I’ve written a bit about the religious scholar Robert M Price’s conservative politics in the past. But it has always been in passing. While listening to a podcast or interview, he will say something ignorant. It always stands out — but not because I disagree with it. His religious scholarship is very smart and learned. His political views have always evidenced a total lack of seriousness. It really sounds like he listens to Rush Limbaugh and that is not only the extent of his opinion, but also of his knowledge of the subject. For example, there was the time that he claimed Congressional Democrats were being hypocritical for not applying Obamacare to themselves. That’s a total mischaracterization of the healthcare law — and one that people would be unlikely to come up with independently.
So I was excited to see that he had recently decided to write a whole blog post on his conservatism, Atheists for Huckabee. And it is laugh out loud funny. When it comes to politics, Price is apparently devoid of any thought except for common conservative talking points. For example, the article contained the above image of Obama. Back in 2008 and 2009, the presentation of Obama as a saint would be totally appropriate. I was as annoyed as anyone at the way that Obama was treated by many Democrats. But that’s been over for a long time — except in the minds of conservatives who don’t get out much.
Of course, the far worse thing is The Book of Marx that he’s holding. Really?! The claims that Obama is a socialist are only made by people who don’t know what socialism is. But Marx?! It’s just ridiculous. Obama is a neoliberal — a very conservative person when it comes to the economy. And the fact that Price doesn’t know that shows that he indeed doesn’t pay attention to politics. He lives in his world of religion and science fiction and all the rest. And that’s great! But his claims to being misunderstood are ridiculous. He doesn’t take politics seriously enough to have a well formed opinion about it nor for the rest of us to misunderstand him.
But forget economics. Price’s conservatism is not about economics. It is about foreign affairs. It is about the fact that he has bought the neoconservative line on the world completely. He uses the term “Islamo-fascism” carelessly. Apparently Obama isn’t against the Islamo-fascists, which must be whatever governments Price has been told to hate. And he refers to Obama as “President Neville Chamberlain II.” As I have discussed in the past, Neville Chamberlain Was Right. I am sick to death of conservatives using Chamberlain as a shorthand argument against any foreign policy but war. Although I will admit, Price doubles his power with that one: showing total ignorance of two important western leaders.
But the main thing is that Price’s article is, in fact, an apologia for supporting Mike Huckabee. He brushes aside all of Huckabee’s radical, theocratic agenda. And to offset it, there really is not anything else other than that he would “stand against PC and Islamo-fascism.” Note: PC! Yes, that’s oh so important: all those liberals with their PC; they are just bringing down America! Oh, and there’s this other benefit of a Huckabee presidency, “Huckabee would shelve Global Warming fears, which is certainly okay with me, since I strongly suspect the whole thing is yet another Progressivist scheme to control, ie, screw up, the economy.” So he’s a global warming denier too. Not that he knows enough to be one. He’s just reads George Will.
People can have whatever opinions they like. But if they are going to start ranting about them in public, the least they could do is learn a little bit. The only mentions of the economy in Price’s article is that Obama is a Marxist and that “Progressivists” want to screw up the economy by controlling it. I can’t say that Price is not a deep thinker, because he clearly is a deep thinker about some things. But when it comes to politics, he doesn’t even try. He just lets his prejudices fly. We can only hope that he won’t make a habit of writing about politics.