Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The American Conservative magazine predicts the future

Here is author Phillip Jenkins in the March 23rd issue of The American Conservative (emphasis mine):
When a strongly liberal administration takes office, it brings with it a new rhetoric of terrorism, and new ways of understanding the phenomenon.

Based on the record of past Democratic administrations, in the near future terrorism will almost certainly be coming home. This does not necessarily mean more attacks on American soil. Rather, public perceptions of terrorism will shift away from external enemies like al-Qaeda and Hezbollah and focus on domestic movements on the Right. We will hear a great deal about threats from racist groups and right-wing paramilitaries, and such a perceived wave of terrorism will have real and pernicious effects on mainstream politics. If history is any guide, the more loudly an administration denounces enemies on the far Right, the easier it is to stigmatize its respectable and nonviolent critics.

And here is liberal blogger Matthew Yglesias on April 7th in a post titled The Militia Right:

I don’t want to suggest that the attitudes reflected by the sort of people who are handing out pamphlets on “How to Start and Train a Militia Unit” over at your local gun show are typical of the modern American right.

But it is true that totally mainstream figures like Rep Michele Bachmann have been flirting with this kind of rhetoric, saying they want the public “armed and dangerous” in the face of Obama administration environmental policy, while prominent media conservatives such as Glenn Beck and Jonah Goldberg are saying that Barack Obama’s policies are tantamount to fascism.

Admittedly, Yglesias isn't a member of "the administration" but he certainly is a prominent voice in what I would characterize as the left edge of the mainstream. This so perfectly fits Jenkins' description of how things would unfold, I almost couldn't believe what I was reading.

Before anyone comments that Bachmann and Beck are both lunatics, don't bother. Jenkins tells you how this will proceed; "the more loudly an administration denounces enemies on the far Right, the easier it is to stigmatize its respectable and nonviolent critics."

It's no surprise that it starts with Bachmann and Beck, let's just hope it stops there. But I am not optimistic.


johnny said...

Along these same lines, sorta, this is like the nonsense that came out during the 2008 election about how we had to elect Sen. McCain because he would continue President Bush's security policies and they had kept us safe for the last seven years since September 11, 2001. Well, in the seven years before September 11 we didnt have a foreign terrorist attack on US soil so President Clinton must have been doing something right. As soon as one says this, conservatives jump all over themselves saying how soft he was on terrorists and the like. It, like nearly everything else in this country these days, is partisan nonsense. THe largely uninformed populous latch on to one candidate or party and to them they can do no wrong and the other side can do no good. Those who can appreciate both views are stuck most times trying find the lesser of two evils and its not easy. And trying to decide who is more of a lunatic between Rep. Bachmann or Glenn Beck makes my head hurt. I'm calling it a tie.

Steve said...

In reading over your blogs that I missed for the last week and trying to keep up on things in the newspaper, I am struck with how complicated and politically partisan things have become, and how simple (to me at least)is of the first priority to a solution: our banking system must be sound for any solution to take place. What happens to General Motors, Chrysler, etc. are of no consequence in comparison to the credit problem.The banks must be regulated (if not out-right owned) by the govt., and the brokerage houses must be regulated. Is this just fuzzy thinking on my part? Like Johnny, it makes my head hurt to decide who are the good guys and who are the bad guys in this thing. This problem started at least ten years ago and it will take another ten to solve it (if it can be solved). As our founding fathers could not envision instantaneous financing, we cannot envision how things will look in the future.