I like to think I made this up myself, but I suspect that somebody—I can’t remember who—gave me this idea. It goes something like this:
You can gauge someone’s ideological credibility by examining their reaction to Ayaan Hirsi Ali.
That is, if someone respects Hirsi Ali for her activities—activities that have put her life in danger from extremists Muslims—her ideas, her eloquence, and her dedication, they’re likely to have views that are, in general, ideologically compatible with my own. If, on the other hand, they decry her for “Islamophobia” or for irrelevant issues like her marriage to a conservative, then you should be very cautious.
Remember, this is a touchstone and a potential red flag for me and for those who generally agree with me. I have in fact lost a friendship after someone who had never read a word by Hirsi Ali—and couldn’t name any of her books—started criticizing her because of what appeared on Facebook. It turned out that this person’s views on Hirsi Ali were simply the tip of an ideological iceberg whose woke darkness floated well below the surface.
But the trope below I made up myself:
You can also gauge someone’s ideological credibility by examining their reaction to Linda Sarsour.
If they idolize Sarsour, an anti-Semite who, I suspect, is also an Islamist, then beware. If they see through her—and Sarsour is about as opaque as plastic wrap—then they’re savvy.
Of course many will disagree with these, and you can always try to persuade people to change their minds, but in general there’s a lot of ideological baggage correlated with views on these two people.
Of course you can use Donald Trump as a similar gauge, but that’s neither fun nor subtle. And there are others whom you can use as similar touchstones, but you can name them yourselves.