Thursday, February 10, 2011

Glenn Beck On Egypt

I don't normally take time to deal with the inanity of Glenn Beck. If his own rants aren't enough to send his little cult of personality running for the hills and screaming, then there's nothing I can do or say that will snap them out of their trance. Yes, I'll admit that I've been tuning in to his television show just to see what he might have to say about the Egypt crisis, and one thing was immediately apparent to me: Beck is no longer a news commentator. He's a preacher. And so long as he remains a preacher, he will remain insulated inside his little cult.

But I do have a brilliant juxtaposition to make regarding what he's been saying recently, and so I will make it here. Apparently, Beck is deathly afraid that the revolution in Egypt will result in the Muslim Brotherhood's takeover of that country. From there, he says, a new Caliphate will arise, which will spearhead the effort to make the entire world Muslim. He is therefore warning people about it ahead of time, tacitly, if not implicitly, making the case that Egypt might be better off with a dictator who keeps the Islamic agenda at bay rather than a democracy which Jihadists might be able to take over.

Okay, I can't say it's wrong to be concerned. There is a very real possibility that the Muslim Brotherhood might take over, this is true. It is also very true that Islam does have an agenda of spreading Islamic law everywhere. (Christianity has a similar agenda, known as the Great Commission, which may be less militant but which still wants the whole world under one religion.) So Glenn does have legitimate grounds for worry. We'd be naive to think the removal of a dictator doesn't carry the risk that a worse regime might arise.

That's simply no excuse for opposing a dictator's removal!

Dangerous as the removal of a dictator might be, and as fickle as a democracy may get when a majority of its population belongs to an intrusive religion, the march towards human freedom demands that we must seize the chance at obtaining freedom over fascism wherever we can get it. Yes, there's danger, but that pales in comparison to the danger of doing nothing.

And here's my main point: Beck would clearly rather a dictatorship be in place in Egypt to prevent religious extremism from taking over. Fine. But isn't this exactly the same argument which was used by liberals about why we shouldn't have invaded Iraq? Didn't they argue, back in 2003 and 2004, that it was better to have a secular dictator like Hussein in power rather than risk Wahabi extremists gaining a foothold? Indeed they did!

This is why political polarization is so terrifying in its power to consign what would otherwise be a brilliant mind to stupidity. Glenn Beck's position is essentially the same as the Liberal position of only a decade ago. And this indicates that he's no longer thinking in terms of political sides. He's not seeing things as either Left or Right. He's seeing them as "us" vs. "them." It's no longer about political positions so much as it is about wanting "his team" to win!

That, my friends, is one serious level of crazy.

Beck says that if we think he's crazy for his neo-Caliphate fears, that we can go to hell. Yeah, well, if I, for one, end up going there, it won't be by the order of that guy!

The belief that the Arab world is too religiously extreme and immature to handle democracy is prevalent in our culture. But this is a form of fascism, pure and simple. The difference between it and traditional fascism is that it believes the fascism is better for other people, and not us. But we've seen a transformation in Arab attitudes. Arabs look at a tiny nation like Albania ascending to democracy and feel utterly ashamed that such a tiny nation gets the right to vote, while their nations languish under the jack-boots of dictators. (This, from a recent Slate article by Christopher Hitchens.) Arabs have been festering with this shame for some time, letting the hunger for democracy grow ever more steadily with each passing generation. When tiny Tunisia fell to democracy, the Arabs inhabiting the land of one of the oldest and proudest civilizations in history finally decided that they'd had quite enough. They want freedom! I say, give it to them!

Yes, they might not be ready for it. But neither were we! Yes, some religious nuts want to seize control of their democracy to advance their world-conquest agenda. But that's true here, too! Hell, Glenn Beck is one of them!

But then, it's not about Team Islam winning. He's more scared of Team Mormon losing, because he knows Islam is intolerant enough to give Mormonism a run for its money.

Of course BOTH sides fear the non-religious, a sect which is growing twice as fast as both those creeds combined! But that's the subject of a later blog post.

Eric

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