You’d think that Mahmoud Ahmadinejad and George Bush would be best buddies, they think so much alike. Opening up the newspaper this morning, I saw the headline, “Iran’s president targets liberalism.” (same AP story here, with different headline)
Let’s see. Ahmadinejad wants to strengthen fundamentalism in his country. He’s removing pragmatic veterans in the government and replacing them with inexperienced hard-liners. His administration is cracking down on independent journalists. He’s trying to drive liberal and moderate professors out of universities.
Sure sounds like the president of the United States’ wet dream. Oh, except it isn’t just a dream; it’s reality. Remember faith-based initiatives, the Terry Schiavo fiasco, “you’re doing a heck of a job, Brownie,” attacks on the New York Times, and other tirades against liberals?
Last year I asked, “Why are conservatives afraid of conservatives?” A damn fine prescient post if you ask me. Which I realize you didn’t. But I still want to plug it. Back in June 2005 I was wondering why the arch-conservative president of Iran and the arch-conservative president of the United States can’t get along, since they share the same political philosophy.
Here’s my favorite part of the post:
I like to picture one of Bush’s daughters telling him, “Dad. I’ve fallen in love and am going to get married to Mahmoud. He’s Muslim, but that won’t be a problem for us.” Bush asks, “Well, that’s wonderful. I have to ask, though: is Mahmoud a traditional conservative Muslim or a modern liberal Muslim?” “Oh, you’ll be so happy with Mahmoud, Dad. He’s really conservative, just like you!”
I’d like to see the expression on President Bush’s face. Republicans love conservatism so long as it is conserving their own values. When conservatism escapes from the narrow confines where they want to see it kept—into Islamic fundamentalism, for example—then it becomes the enemy, not a kindred political philosophy.