Saturday, February 11, 2006

Tool or Fool?

David Brooks, on the News Hour last night:
Yeah, I really would say it's not even about Iraq; this is about four or five centuries. It's really a group of people, some educated people have who gone back to the 13th Century, some who never left the 13th Century, but basically who have decided that the way we live with this barrage of ideas, the way we live our life trying to improve ourselves, is not the way they want to live their lives.They believe the truth has been revealed and the central epic in history is not progress...

You know, there's political differences, obviously but what's at stake here is so much different. I think that the murder of Pim Fortuyn, the Dutch politician, the gay Dutch politician, who made this point, we can have multiculturalism or we can have pluralism, but we can't have both, with a subset of people that doesn't believe in pluralism that wants to enforce laws on homosexuals, on women. So you have got to make this choice and that's the choice Europe is making. I think they're feeling it much more seriously than we are but that's the choice they found they have to make.

I heard this on the radio - the TV broadcast is simulcast on the local public radio station - so I couldn't see if his face betrayed whether he knew he was being a hypocrite or whether he made these statements sincerely and obliviously bereft of the irony that he was describing in complete and accurate detail the beliefs and worldviews of the very rightwing fundamentalist Christians whose values he champions in various tones of scolding depending on the venue.

He plays, smugly, damply, a reasonable conservative on The News Hour, so his sensible and correct outrage against the narrow-religious who believe in sinfulizing gays and sinfulizing women's rights, who believe in a prescripted end narrative that regards progress as both irrelevant and blasphemous, makes Brooks either a hypocrite or a hypocrite squared. He's either saying that fundamentalist Muslims are bad when they would legislate homophobic laws and burka their women while fundamentalist Christians are devout and righteous when they would do the same, or both are equally bad in an honest moral calculus but he must not say so because the narrow-religious' support is essential in preserving the oligarchic Right's power in America. He is either a hypocrite-fool or a hypocrite-tool.

I assume it's the latter. What Brooks and all moderate Conservatives who hold their noses and tolerate the homophobic and racist and anti-feminist and theological lunacy of America's delusionally religious because of their usefulness in electoral politics fail to understand is that should the James Dobsons of America ultimately gain power, the Brooks of this country will be the first target for censoring. The fundamentalists leaders are insane, but they are not stupid: tool usage employs the communicative principle. All revolutions silence their own suspected deviants first. All impurities need be eliminated, and what is more impure than a tool's fool or a fool's tool who supports America's religious fundamentalists by condemning religious fundamentalism in the enemy?


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