Years ago, every time a liberal tried to press his stupid and irrational ideas about the Iraq war – that we shouldn't have gone in, that it's "illegal," that the money would be better spent elsewhere, that we need to withdraw now, I only needed to ask him one question: Does Christopher Hitchens support that?
Hitchens had two major distinctions – he actually was a socialist, and he thought more rationally than anyone else on the left. Although I must say, I wondered all along if the war would be "transformative" (there's that word again) for him, or if he'd revert to form in time. And now we know. He's not only regressed, but like one of those sci-fi time machines, he overshot.
In case you haven't heard or don't know who Christopher Hitchens is, he's simply the world's most intelligent leftist – which isn't saying much for him, I realize, but if you want to try to reason with any of them, he's it. Hitchens not only supported taking out Hussein, but he felt Bush didn't go far enough. He recognizes that Islam is cancer, and that the whole world is in danger from it.That makes him one exceptional socialist.
But sometime last year, I started to wonder if his years of hard drinking weren't getting to him. See, Hitchens is an atheist too, and he made it his mission to debate religious figures about the fallacies of their beliefs. The problem is, Hitchens doesn't realize his own fallacy: one can believe that God doesn't exist, but he has no more proof than believers have that God does exist.
And Hitchens didn't just operate on the premise that it was up to people of religion to prove their case, he undertook to preemptively disprove their arguments, not realizing that even if he was successful, that didn't validate his position. In legal terms, Hitchens' had a civil case in which he attempted to prove by preponderance of evidence that God doesn't exist, but his evidence would never be enough to convict in a criminal case – beyond a reasonable doubt.
Still, I dismissed all that as his diversion – something he did in his spare time, and that professionally and intellectually, he was still very serious about winning in Iraq, and pressing the fight against Islamic radicals.
Not anymore. Hitchens has become an Obama supporter.
And by becoming one, he has destroyed his credibility forever and always. I saw him argue his choice recently, and it, and he, was pathetic. he actually had no argument. More specifically, he had the same argument all Obama supporters have – hope and change - how much and what kind don't much matter.
But it's far worse seeing and hearing Hitchens say it because you know he's intelligent. He actually has to suppress his inclination to be rational in order to side with Obama. And I thought as I watched, thus ends my quest for a rational liberal. For if even Christopher Hitchens is given to lurching back and forth between moments of sanity and the abandonment of reason, what hope do I have in coming across a rational liberal among the Internet's rabble?
The reason I'm writing about this is because it's personal for me. No matter our level of intelligence or how much we pride ourselves in being disciplined thinkers, we all have periods of peril in which others can't believe what they're hearing from us. If you're still in control of your own mind, eventually you yourself ask, what was I thinking back when…? I hope Hitchens reaches that point, but the problem is, more than ever, this is when he needed to be his most reasoned self… and he's failed. So what good is he? Get thee to Oregon, Christopher, I hear they allow euthanasia there.