Fareed Zakaria is the ‘brave’ one here

Inexplicable thought leader Fareed Zakaria copy and pasted wrote a column a couple weeks ago denouncing “anti-Muslim rhetoric” as “not brave”:

[I]ncreasingly, Americans seem to view Muslims as actively propagating a dangerous ideology, like communist activists. It’s not just Donald Trump. … And it’s not just on the right. The television personality and outspoken liberal Bill Maher made the expansive generalization recently that “If you are in this religion, you probably do have values that are at odds [with American values].”

 

What is most bizarre is to hear this anti-Muslim rhetoric described as brave truth-telling. … They are simply feeding a prejudice.

Implicit in Zakaria’s argument — assuming it’s his and not someone else’s that he attached his name to — is that it’s he who is brave for taking a stand against those arguing for greater scrutiny of Muslims in America.

Whatever your feelings about the best way to combat Islamic terrorism, it’s not even the remotest bit brave to charge Donald Trump and Bill Maher with “feeding prejudice” because they’re suspicious of Muslims.

That’s the same charge leveled by: the national news media, every federal-level politician, every celebrity in Hollywood and every intellectual in every university.

Bravery is when you take a position against the people in power. Bravery is not when you do like Zakaria, who simply echoed his friends in Washington and New York. (And by “echoed,” I mean he shares their feelings, not that he necessarily repeated word for word the work of someone else.)

Is it brave or not to repeat what the New York Times editorial board says every other week?

That’s Zakaria.

Is it brave or not to take the side of everyone else outside of media and politics?

That’s not Zakaria.

I get Donald Trump but what’s happening with Ben Carson?

Reasons for Donald Trump‘s popularity among Republican voters are obvious, even though they weren’t for a long time to the GOP dummies in Washington, D.C., and New York:

  • Trump is, first and foremost, a gifted performer. In this culture, dominated by television, you have to be.
  • He’s saying the things a lot of people — it’s particularly people who don’t really care about politics and don’t know the difference between political parties — feel everyday. Namely that the middle class gets no help while illegal immigrants and welfare recipients get everything.
  • He’s interesting, funny and engaging. That’s how he stays on TV.
  • Enthusiasm is always infectious. Trump has an enthusiasm lacking in every single other Republican candidate.

But Ben Carson‘s appeal is not obvious. I don’t have a clue what’s going on there.

His numbers keep going up even though he appears to be literally sleeping his way through the campaign.

Carson’s main appeal among GOP voters seems to be: conservative black guy (always a plus!) who’s probably a pleasant dinner guest.

Also, while we’re on the subject it’s worth remembering this bit from a 2013 Washington Post profile on Carson:

After a several-day onslaught from fans and the media, many wanting to know his potential political plans, Carson has eased away from suggestions he may have his eyes on the White House. The 61-year-old doctor now says the likelihood of a presidential run is “incredibly small.” What he really wants is a second career in television when he retires from Johns Hopkins later this year.
“Maybe if you write about it in your article, somebody will say, ‘Let’s do it,’ ” he said in an interview. …

 

He would like to do a show that focuses on “educating the American populace about things that are essential to our freedom,” he said in his soft, steady voice. Or he would like to try a show that would bring together people who hold opposing views on critical issues that are dividing the nation. Carson would then help them seek a middle ground or resolution.

 

“If the proper venue was presented, I would probably accept such a thing,” he said.