After the fall on Kabul, our elitists raced to Twitter and other forums to equate the Taliban to conservatives and Republicans in the U.S. What kind of country are we becoming, in which a significant part of it cannot, or will not, distinguish the difference between terrorism and political differences?
Duplici-mentarian Michael Moore, as he often is, was an early arrival at the buffet table of buffoonery. While so many of us were wondering just how things could have gone so wrong, even under Joe Biden, he tweeted “their Taliban, our Taliban, everybody’s got a Taliban,” complete with a photo of a few of the Jan. 6 Capitol intruders. Of course it was met with great approval.
Actress Rosanna Arquette, who has declared she will never again stand for the American flag and will kneel when she hears the national anthem, apparently couldn’t help herself, either. She tweeted that “the Taliban extremists” in the U.S. go by “a different name.” She wants the world to know that “the GOP right wing extremists who support destroying democracy are the terrorists in America and will continue to terrorize America until they are stopped and pay for their crimes against Americans Jan 6.”
“Late Show” host Steven Colbert, dance partner of New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, used his national forum to wonder “why should our soldiers be fighting radicals in a civil war in Afghanistan” since “we’ve got our own on Capitol Hill.” MSNBC’s Joy Reid called the Taliban’s takeover of Kabul a “true cautionary tale for the U.S., which has our own far religious right dreaming of a theocracy.”
And then there’s Ahmed Tharwat, host and producer of some Arab-American television show who “writes for local and international publications.” Last week, the Minneapolis Star Tribune allowed him to rant about “the American Taliban,” which “stormed the Capitol to reinstall their cult leader to office after he lost the election and launched the stop the steal movement.” It was, he said, a “hillbilly coup.”
Much of the effort to link America’s political right to the Taliban is nothing more than pathetic virtue signaling. It’s the screeching of attention-hungry media personalities and celebrities who desperately need to show the world they’re on the right side of history, and are morally and intellectually superior than most of their fellow Americans.
Unfortunately, what they say influences others. Moore, for instance, has claimed to have more than 5 million Twitter followers, which in itself is disturbing, for who in their right mind would follow such a contemptible person unless it was to fact check his baloney?
But there are true believers out there, certain that either there’s no difference between the Taliban and the political right in the U.S., or the differences are so small that they fall within a small margin of error.
The number who have bought into the smear has to be small. But where are the Democrats who know it’s perverse to compare the Taliban with Americans who merely think differently than they do – those “adults” who are supposed to be back in charge in Washington? Does their silence imply that conservatives, Republicans, and Trump supporters from all political backgrounds should be treated as terrorists? Are they tacitly encouraging another James Hodgkinson, the Bernie Sanders supporter who reportedly hated conservatives and Donald Trump, and turned his antipathy into a shootout that left him dead and several wounded, including Louisiana GOP Rep. Steve Scalise? Are they not concerned that a majority of the country believes we are already fighting a cold civil war, and that it might not take much to turn it hot?
At best, the comparisons will only supercharge the political and cultural divisions that are dragging us down, and encourage the Democrats to accelerate their ambition to rule rather than govern – the kind of country they want the U.S. to become.
— Written by the I&I Editorial Board