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Charles N. Steele

Unfortunately, you have pegged the left correctly. I've been debating a "progressive" friend who is convinced that Republicans and conservatives are harboring too many extremists (Ann Coulter, Milo Y., and even researchers like Charles Murray and Heather McDonald) so *of course* leftists are driven to lamentable but understandable are responsible for violence at Berkeley, Middlebury, etc.

At the same time, my friend defends sharia b/c there are "so many" schools of thought that aren't illiberal (he can't name one) and the Muslim Brotherhood (sure there are a few radicals, but many "wings" of the MB do good works,it's just a charitable organization), and why *shouldn't* feminists don hijabs in solidarity. Many of them will convert, if push comes to shove. Hitler said his most reliable source of party recruits was the communist party. It's a phenomenon Eric Hoffer identified as the "true believer."

I find your blog a very good source of arguments and I pass them on, often to my students, so you shouldn't feel as if you are completely wasting your time.

John Pepple

Thanks for your input! Though I still need a break. I've heard that statement from Hitler before, and it's just amazing. I wouldn't have believed it in my leftist period.

Does your friend know about how back in 1979 the left in Iran was destroyed by Muslims?

Charles N. Steele

He should already know, but I will try that one on him. But anyone who finds the Republican Party to be scarier than the Muslim Brotherhood will be a tough nut to crack. I sometimes wonder how serious he is when he says these things.

Right now my approach is not to argue, but to get him to explain his position as carefully and deeply as possible. IMO, whenever people keep making obviously irrational arguments there's something else going on; arguing further is a dead end and I'm interested in finding out what what *really* is going on.

BTW, I'm reading Sayyid Qtub's "Milestones." At least *he's* not confused about what Islamists have in store for the rest of the world!

Blog occasionally so we at least know you're alive ad kicking.

John Pepple

Yes, I'm sure I won't be able to stop blogging completely. In particular, there is a family reunion in early August, and many liberals will be there. It will be a chance to, as you say, allow them to explain their position. So, we shall see.

Maya M

I always enjoy your writing. They help me clarify my own thoughts.

John Pepple

Thanks so much. And I enjoy your comments.


I understand your frustration. I do enjoy your blog, however, and I hope you decide to get back into blogging.

J. Reed Anderson

Waiting, John... Waiting...

John Pepple

I will probably post something in the next few days.

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