Recently, Al Gore decried those who resist the group think of man-made global warming as “racist,” though this is nothing new for Al, who operates in a world of binary ad hominems: Al’s paranoid style is to alternately insist that his enemies are either Nazis or racists — in other words, 1940s German National Socialists or 1950s southern Democrats.
(Al has compared global warming to, first, World War II, and then an even bigger battle — “the most serious challenge that our civilization has ever faced,” Gore told Hamilton College grads back in May. Curiously though, he’s not yet ready to give up the mansion, the private planes and the TV station in the war effort. Or call on Apple, on whose board he sits to reduce their output. Go figure.)
Of course, “There is nothing new about liberals calling conservatives or Republicans ‘racists’ or various insults similar to that,” Kerry Picket writes in the Washington Times:
What is a little different is that liberals are now breaking down specific pieces of Capitol Hill legislation that have no ties whatsoever to civil rights based on race and calling anyone who disagrees with the legislation or, perhaps political proposal, racist.
Most recently, former Vice President Al Gore used this strategy and told former advertising executive and Climate Reality Project collaborator Alex Bogusky in a UStream interview on Friday that global warming skeptics are this generation’s racists (H/T Daily Caller):
“I remember, again going back to my early years in the South, when the Civil Rights revolution was unfolding, there were two things that really made an impression on me,” Gore said. “My generation watched Bull Connor turning the hose on civil rights demonstrators and we went, ‘Whoa! How gross and evil is that?’ My generation asked old people, ‘Explain to me again why it is okay to discriminate against people because their skin color is different?’ And when they couldn’t really answer that question with integrity, the change really started.”
This is not the first time since President Barack Obama took office that liberal Democrats have used this kind wacky six degrees of twisted separation. Below are a number of examples cited by other outlets similar to the remarks of the former vice president.:
And it’s worth a reminder that as the attacks against Hillary and her supporters by the Obama camp and their media surrogates in 2008 demonstrate, it’s not just Republicans and conservatives, it’s everyone to the right of Obama when they prove to be a hindrance. In that sense, to paraphrase Newsweek, for everyone who doesn’t share Obama’s vision (whatever it is at the current moment), we really are all Tea Partiers now.
Speaking of the vision thing, “Because liberals have what Thomas Sowell calls an ‘unconstrained vision,’ they assume everyone sees things through the same categorical prism,” Jonah Goldberg wrote in Liberal Fascism:
So once again, as with the left’s invention of social Darwinism, liberals assume their ideological opposites take the “bad” view to their good. If liberals assume blacks—or women, or gays—are inherently good, conservatives must think these same groups are inherently bad.
This is not to say that there are no racist conservatives. But at the philosophical level, liberalism is battling a straw man. This is why liberals must constantly assert that conservatives use code words—because there’s nothing obviously racist about conservatism per se. Indeed, the constant manipulation of the language to keep conservatives—and other non-liberals—on the defensive is a necessary tactic for liberal politics. The Washington, D.C., bureaucrat who was fired for using the word “niggardly” correctly in a sentence is a case in point. The ground must be constantly shifted to maintain a climate of grievance. Fascists famously ruled by terror. Political correctness isn’t literally terroristic, but it does govern through fear. No serious person can deny that the grievance politics of the American left keeps decent people in a constant state of fright—they are afraid to say the wrong word, utter the wrong thought, offend the wrong constituency.
If we maintain our understanding of political conservatism as the heir of classical liberal individualism, it is almost impossible for a fair-minded person to call it racist. And yet, according to liberals, race neutrality is itself racist. It harkens back to the “social Darwinism” of the past, we are told, because it relegates minorities to a savage struggle for the survival of the fittest.
There are only three basic positions. There is the racism of the left, which seeks to use the state to help favored minorities that it regards as morally superior. There is racial neutrality, which is, or has become, the conservative position. And then there is some form of “classical racism”—that is, seeing blacks as inferior in some way. According to the left, only one of these positions isn’t racist. Race neutrality is racist. Racism is racist. So what’s left? Nothing except liberalism. In other words, agree with liberals and you’re not racist. Of course, if you adopt color blindness as a policy, many fair-minded liberals will tell you that while you’re not personally racist, your views “perpetuate” racism. And some liberals will stand by the fascist motto: if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem. Either way, there are no safe harbors from liberal ideology. Hence, when it comes to race, liberalism has become a kind of soft totalitarianism and multiculturalism the mechanism for a liberal Gleichschaltung. If you fall outside the liberal consensus, you are either evil or an abettor of evil. This is the logic of the Volksgemeinschaft in politically correct jargon.
