Tuesday, May 01, 2007

PKGK: executive summary

Proud Kweer Gringo Kaffir. Nice ring to it, no?

Kaffir: the Arabic word for "infidel" or "unbeliever", used by Muslims to describe people like me, who are very sure that Allah is not God and Muhammed is not His prophet. Islam, especially in its Jihad mode, is resuming its ancient war with the West. Calling myself "kaffir" makes it clear that I am no friend to Islam, because it certainly is no friend to me.

Gringo: the not-friendly Latin American Spanish word for "American", among other things. My homeland is being invaded by millions of Mexicans, with the complicity of both the left and the right. If you can't control your borders, your future as a nation-state is doubtful. Legal immigration based on our national needs and self-interest, for people who want to come stay here and become one of us: I'm all for it. Illegal mass migration? No way. I am not a "global citizen". I am an American. I don't like this business of becoming a bilingual and bicultural entity. At all. Think the more diversity the better? Ask Rwanda about that.

Kweer: a big manloving homo. But not feeling at home in the gay world these days. Gaydom has become practically synonymous with leftist politics, anti-male feminism and collective victimism. I strongly resist all three (and have a hard time telling one from the other, frankly) . "Queer" is a semi-fashionable term that unfortunately buys into the sexual Yugoslavia known as the LGBTI&Q community...to which I do not belong. "Kweer" is just a way for me to say I'm a happy homosexual but not a herd-running kinda gay man or a post-modern Gallic queer.

Saturday, April 14, 2007

Proud Kweer Gringo Kaffir

In the fall of 2004, I revealed to a longtime friend of three decades (my first lover, actually) that I was thinking of voting for George Bush. He emailed me that he feared for my mental health….was I lonely? angry at something? was I afraid? What had provoked such an intelligent man into becoming the ally of Nazi skinheads?
He wasn’t joking.
So, why would a gay man…especially such an intelligent one (I get that a lot)… even consider aligning himself with “the rightwing”?
There are lots and lots of small moments of cognitive dissonance involved, over many years. My liberal mind told me to see one thing, but my eyes were seeing another. Often it was conservatives who were willing to describe it, when liberals kept lying. And it became clear to me on a personal level that liberals were, as humans, not one whit more evolved or moral than the Neanderthal righties they held in such contempt.
And then September 11th happened.
The simple answer to the question is this: only in the Western world can a gay man live a free life as himself. Hence, the health and strength of the West is fundamental to my survival.
And now that Islam is resuming its war against us…and I suspect that we will one day be at war with China as well…the only country that can protect the West is the United States of America. So the health and strength of America is the central tenet of my politics.
Liberals will say that they share this value, that they too love America.
But context is all.
I say that we are at war with Islam. And so for me the health and strength of America means that our society functions at a high level both of dynamism and coherence, and that we have the economic and military clout to defend ourselves against the Jihad.
And at the heart of this is a civilizational will to survive, cultural self-confidence, unapologetic and assertive commitment to our survival. And this is what liberalism lacks. It is well-said that liberals find themselves morally disarmed in the presence of anyone they deem less fortunate than themselves. The people who have this will, confidence and commitment are almost all conservatives. And so I throw in my lot with them.*
"But conservatives are so homophobic!" Yes and no. Some are. Many are not. And it depends what you mean by "homophobic." Just because someone fails to see why, after thousands of years, it should suddenly be an urgent and basic human right for two men to get married does not mean that they are homophobic. It may mean that they are understandably puzzled. In any case, I am willing to have both intellectual debates and political fights with them within our system because they are my people. They are fellow-Westerners, fellow-Americans, who love the civilization in which they live. Whatever our differences, we can work them out eventually and they are not likely to behead me in the process.
Example: in all my dealings with conservatives, when the issue of my homosexuality comes up, even if they do not approve, they have always been respectful, willing to engage in conversation with me. The only people who have called me names and/or wished for my death have been gay liberals. Something to ponder.
Liberals, who profess to be open to and tolerant of me as a homosexual, are unfortunately just as open to and tolerant of Islam, which would have me crushed under a wall or stoned to death. They can’t have it both ways, and they really don’t know what to do about the conflict.
Liberals are moral narcissists: their anxiety to be seen as good in the eyes of those they deem victims usually trumps any other value. In a pinch, I don’t trust that they’d stand up for me and my kind if it meant that they had to assert the superiority of our (white, yes, white, Euro, Caucasian...get used to it) civilization over that of (non-white) Islam...especially by force of arms or tough policy choices. It would undo them.
My active and enthusiastic disbelief in Islam makes me a "kaffir", Muslim term for an "unbeliever". Though I have not focussed on it here, my commitment to a sovereign and coherent America also makes me a "gringo", one in strong opposition to the mass illegal immigration from Mexico. "Kweer" is just whimsical spelling for "queer"...and perhaps a way of distancing myself from "Queer Studies" and other Frankensteinian passtimes. So I am proud of being a homo, an Amurrican, and of holding very clearly that Allah is not God and that Muhammed was most definitely not God's messenger. (I've read the book they wrote...no thanks).

