I've gotten some complaints about talking down to fans of Spencer. Not my intent. Certainly, I think you're being had, but on the rest I'm pretty agnostic.
Below is a quick response from a few days ago to a comment that expressed offense over this perception (i.e., that I was implying all Spencer's fans to be stupid dupes).
John, thanks for the comment.
All I can say in all sincerity is that my intention is to attack the ideas, not the man (well, with the exception of the guy who's peddling them). There is no way to critique these claims (which aren't exactly diplomatic towards Muslims or their beliefs, lest you feel uniquely aggrieved in this exchange) without stepping on some toes, I'm afraid. The narratives are too mutually-exclusive, the stakes too high and the political backdrop too polarized.I don't agree that it follows from my criticisms of Spencer's discourse that the caricature you lay out above applies [to you] or any other well meaning observer.
I know some very smart and sincere people think Spencer's on to something, I respect their opinion, mistaken though it may me IMO. As far as I'm concerned Spencer's fans are getting intellectual snake oil, but I realize that smart and/or well-meaning people can not only be taken for a ride, but they can disagree. Especially by somebody who IMO crafts his message as cunningly and seductively as Spencer. [Not to mention, I might have added, how scary the Muslim world can sometimes seem.]
That doesn't change the need (or my right) to speak out against Spencer's message with the same directness and zeal for which he himself is proverbial.
Hope this is of interest to the sane among you visitors from Jihad Watch. We might not agree on much, but we can be civil.