Last week, the three branches of the United States government each made grand gestures to appease fanatics, fringe groups and small minorities. The Supreme Court took up gay marriage and the Senate passed its version of Immigration Reform, while President Obama, never one to be upstaged, took his publicly funded jet to Africa and babbled about Global Warming, the greatest phony crisis of the last one hundred years. Any of those things could have waited a few years, but Obama and Congress have narrow constituencies to please, and apparently the entire Supreme Court has been on mushrooms for the last few years.
Meanwhile, in England, Home Secretary Theresa May has banned conservative American bloggers Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer from entering the country, on the pretext that the two taking part in a demonstration would inflame tensions between Muslims and the English Defence League, who invited Geller and Spencer. The EDL has been in the news lately for protests in the wake of the murder of Drummer Lee Rigby by Islamic Extremists in London.
So how are these seemingly different things the subject of one blog post? The beauty of a personal blog is that I can post unfinished thoughts, and that’s kind of what this post is. I’m just going to put it out on the page and see if it makes sense.
Just as our government knows full well that immigration, gay marriage etc. are nowhere near as important as the economy and jobs, Theresa May knows that Geller and Spencer pose nowhere near the threat to British society that Islamic extremists drawing welfare are. The thing is, the public in both nations know these things as well.
In refusing to allow Spencer and Geller to appear in England, May validated the belief held by the EDL (and the British National Party, and the people who were arrested for posting nasty messages on social media, and no doubt plenty of Brits who aren’t saying anything) that their government gives preference to a small vocal minority. Similarly, in the United States one might be forgiven for thinking that gay people, illegal immigrants and nutty environmentalists are more important to the government than people who are out of work and don’t want to be.
Groups like the EDL and carnival barkers like Alex Jones gain in popularity when people are told repeatedly to believe obvious bullshit, because if the crazies have one thing right, it’s that the people should not trust their government. The problem of course is that the people probably also shouldn’t trust Alex Jones or Tommy Robinson.