Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Dennis Prager: 'An Open Letter to Charles Johnson'

I did finally read the New York Times piece on Charles Johnson, but I haven't updated for want of something additionally useful to say. But via Glenn Reynolds, I got a kick out of Andrew Sullivan's extreme defense of political flexibility (which is mostly just an attack on those anchored souls with firm convictions). See Glenn for the link, or Google, "How The Internet Enforces Rigidity‎."

And for something serious, from someone of highly respectable ideological thinking, see Dennis Prager's, "
An Open Letter to Charles Johnson": (via Memeorandum):

Dear Charles:

As you know, over the years, I was so impressed with your near-daily documentation of developments in the Islamist world that I twice had you on my national radio show — both times face to face in my studio. And you, in turn, periodically cited my radio show and would tell your many readers when they could hear you on my show.

So it came as somewhat of a shock to see your 180-degree turn from waging war on Islamist evil to waging war on your erstwhile allies and supporters on the right. You attempted to explain this reversal on Nov. 30, 2009, when you published “Why I Parted Ways With The Right.”

You offered 10 reasons, and I would like to respond to them.

First, as disappointed as I am with your metamorphosis, I still have gratitude for all the good you did and I respect your change as a sincere act of conscience. But neither this gratitude nor this respect elevates my regard for your 10 points. They are well beneath the intellectual and moral level of your prior work. They sound like something Keith Olbermann would write if he were given 10 minutes to come up with an attack on conservatives.
The rest of the letter is at the link.

7 comments:

Rusty Walker said...

This is why I read your blog- I don't want to miss such clarity of thought. Thank you for bringing this to our attention, as it is a remarkable article.

Rusty Walker said...

This Pregar article was important for us to read because it hits on the complexities of aligning with a party and how individuals continually sort out who we are politically. Charles Johnson changing his party reminds us of the difficulty of navigation through the world of partisan politics. It also illustrates how misguided we can be if we submit to a myopic view, hearing only the high profile celebrities of a party. For example, if we are Republicans, do Birthers represent us (certainly not me!)? must we always align with the fundamental, Christian Right? does Palin represent us? Glenn Beck? Rush Limbaugh? Pat Buchanan? Did Rumsfeld or Powell represent our choices, when they could not even agree with each other? The truth is, if we are principled individuals we will reassess from time to time where we stand. Do those on the left always agree with Pelosi! Obama? I would hope not. The obligation that Charles Johnson defaulted on, is to see the full gestalt of a party. Otherwise we may get side-tracked into the minutiae. Eg. Parties do not all agree that devastation in Haiti was a judgement from God over their voodoo past, nor does all the left agree that it was Haiti's lack of respect for global warming. But, such comments makes great press.
The daily celebrity Republican and Democatic sound bites from the media cannot possibly constitute an entire party philosophy. They more often accentuate the extreme, which is always more fun for the media to report.

Charles Johnson's characterizations of the Republican party are so far off the mark, it is certainly not factual enough to justify a change of party affiliation over.

Donald Douglas said...

Thanks Rusty!

Trish said...

Dennis is right, pun intended. He picked apart Johnson's newfound hate and nailed each point. As is usually the case, a leftist has no use for debate. And when they can't win an argument they use disparaging commentary and blatant lies instead of rational debate. Just as Charles did in his 10 reasons for parting ways with the right. I'm sure he will respond gracefully to Pragers letter!

bobopapal said...

But was Johnson ever in the party? I don't think so. His obsession was Islamic radicalism and conservatives naturally gravitated to his website. I don't think he ever strayed to far from that topic, and was never a conservative or republican in many other respects. His interaction on his website was mostly with other passionate anti-Islamists from the right. I think he saw a different side of these folks when Obama and tea parties came along and was put off by some of the unhinged, hysterical reactions. Add in the fact that he doesn't care to live in peace with the fundamentalist/creationist wing of the party and you have a recipe for a split. He seems to be a libertarian, environmentalist type who doesn't feel comfortable in conservative circles outside of the Islamist issue.

Larry Sheldon said...

Any day where Johnson and Sullivan are the most important things on your mind is a day when you should have slept in.

Left Coast Rebel said...

This is a good read but I don't appreciate what Prager says about RSM, or at least what he parrots:

I looked them up and found that McCain is a former editor at the Washington Times charged with racist views. So what?

Who does he source for that?