The Relative Comment

soothing waves of relativity

Gingrich vs. the Secular Atheist Islamists

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In the future (5 days from now, precisely), an article by Henrik Hertzberg will come out in print in the New Yorker. That article will concern one Newt Gingrich and his alternative-history novels, and use these novels as a lens from which to view the current GOP nominating process.

About these novels, I have nothing to say. Really. I have never read a novel by the politician Newt Gingrich. Probably, that won’t happen. Why politicians think they can write novels, I’ll never understand (maybe they can), but if you want to hear a wonderful rant about a terrible novel written by a politician, ask Mrs. TRC.

But there is something of interest to me in Hertzberg’s piece. Hertzberg says:

Gingrich’s sudden rise and special appeal to the emotions of “the base,” one suspects, stem less from his vaunted “big ideas” than from his long-cultivated, unparalleled talent for contempt.

This might be right. Because if Gingrich is the smart one, the ideas man, the educated historian first, and the Washington DC insider (that he oh so clearly is) second, then how can one explain the kinds of things that Gingrich is quoted saying? This is not just the ridiculous (EMPs and mining the moon) but just nonsense as well, as we’ll see. Gingrich’s “brains” are overrated, TRC believes, but his ability to use words to express contempt, well, that might be unparalleled in modern American Politics.

To highlight this, I will conclude with a final culling of Hertzberg’s article. He ends with a quote from Gingrich that on its face makes no sense at all to anyone who understands the words that are being used, or who at least takes a second to stop and think about it. I don’t like to generalize that most people do not do so, but that can be the only purpose of such a comment as this. Gingrich, and I, assume they will just find the contempt in Gingrich’s comment, and hear what they want to hear: Christians, led by Newt Gingrich, have to save America.

In March, at the Cornerstone Church, in San Antonio, Gingrich declared, “I am convinced that, if we do not decisively win the struggle over the nature of America,” his grandchildren will live “in a secular atheist country, potentially one dominated by radical Islamists and with no understanding of what it once meant to be an American.”

Is there any better way to frame the danger to “what it means to be American” than to threaten Americans with Atheism and Islam?  What can be worse than an atheist nation dominated by radical Islamists?

Any ideas man worth his weight in novels would notice the irony.

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Written by Christopher ZF

December 14, 2011 at 21:02

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