The Don’t Want A Civil Debate; They Want Everyone Else To Shut Up

At Commentary Contentions, Peter Wehner shows that Jim Wallis is supremely unqualified to lecture others about having a “robust debate but not resort[ing] to personal attack, falsely impugning others’ motives, assaulting their character, questioning their faith, or doubting their patriotism,” while Alana Goodman discusses the latest iteration of perpetual concern about a Muslim “backlash” in the U.S. that never happens.  The common thread here is the true goal of the complainers. 

Mr. Wallis clearly does not care about civility in political debate.  If he did, he would be more civil to others and not make serial ad hominem attacks.  Wallis instead wants one side — not his — to be muted in advancing its arguments, while he and his fellow travellers remain free to be as strident as they want.  Meanwhile, Jennifer Rubin reminds us that the primary source of over-heated violence-tinged rhetoric is the left, not the right.

Likewise, the Muslim leaders are not worried about a “backlash” of violence against Muslims in the United States.  We made it through the first World Trade Center bombings, the U.S.S. Cole bombing, 9/11, the Fort Hood shootings, daily IED attacks in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Ground Zero Islamic Center debate, and so on, without the ever-predicted but never-occurring violent anti-Islamic backlash.  The Muslim leaders simply don’t like the idea of congressional hearings to investigate homegrown Islamic radicalization at all; they would prefer to focus on an imagined backlash in which Muslims are portrayed as potential victims rather than potential perpetrators of terrorist acts.

In short, all of this hand-wringing is not intended to ensure that debate remains within the bounds of civil and respectful discourse.  It seeks to silence others, not have a respectful discussion with them.

Published in: on January 31, 2011 at 9:27 am  Leave a Comment  

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