Tuesday, June 17, 2014

This is why I don't associate with these clowns

I just read this article by Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank. If you read it, feel free to throw up or get enraged.

I have certain sympathies for conservatives in certain circumstances.  When they correctly advocate for the free market, limited government and individual liberty, I like them.  When they act completely obtuse or boorish, I cringe.

American conservatives like to point out that unlike their liberal adversaries, they treat people as individuals, not groups.  Whether you're poor, black, young, old, whatever, you should be treated as an autonomous person making his or her own decisions independent of the herd.  Yet when it comes to people from the "wrong" background, that attitude goes right out the window.  Muslims are looked at as potential threats to Western Civilization, and Hispanic and other immigrants as drains on welfare seeking to turn the US into a third world country.  It's incredibly sad.

I am not Muslim, but I know a lot about the faith, and I've met my share of Muslims in my life (in fact a huge portion of my friends are Muslim).  Like anyone who bothered to meet people of different backgrounds, I've learned that people are all unique no matter where they came from.  It's best to make an honest attempt at checking the stereotypes at the door.  Perhaps that's "politically correct", but I see it as being a decent human being.

There are something like 1.5 billion Muslims on this planet, speaking all kinds of languages and coming from all kinds of places.  Rural places, urban places, the suburbs, the west, the east, the south. They live half a world away, they live right next door.  They play sports, go to the gym, go watch baseball games, listen to the same music you do, hell some of them will even have a beer with you.  They are not some mysterious other.  Just as you or I aren't some mysterious other.

I hate to get political on this blog.  It takes away from the actual mission here but I had to say this.  And I wonder how much of this is genuine hatred or how much is some kind of rent seeking.  As long as there is a "War on Terror", people who like to foment hate while marketing themselves as "experts" benefit.  People like Brigitte Gabriel get to pile up donations while spreading fear about the dangers of Muslims and Islam.  My hope is that there's a special place in hell for people like that.  Let's hope so.

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