June 18, 2005

Centrism and Irony

A while back I mentioned in the comments section on “The Commenter's” Uninformed Opinion blog that there are political ironies that conservatives miss, there are political ironies that liberals miss, and there are political ironies that centrists see that both liberals and conservatives miss.

Victor Davis Hanson zeroes in on one of the latter. It is - I think - the biggest irony of the post-911 world, one that does not cease to amaze me even today.
The more left-wing the Westerner, the more tolerant he is of right-wing Islamic extremism; the more liberal the Arab, the more likely he is to agree with conservative Westerners about the real source of Middle Eastern pathology.
There’s more to be said on this, though. I wish I could add another level of irony to it, but I can’t. Anyway: the more right-wing the Westerner, the more intolerant he is of Middle Easterners in general - not just the Islamists. And the more right-wing the Middle Easterner, the more intolerant he is of Westerners in general - not just the Bush and Blair administrations.

For those reasons (and plenty more reasons to boot), I’d advise everyone to gravitate toward the political center as much as your principles and opinions will let you. There are enemies to the left, and there are enemies to the right. Best to keep them far to your left and far to your right.

Posted by Michael J. Totten at June 18, 2005 8:30 PM
Winner, The 2007 Weblog Awards, Best Middle East or Africa Blog

Pajamas Media BlogRoll Member


"I'm flattered such an excellent writer links to my stuff"
Johann Hari
Author of God Save the Queen?

Andrew Sullivan
Author of Virtually Normal

"Brisk, bracing, sharp and thoughtful"
James Lileks
Author of The Gallery of Regrettable Food

"A hard-headed liberal who thinks and writes superbly"
Roger L. Simon
Author of Director's Cut

"Lively, vivid, and smart"
James Howard Kunstler
Author of The Geography of Nowhere

Contact Me

Send email to michaeltotten001 at gmail dot com

News Feeds


Link to Michael J. Totten with the logo button


Tip Jar


Terror and Liberalism
Paul Berman, The American Prospect

The Men Who Would Be Orwell
Ron Rosenbaum, The New York Observer

Looking the World in the Eye
Robert D. Kaplan, The Atlantic Monthly

In the Eigth Circle of Thieves
E.L. Doctorow, The Nation

Against Rationalization
Christopher Hitchens, The Nation

The Wall
Yossi Klein Halevi, The New Republic

Jihad Versus McWorld
Benjamin Barber, The Atlantic Monthly

The Sunshine Warrior
Bill Keller, The New York Times Magazine

Power and Weakness
Robert Kagan, Policy Review

The Coming Anarchy
Robert D. Kaplan, The Atlantic Monthly

England Your England
George Orwell, The Lion and the Unicorn