Tim Blair links to this Fisk article about being confronted by the reality of the pissed-off American middle class. The set-up: Fisk appears on a lefty-driven Texas cable show about the anti-war movement, only to have one of the cameramen interrupt the post-show orgy of self-congratulation with this diatribe:
Cameraman number two came striding towards us through the studio lights. "I want to thank you, sir, for reminding us that the British had a lot to do with the chaos in the Middle East, " he said. "But I have something else to say."Fisk's quick analysis?
His voice rose 10 decibels, his bare arms bouncing up and down at his sides, his shaven head struck forward pugnaciously. "Yeah, I wanna tell you that the cause of this problem is the fucking medieval Arabs and their wish to enslave us all – and I tell you that it is because we want to save the Jews from the fucking savage Arabs who want to throw them into the sea that we are about to fuck Saddam." There was a pause as Don Darling looked at the man, aghast. "And that," cameraman number two concluded, "is the fucking truth."
It was a telling moment, a symbol of the vast gulf of reason between the pro- and anti-war movement in America. They don't talk to each other. And if they do, neither comprehends the other. Like the endless chat programmes on Pacifica Radio and all the smaller liberal talk shows from Boston to LA that serve up inedible dollops of anti-Bush, anti-Republican rant, there is simply no contact between the intellectual "elite" of the left and the less privileged Americans who work with their hands and join the military to gain a free education and end up fighting America's foreign wars.Love the twin implications that Americans only join the military to get a free education, and that those who do are people who "work with their hands"--that is, people too stupid to know any better. The entire article reeks of condescension, particularly the closing two paragraphs:
Sometimes I rather suspect that the anti-war left in America likes being in a permanent minority. I mean no disrespect to the Noam Chomskys and Daniel Ellsbergs and Dennis Bernsteins; they fight, amid abuse and threats, to make their voices heard. Yet I have an uneasy feeling that many on the intellectual left are fearful that America will lose its next war amid massive casualties – but are even more fearful that America may win with minimal casualties."From the darkness." That was the second reference to the vaguely ominous forces of Conservia dwelling in the darkness without benefit of the mighty light of Truth from the left. Bob, it's not that we haven't heard your arguments, or that we don't understand them. We do. We just think they're wrong. It really shouldn't that difficult a concept for you to grasp. So do me a favor—build me no bridges.
Perhaps this is unfair. But as long as America's anti-war movement talks to itself rather than to others, it is going to go on being surprised when the Gregg Aykinses emerge from the darkness with their hatred and venom intact to support George Bush's forthcoming war in Iraq.