What is the biggest threat to our country? My guess is that many would still cite the risk that recovery from our current economic crisis is not in the foreseeable future. Those willing to look beyond national borders and the immediacy of the present might name the catastrophic climate conditions, which by now may be irreversible. There are probably even some who would cite the failure of our government to function in any effective manner, which would include inability to deal with any other threats.
Newt Gingrich has other ideas. He believes that the greatest threat is twofold: “the growth of secular thought and an indifference to standing against militant Islam.” Those are not Gingrich’s words. They come from a report by Abe Levy, who covered a speech that Gingrich gave on Sunday at Cornerstone Church for the San Antonio Express-News. Levy also reported that the Cornerstone congregation gave Gingrich a standing ovation for this assessment of the state of our nation.
As Holly Bailey, who blogs on The Ticket for Yahoo! News, reminded us yesterday, Cornerstone is run by Pastor John Hagee, whose worldview (if you can call it that) was extreme enough to compel Presidential candidate John McCain to reject his endorsement. She also reviewed McCain’s grounds for distancing himself from Hagee:
Among other things, Hagee told National Public Radio in the aftermath of Katrina that New Orleans had suffered the "judgment of God" because of its "level of sin." He referred to the Catholic Church as "the great whore" and "a false cult system." The tipping point for McCain was Hagee's comment that Adolf Hitler had been fulfilling God's will by targeting Jews.
Now we have Gingrich courting support for a possible run for the Presidency basically by pandering to the very reasoning (if you can call it that), which McCain had the courage to reject with good old-fashioned courageous American values.
Current poll numbers seem to indicate that the threat of Sarah Palin becoming the first Demagogue in Chief are abating, but we have Gingrich to remind us that the threat of demagoguery itself is still very much with us.