It’s an odd term, “9/11 Liberal”, but it seems to have some truth to it: a Liberal on nearly all things, save for their pro-war stance concerning the issue of Islamist terrorism.
Here’s a little video of Salman Rushdie on Bill Maher discussing this issue:
I ceased being a “Liberal” long ago and took the aggressive step of uncapitalizing the term, becoming simply a “liberal”.
But many of my affinities still lie with these old Progressives, hippies, bohemians, and communist sympathizers (I was once a died-in-the-wool Marxist) — and against the whackos that populate the far right who are genuinely (often supremely) racist, sexist, homophobic — assholes first, politically interested second — and who either have, or are deeply sympathetic to, fundamentalist Christian tendencies.
I may have settled into a kind of liberal-libertarianism, but my “peeps” have always been those on the Left — especially those on the furthest end of it.
That said, my own view on the terror-war is much harsher than any “9/11 Liberal” precisely because I’m against the Liberal cult of Tolerance — that get-along tendency that white-washes the crimes of any subgroup that can claim oppression.
I am not pro-tolerance when it comes to ANY religion. I am pro-free-speech. Pro-laws-against-violence. Pro-reason. Pro Science. And above all: Pro-Secular-Government.
I’m against all forms of theocracy, dictatorship, and totalitarianism. Period.
Putting religion in bed with politics breeds evil of the most virulent variety. It makes religion the worst of itself. This is true not only of formal governments, but of political movements. The best thing that ever happened to Christianity was its divorce from government — one of many contributions our American founders made that makes their triumph one of the most important (if not THE most important) event in the history of human rights: the Creation of our Constitution-based, anti-theocratic, pro-humanist, Government.
I am Pro-America in a way that makes me cringe every time I hear a member of the Tea Party (those co-destroyers of the word “libertarian”), or the Christian Right, say the same thing. They seem to believe in a very different country than I do. (Not to mention, they seem to have no understanding of the history of the founders they pretend to admire, who fought a war to prevent the very madness these nut-jobs promote.)
I have ZERO tolerance for Muslim-based governments and political-action groups for the EXACT reasons I have zero tolerance for Religious-based governments of any kind. Or, for that matter, zero tolerance for Creationist nut-jobs trying to force religion into state-funded schools; or that idiotic “Brain Gym” group promoting a culture of pseudoscience and irrationality in our schools, as if our education system didn’t have enough of that already; or cultist diet fanatics; or the anti-vaccination crowd… the list is long.
I am for those nearly perfect words of Thomas Jefferson (from his original rough draft):
“We hold these truths to be sacred & undeniable; that all men are created equal & independent, that from that equal creation they derive rights inherent & inalienable, among which are the preservation of life, & liberty, & the pursuit of happiness; …”
In short, you simple DO NOT have the right to take the life of another human being because you believe that some magic book told you it was OK.
Fuck Moses. You have to obey our secular laws. No stoning allowed.
That’s not simply a “Muslim” problem, that’s a HUMAN problem: humans are morons who will believe all kinds of bullshit — they will then use that bullshit to justify their totalitarian violence. It is the purpose of secular government to keep the right-to-violence out of the hands of nutjobs — all else is secondary.
I don’t “respect” religion any more than I “respect” astrology or tradition or dogma or authority or any of those things humans have used throughout history to justify their violence.
I respect the sanctity of human rights. Everything else is subservient to that.
Now… Here’s the step Liberals won’t take with me: it is the job of the United States (and the rest of the powerful democracies of the world) to protect and defend the human rights of the people who are being oppressed by totalitarian governments of all kinds (this certainly includes theocracies). It should be our expressed goal to FREE the world of these kinds of horrible governments and violently oppressive regimes, bandits, terrorist organizations, and psychopaths.
I am no moral relativist. I am an absolutist. I am no pacifist. I believe in defending those who cannot defend themselves.
- it’s worth noting that when it comes to the promotion of freedom and human rights, I believe that we should all be taking both Paine AND Burke seriously — I’ve always found it a sign of idiocy when a person rejects either out of hand. Be a revolutionary with a conservative soul. No zealots allowed. ↩