The term, "violent extremism" fits the same mold. If the threat is "violent extremism," then you're not dealing with a coherent ideology or world view, you're dealing with crazy people. Crazy people can't really be classified into a group which then becomes an enemy, they're more of an amorphous blob of hateful loons that you can deal with one by one.
If an emerging threat has no shape, no center of gravity, no plan or goals or strategy, then you're free to cling to the enemies you had in the past. In this case, it's racism, sexism, homophobia,
"Violent extremism" and "senseless violence" bring with them all kinds of benefits besides encouraging intellectual sloth. You can apply these labels universally to any group that happens to bother you at the moment. Hence we end up with Obama yapping about the Crusades, implying that mainstream Christians are just as prone to "senseless extremism" (or was that "violent violence?") as the Sunnis and Shiites. This is great, because traditionalist Christians are the ones he really hates with all their sexism and homophobia and judgmentalism.
Meanwhile, the world evolves as it always has. The Nazis are gone as are the Confederates (well, now that we've done away with that hateful flag of theirs). The Huns are no longer slaughtering orphans in Belgium and the Visigoths aren't coming over the Seven Hills of Rome, bent on rape and pillage right now. Instead, we've got new threats and new enemies.
The compound interest table is one. That's what makes an $18T debt so fearsome. Fertility rates and the destruction of the traditional family is another. To add a third, Islam really is a problem. It doesn't even need to be extremely extremist or senselessly senseless. It could by fuzzy and warm and benevolent like those goofy Saudis dressing their women in potato sacks or cheerfully zany like our new friends the Iranians hanging gays from construction cranes.
So what's the plan to deal with the largest debt ever seen? What's our take on the Pandora's Box of social pathologies opened by an explosion of "alternative" families? How are we going to live with a growing global power that by its very nature cannot separate religion and politics?
Oh, pah. Those aren't out real problems. Our real problems are "senseless violence" and "violent extremism."
|Well, those and the Confederate flag, of course.|