Friday, January 27, 2006

Why It's FunTo Be A Neocon...

You never have to make sense or hold a consistent position. Watch the Bull Moose bemoan the coming to power, via democratic means, of the type of regime he constantly advocates for the United States: religious fanatics promising "reform" and "an end to corruption". (See him also conflate Palestine with Iran, which is also nice polemics but not exactly useful). While he's willing to work for an organization (the Christian Coalition) that actively promotes the oppression of American citizens just for being born the way they are (and thinks the juxtaposition is "interesting"), no one better say anything about Isreal. If you removed the anti-Semitism, the Moose would probably love Hamas - he certainly loves everything else they stand for.

I point this out not to excuse the clear anti-Semitism of Hamas, nor am I claiming any solidarity with them. I'm simply drawing a distinction between what the Holocaust taught me and what it taught people like the Moose.

On this Holocaust Rememberance Day (and on most every day) my thoughts include the blood relatives I never met because a nation let itself blame its internal problems on a group of people that had the bad luck to be born with the "wrong" genetic makeup. On this day (and on most every day) I have to remind myself that ordinary people are capable of great evil when they allow a demagogue to prey on their fears and combine it with appeals to their vanity and entitlement due to their supposed inherent exceptionalism. On this day I have to remember that it's not just anti-Semitism that caused the Holocaust. It's jingoism, nativism, and the sense of one's identity being seperate from - and superior to - our common humanity. The lesson of the Holocaust is that while The Holocaust happened largely to Jews, holocausts can (and do) happen whenever those base impulses surface and are catered to. Bosnia, Kosovo, Rawanda and Darfur are just recent examples. When I say "Never Again", I mean it for all of us, and it's meant as a warning to be on guard against these impulses first of all in ourselves because we are all capable of them.

If you want to know why I despise what the Malkins, the Limbaughs, the LGF's and every other clueless jingo says, it's because they are actively promoting the impulses which lead to holocausts. I'd like to remind them, on this day in particular, that what makes America exceptional is our system of laws which - in theory - is supposed to prevent those impulses from gaining a foothold within the State. We are not an inherently more moral people - we were born lucky that our founders were smarter than most of us.

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