Remember that “Seinfeld” episode when George’s luck turned after he decided to act contrary to his normal instincts?
Seems an increasing number of Americans have adopted the “opposite” theory when it comes to ideology. Ex: Sarah Palin, loved by many on the right simply because she’s reviled by the left. Nothing else explains her popularity.
We’re seeing this phenomenon play out with the Muslim Brotherhood, ranked somewhere between Satan and Nazi Germany on Beck’s Evil-O-Meter. Reflexively, the left chides us not to worry. Sure, they’re religious fundamentalists, but they’re the good kind.
While it’s true they have renounced violence, which has them at odds with Al-Qaeda, Muslim Brotherhood still wants to rule under Sharia law — a system that is inherently violent towards women and gays. Doesn’t sound very secular to me.
TONY JONES: Is it still the primary aim of the Islamic Brotherhood to create an Islamic state in Egypt based on Sharia law?
KAMAL EL-HELBAWY: They will promote that aim and objective, but if the people agree for it, there is no enforcement. If the people like it to be ruled by Islam, why not? This is not our immediate aim at present, but we will not forsake that aim and we will work for it in future peacefully, not through enforcement.
I don’t trust Muslim Brotherhood, but I’m not fearful. Egyptians, acting independently of the Brotherhood, have just overthrown a dictator — why would they want to install a different kind of fascism? The Islamists may have a role in a new government, but they won’t dominate it.
The Middle East is changing, for the better. My advice to those who fear it:
Try the opposite.
Republicans often accuse Democrats of this, with some justification, especially on issues like Social Security. But the unholy trinity of Limbaugh, Hannity and (especially) Beck make their living whipping seniors into a panic. Unfortunately I can relate to the frustration identified by Frum Forum blogger Richmond Ramsey :
Over the past couple of years, I’ve been keeping track of a trend among friends around my age (late thirties to mid-forties). Eight of us (so far) share something in common besides our conservatism: a deep frustration over how our parents have become impossible to take on the subject of politics. Without fail, it turns out that our folks have all been sitting at home watching Fox News Channel all day – especially Glenn Beck’s program.
Used to be I would call my mom and get updated on news from the neighborhood, her garden, the grandchildren, hometown gossip, and so forth. I’ve always been interested in politics, but never had the occasion to talk about them with her. She just doesn’t care.
Or didn’t. I don’t know when it happened, exactly, but she began peppering our conversation with red-hot remarks about President Obama. I would try to engage her, but unless I shared her particular judgment, and her outrage, she apparently thought that I was a dupe or a RINO. Finally I asked my father privately why Mom, who as far as I know never before had a political thought, was so worked up about Obama all the time.
“She’s been like that ever since she started watching Glenn Beck,” Dad said.
A few months later, she roped him into watching Beck, which had the same effect. Even though we’re all conservatives, I found myself having to steer our phone conversations away from politics and current events. It wasn’t that I disagreed with their opinions – though I often did – but rather that I found the vehemence with which they expressed those opinions to be so off-putting.