I thought this was great. Here’s a guy on a political talk show who is supposed to be defending Bush’s ill advised comments about appeasement and Nazis . However, he doesn’t have a clue what he’s talking about. He has no sense of history and no notion of the actual comparison he’s making. He only knows that Bush and other hardliners have said that anyone willing to talk with our enemies is an “appeaser.”
One of the things I try to teach my writing students is to recognize and avoid logical fallacies, and one of the most commonly used fallacies is the “faulty analogy”: comparing two unlike ideas and drawing conclusions from one and trying to apply them to the other. This conservative pundit can’t even say he’s making a faulty analogy because he doesn’t actually know what the analogy is that he’s making. I can’t think of a better example of how debate and thoughtful exchange have been reduced to sound bites and sloganeering-as-analysis in our current media environment.
I have seen this same “appeaser” argument crop up from a variety of individuals, many of them devout Christians. I must admit, I don’t understand how the teachings of Christ are in anyway compatible with the militant dogma being offered up by hard right. Luke 6 famously tells us to “Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you, Bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you.” For me, this sentiment is the core of Christian teaching, and yet it is so easily set aside by those who… I honestly can’t fathom their motives… support a militant, “kill them before they kill us” approach to American foreign policy. What is more disturbing is that the militant right has been able, at least on some level, to label those who contest a “violence as a first resort” policy as unamerican or unpatriotic. The bitter irony is that those who profess Christianity the most (pres. Bush) are the least Christian among us.