Thursday, March 28, 2013

People No Longer Find Nihilism Frightening?

Writing in Commentary, John Podhoretz asserts that Republicans have not been taking the right tack when they attack President Obama as an extremist:
The notion that Obama is a dangerous extremist helps him, because it makes him seem reasonable and his critics foolish. It also helps those who peddle it, because it makes them notorious and helps them sell their wares. But it has done perhaps irreparable harm to the central conservative cause of the present moment—making the case that Obama’s social-democratic statism is setting the United States on a course for disaster and that his anti-exceptionalist foreign policy is setting the world on a course for nihilistic chaos. Those are serious arguments, befitting a serious antagonist. They may not sell gold coins as quickly and as well as excessive alarmism, but they have the inestimable advantage of being true. [emphasis mine]
Podhoretz is a big name writer and, therefore, must have knowledge that someone pounding away at a keyboard in South Dakota doesn't have. Still, I have to wonder WTF and ask a few questions.

First, why won't accusing Obama of creating a world that will soon be filled with nihilistic chaos sell more gold coins? Is he saying that people who read him make that charge will being spending those gold coins to buy guns and MREs for their bunkers?

For a South Dakota connection, was Podhoretz channeling Sibby's Agenda 21 paranoia as he typed "nihilistic chaos"?

Does Podhoretz think his readers are too stupid to know what nihilism is? If that's the case, he and all Commentary readers must be unfamiliar with The Big Lebowski. Perhaps, Podhoretz was watching the film last evening and fell asleep. When he awoke he heard the following dialogue:
Donny: Are these the Nazis, Walter?

Walter Sobchak: No, Donny, these men are nihilists. There's nothing to be afraid of.
While napping he may have missed this scene.



Those nihilists look anything but harmless to me. In fact, their chaos looks pretty frightening.

HT: Daniel Larison



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