Thursday, September 9, 2010

When this McCarthyist hysteria is over, Erick, you're going to be sorry.

RedState's Erick Erickson posted the following this morning:
[1] If korans are burned in Florida by some moron preacher, the terrorists will get new recruits.
[2] If the Ground Zero Mosque is moved in New York, the terrorists will get new recruits.
[3] In other words, we either bow to the demands and wishes of radical Islamists or else.
This is madness. No. This is Barack Obama’s America.
This is what passes for critical thinking at RedState.

We have good evidence to believe that (1) and (2) above are true.

According to Abdul Shakoor, an 18-year-old high school student in Kabul who protested the planned Koran burning, "We know this is not just the decision of a church. It is the decision of the president and the entire United States." As William Saletan points out, people in the Muslim world will hold all of us responsible for the actions of "some moron preacher," just as many Americans hold all Muslims responsible for 9/11. (How does it feel?) There is also the report from Interpol that the Koran burning is likely to lead to retaliatory attacks against innocent people.

According to Taliban operative Zabihullah, "“By preventing [the New York City mosque] from being built, America is doing us a big favor. It’s providing us with more recruits, donations, and popular support.” According to NPR, "Experts worry the controversy surrounding an Islamic center near ground zero in Lower Manhattan is playing right into the hands of radical extremists." There is little doubt that (2) is true as well.

From (1) and (2), Erickson infers that "we either bow to the demands and wishes of radical Islamists or else." What Erickson is assuming, of course, is that the Muslims who are upset about the Koran burning and opposition to the mosque are radicals. Naturally, that is what your typical conservative thinks: all Muslims are radicals.

That's the problem that bigoted bloggers face: if they're not careful, they will mistakenly put their bigotry on display for all to see. Not that Erickson has anything to worry about; I'm sure that virtually all his readers are just as bigoted as he is.

I believe that there is no good reason to prevent the mosque from being built. Does my belief in American freedom of religion make me a radical?

I believe that those rednecks down in Florida should not be burning copies of the Koran. Does my belief that books ought not to be burned make me a radical?

Why does it seem as if conservatives just want to be allowed to be complete pricks?

Because a lot of them are complete pricks.

What is the mentally challenged Erickson doing on CNN?

This is not madness. This is my America, and I bet it was your America, too, Erick, before you sold your soul to help Republicans win an election. When this McCarthyist hysteria is over, Erick, you're going to be sorry you so cowardly acquiesced to aid and abet it.

Update. It occurred to me after I posted this that I may have interpreted Erickson uncharitably. Even if I did, however, he still has a problem.

Erickson writes, "In other words, we either bow to the demands and wishes of radical Islamists or else." Now, perhaps it might be said that, by "radical Islamists," he is not referring to those of us who are upset about opposition to the New York City mosque or the Koran burning. Perhaps he is referring to potential terrorists, and he is saying that we ought not to give in to their demands.

But think about it: what good reason do we have not to give in to these demands? The demands, if you want to call them that, are reasonable. These are demands that we would place on ourselves as decent Americans if we were thinking clearly. That redneck Jones has a right to have a book burning, but given our belief in our 1st Amendment rights, it would be unwise to exercise that right. We have a right to demand that the New York City mosque be moved, but again, given our belief in our 1st Amendment rights, it would be unwise to exercise that right.

If I were to interpret Erickson charitably, I would be interpreting him as saying the following: we ought not do anything our enemies demand that we do, even if we otherwise have excellent reasons to do it. Were we to do as Erickson suggests, we would in effect give our enemies the power to dictate what we do anyway. Why don't we simply do what we believe is right, regardless of what our enemies' demands are?


  1. So much hate out there. It's wearing on my soul. Has been for some time, but this Jesus freakin' hater in Florida who hides behind religion is the final straw. Naturally it isn't the crazy preacher alone that demoralizes me. It's the multitudes (generally right-wingers but certainly not all) that flock to his Christian version and soil the actual ways of Christ.

    I don't even feel compelled to engage the teabagging pricks on my normal online outlets that I post at for anger release therapy. My anger has been continuous for several years now and I can't go on with this mentality that I have allowed to fester. Instead I'll just ramble on to you, Φ. I just want the hate to stop. Dreaming! Have a good one.

  2. I hear you.

    The hate factory is a political tool and will be with us for a long time, unfortunately. There are decent conservatives and Republicans who do not use hate for political gain, but it seems as if their numbers are dwindling.

    I feel as if I have to do something to take them on, but it is emotionally taxing. Sometimes I just decide to forget it for a while and watch Sportscenter, it's so depressing. Then I'm reminded of how bad the Cubs are this year and I switch to the Food Network.

    I wish I had something helpful to say. The only way I know how to take on the Republican propaganda machine is with facts and reason, but their methods are intended to operate on an irrational level, and they are very good at what they do. Sometimes, it seems pointless.

    The good thing about this asshole in Florida is that it appears that most leaders think that he's just being an asshole. That's something!

    Hang in there.


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It is wrong always, everywhere, and for anyone, to believe anything upon insufficient evidence. ---W.K. Clifford

Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blind-folded fear. ---Thomas Jefferson