I call on my friends on the Left –- straight or gay -– to help defend that real source of liberalism the Enlightenment, because if we lose and fall under religious law, there not only will be no gay marriage, there will be no women's rights, no freedom of the press, no basic human rights, not even – as in the case of Iran – any music.
Every now and then, it is worth noting that substantial portions of the right-wing political movement in the United States -- the Pajamas Media/right-wing-blogosphere/Fox News/Michelle Malkin/Rush-Limbaugh-listener strain -- actually believe that Islamists are going to take over the U.S. and impose sharia law on all of us. And then we will have to be Muslims and "our women" will be forced into burkas and there will be no more music or gay bars or churches or blogs. This is an actual fear that they have -- not a theoretical fear but one that is pressing, urgent, at the forefront of their worldview.
And their key political beliefs -- from Iraq to Iran to executive power and surveillance theories at home -- are animated by the belief that all of this is going to happen. The Republican presidential primary is, for much of the "base," a search for who will be the toughest and strongest in protecting us from the Islamic invasion -- a term that is not figurative or symbolic, but literal: the formidable effort by Islamic radicals to invade the U.S. and take over our institutions and dismantle our government and force us to submit to Islamic rule or else be killed.
They actually think this is going to happen ("read Zawahiri's speeches about the Plan for Caliphate!!") and believe that we must do everything in our power -- without limits -- to stop it. And there are a lot of them who think this.
In his update, Greenwald further writes:
One way to look at the threat posed by Islamic radicalism (let us call it Option A) is to see it as the Epic War of Civilizations, the Existential Threat to Everything, the Gravest and Scariest Danger Ever Faced which is going to take over the U.S. and force us all to bow to Islam.
Another way to look at it (let us call this Option B) is to dismiss it entirely, to believe there is nothing wrong with Islamic radicalism, to think it should just be completely ignored because it poses no dangers of any kind.
There are, however, other options besides A and B. Therefore, to reject Option A is not to embrace Option B. [Your typical wingnut "If it ain't Christmas, it must be the Fourth of July" "logic." - JDsg]
One would have thought that logical principle too self-evident to require pointing out, but as is typically the case when one assumes that, one is proven wrong.
On a different note, is the curriculum for history classes in some American states restricted to learning about Hitler and the Nazis and 1938 and Hitler and Germany? It must be, because there are many right-wing fanatics whose entire understanding of the world is reduced in every instance to that sole historical event -- as though the world began in 1937, ended in 1945, and we just re-live that moment in time over and over and over:
Love war? You are Churchill, a noble warrior. Oppose war? You're Chamberlain, a vile appeaser. And everyone else is Hitler. That, more or less, composes the full scope of "thought" among this strain on the right.