Next Person to Be Invited by the Columbia College RepublicansI bet it'll be Dinesh D'Souza. And in answer to the question posed to D'Souza -- "Are you crazy? Or are you just looking for a little of that Coulter cash?" -- my own version of Hanlon's Razor is never to assume madness when self-interest is equally explanatory. (See also Sam Brownback blocking a district court nominee from his own party because she went to a same-sex commitment ceremony; to me, he looks crazy, but to Republicans, he's put himself at the top of the pile for the 2008 primary.)
D'Souza probably doesn't believe his own bullshit about Islamic terrorism's being a response to Western cultural decadence (and thus poor Britney Spears, a faithful Republican who hung onto K-Fed's useless ass so her second kid wouldn't be illegitimate, is tagged as one of the causes of September 11). Or if he does, it's a definite change from what he claimed to believe three years ago.
Linked below The Enemy At Home: The Cultural Left and Its Responsibility for 9/11's cover on his website is a 2003 op-ed for the San Francisco Chronicle, in which he says:
Even on the right, traditionally the home of patriotism, we hear influential figures say that America has become so decadent that we are "slouching towards Gomorrah."
If these critics are right, then America should be destroyed. And who can dispute some of their particulars? This country did have a history of slavery and racism continues to exist. There is much in our culture that is vulgar and decadent. But the critics are wrong about America, because they are missing the big picture. In their indignation over the sins of America, they ignore what is unique and good about American civilization. ...
In many countries, people who are old seem to have nothing to do: they just wait to die. In America the old are incredibly vigorous, and people in their seventies pursue the pleasures of life, including remarriage and sexual gratification, with a zeal that I find unnerving. ...
America, the freest nation on Earth, is also the most virtuous nation on Earth. This point seems counterintuitive, given the amount of conspicuous vulgarity, vice and immorality in America. Some Islamic fundamentalists argue that their regimes are morally superior to the United States because they seek to foster virtue among the citizens. Virtue, these fundamentalists argue, is a higher principle than liberty.
Indeed it is. And let us admit that in a free society, freedom will frequently be used badly. Freedom, by definition, includes the freedom to do good or evil, to act nobly or basely. But if freedom brings out the worst in people, it also brings out the best. The millions of Americans who live decent, praiseworthy lives desire our highest admiration because they have opted for the good when the good is not the only available option. Even amid the temptations of a rich and free society, they have remained on the straight path. Their virtue has special luster because it is freely chosen.
By contrast, the societies that many Islamic fundamentalists seek would eliminate the possibility of virtue. If the supply of virtue is insufficient in a free society like America, it is almost nonexistent in an unfree society like Iran's. The reason is that coerced virtues are not virtues at all. Consider the woman who is required to wear a veil. There is no modesty in this, because she is being compelled. Compulsion cannot produce virtue, it can only produce the outward semblance of virtue. Thus a free society like America's is not merely more prosperous, more varied, more peaceful, and more tolerant -- it is also morally superior to the theocratic and authoritarian regimes that America's enemies advocate.