Now, of course you’re not going to get a visit from the Gestapo if you see the world differently; if you don’t think the good kind of diversity is skin deep or that the only legitimate community is the one where “we’re all in it together,” you won’t be dragged off to reeducation camp. But you very well may be sent off to counseling or sensitivity training.
Will there be sensitivity training for diversity-impaired newspaper editors as well? As Ed Morrissey asks, responding to Bill Keller’s meltdown this past week, they certainly could use that at the New York Times, “Why is the media so ignorant about religion?”
And it’s also a good idea to keep in mind what kind of looney sect to which Bachmann belongs … Lutheranism. As John Hinderaker writes at Power Line, all anyone had to do was ask her:
This reminds me of a time, some years ago–it was either Michele’s first or second Congressional race–when she appeared at a public forum to debate the issues of the day. The first question from a local reporter was, “Do you believe that the Pope is the Antichrist?” The debate went downhill from there.
A few days later I was talking to Michele on the telephone. Despite feeling that I knew her rather well, I had never discussed religion with her. I thought that the reporter’s question must be explained by her being a member of some bizarre sect. So I asked, “What denomination are you, anyway?” She replied, bewilderment evident in her voice, “I’m a Lutheran.”
John also contrasts the hostility shown by the national media towards Christianity with the “benign” treatment it gives Islam:
The press’s weirdly hostile attitude toward Christianity can be contrasted with its benign view of Islam in all its manifestations. The same reporters who fixate on Dominionism, a doctrine hardly anyone had heard of until a couple of weeks ago, take great offense at any suggestion that Wahhabism and other radical forms of Islam are significant. Never mind that Islamic extremists have carried out hundreds if not thousands of terrorist attacks, while Dominionists–assuming such people actually exist–have done nothing to cause the rest of us to be aware of them. The secular press’s attitude toward religion, at best inconsistent and driven throughout by partisan ideology, is one of the strangest aspects of our public life.
Perhaps they are as ignorant about Islam as they are about Christianity. However, if they want to start asking questions about religion of presidential candidates, how about starting with Barack Obama and his 20-year affiliation with Jeremiah Wright and Trinity United Church of Christ? Wright took a lot of political stands that the media roundly ignored in the 2008 election, including his sermon that the US deserved the 9/11 attacks as “chickens coming home to roost,” supports Hamas, and infamously declared, “God damn the United States.” Maybe someone can ask about the TUCC’s adopted “value system” that insists that the US sends black men to “concentration camps.” Does Obama believe that? We don’t know, because Keller and his ilk didn’t bother to ask questions about Obama’s religion in 2008.
If we extend Keller’s new position to Congress, maybe we can get answers in the Times to a few questions for Keith Ellison from Scott Johnson:
4. When you were a member of the Nation of Islam, did you believe that Yakub was a black scientist who lived “6,600 years ago” and was responsible for creating the white race to be a “race of devils”?
5. Have you joined a mosque in Minneapolis? When did you join it?
6. Do you believe that Islamic law should be the law of the land in the United States? Do you think Islam should be subordinate to the constitutional separation between church and state?
7. You are a liberal Democrat who advocates the Democratic Party’s positions on gay rights, abortion, and feminism. Which branch of Islam comports with your position on these issues?
Silly Scott. The New York media is only scared of those Christians that they fail to understand, and fail to even research properly.
As someone recently noted, the New York Times is sounding more and more like the print version of MSNBC every day. But you can’t simultaneously hold yourself out as “the paper of record,” and have a lead editor — even if he’s on his way out — as ignorant about basic American religious beliefs as Bill Keller has demonstrated. In the early 1990s, Pinch Sulzberger was quoted by New York magazine as saying that if the paper were alienating older white male readers (and presumably religious readers as well), that means “we’re doing something right.” But it’s the Times, and much of the left that sounds increasing alienated from reality itself.
That doesn’t mean that the paper has given up on covering faith entirely of course. Religious coverage in the New York Times? It’s in the bag, you might say.