Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Hitch on Beck

As usual, Christopher Hitchens is smart, funny and incisive.  Regarding the Glenn Beck affront to intelligence and human decency, he writes:
And these [various] insinuations [of Obama as Muslim or illegitimate] are perfectly emblematic of the two main fears of the old majority: that it will be submerged by an influx from beyond the borders and that it will be challenged in its traditional ways and faiths by an alien and largely Third World religion.
Which is exactly why I have been unwilling to call it plain racism.  It's more about losing power than fearing foreigners for the leaders like Beck.

And of course you get a Hitchens insult, which for my money are the best insults being peddled today:

The numbers were impressive enough on their own, but the overall effect was large, vague, moist, and undirected: the Waterworld of white self-pity.
I just don't think anyone's doing it as well right now.

I'll recommend that you go read the article, it's more than worth it.


shadowfax said...

yes, I think the more apt term is "nativism." Granted, racism and nativism are kind of hard to distinguish on the exterior, but the motivating forces are quite distinct.

And yes, Hitch is brilliant.

JimII said...

Oy! There are few things for which I have a more refined palate than insults, and that is a tasty shot.

Abortion, Gay Rights, and Immigration are all issues that center on fear of losing one's culture to the others. I guess the issue is what do the labels sexist, homophobic and racist do for the inquiry. I use them as a way to designate putting the protection of ones traditions over the freedom of others as evil. If we are do something other than identifying it as evil, it is worthwhile to be more careful in our diagnosis.

Matt Dick said...

That's a fair point, I can leave the phobias as short-hand.