So, whether you agree with me or not about this very broad sketch, let me make it clear that it is precisely because I am a gay man that I have crossed over to the Dark Side and cast my lot with the right, warts and all. I'll go to the ramparts with the irascible folks who aren't sure they like me, but who want to save our town from the invading barbarians, rather than stay at home with the charming pacifist intellectuals who argue about re-designing the bedroom.

To put it in polite language, I am a Western fundamentalist, an American nationalist of Anglospheric sympathies and a deeply homosexual (I'm talkin' Kinsey 6+) conservative…or, as my profile says more cheerfully, “a proud Kweer Gringo Kaffir”.
*There are other reasons, too, but I'm trying to keep this focussed.

Proud Kweer Gringo Kaffir II, or, Why I Went Over To The Dark Side

John Henry Newman was a great light of the Church of England in its 19th century revival. However, he eventually went over to the Dark Side and converted to Roman Catholicism. He died a Cardinal and may one day be canonized as a Saint. No one on either side doubted his prodigious intellect, but a lot of people found his choice very hard to take. To Brits raised for 300 years on Guy Fawkes and “No Popery”, it felt like a terrible betrayal.

He called his autobiography, Apologia Pro Vita Sua. That translates as “Apology for His Own Life”. In English, an apology nowadays is an expression of regret for a wrong committed. But its origin in Latin and Greek is in fact the opposite: it is a defense and an explanation of something. In seminaries, the study of how to argue with opponents, in favor of Christianity, is still called “apologetics”.

Part of what this blog is about is apology. On the one hand, I am (perhaps too) aware of how unusual and even shocking it is to hear a gay man identify himself with the Right. First time I realized it, it shocked me, too. And I am not blind to the tensions there, believe me. So, I get it. But I also want to explain, or at least illumine, why that shift came about. I did that in my 1.19.07 post, Proud Kweer Gringo Kaffir. This is a followup and a kind of executive summary “apology”.

I believe that Western civilization is under attack, from without by the Jihad, the shock troops of a resurgent world Islam; and from within, by a culturally Marxist progressive agenda held both in part and in whole, consciously and semiconsciously, by a great many of the educated and elite members of our civilization, especially media and academia. It is called Political Correctness.

I am a very smart guy –no sense being coy about it. I have the ability to deal with complex ideas, both by natural inclination and by way of too much education. But I have also loved images and I tend to use images and my intuition a great deal. I have a gift for metaphor and, at least as a way of fundamentally orienting myself, often prefer it to complex discourse.So it seems to me that the simplest way to “apologize” for my shift is to use the metaphor I wrote about in my earlier post:

“I'd rather go to the ramparts with the irascible folks who want to save our town from the invading barbarians than stay at home with the charming pacifist intellectuals who argue about re-designing the bedroom.”

That’s basically it.

This is the fundamental difference in perspective between me and my neighbors and friends. They turn their attention away from the Muslim threat ("It's overblown, you're getting paranoid, and maybe even a bit racist") and are, of course, totally unfriendly to the notion that their progressive attitudes are anything but an improvement to the West ("How can social justice be wrong? Don't you want gay equality?").

Basic perceptions differ.

A great example of what I mean shows up in a quote that cranky Christopher Hitchens --who threw his lot in with the neocons precisely because he is a “man of the Left”—takes from a book by British lefty journalist Nick Cohen. Cohen’s work joins others in a newish genre: “Why I Left the Left”. I’ll let Cohen speak for himself, from WHAT'S LEFT? How the Liberals Lost Their Way:

“My instant reaction to the 9/11 attacks was that they were a nuisance that got in the way of more pressing concerns. Throughout the 1990s, I had been writing about the overweening power of big business and how it could corrupt democratic governments. I had lambasted new Labour for its love of conservative crime policies and attacks on civil liberties for years. Attacking Tony Blair was what I liked doing — what got me out of bed in the morning. Accepting that fascism is worse than western democracy, even western democracies governed by George W Bush and Tony Blair, sounds very easy in theory, but it is very difficult to do in practice when you are a habitual enemy of the status quo in your own country.” (emphasis mine)

For me, the 11th of September 2001 was not "a nuisance". It was a trauma.

And it completed a long slow process of waking up.

My experience with the Blue State mind is that it is "the habitual enemy of the status quo in its own country". It is exclusively and compulsively focused on internal enemies in whom doth reside all evil: George Bush, Republicans and the Christian Right, along with Corporate America. All the animus goes there. All the rage and fear and resentment goes there. And what Cohen is suggesting is that such a habit –and I would describe it as often psychologically complex-driven—can lead to a de facto support of fascism –in this instance, the Jihad.

Hence, the metaphor of the ramparts and the bedroom. And why, with all its difficulties, --especially for a man who thinks that his sexuality is a gift from God!—my sympathies now lie on the Dark Side, with the cranky people on the ramparts.

To many in my tribe, I have abandoned the Jedi to become a Sith Lord.

Complicated it may be, but “self-loathing” is the last thing it's about.