Clinton and Schumer are Profiling Muslims
By Selwyn Duke
It really is true that lies have short legs. One way or another, liberals always end up contradicting themselves, tacitly acknowledging that their pronouncements are more political artifice than statesmanlike artistry, more incitive than insightful.
What brings this to mind is the controversial plan allowing the Dubai-based company DP World to assume managerial responsibilities at six major US seaports. In the piece I just wrote in opposition to the Arab takeover, I quoted Senator Chuck Schumer, who has become a strange bedfellow in his leading of the charge to scuttle the arrangement. Having a nose capable of detecting political opportunity every bit as well as it could sniff out marriageable men of potential, Hillary Clinton has cast her lot with Schumer. Now, as I have indicated, I support them in this, but the incongruity of their stance hasn’t escaped my notice. No, they have done violence to principles their ilk has most sanctimoniously claimed embody true virtue, and I won’t miss this chance to hoist them on their own petards.
Hear ye, hear ye! Hillary Clinton and Chuck Schumer are profiling Muslims. This conclusion is inescapable. After all, on what basis do they object to this plan? “Er . . . it’s, it’s, it’s that it is a foreign company,” stammer the apologists. Nay, the liberals were silent when the British company from which DP World is taking the reins oversaw the ports, and it strains credulity to claim the New York senators would have been so taken aback had the baton been handed off to a Swiss entity. Face it, they have been caught with their political-correctness down.
But this is a rare occasion when their antennae are up (Schumer anyway, as I suspect Lady Macbeth is driven by expediency). The fact of the matter is some liberals are finally demonstrating a grasp of the proper application and value of profiling. After all, implicit in their judgement is the following: virtually all the terrorists who bedevil us are Muslim, therefore, we have to assume that a Muslim company would be more likely to harbor terrorists or their sympathizers than a non-Muslim company. Note that “more likely” doesn’t mean it’s definite. It doesn’t have to be, as most things in life are assessed based on probability. In some sports and games this is called playing the percentages.
And this is precisely the science that underpins good profiling (a.k.a. racial-profiling, which is a misnomer). The principle in question is: if a group is over-represented in a certain category of crime, it will receive scrutiny commensurate with that representation when matters concerning that crime category are involved. In other words, we will assess the probability that a given entity has criminal intent or poses a danger and act accordingly. This is the principle that justifies suspicion of DP World. It is a just principle. And Clinton and Schumer are embracing it.
How, though, do they reconcile this position with the consistent liberal opposition to the placing of greater scrutiny on Muslims at airports? Furthermore, how can they now have any credibility when criticizing others for applying this principle to other minority groups? Is this the fruits of an epiphany? Is it a spiritual and political rebirth? Am I to count you, Senators Clinton and Schumer, as my allies in the fight to finally use profiling in a way more symmetrical with good criminology than bad ideology? Ah, I wax rhetorical.
But it’s a curious and delicious departure from leftist orthodoxy. Such liberals had always been monolithic and steadfast in their opposition to the profiling of any politically privileged “underprivileged” group, while uttering nary a word about the profiling of politically underprivileged “privileged” groups. It was: the profiling of whites, yes; the profiling of blacks, no. The profiling of men, yes; the profiling of Muslim men, no. But these liberals have allowed common-sense to intrude into their ideology. These demagogic chess masters have finally made the wrong move. They have exposed their king, and he has no clothes.
Needless to say, this foray into reason will prove to be nothing more than a flight of reality. Clinton and Schumer will continue to object to the equitable and proper use of profiling and cast its proponents as bigots. That’s how they maintain their ill-gotten power. How will they justify it? They won’t.
Liberals aren’t thinkers, they’re “feelers.” Thus, they are not governed by absolutes but by expediency and what feels right at the moment. Profiling Muslims within the context of the port situation feels right, whereas doing so at airports doesn’t. It’s that simple. For this reason, a given liberal “principle,” for lack of a better word (it’s not quite accurate to call an ever-changing emotional preference a “principle”), is only pulled from the magician’s hat when it can be placed in the service of a liberal agenda. It’s the closest thing to a religious experience the Clintons and Schumers of the world will have. Their “principles” undergo a continual cycle of death and resurrection, the latter phase being animated by the desire to breathe life into deadly fallacies in need of buttressing.
What we can do is remember the day when Hillary Clinton and Chuck Schumer walked where liberals fear to tread. When arguing in favor of good, equitable, across-the-board profiling, we must cite that time when two of the most powerful liberals in the country said, unknowingly and in so many words, “Yeah, you traditionalists were right about that profiling stuff all along.” Now, if only the senators’ enlightenment were not so fleeting, for it’s a beautiful thing. I think it’s what alcoholics call . . . a moment of clarity.