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Monday, May 17, 2010

Their contempt for average Americans

Michael Barone has his own theory of why political leaders today are so wary of naming radical Islam as the threat facing our country from such terrorists as the Times Square bomber, the Fort Hood murderer, and the guy who shot up the El Al ticket counter at LAX. Barone's theory is that our leaders are afraid of the reaction of the American people if our leaders were to be more explicit in what is the unifying background of these attacks as well as the first WTC bombing and 9/11.
Why the reluctance to state the obvious truth, that we are under attack from terrorists motivated by a radical form of Islam?

My theory is that these well-intentioned folk see the American people as a howling mob. They think that if Americans find out that Islamists are attacking us, they will go out and slaughter innocent Muslims. They think that Americans are incapable of understanding the simple truth that while most terrorists are Islamists, the large majority of Muslims are not terrorists.

Of course the evidence is that Americans are quite capable of holding these two ideas in their heads. Even after September 11 there were only a minuscule number of attacks on Muslims, and many more Americans went over to their Muslim neighbors and offered to help if they had any trouble. They didn't even need to hear the almost instant assurances from Rudy Giuliani and George W. Bush that all Muslims were not terrorists to bake a cake and bring it over.
But officials seem to still fear that we will start pogroms against any Muslims in our midst.
The howling mob theory explains a lot of otherwise puzzling things. It helps to explain why Janet Napolitano's Homeland Security Department, tasked with finding possible terrorists, set about tracking disgruntled military veterans and gun owners. Just the kind of people who turn into a howling mob!

It helps to explain journalists' desperate search for racist epithets at Tea Party gatherings -- and their lack of interest in the actual violence that has been common at rallies against the Arizona immigration law and antiwar marches. It helps to explain the Justice Department's decision to drop the case against the New Black Panthers who were violently intimidating voters in Philadelphia on Election Day.

It helps to explain why Solicitor General Elena Kagan was willing to work in the Clinton White House after Bill Clinton signed the law banning open gays in the military -- a law Kagan has said she detests. Hey, he was just trying to propitiate the howling mob.
These guys want to govern our country, but they don't seem to think very much of Americans in general, particularly if those Americans aren't uniting in an adoring crowd of support for Democratic politicians. If not, Americans must be racists just moments away from some violent outbreak.
As it became obvious that the Democrats' health care bills and the Obama big government programs were opposed by most Americans, some liberals resorted to a variant of the howling mob theory: Americans were against these programs because they didn't like having a black president. This despite the fact that Obama was elected by the largest percentage margin in the last 20 years.

When you see a smart man like Holder saying stupid things you know something else is going on. You're seeing a high official who regards most of us as cowards, who believes the truth could make us a howling mob. Does Obama feel the same way?
Of course, if you've been told throughout your education that American history is replete with terrible persecutions of minorities and the poor and never hear another side, it would be no surprise to think that today's Americans are so close to turning into the howling mob that these people assume is the basic character of the American people.


LarryD said...

Americans are perfectly capable of understanding that certain strains of Islamic ideology are the threat, but not all Muslims are part of the problem.

However, if the denial continues long enough for the Islamists get get in some major attacks on American cities, there could easily be a majority that concludes it's time to bring out the scorched earth policy. cf Wrechard's Three Conjectures.

Ironically, "Progressives" behavior is making what they fear more likely, not less.

Pat Patterson said...

History according to Howard Zinn and Wade Churchill.