So I'm watching The News on CNBC and they're talking with Pat Buchanan about the war in Iraq and how it's dividing conservatives. Buchanan came out decidedly against the war and demanded that the U.S. pull all of its troops out of every country on the grounds that we're not an empire. I couldn't help but think, "Why is the media still paying attention to this moron?"
First, it is the nature of the modern world that we can't defend out nation from within our borders. Anyone who thinks otherwise is probably oversimplifying an extremely complex issue. Much like we have to do maintenance on our cars or face severe and unexpected damage to the vehicles, we have to do maintenance to our security in the world rather than wait for that sudden emergency. Furthermore, it is wrong to wait for the punk to actually stab you before you push his nose into his skull with your fist. Sure, some people think you can't defend yourself until you have been attacked. We call them victims.
Back to the Buchanan issue, he's a self-important religious nut. I realize he represents a part of the population. Charles Manson represented a small amount of the population. The Ku Klux Klan represents a small part of the population as well. Does that give their leaders any real credibility? Nope.
The extreme religious right, as represented by Buchanan, would gladly turn this country into a theocracy. You know, that's the kind of government the Taliban was. Even though they would be Christian instead of Muslim, they would still be intolerable. We've seen the history when the church (any Christian church) has political power. The self-righteous invariably destroy the freedoms of the people who are too busy with living to pay any attention. I've said it before and I'll say it again, the only real difference between the extreme Christian right and the Taliban is that the Taliban doesn't wear polyester.
It is important that we keep religion out of government. Though a very devout Christian, Thomas Jefferson (of American History fame) came out very opposed to religion in politics. In Query XV of his The State of Virginia he wrote,
"The legitimate powers of government extend to such acts as only are injurious to others. But it does me no harm for my neighbor to say there are twenty gods, or no god. It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg."
Sure, you may think, "Hey, it's Christianity. A lot of my friends are Christian and they aren't too bad. How bad could it be?"
Well, there are many different forms of Christianity. That can be rather notable. Look at Islam, as another example. The Mother Mosque here in Cedar Rapids is perfectly peaceful, but if you look at the more extreme forms of Islam you know they can be worlds apart. There can be such divides in Christianity too.
What sort of Christian are you? If you are Catholic, would you want laws based on Southern Baptist belief? How many Methodists want to live in a Lutheran theocracy? Would you want to live in a nation run by televangelists? You can see that point.
But back to Buchanan, again, I still say he's a nut. I think he's a self-righteous egotistical moron. (This coming from a blogger?) His arguments are usually more passionate than reasoned. He attacks his opponents rather than their arguments and rarely adds anything useful to the debate. (Does it seem like that's what I'm doing here? The difference is that Buchanan being a moron is my topic, which makes the attack the nature of my argument.) He's a simpleton.
So please, media people, leave the sideshow types to the tabloids and stop putting them up like they are legitimate news.