Pssst! Got a little secret for you. Lean in close so I can whisper.
No, I don't say they're idiots simply because they disagree with me. (That's just one of the reasons.) I say they're idiots because they're:
- And in many cases consciously so.
I find the first of those demerits to be the most annoying one. I'd bet it's responsible for quite a lot of the rancor in the national discourse today.
(Yes, yes, your beloved Offender is here, quite deliberately, to express a little rancor of his own. That doesn't vitiate my argument. Now point that thing somewhere else.)
For a recent example of op-ed monomania, consider that overflowing fount of crap Nicholas Kristof.
What's this? The College of Cardinals has elected a pontiff who disagrees with Kristof about licit sex and associated practices? Unthinkable! It must have been a spell of mass insanity! Doesn't everyone realize that sex is simply pleasant friction on the mucous membranes? That "gay is good?" That making babies is hopelessly passe? They're never going to win a majority in Congress with ideas like that. Say, who did they nominate for president in the last election, anyway?
("One of these things is not like the others, one of these things just doesn't belong...")
All right, all right. I'll wait till you've stopped laughing.
This is the besetting sin of the opinion-editorial community: Everything is political. All positions, all opinions, and all arguments must be framed to "win a majority." You'll find damned few exceptions in the Main Stream Media. (The percentage in the New Media isn't much larger.)
A brilliant fellow whose aphoristic skills I've come to appreciate, in discussing this phenomenon, quipped that "opinions are like assholes: everyone has to have one." All too true. And today in the Land of the Fee and the Home of the Slave, politics is the subject on which opinions are most profligate.
But here's another little secret:
The profusion and ubiquity of political opinions arises from a cause hidden in plain sight: today, political power has its fingers in every realm of human activity. Yes, even religion. Consider the exaggerated deference Washington pays to Muslims these days, or the Obamunists' eagerness to invade the Catholic Church with contra-doctrinal "health care" mandates, before you disagree.
When government is everywhere -- when law touches every aspect of life -- everything is political. Incidentally, that suits the American Left very nicely. "The personal is political," remember?
So a leftist mush-for-brains such as Kristof quite naturally regards the election of a pope as a political matter: a statement about what the law should be, rather than an event that matters only to individuals who choose to be Catholics.
The new pope disapproves of artificial contraception, or buggery, or abortion? Horrors! Mobilize the Army! Radio the carrier battle group in the Mediterranean! Ready the 101st Airborne! Go to DEFCON 2! This threat to mindless human self-indulgence must be quenched!
That, after all, is the ultimate political response to the elevation of a Holy Father who, defying all precedent and against all the odds, proves to be a Catholic. Were Kristof and similarly idiotic op-ed gushers to reflect on that for the briefest of instants, it might sober them a wee bit...always assuming they retain two or three unpickled neurons capable of sensing the implications of politicizing a wholly voluntary institution like the Catholic Church.