August 4, 2010

WHEN ARE PHOBICS EVER EITHER REALISTIC OR STRATEGIC?:

A Cynical Reason to Love the Mosque: Michael Bloomberg's lofty defense of the ground zero mosque, which won de facto approval yesterday, missed a larger point: It's good strategy. (Elizabeth Wurtzel , 8/04/10, Daily Beast)

[I]t's odd that the whole Islamophobic crowd—the Fox News hysterics, the Palinolithics, the various Cheneys, the assorted terror mongers—doesn't welcome Cordoba House for the kinds of cynical, obnoxious reasons that any savvy political player would instantly recognize: Which is to say, if the people behind Cordoba really are so dangerous, then for heaven's sake, keep your friends close and your enemies closer.

If the destroyers of civilization—which is what many believe Muslims to be—come to you with irenic intent, insisting that they want to pay homage and honor to a disaster caused by the evildoers of their own kind, it strikes me as a good idea to just work with them. Not because you like them or agree with, but because they are here and that's that, and it seems that when they are trying to be decent, the wisest move is to respond in kind. That way, if something goes wrong later on—if members of the American Muslim community turn out to be bad actors—we have our warm reception of Cordoba House to hold up as evidence of our goodwill. It's a bargaining chip.

Basically, if everyone thought of this a bit more as realpolitik and a bit less as an existential crisis—which it is not; the United States will be just fine—this would all be less complicated.


It's all about emotional reaction.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 4, 2010 5:43 AM
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