Let me tell you, in a climate as polarized as ours, especially in a contentious topic of discussion as our current, it’s refreshing to have an intellectual giant such as Michael Shermer tweet something like this:
People who equate America with gun control to Nazi Germany do not know anything about history. Read Richard Evans 3-vol history Nazi Germany
Right on, Michael! I’m so glad you said —
To date, I have stayed out of this witch hunt against our most prominent leaders, thinking that “this too shall pass.” Perhaps I should have said something earlier. As Martin Niemöller famously warned about the inactivity of German intellectuals during the rise of the Nazi party, “first they came for …” but “I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a….”
For more context, read Ophelia’s mild criticism from last August of a sexist thing Shermer said once, then Shermer’s first anti-feminist piece in response. Then read gross mischaracterizations of what was said about Shermer and by whom by a peanut gallery evidently slavering for another big name to turn fully anti-feminist, and Ophelia’s defense of what she quoted as being accurate (and consequently, her analysis that Shermer said something sexist, whether knowingly or unknowingly, as equally accurate).
Ophelia’s got a reply to that link right here, where she gets a bit closer this time to Shermer’s word count in retribution.
So Shermer’s now firmly in the “people who criticize me mildly for saying something sexist are DRUMMING ME OUT OF THE MOVEMENT WITH WITCH-HUNTS AND INQUISITIONS AND NAZIISTIC FASCISM” camp. Someone ostensibly representative of rationality, one of our leading lights, has to go full Godwin on feminists for daring to mildly criticize him for engaging in behaviour he probably didn’t even realize he was doing. He’s doubled down on it, and attacked those of us on this side of the Great Rift for daring to rebuke Dawkins and Harris and Shermer himself for saying stupid shit.
How dare we.
How dare we not prostrate ourselves before their wisdom and instead try to hold them to account for things they said — things that they could easily walk back, but in their vanity can’t countenance doing anything but doubling down on.
Welp. So that happened.