Thursday, October 23, 2008

Mark Steyn: Conspiracy Theory Man

I got into an online feud with the National Review's Mark Steyn. The conservative pundit made fun of torture and Andrew Sullivan's sexual orientation. I called Steyn on it. Steyn linked to the post and the NRO trolls came out from their rocks. I responded by writing on NRO's recent history of bizarre gay bashing. I don't think highly of Steyn.

The latest silliness from Steyn is the media is dragging "Obama across the finish line" and the GOP's GOTV will lead McCain to victory. Because the free market prefers McCain. Apparently, Steyn has polling data no other person on the planet possesses.


The reason the press are going to such shameless lengths to drag Obama across the finish line is because he's their last best hope at restoring the old media environment, including a new Unfairness Doctrine for radio, and regulation of the Internet. The Obama's-already-won-give-it-up-you-GOP-losers stories are intended only to demoralize turnout. Bear in mind, that round about 5pm Eastern on Election Day, they'll be doing those stories at industrial strength, in order to clobber any Republican voters still dumb enough to think it's worth making the trip to the polls. A good GOTV operation will not only lead to political victory but assure that the free market gets to pronounce the final judgment on the media conduct of this election.


Steyn has a conspiracy theory that the media needs Obama to stay in business. In Steyn's Nixonian head, the internet will be state-controlled. The Fairness Doctrine gave equal time to both political sides. President Reagan ended the Fairness Doctrine. Conservative talk radio flourished with the equal time rule gone. I wrote, "If media is really slanted to the left then why aren't conservative attempting to restore the Fairness Doctrine?" The question answers itself.

Steyn proclaims that a potential Obama landslide is because of the media suppressing votes. A McCain victory will be the power of the free market. Meaning, the will of the people. Of course, an Obama victory would be voters prefering his brand of politics. Voter polling shows McCain as New Coke. A heavily hyped product that bombed in the marketplace. Only an irrationale conspirary theorist would promote this garbage.


When the figures fail him, Steyn falls back on urban mythology. After the 9/11 massacres, in his Daily Telegraph column he repeated as fact preposterous claims that Muslim children all over New York had warned their favourite teachers not to go to the World Trade Centre that day. Here, he says, "On the night of September 11th Muslim youths in northern England rampaged through the streets cheering Islam's glorious victory over the Great Satan. They pounded on the hoods of the cars, hammered the doors and demanded the drivers join them in the chants of 'Osama Bin Laden is a great man.'"


Steyn's book "America Alone: The End of the World As We Know It" proclaims that Muslims will take over Europe by 2020 and rename the continent Eurabia. The welfare state and birth rates will help Muslims get enough recruits for their secret army.


Big government is a national security threat: it increases your vulnerability to threats like Islamism, and makes it less likely you'll be able to summon the will to rebuff it.


Doug Saunders disbunked Steyn's allegation's that the European Muslim population will be 40 percent by 2020.


The great sine qua non of Mr. Steyn's argument is the idea that Muslims have more children than the rest of us. His article is based on a claim he has made repeatedly, including in a bestselling book, that Europe will have a plurality of Muslims, perhaps 40 per cent of the population, by 2020.

This number appears to have been plucked from space. Here's the reality, which you can easily look up: Slightly more than 4 per cent of Europe's population is “Muslim,” as defined by demographers (though about 80 per cent of these people are not religiously observant, so they are better defined as secular citizens who have escaped religious nations).

It is possible, though not certain, that this number could rise to 6 per cent by 2020. If current immigration and birth rates remain the same, it could even rise to 10 per cent within 100 years.


Steyn is motivated by xenophobia and conspiracy theories. The best venue for Steyn's views in a white supremist rally. Steyn repeatedly claimed he is not a racist. I'm interested in how he will handle an Obama victory.

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