I think most of our problems transcend politics, which is increasingly a reflection of an elite, insider culture that is completely at odds with the majority of the country that it oversees.
The core green problem is about the credibility of its policy proposals and the viability of the political strategy the big green groups pushed to enact them. Climategate and Glaciergate did not cause the collapse of the green agenda in Copenhagen and they are not responsible for the global decline in green political fortunes since then. Both the greens and their opponents need to understand that the reason that the Great Global Green Dream is melting lies in the sad truth that whatever the scientific facts of the matter, the global green movement is so blind and inept when it comes to policy and process that it has deeply damaged the causes it cares most about.
I was visited by one such harbinger last weekend, in the form of a 80-meter Ferretti motoryacht, as I was hosting my weekly confabulation of like-minded conservative thinkers at the old family Montauk estate. Dame Peggy Noonan was there as always, along with the vivacious Kathleen Parker and those two mighty Davids of conservative intellect, Frum and Brooks. We were engaged in a vigorous boys-against-girls badminton match on the south lawn when I espied the aforementioned vessel laying anchor a few hundred yards off the jetty. A quick peep through the old family Dollond spyglass (according to Van Voorhees lore, a gift to Coddington III by some lovesick Nantucket whaling heiress who later committed suicide with a harpoon after great-great-grandpapa spurned her advances) confirmed it was Die Walküre, the handsome 16-cabin personal watercraft of my old friend and EU agricultural pricing minister Kloonkie Von Wallensheim. As delighted as I was to see this grand seagoing edifice, I was equally aghast to see her gleaming white hull now disfigured with some sort of black gooey film.
Iowahawk, of course
Ayaan Hirsi Ali’s great cause is women’s liberation. Unfortunately for her, the women she wants to liberate are Muslim, so she gets minimal support and indeed a ton of hostility from Western feminists who have reconciled themselves, consciously or otherwise, to the two-tier sisterhood: when it comes to clitoridectomies, forced marriages, honour killings, etc., multiculturalism trumps feminism. Liberal men are, if anything, even more opposed. She long ago got used to the hectoring TV interviewer, from Avi Lewis on the CBC a while back to Tavis Smiley on PBS just the other day, insisting that say what you like about Islam but everyone knows that Christians are just as backward and violent, if not more so. The media left spends endless hours and most of its interminable awards ceremonies congratulating itself on its courage, on “speaking truth to power,” the bravery of dissent and all the rest, but faced with a pro-gay secular black feminist who actually lives it they frost up in nothing flat.
Back in 2008, when I was fulminating against multiculturalism on a more or less weekly basis, a reader wrote to advise me to lighten up, on the grounds that “we’re rich enough to afford to be stupid.”
Two years later, we’re a lot less rich. In fact, many Western nations are, in any objective sense, insolvent. Hence last week’s column, on the EU’s decision to toss a trillion dollars into the great sucking maw of Greece’s public-sector kleptocracy. It no longer matters whether you’re intellectually in favour of European-style social democracy: simply as a practical matter, it’s unaffordable.
SMITH: Let me go to my next question, which is — in — in the case of all three attempts in the last year, the terrorist attempts, one of which was successful, those individuals have had ties to radical Islam. Do you feel that these individuals might have been incited to take the actions that they did because of radical Islam?
HOLDER: Because of?
SMITH: Radical Islam.
HOLDER: There are a variety of reasons why I think people have taken these actions. It’s — one, I think you have to look at each individual case. I mean, we are in the process now of talking to Mr. Shahzad to try to understand what it is that drove him to take the action.
SMITH: Yes, but radical Islam could have been one of the reasons?
HOLDER: There are a variety of reasons why people…
SMITH: But was radical Islam one of them?
HOLDER: There are a variety of reasons why people do things. Some of them are potentially religious…
SMITH: OK. But all I’m asking is if you think among those variety of reasons radical Islam might have been one of the reasons that the individuals took the steps that they did.
HOLDER: You see, you say radical Islam. I mean, I think those people who espouse a — a version of Islam that is not…
SMITH: Are you uncomfortable attributing any other actions to radical Islam? It sounds like it.
HOLDER: No, I don’t want to say anything negative about a religion that is not…
SMITH: No, no. I’m not talking about religion. I’m talking about radical Islam. I’m not talking about the general religion.
HOLDER: Right. And I’m saying that a person, like Anwar Awlaki, for instance, who has a version of Islam that is not consistent with the teachings of it…
HOLDER: … and who espouses a radical version…
SMITH: But then is — could radical Islam had motivated these individuals to take the steps that they did?
HOLDER: I certainly think that it’s possible that people who espouse a radical version of Islam have had an ability to have an impact on people like Mr. Shahzad.
SMITH: OK. And could it have been the case in one of these three instances?
HOLDER: Could that have been the case?
SMITH: Yes, could — again, could one of these three individuals have been incited by radical Islam? Apparently, you feel that that they could’ve been.
HOLDER: Well, I think potentially incited by people who have a view of Islam that is inconsistent with…
SMITH: OK. Mr. A.G., it’s hard to get an answer yes or no, but let me go on to my next question.
Don’t say the Magic Word, you might piss them off and make them hate us even more!