Monday, June 04, 2007

JFK and Morality in the USA by Gary

JFK Airport Plot Foiled: Who Cares?
Big Media had a curious take over the weekend on the busted plot by Islamic extremists to blow up fuel storage tanks at JFK airport in New York City. CBS and one other major network managed to report the story without once mentioning the words “Muslim” or “Islam” to describe the men or their motives. It could have been Lutherans or crazed Presbyterians plotting to cripple a major U.S. air hub if all you relied on was the Big Media coverage.

The New York Times devoted virtually an entire page of today’s paper to making the case that the conspirators were all talk and no action. Would the Times have preferred that some of its readers actually be killed at JFK? That would have been “action” all right. And it would have set off a barrage of media attacks on the Bush Administration for failing to stop another attack on the homeland. But the Times reporters this morning couldn’t hide their distain for a plot that was “longer on evil intent than on operational capability.” But the men arrested had done significant surveillance at JFK. They were seeking funding for the operation. At least one of the suspects was arrested as he headed for Iran to attend a conference. It is a safe bet that the conference wasn’t on tolerance and pluralism. And the New York Post reports that the conspirators were taped repeatedly referring to Adnan Gulshair el Shukrijumah, an Al Qaeda mastermind, whose lifetime dream is to detonate a nuclear bomb in a U.S. city.

But to the media elites at the Times and elsewhere, it is all so much hype. “Move on, folks. Nothing to see here,” is their constant refrain. They won’t “get it” until the next September 11th takes place, and then it will be too late.

Americans And Morality
Two new polls released today by the respected polling firm Gallup highlight which moral issues Americans still find controversial and what Americans think about the overall morality of our culture. According to Gallup’s 2007 Values and Beliefs survey, strong majorities of Americans consider suicide (78 percent), cloning (86 percent), polygamy (90 percent) and extra-marital affairs (91 percent) “morally wrong.” Also, according to the Gallup poll, a majority of Americans (51 percent) feel abortion is “morally wrong,” while 40 percent feel it is “morally acceptable.” Finally, more Americans (49 percent) continue to feel homosexual relations are morally wrong than think it is “morally acceptable” (47 percent). While opinion poll trends over the last five years reveal a more “tolerant” public on certain issues, such as embryonic stem cell research, this analysis underscores the overall point: A majority of Americans still stand for traditional values.

Based on the results of the first poll, it should come as no surprise that another Gallup poll released today found Americans are extremely pessimistic about the current state of moral values in the United States. In fact, only about one in six Americans describes the state of moral values in the country in positive terms, and perceptions that moral values are “poor” in the country are at their highest point. Specifically, just 1 percent of the over 1,000 Americans sampled felt the state of moral values in the country are “excellent,” while 16 percent said they are “good.” Meanwhile, a plurality (44 percent) of respondents felt our moral values are “poor.” Moreover, 82 percent of Americans say the state of moral values in the country as a whole is getting worse, while just 11 percent say it is getting better.

Overall, the survey revealed that about three-fourths of Americans perceive the moral values of the nation to be negative. Not surprisingly, it is older Americans and conservatives who are most likely to have negative feelings about our nation’s morality. Interestingly, however, a majority of every sub group surveyed by Gallup—including liberals, young people and the non-religious—all overwhelming agree that America’s moral values need help. What’s the lesson for policy-makers? It’s that America is still a fundamentally conservative nation, and while its people support freedom and tolerance, most also still believe in the time-honored morals of our founders.

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