Days of Change

Day 420 – To the Extreme

December 29, 2009
1 Comment

Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice. And moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.
-Barry Goldwater

This administration is practicing a zombie-like moderation in many areas (except spending) under the idea of getting things done. Most of those things have been less than concrete. Our allies have made few pledges. Our non-allies have made even less concessions. Not only is little being done, the things that had been done up to 2008 have languished.

The first time Jackass pulled out the TelePrompter this week, he prefaced the bomber’s actions “allegedly.” Today, he used the term “extremists” to describe who normal people would call terrorists. Extreme makes me think of those dudes in the Mountain Dew commercials handgliding off a mountain or skateboarding on a half-pipe.

This langauge is no accident. Extremism is one of those flexible concepts that turns a motivation like Islamic militantism and equates it with “crazy” tea partiers or returning Iraq vets that Napolitano was keeping watch on earlier. The administration is willing to make a deal with anyone, but if you get “extreme” and make them look bad, you just got on their watch list. The White House has gone after Health Insurance companies harder than terrorists so far.

Let’s look at the extreme religion angle. The Catholic Church has been inundated for years over scandals, secrets, corruption and generally un-PC behavior. Since Catholics are the Catholic Church, they get a lot of the blowback. So, what about Islam? If we leave aside the honor killings, the misogyny and the general human rights violations of Muslims to other Muslims, there’s the matter of hideous acts against non-Muslims. Still, the administration claims that terrorism is a tiny fraction of Islam. So what? If we don’t feel the moral authority to clean up Islam, Islam certainly has the moral obligation to clean up its own religion.

I never equated dull moderation to intelligence. I’m more of the frantic genius type. I like to develop multiple vectors to approach a problem. Some people prefer the method of careful construction and refining. The problem with the latter method is that it can lead to focus lock. That plan will never be perfect and left, untried, on a shelf forever. In science, even a failure is a step forward. No step forward at all is just a failure.

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