Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-CO), a 2021 freshman delegate to Congress, kicked up a news cycle a week ago around a couple of jokes she told about Ilhan Omar (D-MN) at an event.
“So the other night on the House floor was not my first jihad squad moment,” Boebert told the audience, relating a story about seeing a Capitol Hill police officer running toward an elevator she was in and worrying she might be in some danger.
She said she then turned and saw Ilhan Omar and joked that she realized she was in no danger at all because “she doesn’t have a backpack. We should be fine.”
After getting a little laugh out of the crowd, she proceeded, “So we only had one floor to go, and I say, do I say it or do I not? And I look over, and I say, ‘Look, the jihad squad decided to show up for work today.’” Boebert has since apologized in a tweet to the Muslim community.
In a recent interview on CNN, one of Boebert’s House colleagues, Rep. Nancy Mace (R-SC), said, “I’ll leave the comedy to Dave Chappelle,” after telling the host that “seeing such division in our country we all have a responsibility to lower the temperature, and this doesn’t do that. I didn’t come to Congress to throw bombs on Twitter or to be a comedienne.”
It seems from the video that Boebert was trying to make the audience laugh, not trying to stir them up into an angry mob. We must be careful in thinking about this, not to act as if she made the jokes in 2001 when there would have been a natural inflammatory edge to it, and it really might have encouraged fear and hate of random Muslims in America.
But since she’s joking about it now in 2021, there must be something on Boebert’s mind. To begin with, what was the joke? Something like, Omar is a Muslim. Newsflash there, and Muslims bomb people. Christians have bombed even more people while we’re talking about bombs.
However, the reality is that most Muslims and most Christians have not ever and won’t ever bomb or physically harm anyone.
Conservatives, if they want to build a social and political movement strong enough to withstand the rapid draining of our moral and legal norms down the sink of a resurgent, university-spawned Marxism, will have to see more clearly how the world is changing.
The typical conservative Christian in America today has far, far more in common with the traditional values of Catholic immigrants from Central and South America, and those of Muslim immigrants, than she does with the secular program of Marxist reaction against American liberty.
The Democratic Party is a party devoid of values. Read their platform and compare it to the GOP platform. But they succeed in opposing Republicans because they are a big tent political movement that aggressively recruits supporters they can find any common goals with, rather than actively alienating them.
“Jihad squad” is a funny term because it evokes an image of a terrorist cheerleader, and it rhymes. Most Americans, and probably Boebert, don’t know what “jihad” means, even though they’ve used it since 9-11. It means “struggle,” to struggle against one’s outer enemies, but more importantly, one’s own inner enemies.
Struggling is an American value. As General George S. Patton famously said, “Americans, traditionally, love to fight. All real Americans love the sting of battle.” But fighting for fighting’s sake, picking fights to start, or bullying someone weaker, Americans traditionally hate that.
Only in surrender to a Higher Authority, intending to be justified in the sight of Divine Providence, are we safe to pick the right fights and fight them the right way. While “jihad” means “fight,” the meaning of “Islam” is “surrender.”
If conservatives can surrender all the petty, divisive talk and cheap shot-taking that plagues our politics, they will be more vital to fight the good fight that Americans need them to win.