By Robert Spencer
Over the last few weeks, Stanford has erupted in debate over the College Republicans’ invitation for me to speak on campus about the dangers of Islam. And while the ruckus over that event is bad enough — as far as I’m concerned, calling someone “Islamophobic” is actually “Islamophobic-phobic” — it also speaks to a much larger issue I face as an outspoken conservative.
Let me be very clear: I am sick and tired of being called racist just because I support smaller government, lower taxes, and racism.
Dialogue cannot happen if each side resorts to ad hominem attacks on the other, but that’s just what Stanford’s left is trying to do when they label me a racist. It’s one thing to disagree with my policies, but quite another to say that those policies make me a bad person. Who cares if I support a limited bureaucratic state? Or a flat tax? Or racism? Those things don’t make me evil; they just make me different.
Look, I recognize that some unsavory groups have been attracted to my rhetoric recently: Neo-Nazis, Neo-Confederates, Neo-Fascists. But how could I have known that my ideology, built around returning America to the ways of the past, would find support among people who wish America would return to the ways of the past? Those people don’t define me; they just happen to really like a lot of the same things I do.
Fundamentally, characterizing me as racist is, if you think about it, the worst kind of racism there is: racism against racists. And I just don’t think it’s fair to paint me with that brush purely on the basis of my principled beliefs in states’ rights, trickle-down economics, and discriminating against Muslims.
Is that really so wrong?