Skip to content

The "Ground Zero Mosque" Craziness

2010 August 18
by American

Yes it has been a long time since I posted anything here. It’s not that I quit caring about these issues or anything like that. Rather it has been that there has been a lot going on and more to write about than I have time for.  Which to pick?

Also, it has been frustrating watching the right simply make things up in an effort to tear our nation apart. It really made it, at times, difficult to consider making rational, reasonable statements rather than just raging at the horror of it all. Rage is not something I want to write.

Unfortunately, over the last couple days there has been a lot of news over a Islamic community center near planned near ground zero in NYC. The right wants to use this to get people worked up since the idea makes people uncomfortable because of 9/11. However, this is a clear 1st Amendment case. There is no good reason for this community center to be built right where it is.

I was planning on writing more about the case and the controversy surrounding it. It turns out there has already been a great opinion piece written on the subject:

Eugene Robinson – Republicans pander over ‘Ground Zero mosque’.

Just because Muslims seem different than mainstream America is no reason to deny them their 1st Amendment protections. It will be tragic if far-right extremism prevents this from being built; as it will show that 9/11 truly made America  a worse nation due to fear of the unknown.

2 Responses leave one →
  1. Raz permalink
    August 19, 2010

    Craziness. [/grammarnazi]

    I am saddened by the fact that no significant counter-movement has developed to combat the burgeoning Tea Party movement. It’s truly a remarkable collusion of grassroots ardor and wily astroturfing, and the Left’s collective inaction is going to lead to some brutal results in 2010 and, most likely, 2012. Yes, the movement never would have come to life without the meddling of Murdoch and other rightist elites, but there really is a significant group of ordinary conservatives who are, wittingly and unwittingly, moving arch-conservatives into kingmaker positions all across the country. What’s worse, there’s a moderate chance that these nascent Tea Party groups will take root and become largely self-sustaining, so long as they’ve got sympathetic coverage in a few key media outlets. How are they to starve? Their strategy is to mobilize the poor, the unemployed, and retirees who can dedicate the whole of their intellectual attention to campaigning. Grandma and grandpa can be Tea Party luminaries from their homes by absorbing the righteous hatred delivered by cable news, AM radio, and blogs, then regurgitating that venom online to everyone they know. Joe Blow the short-order cook can spend his ten-hour shift baselessly ruminating on the evils of the unionists and the intelligentsia, then show up on his one-day weekend ready to protest against workers’ rights. And, the poor get something to do instead of looking for work or getting an education, which incidentally feeds their cyclical poverty and their feelings of exploitation.

    The new Right is proving itself dangerously weak in the fact-checking department. Setting aside their common religious preferences, their ready acceptance of baseless narratives (ACORN, the Gulf spill as Obama’s fault, Climategate, and yes, the news-of-the-week “Ground Zero” mosque issue) makes them highly vulnerable to dominionist pleas. Their absolute and total blindness to the First Amendment issue here is diagnostic; their opinion leaders are telling them outright and blatantly that church/state separation is a Leftist fabrication, and they believe it with born-again vigor.

    At this rate, everything’s not going to be OK. The fury of these people is not likely to flare up and die down overnight or on its own. The new Right is angry, it is feeling persecuted, and it has pensions, Social Security, and welfare to pay for them to sit in lawn chairs and write letters complaining about entitlements. They have entrenched themselves into a narrow, deep intellectual enclave that brooks no dissent from the party line and encourages no self-correction. Their side’s moderates aren’t making any meaningful effort to stifle the excesses of their loudest representatives. The icing on the cake is that Obama is unlikely to present meaningful opposition to this movement. Call it inexperience, call it overzealous conciliation, whatever, he’s marking himself as an effete lame duck a mere two years into his first term. Plus, his appointment of Justice Kagan to the Supreme Court may well weaken the Court’s position on the Establishment Clause.

    It’s time to fight again. Personally, I’m not a fan of the American Left. I find a great deal of liberal discourse meaningless, noncommittal, and overly conciliatory; I think they’ve swallowed far too much post-modernist medicine; moreover, I think that their own fact-checking organs could use an upgrade. Nevertheless, I’ll take a hundred limp-wristed wafflers with some slightly misplaced sympathies over a dozen of these vehement, self-righteous reactionaries, if only the wafflers will solidify to some degree against them. We cannot budge on Church-State separation; this is not the time to cut the Fellowhip a deal or to accept a compromise. They wouldn’t be fighting over trivial horseshit like this mosque, or creationism in school curricula, or Commandments monuments if they weren’t frenetically looking for somewhere, anywhere to jam their foot in the door. They’ve got their sights on the First and Fourteenth amendments, and they won’t consciously ignore an opening.

  2. American permalink
    August 19, 2010

    I fixed the title, thanks. *sigh*

    Thank you for your comment, Raz. The rise of the right fringe of the conservative movement is very concerning. They really are looking for any way to move America towards their ideal. It is tragic to see them succeed. Worse, even when they fail they drag the national discourse towards their ideas. This because, much of the media either supports them or insists on treating their views as equal to more rational, reasonable ones. This gives the far-right a platform to push their ultra-reactionary ideology out to a broad audience. Until more of the media starts asking tough questions of these people or simply eliminating the coverage of these people it is going to be a problem. When did the media begin taking statements from ideologues and treating them as fact?

    Organization is key, but despite all of our various groups the left is terrible at actually making it happen. The left has a lot of competing interests that don’t always line up particularly well. The right has it much easier. The fiscal conservatives stirred up the social conservatives to win elections for a while and the the social conservatives took over. They have a unity of purpose that the left can only dream about. The right has some infighting but they keep it pretty well under control.

    Also, the right has a much easier task than the left. The right just needs to stir up discontent by taking advantage of ignorance and fear to move America towards ultra-conservatism. Conversely the goals and plans of the left are much more difficult to communicate. They don’t necessarily make great sound bites and need some explaining.

    Something definitely needs to be done

Leave a Reply

Note: You can use basic XHTML in your comments. Your email address will never be published.

Subscribe to this comment feed via RSS