The blogger observed: “…they’ve got anti-Islam stuff there that makes me queasy, praise for Milo Yiannopoulos, and opposition to socialist programs. But they are also rational independent anti-establishment thinkers…”
These two ideas form an oxymoron. To spread Islamophobic fear and loathing and praise the mean-spiritedness of the so-called “alt-right” is not rational, nor does it indicate independence of thought.
Let’s take the anti-Islam stance. A rational and independent individual who was dedicated to the investigation of truth would read the Qur’an in totality, in its historical context and in an honest attempt to glean understanding. They would recognize the vast diversity of the Islamic world and not generalize the behavior of dogmatists and fanatics to Islam or Muslims as a whole. Nor would they post “anti-Islamic stuff” that makes people queasy (probably for different reasons) because they would recognize the real world danger of inciting hatred against an entire faith or an entire people, especially in a society in which people are ever more boldly “expressing” their feelings about those who are not like them.
We have a surfeit of meanness in our society right now and celebrating it is the epitome of irrationality. Think ahead: let’s say we bring that hatred of the “other” into the mainstream. Let’s say we codify it and leglislate it. Let’s say we practice mockery and meanness as a form of honest commuication and we let everyone around us know how much we revile them. At the end of the day, what does that world look like?
I don’t know what your faith background is, or if you even have one, but think end game. What does the philosophy of Islamophobes, Milo and his cohort, and the ‘every man, woman and child for themselves’ mentality (a rejection of anything that smacks of “socialism” and the parable of the Good Samaritan) look like if it becomes the way of life in America … in the world? Is that the Kingdom of God on earth? A kingdom in which we love everyone because we have eliminated those we find it difficult to love, leaving only those who think exactly as we do?
Experience tells me that when we have eliminated from our society those with whom we have obvious differences (skin color, accent, religion, sexual orientation, etc) we will begin to focus on differences that are more nuanced and draw the lines of “otherness” more and more finely until the only acceptable cohort is a cohort of one—the self.