Anyone who reads my columns can tell you that it is one of my mantras that politics should take up as little space in your life as possible. If it doesn’t, it’s only out of necessity occasioned by bad government, something we have in surplus.
A normal, healthy person with a functioning conscience should recoil with horror at the gruesome murder of a dozen Americans and the wounding of seventy others in a crowded movie theater in Aurora, Colorado. If you don’t feel that, there’s something wrong with you.
If your first reaction is, say, to get political, to condescend to our nation’s Founding Fathers about the fact that guns are instruments of violence, then there is most certainly something wrong with you.
Sir Salman Rushdie, one of our greatest living novelists,contributed to the world this brilliant thought: “The ‘right to bear arms’ is the real Bane of America.” It irks me even to have to repeat it. Who doesn’t joke around about a national tragedy a few hours after it happens?
His vulgarity was only matched by his pettiness. Rushdie went on to attack perfect strangers ad hominem for bringing up his transgression of basic decency. He mocked Michelle Malkin for her perfectly understandable outrage at his comments, and posted what only he must think are pithy comments, such as, “Don't like puns? Fine. I don't like guns.” Who doesn’t see an equivalence there?
One would think that a man who has been pursued for decades by the Iranian government for speaking freely about Islam would be a bit more charitable toward those with whom he disagrees. Instead, he revealed himself to have a personality and sense of humor as childish as his political beliefs, as selective and hypocritical a reverence for free speech as that of the Iranian government. It was an unwanted confirmation of what I had suspected from reading Mr. Rushdie’s previous commentaries about religion, namely that he seems to have stopped thinking about the big issues somewhere around his nineteenth birthday.Whatever will impress the cool kids at the Daily Show.
The New Yorker, as usual, could not bear to be outdone in stark, raving liberalism. Adam Gopnik posted a piece called, “One More Tragedy” on their website, with a gratuitous photo of a grief-stricken woman, which reminded me of Michael Moore’s use of gruesome footage in Fahrenheit 9/11, and his trotting around of the suffering Cindy Sheehan and Lila Lipscomb. I predict that we will see more of such behavior in the wake of these awful murders.