I’m writing this for a lot of reasons, but one of them is that I don’t agree with most of Sam Harris’s fans that Islam is the largest immediate threat to the USA. The context is that right now thr [Russian] Christian white supremacist party is trying to dismantle democracy and to increase their long-term control over 3 branches of government, and are a much bigger threat than the 2 percent who are Muslims in the USA. I think Sam needs to focus on the real elephant in the room, and wait a few years before he spends most of his time attacking Muslims again. We can handle a 1% increase in Muslims if we can just save this republic and either reform or marginalize the GOP.
I think his center-left fans have largely left him to focus their resources on economic issues and opposing Russia/China, (which realistically requires retrenchment from the Middle East.) Meanwhile his circle of friends has become mainly conservatives from the “intellectual dark web,” and over time many of his fans became racist conservatives. For that reason I can no longer stand most of his fans (which includes people on the /samharris/ sub,) because I disagree too much about the best strategy for fixing the USA by popularizing enlightenment ideas.
Sam Harris’s laser-like focus on Islamists, and the vicious SJW versus anti-SJW fights on social media sites have clouded many atheists’ judgement about the most pressing dangers in the country. (For now I’ll let you imagine which problems are being neglected.)
….I think he is distracted, and distracts others by talking about the wrong things at the wrong time. He does oppose Trump the person, but he doesn’t disagree much on his general policy of limiting immigration. Too many immigrants can be a problem (illegal or Muslim), but there really aren’t that many in the population, and it’s not nearly as big a problem as the kind of conspiracy thinking that has become mainstream in conservative circles.
He also doesn’t really criticize the military-industrial complex, and hasn’t faced the reaity that it’s no longer 2002 and the unipolar world is no more because Russia and China are emergent militant powers. American influence and power has declined in the Middle-East since the Hitchens era when neocons could afford to intervene anywhere, and it’s too idealistic to continue to talk about nation-building and leading the fight against jihadists in every new country that needs help. (Right now we are fighting for limited gains in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Somalia, Yemen and Libya,) while own infrastructure crumbles.
I also don’t think he’s a jackass, just misguided. I think Hitchens with his more political background would have had to concede by now that we need to put the war on terror on the backburner and fix our democracy. To this day Sam Harris would still rather vote for Hillary Clinton than Bernie Sanders or someone who wants to focus on the economy. Just like Hitchens in the years of abundance, he said in 2016 that he’s a single issue voter for the war on terror. Hypothetically, unemployment could hit 30% with no wage increases, and Christian Nazis could takeover the GOP, but meanwhile Sam Harris would still be talking about voting for whoever will fight Islam.