A completely brilliant piece from Daniel, wherein he perfectly crystallizes, analyzes, and explains an idea I’ve been groping around for for years now, but never could quite put my finger on.
The thing that must be understood is that moderates do not disavow radicals. Rather they bridge the gap between the radicals and the larger society, justifying their ends, and eventually their means, while pretending to disavow them. Radicals reject any dialogue. Moderates emphasize dialogue.
Moderates will verbally reject the means with which an end is pursued. Accordingly they will reject terrorism. They may even claim to reject the ends, such as an ideological dictatorship, but they will, in good fellowship, ask you to accept their premise which inevitably leads to the acceptance of both the ends and the means.
For example, moderates on the left and in Islam will ask you to accept that terrorism is caused by American foreign policy. Once you have accepted this premise, then you have partially justified terrorism and paved the way for accepting an “Arab Spring” that eliminates the consequences of American foreign policy by properly Arabizing and Islamizing the governments of the region.
Likewise, if you accept the premise that Israel’s presence in its ’67 territories is driving terrorism, then you have signed on to everything from BDS to the destruction of the Jewish State.
If you concede that crime and violence are driven by class and racial inequities, then you accept that the only way to end this “class war” is massive taxation and wealth redistribution through government intervention that addresses the root cause.
That is not the way it seems to most people. And that is why the “moderate” strategy works so well.
Once you have accepted the moderate definition of the root cause, you will inevitably be forced to accept the radical remedy. This is true across a spectrum of lower level policies. For example, accept that homosexuality is genetic and gay rights become the inevitable and inescapable outcome. That is how the root cause defines the outcome. And this is how moderates achieve radical goals.
The real threat is always the subversion of the moderates. The challenge then becomes the need to expose the false facade of the moderates. This leads to a push-pull struggle. The moderates cry that they are being unfairly victimized by hateful people. There are shouts of red-baiting and McCarthyism, profiling and bigotry. Their critics are paranoid and unhinged. The moderates even assert that there is something ugly and “Un-American” about asking them to account for their agenda.
And this is really the core argument made by the two allied subversive ideologies. It is “ugly” to expose their views, to quote them, to bring them to the surface. It is intolerant. It’s not the way that respectable people should behave. And the moderates, who pose as respectable people precisely to play on the weakness of the middle class for being respectable, understand that this is the ultimate weapon.
Respectable people do not accuse the friendly Imam on the block of belonging to the Muslim Brotherhood or promoting Jihadist texts. They do not accuse the cheerful teacher in the school whom everyone likes of pushing anti-American views on her students. That is not respectable behavior.
And moderates, who pretend to be respectable, excel at pushing the respectable shame button.
It doesn’t matter if it’s true. It’s ugly to discuss it. That is respectability simplified. It’s much better to talk about how much we have in common, to speak about how we can unite and make the world a better place. And the moderates have plenty of ideas in that regard. All of them involve accepting their premise of what the world’s problems are and how they can be improved by a series of proposals that would culminate with mass tyranny and murder.
Funny how it always seems to come down to that, ain’t it?
No kidding, folks, Greenfield really hit it out of the park with this one. In fact, it’s one of his best essays ever, I think. And that’s saying something.