by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
How stupid and vicious do they think we are? That’s a question that I think explains a lot of things about politics and society today — and about this year’s unpredictable presidential race.
The “we” in that question are ordinary citizens and the “they” are political and media elites who hold them in contempt. Which they do over and over again by trying to obfuscate and cover up the source and motives of terrorist attacks.
Barack Obama, who refuses to use phrases akin to “Islamist terrorism,” is a prime offender, but far from the only one. His predecessor George W. Bush, after the attacks of September 11, made a point of visiting mosques and calling Islam a religion of peace.
Undoubtedly he then feared that many Americans would attack and assault Muslims, real or perceived, and a very few such attacks occurred. But government statistics count far fewer “hate crimes” against Muslims than against Jews.
Nonetheless Obama still behaves as if any suggestion that terrorists shouting “Allahu akbar!” has something to do with Islam will spark massacres and persecution across the country. The American people are seen as a great beast, incapable of reason or cool judgment. Stupid and vicious.
So they must be reminded that they are not morally superior to terrorists. At a national prayer breakfast, Obama felt obliged to remind Americans that Christians attacked Muslims — in the Crusades, 800 years ago.
Others have followed his example. …
… Actually, it’s not that hard for ordinary people to keep in mind two different ideas that the elites think they’ll find confusing — that most terrorists these days are Muslims, and that most Muslims are not terrorists. We keep similar things in mind every day. For example, we notice that most dangerously aggressive drivers are men, but also that most men are not dangerously aggressive drivers.