Raphael's "Saint George Slaying the Dragon," a parable of good destroying evil (first published here two years ago in a post where we quoted a Syrian filmmaker who said after the fall of Saddam, "The myth of having to live under despots for eternity collapsed.")
"On the right wing [crazies like Sissy Willis are] easy to pick out, writes Markus Kolic of Dem Apples -- 'Love the name! -- the official blog of the Harvard College Democrats, standing up for fellow DA blogger Josh Patashnik, who was the object of spirited criticism here the other day for his pre-emptive dhimmitudinous surrender in the Cartoon Wars. While we admire Mr. Kolic's loyalty to his friend, we are disappointed -- if not surprised -- at his professed disloyalty to his own ideas in the name of winning access to power:
And after spending some time arguing with radicals [Kolic's term for "crazies" like us. --ed], I’m beginning to realize why: unlike them, my goal is not to enforce my principles on everyone else. My goal is to do good for my country, by getting my party elected. Thus, no matter how fervently I might believe some of my radical ideas, I don’t want my party to recognize them if they would alienate large portions of the American people. I might have an extreme or unusual view on 9/11, or drug policy, or taxes, or religion. But I will keep those ideas to myself, because I know that the vast majority of Americans do not and probably never will think that way. This is what differentiates us from authoritarian ideologues on both wings, who have no qualms about condemning the masses. (”Sinners!” “Consumers!” etc.)
'Reminds us of Hillary Clinton's modus operandi, pandering at will. We always wonder if such persons realize how condescending their approach is to "the masses" -- what we would call "fellow citizens" -- whose votes they seek. Unlike Hillary, however, Markus Kolic wins our heart if not our mind with the civility and humor of his comments on our blog:
As a friend and fellow blogger of Josh Patashnik, naturally I'm irked at your characterization of him, but I respect your right to that opinion. (Thanks for the link back, by the way -- no such thing as bad publicity and all that.)
We especially like that parenthetical comment, a sentiment we've often blogged here. But so much for hearts. What about minds? Markus -- may we call you Markus? -- continues:
What gets me, both with your reasoning in particular and so much of the right's reasoning in general, is how you so easily throw out words like "enemy" and "adversary." Now, there is no doubt that we are in a war and there is an enemy (OK, a few of my radical-lefty friends doubt that, but that's beside the point). But you seem to have forgotten: Islam is not our enemy . . . I fail to see how these Danish cartoons are even remotely productive in the war on terror.
Did we ever say or even imply that Islam is our enemy? Never. Some of our best blogfriends are believers, fergossake. It's the dragon of Islamist terrorism and its fellow travelers that we battle with our words here. And what about those cartoons? If our new blogfriend fails to see how they "are even remotely productive in the war on terror," perhaps it is because those presumably utopian ideas he says he keeps to himself have blinded him to the lessons of history and the imperatives of human nature. We'll let longtime blogfriend Teresa, who responds to Mr. Kolic in the comments, have the last word:
There is a reason for talks about slippery slopes. Appeasing violence rather than confronting it -- has never ever worked. It always ends with the appeaser having to give more and more -- until they are useless -- then they end up despised and dead. It's a losing proposition with extremely dire consequences for our country and our way of life.
As we've said before, we love it when our commenters, disagreeing with each other's ideas, engage in civilized debate. It gives us hope that freedom of speech will prevail.
*Title refers to the syntax of the title of W.B. Yeats's "Crazy Jane talks with the bishop."