the national interest

Fox News Doctor Calls for ‘American Jihad’

I’m not a doctor, but… Oh, wait – I am on. How did that happen? Photo: CJ Gunther/EPA/Corbis

The Obama era has seen a resurgence of conservative constitutional fetishism — the belief that the Constitution not only requires the Republican domestic agenda, but is figuratively or even literally divine. Fox News columnist and television personality Dr. Keith Ablow has taken this premise and applied it toward American foreign policy. The result is a remarkable column calling for what he calls “American Jihad.”

Ablow’s argument, at least conceptually, is extremely simple. The United States, like Al Qaeda, has a sacred document: “Our Constitution is a sacred document that better defines and preserves the liberty and autonomy of human beings than the charter of any other nation on earth.”

Therefore, every person on Earth should enjoy its blessings: “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.”

Note that Ablow is not merely endorsing a civilizational war between the West and radical Islam, as extreme hawks are wont to do. He is endorsing a campaign of conquest aimed at literally every other country on Earth. Ablow is not satisfied with bringing democracy to those who don’t enjoy it. He proposes to bring the American Constitution to every country, even democratic ones. Because there may be other democratic forms of government, but Ablow thinks they all pale before ours:

We would urge our leaders, after their service in the U.S. Senate and Congress, to seek dual citizenship in other nations, like France and Italy and Sweden and Argentina and Brazil and Germany, and work to influence those nations to adopt laws very much like our own. We might even fund our leaders’ campaigns for office in these other nations.

The trouble here is that the citizens of some of these democracies have constitutions and parliamentary systems of their own that they regard with some fondness. Are they going to like the idea of Americans moving there, seeking citizenship, and working to change their Constitutions to make them like ours? Would the people of (to take one of his examples) France really vote for an American candidate who was funded by the American government for the purpose of imposing the American Constitution upon France?

I have my doubts. Ablow may not have total confidence in this plan, either, which would explain his proposal to “double the budgets of the CIA and our Special Forces” and “seek to fund an international mercenary force for good.” That kind of sounds a little bit like terrorism. But it’s okay because, Ablow writes, “we have a God-given right to intervene — because we have been to the mountaintop of freedom, and we have seen the Promised Land spanning the globe.” It’s not terrorism if God is telling you to do it.