We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
Lee Smith, in an article in The American Prospect a couple of years ago, accurately summed up Tariq Ramadan’s “point of view”:
Ramadan is a cold-blooded Islamist who believes that Islam is the cure for the malaise wrought by liberal values. His revision of the jihadist paradigm—peaceful but total—is brilliant in its way, and he may well turn out to be a major Islamist intellectual, far surpassing even his grandfather’s influence. His cry of death to the West is a quieter and gentler jihad, but it’s still jihad. There’s no reason for Western liberals to try to understand that point of view.
That gets to the nub of the issue—both with respect to the reality of Tariq Ramadan’s agenda and what we in the West should think of it. It was not a popular “point of view” at Oxford. But then political realities have always had a difficult time surviving in that rarefied air. On the High Street last month we saw a church placard announcing that they were “praying” to be a more “inclusive” congregation. And remember the Oxford Union in 1933: “Resolved, that we will in no circumstances fight for king and country.” To have resolved otherwise would have been to exhibit what one confrence-goer stigmatized as “cultural essentialism” and a lamentable tendency to demonize “the Other.” How comical Tariq Ramadan and his friends must find these effete moral gymnastics. “An open mind is the best way to look at the world.” It’s such emollient advice, especially if you are bent on making sure that you alone will decide what counts as openness.
I believe that one reason the Left has contempt for Conservatives is for our coarse, knuckle-dragging lack of such effete gymnastics.