Sean Hannity's Let Freedom Ring Term Paper

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So, the rightness of the claim that the CIA needed more money cannot be supported by the fruition of terrorist attacks.

Hannity moves on into a discussion regarding immigration and the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service -- or INS. Essentially, Hannity feels that the Immigration Act of 1965 makes it entirely too easy for illegal immigrants to exploit loopholes in the present legislation. In particular, he mentions how illegal immigrants are able to overstay their visits here in the United States and to obtain legal certifications like drivers' licenses in the process. Hannity believes that the INS is altogether too soft on illegal immigration and that this softness, created by the Clinton administration, has resulted in numerous social problems and contributed to the terrorist threat. He states:

This system that absolutely must be fixed before terrorists use such loopholes to strike us again. Illegal aliens must be incarcerated, not allowed to roam freely in the United States. If they're known terrorists, criminals, or drug cartel leaders, they should be arrested, prosecuted, and imprisoned upon conviction. Even if they are otherwise law-abiding citizens from countries that are merely poorer than the United States, they nevertheless must be deported." (Hannity 57).

Presently, there are approximately nine million illegal immigrants residing in the United States (Hannity 54). To Hannity, the best way to deal with this problem is to forcibly remove them all. He neglects to estimate the cost of such a policy, but as he already mentioned, national security must be obtained at all costs. However, it should not come as a surprise that no president ever has adopted such a policy -- it would cost billions of dollars. The hard fact is that illegal aliens can enter this country, no matter what the laws, and no matter how many border patrols are hired. Illegal aliens in the United States are a reality and will continue to be so. Actions restricting the number of people that can become legal aliens only increase the pool of illegal aliens. Hannity's proposals are destined for failure.

Yet, the very real threat of illegal immigrants cannot be denied. Primarily, they are a threat to the American workforce; they are employed by companies that can pay them less than the American minimum wage because they are not Americans. This makes them an attractive workforce for corporations, while simultaneously crippling the American working class. However, Hannity views the threat posed by illegal immigration in another light:

It is abundantly clear that the Clinton-Gore administration understood the real and increasing risks of not cracking down on illegal immigration. It knew how incompetent the INS was. Yet the administration did little, if anything, to make America safer from Middle Eastern terrorists who were using huge loopholes to gain access to our country." (Hannity 60).

This outrage Hannity possesses over illegal immigration stems from the notion that illegal immigrants are somehow greater threats as terrorists than legal immigrants. This, however, goes unsubstantiated within Let Freedom Ring. Why specifically this subset of individuals living in the United States should be feared above others is at no point justified. He offers a half-hearted explanation for why immigrants should be focused upon when he writes, "Are all immigrants dangerous? Of course not. Are all immigrants who overstay their visits terrorists? No. But do we have any idea which are and which aren't? Apparently not." (Hannity 62). Seemingly, since we do not know which immigrants might be terrorists, we should "crack down" on all of them. This is another serious logical error. The same exact argument can be applied to any group of people: since we have no idea which reactionary conservatives might be the next Timothy McVeigh, we should tighten our grip on all conservative Americans. It does not immediately follow that conservatives are substantially more likely than liberals to be terrorists simply because McVeigh committed a single terrorist act; accordingly, it does not follow that cracking down on this subset of people will make non-terrorists any more safe. Overall, Hannity's assertion that liberal immigration policies make the United States more open to terrorism fails.

Following his discussion of immigration, Hannity goes into detail regarding the defense spending of the Clinton-Gore administration vs. The spending of the Reagan-Bush era. He lists the numerous budget cuts under Clinton with the aim of illustrating his negligence. By and large, he attributes this to Clinton's liberal ideals and his inability to recognize the same "nature of evil," that his predecessors did (Hannity 69). Again, when it comes to cold hard facts, Hannity is quite capable. Clinton substantially reduced military spending despite the warnings of conservatives and military officials. To Hannity, the nation's safety can only be maintained with defense spending, and he uses a statement from Clinton to reveal what he believes to be liberal moral confusion:

He stated that the gap between the rich and poor must be reduced to make the world safer. If not another apology for terrorism, what was his point? As a leftist, he simply can't escape viewing the world from the myopic lenses of economic determinism. There will always be poor in the world, but poverty is hardly the cause of terrorism, more than the Crusades or American slavery are." (Hannity 97).

This is the closest Hannity actually comes to discussing the cause of terrorism; to him, the cause is not as important as prevention; irreconcilable differences persist between the East and the West which have less basis on economics than religion. Clinton, on the other hand, by supposing that the roots are economic takes one of his few truly leftist stances. Hannity dismisses this notion with a series of statements that are at the very least debatable, and at the most, completely false.

First, the supposition that poverty or economic inequalities was not the cause of the crusades is a severely naive viewpoint. One central cause of the crusades was the overabundance of landless nobles in Europe; being poor, but of high birth, these nobles wished to gain lands in whatever way possible. The pope, feeling pressure from these nobles, provided them with a grand quest in the name of God. Additionally, the Middle-East was far wealthier than Europe during the period of the Crusades; consequently, it was seen as an attractive chance to increase the wealth of the kings, the continent, and the papacy. Certainly, this was not the only cause of the crusades but it was positively a driving force.

Second, the claim that slavery was not determined by economic conditions is almost dismissible on its face. Although Hannity holds fast to the ideal that "all men are created equal," as did our founding fathers, economic conditions demanded that slavery not be abolished when our nation was established. Also, the poverty and lack of power of African civilizations facilitated African slavery in the Americas. If we were to create a world in which money and power were evenly distributed slavery would be an impossibility; consequently, Hannity's premise that slavery was an institution independent of the notion of monetary inequality can easily be refuted.

Third, the statement that there will always be poor in the world is based upon no evidence. The reader is supposed to accept this statement because it was stated. Hannity neglects to discuss why he believes that socialism is impossible, and therefore, why social equality is impossible. This is analogous to asserting that there will always be slavery in the world because there always has been. Slavery has been almost entirely eradicated from the developed world, and it is not obvious that poverty cannot also be.

Finally, Hannity uses these aforementioned premises to conclude that terrorism is not, in any way, caused by worldwide economic inequality. Since his premises can easily be rejected, so too can the conclusion. In fact, it is very likely that the roots of terrorism can be found to coincide with the roots of poverty, and not -- as Hannity would argue -- with radical religious views; views that warrant little discussion.

As Let Freedom Ring continues, Hannity identifies and critiques liberal political policies that inhibit the actions of conservatives, and therefore, make the United States more susceptible to attack. He mentions airborne attacks, sleeper cells, dirty nukes, and ballistic missiles as potential threats. A specific way that Hannity feels liberals are preventing conservatives from adequately defending the United States has to do with missile defense systems:

Moreover, why do liberals so bitterly resist building a missile defense shield in an age of such terrifying technology and radical regimes? Why do they cling to their willful blindness about these emerging catastrophic threats?" (Hannity 111).

Hannity discusses the multi-billion dollar proposal put forth by many conservatives to produce an all-encompassing defense to missile attack. Aside from the obvious burden this project would place upon American taxpayers, Hannity fails to mention that no such system has ever been demonstrated to be even somewhat effective. Perhaps it is more likely that democrats in Congress resist this plan because it is unrealistic from a…[continue]

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