Saturday, July 23, 2016

Nobody's Perfect

Three flaws -- none of them necessarily fatal -- with the Republican National Convention this past week:

1) The speech of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie on Tuesday contained this unfortunate mini-rant against Assad, within his overall rant against Hillary:

In Syria, she [Hillary] called President Assad a "reformer" and a "different kind of leader".
With 400,000 now dead ... think about that.
Thousand. Dead.
At the hands of the man Hillary defended.
We must ask this question: Hillary Clinton, as an awful judge of the character of a dictator-butcher in the Middle East guilty or not guilty?

Certainly the Assads -- fils and père -- are evil dictators.  Big deal.  The world is full of them.  The question is whether the mass movement of mujahideen trying to topple him are not a worse evil, far more dangerous for the world geopolitically, than the Alawite Dynasty of Syria.  Christie's hamfisted rant seemed obtusely incognizant of this concern.  When Trump gave his speech, he alluded to the Syrian jihad, but rather elliptically.  His rhetoric against Hillary's (and Obama's) nation-building that contributed to this catastrophe bodes well, albeit too circuitously, for the Chris Christie remarks being largely ignored by a Trump Administration.

2) Trump's Acceptance Speech on Thursday.  Overall, a tremendous speech.  But at some point we must always focus on the Islam factor.  Approximately 12% of the speech's content was directly related to the problem of Islam.  Of course, mere quantity isn't enough to assess the anti-Islam quality of a statement or speech.  One speech (of the same length) could have 75% (seemingly) anti-Islam content, while being inferior to another speech that only had 10% -- because the former was framing it all in terms of the Tiny Minority of Extremists who are not primarily motivated by the same Islam which inspires the totality of Muslims, while the latter was not.

Assessing the quality of Trump's 12%, it's kind of a mixed bag.  It was heartening that Trump used the adjective "Islamic" and not the mealy-mouthed cacophemism, "Islamist" -- he used it three times, in fact.  Thumbs up.  The fourth time he used it doesn't count, however; for he immediately padded it with the popular cacophemism, "radical":

The damage and devastation that can be inflicted by Islamic radicals has been proven over and over –at the World Trade Center, at an office party in San Bernardino, at the Boston Marathon, at a military recruiting center in Chattanooga, and many more. 

I understand that in that pivotal context, where the entire world is looking at him as the momentary epicenter of the planet, Trump may have to mince words here and there.  And that particular sentence forces a difficulty upon the writer/speaker.  For how else would he put it?  Consider:

The damage and devastation that can be inflicted by Muslims has been proven over and over –at the World Trade Center, at an office party in San Bernardino, at the Boston Marathon, at a military recruiting center in Chattanooga, and many more. 

Such a locution, more straightforward (and accurate), gets suddenly up close and personal with any, each and every Muslim, indiscriminately discriminating against all Muslims.  Of course, I would prefer that; and a tiny (albeit growing at an excruciatinly snail's pace) nucleus of canaries-in-a-coalmine around the world -- increasingly fed up not only with Muslims putting their Islam into horrible practice, but also with our Western mainstream unable or unwilling to talk straight about this growing horror -- thirsts for such a drop of water after years of crawling in the arid heat of a desert culturescape of political correctness.  Yet I do understand the tactical need, here and there, for moderating our rhetoric.  It would matter less, or not at all, to this tactical argument if one had good reason to suppose that Trump has demonstrated no hope of progress, by means of a slow adjustment of our disastrously Titanic course.  But he has.  Not only his December 2015 Moratorium on immigration; not only his supposed later flip-flop which actually turned out to be a reinforcement of the raison d'être of the Moratorium; and not only his later wonderfully refreshing blurt on CNN -- "Islam hates us!" -- but also in his speech last night, a few words after the above statement, where point-blank he calls the Orlando attacker what no one in the mainstream dared to utter (and rather obfuscated with a wealth of nonsense):

Only weeks ago, in Orlando, Florida, 49 wonderful Americans were savagely murdered by an Islamic terrorist.

Other aspects of the 12% problem-of-Islam content of his speech are similarly ambiguous.  Speaking of his December Moratorium, he reiterated it, but with a couple of discomfitting notes sifted in:

...we must immediately suspend immigration from any nation that has been compromised by terrorism until such time as proven vetting mechanisms have been put in place. My opponent has called for a radical 550% increase in Syrian refugees on top of existing massive refugee flows coming into our country under President Obama. She proposes this despite the fact that there’s no way to screen these refugees in order to find out who they are or where they come from. I only want to admit individuals into our country who will support our values and love our people. Anyone who endorses violence, hatred or oppression is not welcome in our country and never will be.

While of course what he's proposing here is astronomically better than the disastrous policy Hillary proposes, that doesn't mean it's flawless.  The first problematic nuance is the fact that the blanket moratorium on Muslims from his December Moratorium seems to have been retooled to suspending immigration "from any nation that has been compromised by terrorism".  Of course, some of us believe that all Muslim lands have been compromised by terrorism and so that would be a de facto ban on Muslims in general in terms of immigration.  But somehow, I doubt that Trump is on this same wavelength.  Secondly, he proffers "vetting mechanisms" as a goal, as though something that is thoroughly impossible could ever be a goal.  (Sure, it might be a clever way to keep the moratorium in place forever; but somehow, I doubt it...)  Finally, his definition of the type of person we should be banning from entry:  Anyone who endorses violence, hatred or oppression is not welcome in our country and never will be...  Could Trump be any vaguer?

Again, Trump could be, with all this rhetoric, taking gingerly steps all around the Elephant in the Convention Center, as some kind of adroit tactic to anticipate and elude the demonization of our PC MC Masters.  Perhaps; perhaps not.  Perhaps he really has PC MC instincts himself about the nerve center of the problem:  Muslims.  And these instincts operate in his mind to inhibit the kind of Plain Speaking which a growing number of Americans -- and Westerners in general -- ache to hear someone who's not a "greasy Islamophobe" spit out without anxious prevarications.

So all in all, Trump's 12% about the problem of Islam has its merits and demerits.  The only question is, with a Trump victory and hopefully a second term down the line, will the merits sufficiently outweigh the demerits by continuing to grow in strength & quality in order begin the process of baby steps as a legacy that will be able to reverse our Titanic course, and thus avert the long-term, slow-mo destruction of our civilization by Mohammedans that is already underway now?

3) Perhaps the worst defect of the whole Convention occurred on Wednesday night, as reported by Cowger Nation:

"...the GOP, in its misguided and mindless effort to expand its big tent, invited a Muslim, one Sajid Tarir, to offer the closing benediction last night at the Republican National Convention."

This Sajid Tarir is the head of a group preposterously called "Muslims for Trump".  Well not so preposterous; they are Better Cops trying to infiltrate the Enemy Camp where opposition to them is more likely to be centered.  Better Cops logically would want to make this their priority.  And thus, we have the likes of Maajid Nawaz and Zuhdi Jasser infiltrating the Counter-Jihad; Suhail Khan and Grover Norquist infiltrating the Republican party; and now Sajid Tarir infiltrating the Trump camp.

It is heartening, at least, to learn that some brave souls in attendance heckled the seemingly benign Sajid Tarir with chants of "No Islam!" as he said a few words then offered a prayer couched in slyly anodyne and generic language (in English, naturally, not Arabic, and using the word "God" rather than "Allah").  According to a report from The Telegraph, "scores of delegates walked out" in protest; while one delegate --

...was evicted from the arena by secret service. "He was shouting profanities at the speaker because of his religion," an officer explained. 

Who is that delegate?  He deserves a medal -- and our heartfelt appreciation.

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