need your head examined.

    G. Stone is right….the good guy won!

  10. freedom said on 26 Nov 2011 at 10:38 pm:
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    Hoping you’re all right and I’m wrong….

  11. The Bulletproof Monk said on 29 Nov 2011 at 10:36 pm:
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    Got wind of a story from Monday. JoAnn was asked to contribute to a collection that was being taken up for a homeless shelter’s food pantry at the last LCRC meeting.
    She refused to do so because it was a former Ramadan staffer doing the asking.

    How petty is she actually capable of being? It was a food pantry collection for the less fortunate, for God’s sakes!!!!!

  12. Ryan Gleason said on 30 Nov 2011 at 10:08 am:
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    A little late in reading this. A very thoughtful post, and I absolutely agree with it.


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