Anti-Semitism, anti-Americanism and Irrational Hatred

James Baker is now quoted as having said during the Bush I administration, "F... the Jews, they don't vote for us anyway." It's quite likely that Baker said that; it's standard Washington trash talk. A year ago, Dick Cheney shocked the Beltway establishment (not!) when he was quoted as saying "Go f... yourself" to Democrat Patrick Leahy in the Senate. The trouble is that it's hard to tell the difference between standard political cuss talk and real prejudice. The Democrats control the Jewish and Black vote in this country simply by hyping tasteless jokes and silly slips by Republicans and conservatives. But Dick Morris tells us that Hillary Clinton has a foul mouth in private, and that she once called him a dirty Jew. Oddly enough, the media didn't play that up.

So we hear only one side in the Leftist media; if the Left couldn't count on its wholly-owned Black and Jewish voting blocks, the Democrats would be gone as a party.   Allegations of bias therefore make for a hugely important political  lever. For that reason, it is vital to focus on the difference between real hatred and alleged hatred. Demagogues and other con artists make their living on that difference.

What does the Baker quote prove? Not much, by itself. Plenty of liberal Jews have found themselves saying "F... Bush and the horse he rode in on," or some version thereof, in the last six years. Since the congressional elections, some liberal Jews have finally started to issue public warnings about the Mahmoud mania in the Middle East. So it turns out that they agree with President Bush after all. All their trash talk didn't mean a thing.

All this is important because anti-Semitism is both a reality and also a greatly exaggerated fear. Blacks are just as hypersensitive about signs of racism, sometimes so much that they interpret pretty innocent blunders ("macaca") as proof of deep personality defects --- as long as it's a Republican saying it. The boundary between justified fear and hypersensitivity is pretty thin. Women a generation ago would have ignored tasteless male jibes; today they are hypersensitive to them. That makes it much easier to manipulate women as a group. Everybody has gotten hypersensitive. It doesn't elevate our political dialogue in this country. Rather, it shuts off rational debate. And we need much more reasoned debate between people of good will.

Racism is a state of mind, and allegations of racism involve mind reading. That's pretty hard for mere humans. Nathan Sharansky, who has a lot of life experience with hatred and tyranny, has suggested a solution. According to him,  racism is real if it meets three standards. We can think of them as signs of unreason: They make no sense when you think about them.  That kind of racism is real and dangerous.

Here are Sharansky's three criteria:
1. Demonization: Are Jews or Blacks being blamed for all the evil in the world?

2. Double standards: Are Jews or Blacks being judged by a standard of irrational perfection that no one else has to meet?

3. Delegitimization: Is it implied that the world would be better off if Jews or Blacks simply disappeared?
Sharansky's three criteria are a great help to clear thinking. They also help us to stay clear of false and dubious allegations, especially those that are always exploited by our demagogic media and Left.

And if you think about it, today it is the vocal Left that meets those three criteria when it comes to Israel and the United States. Just listen to moveon.org: 
1. Demonization: Israel and the US are responsible for terrorism and the rise of nuclear rogues regimes;

2. Double standards: Israel and the United States are constantly judged by the Left using standards that are never applied to Cuba, the Soviets, China, the Khmer Rouge, Europe or the domestic Left wing.

3. Deligitimization: The Left constantly argues that the world would be better off without Israel and without America as a superpower. This is called "patriotism" by Democrats.
Anybody trying to understand politics would be well advised to take a deep breath when there is another accusation of racism in the press. And then, see if the charge fits Sharansky's three criteria. You might be surprised what you find.
James Baker is now quoted as having said during the Bush I administration, "F... the Jews, they don't vote for us anyway." It's quite likely that Baker said that; it's standard Washington trash talk. A year ago, Dick Cheney shocked the Beltway establishment (not!) when he was quoted as saying "Go f... yourself" to Democrat Patrick Leahy in the Senate. The trouble is that it's hard to tell the difference between standard political cuss talk and real prejudice. The Democrats control the Jewish and Black vote in this country simply by hyping tasteless jokes and silly slips by Republicans and conservatives. But Dick Morris tells us that Hillary Clinton has a foul mouth in private, and that she once called him a dirty Jew. Oddly enough, the media didn't play that up.

So we hear only one side in the Leftist media; if the Left couldn't count on its wholly-owned Black and Jewish voting blocks, the Democrats would be gone as a party.   Allegations of bias therefore make for a hugely important political  lever. For that reason, it is vital to focus on the difference between real hatred and alleged hatred. Demagogues and other con artists make their living on that difference.

What does the Baker quote prove? Not much, by itself. Plenty of liberal Jews have found themselves saying "F... Bush and the horse he rode in on," or some version thereof, in the last six years. Since the congressional elections, some liberal Jews have finally started to issue public warnings about the Mahmoud mania in the Middle East. So it turns out that they agree with President Bush after all. All their trash talk didn't mean a thing.

All this is important because anti-Semitism is both a reality and also a greatly exaggerated fear. Blacks are just as hypersensitive about signs of racism, sometimes so much that they interpret pretty innocent blunders ("macaca") as proof of deep personality defects --- as long as it's a Republican saying it. The boundary between justified fear and hypersensitivity is pretty thin. Women a generation ago would have ignored tasteless male jibes; today they are hypersensitive to them. That makes it much easier to manipulate women as a group. Everybody has gotten hypersensitive. It doesn't elevate our political dialogue in this country. Rather, it shuts off rational debate. And we need much more reasoned debate between people of good will.

Racism is a state of mind, and allegations of racism involve mind reading. That's pretty hard for mere humans. Nathan Sharansky, who has a lot of life experience with hatred and tyranny, has suggested a solution. According to him,  racism is real if it meets three standards. We can think of them as signs of unreason: They make no sense when you think about them.  That kind of racism is real and dangerous.

Here are Sharansky's three criteria:
1. Demonization: Are Jews or Blacks being blamed for all the evil in the world?

2. Double standards: Are Jews or Blacks being judged by a standard of irrational perfection that no one else has to meet?

3. Delegitimization: Is it implied that the world would be better off if Jews or Blacks simply disappeared?
Sharansky's three criteria are a great help to clear thinking. They also help us to stay clear of false and dubious allegations, especially those that are always exploited by our demagogic media and Left.

And if you think about it, today it is the vocal Left that meets those three criteria when it comes to Israel and the United States. Just listen to moveon.org: 
1. Demonization: Israel and the US are responsible for terrorism and the rise of nuclear rogues regimes;

2. Double standards: Israel and the United States are constantly judged by the Left using standards that are never applied to Cuba, the Soviets, China, the Khmer Rouge, Europe or the domestic Left wing.

3. Deligitimization: The Left constantly argues that the world would be better off without Israel and without America as a superpower. This is called "patriotism" by Democrats.
Anybody trying to understand politics would be well advised to take a deep breath when there is another accusation of racism in the press. And then, see if the charge fits Sharansky's three criteria. You might be surprised what you find.