Cato’s Gene Healy picks the five worst op-eds for the year, writing at Reason.com, “Some people make New Year’s resolutions; I prefer New Year’s recriminations.” First up is Dr. Keith Ablow, at FoxNews.com. Gene writes of Ablow’s piece:
“We need the spirit of an American jihad” insists psychiatrist and Fox News commentator Dr. Keith Ablow—not, he hastens to add, the behead-the-infidel kind. Instead, he means “jihad” in the sense of “a ‘war or struggle against unbelievers’ ”—those scoundrels, at home and abroad, who doubt the self-evident truth that “We the People of the United States are good and we are right.” As Kenny Powers, the tubby, loudmouthed ex-baseball star from the HBO comedy “Eastbound and Down,”once put it: “I honestly just feel that America is the best country and the other countries aren’t as good. That used to be called patriotism.”
At home, Dr. Keith’s jihad would institutionalize the notion that “our Constitution is a sacred document” and establish self-worship as our national civic religion. “An American jihad would make every teacher of American history not only a public servant, but a servant of the Truth,” he writes.
Abroad, star-spangled holy warriors would “spread around the world our love of individual freedom and insist on its reflection in every government,” working to ensure that “every nation on earth” is eventually “governed by freely elected leaders and our Constitution.” Achieving that dream will likely require “an international mercenary force for good,” “boots on the ground in many places in the world,” and “no quarter” for evil-doers.