Jonah Goldberg is a Partisan Douchebag
Jonah Goldberg is a partisan douchebag. I met him for the first time in person a few months ago, and have been reading his columns for over a decade. I can confirm that he is, in fact, a partisan douchebag.
Mr. Goldberg wants to start with some data, but he doesn't cite any recent data about hate crimes against Muslims - or recent public attempts to block the construction of mosques. And not just two blocks away from Ground Zero, i.e. Ground 2.0, but also public attempts to block the construction of mosques in other parts of the country.
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And since there is no justifiable reason to protest the construction of a Muslim community center apart from bigotry towards Muslims, we must conclude that 70% of Americans polled are bigots. This is not very surprising, as I explained earlier:
Can you think of any other time in history when 70% or more of Americans were intolerant bigots? I sure can. Is there any good reason to think that this collectivist impulse was just a passing phase in human history? Or is it more likely that we still have many of the same impulses our human ancestors had before us, including the intellectual ease with which we (including myself) fall into us-versus-them tribal thinking?
Republicans/conservatives/Tea Partiers believe that Muslim-baiting is a smart political tactic to win midterm elections, and perhaps they are right: They have had great success with race-baiting in the past. In fact, the very publication that employs Jonah Goldberg--The National Review--publicly opposed racial integration. Its founder, William F. Buckley, famously wrote within its glorious pages,
the central question that emerges... is whether the White community in the South is entitled to take such measures as are necessary to prevail, politically and culturally, in areas where it does not predominate numerically? The sobering answer is Yes – the White community is so entitled because, for the time being, it is the advanced race.
The new "Southern strategy"--the Islam strategy--may turn out to be politically successful, at least in the short run. It certainly polls well. But a Jew who knows the history of the Jewish people, or anyone who cares at all about civil rights, has no business supporting a politically successful but morally outrageous strategy.
Three of Jonah's paragraphs are particularly noteworthy:
No doubt some American Muslims -- particularly young Muslim men with ties to the Middle East and South Asia -- have been scrutinized at airports more than elderly women of Norwegian extraction, but does that really amount to Islamophobia, given the dangers and complexities of the war on terror?
No doubt some African-Americans-- particularly young black men with ties to a culture conservatives demonize for the glorification of crime and drugs -- have been scrutinized at traffic stops more than elderly women of Norwegian extraction, but does that really amount to racism, given the dangers and complexities of the war on drugs and crime?
The answer, of course, is yes: It does really amount to racism. In case you were wondering.
It's an odd argument given that Americans have shed a lot of blood for Muslims over the last three decades: to end the slaughter of Muslims in the Balkans, to feed Somalis and to liberate Kuwaitis, Iraqis and Afghans. Millions of Muslims around the world would desperately like to move to the U.S., this supposed land of intolerance.
Jonah seems to be on the very brink of realizing that not all Muslims are the same, but he's just not quite there yet. Many Muslims would like to move to the U.S., and yet many Muslims also view American society as intolerant towards Islam. How could this possible be? Could it be that some Muslims like America and some Muslims do not? Could it even be that the *very same* Muslims who like America and wish to move here ALSO believe that America could be more tolerant towards people of non-Christian faiths, or even no faith at all?
Might it also be possible that some Muslims do not particularly want Americans shedding blood for them, and in fact believe (quite rightly) that Americans have shed a lot of *Muslim blood* over the last three decades? This might be worth investigating, instead of childishly pretending that "they hate us for our freedom." Sure, some Muslims might hate us for our freedom, but I have a feeling a lot more Muslims hate us for our foreign policy - an aggressive foreign policy that publications like National Review publicly support.
Conversely, nowhere is there more open, honest and intentional intolerance -- in words and deeds -- than from certain prominent Muslim leaders around the world. And yet, Americans are the bigots?
Did Jonah Goldberg pass kindergarten? Did he fail to learn that "but he did it too!" is not a valid excuse? That it's possible for both parties to a conflict to be in the wrong? Shit, it doesn't take a bucky in Bava Kamma or a legal expert in joint liability to grok this concept; young children understand it. Pitiful.