Political zealotry is just as scary as religious fundamentalism

When someone refuses to even consider points of view other than their own, it’s just as scary to me as when someone invokes their deity of preference to justify the opression of the ‘unbelievers’.

Don’s reaction to Kerry’s DNC keynote speech over on Jim Moore’s weblog is a case in point:

“I do like the ideas of health care for all Americans. I’m for stem cell research. I’m for a good educational system. I’ll work through my Republican representatives on those matters.

“As for security, I could never vote for a Democrat.”

Huh?!? Ok, so he likes Kerry’s policy proposals, but has already decided he can’t vote for him because he’s a Democrat? And he somehow magically expects that by working with his Republican representatives, that he can influence them to do a complete 180 on the issues on which he agrees with Kerry? Again I say: Huh?!?

Well, that just about sums it up — like so many others, Democrat and Republican alike, Don is a party-liner, who allows for no possibility that he could be persuaded to swing his vote. He gives no justification for his position, and makes rash generalizations to justify his point of view, proving little but his own shortsightedness — his unwillingness to consider the candidates’ actual policy proposals — since he’s already made up his mind.

Don goes on to say:

“Now I do want to know what President Bush intends to do to stop the threats from Iran, North Korea, and Syria. I already know diplomacy doesn’t work with those countries. So when do the military operations start?”

This is the same kind of thinking that led to the Crusades, Naziism, the KKK, the 9/11 attacks, and our current, nearly unjustifiable involvement in Iraq. Think about it. No, really: Think about it.

The deadly combination I see in people like Don and George W: self-righteousness, fear and intemperance. What we need more of: thoughtfulness, fortitude and civility.

In my opinion, this kind of empty political zealotry is just as scary as religious fundamentalism, be it Islamic or Christian… And also just as crazy.

(Put that in your pipe and smoke it.)

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