Do you jihad? You're American, right? You're probably a great jihader and you don't even know it. Fox News commenter Dr. Keith Ablow, "forensic psychiatrist and author of thrillers," wants you to unleash your patriotic jihad potential in accordance with his understanding of jihad, which he got from MerriamWebster.com.
"Among the many definitions of jihad," Ablow writes in his Tuesday Fox News column, "are a 'war or struggle against unbelievers' and 'a crusade for a principle or belief.' Given those definitions, I believe it's time for an American jihad." Which sounds solid, given that those definitions appear to come from the infallible internet.
Ablow isn't suggesting that you need to pray five times daily to Mount Rushmore or actively decapitate unbelievers. Unless that's what the ceaseless and likely violent spreading of the United States Constitution's domain to all corners of human creation might require:
An American jihad would reawaken in American citizens the certain knowledge that our Constitution is a sacred document... The Constitution, along with the miracle of our nation's founding and the providential history of America fighting and winning war after war against oppressive regimes, proves our manifest destiny not only to preserve our borders and safety and national character at home, but to spread around the world our love of individual freedom and insist on its reflection in every government.
So, like the Qu'ran, only for real, as if God had come down and whispered the three-fifths compromise directly into Madison's ear. Inspired.
An American jihad would embrace the correct belief that if every nation on earth were governed by freely elected leaders and by our Constitution, the world would be a far better place. And an American jihad would not only hope for this outcome, but work toward it.
I mean... wasn't that the Cold War?
We would not only allow, but teach, Americans — including American children — to internalize and project their justifiable feelings of pride in our democracy as superior to all other forms of government. In grade schools we would teach the truth that the founding of our nation and its survival in the face of communism and fascism weren't just good luck or good planning, but preordained by our commitment to the truth about the essential nature of man. And we would embrace the certain knowledge that history will eventually spread our values all over the globe.
This mass reeducation—this washing of children's brains, if you will—sounds fantastic. Truly the apogee of freedom's flight. Let it spread unfettered.
Is there another way of describing this sort of campaign to spread our beliefs and values over the whole face of the earth? Both Merriam-Webster and Dr. Keith Ablow, forensic psychiatrist and author of thrillers, make the unusual decision to define "jihad" as a "crusade." Historically and etymologically, this refers not to what people do in Islamic regions, but to the Christian military campaigns against them, marching behind the cross.