Dennis Prager writes a long and interesting column detailing the way in which the Left resolutely refuses to conflate two ideas: terrorism and Islam. He then wraps it up with a conclusion that operates only if you accept Prager’s view of the world, but that is meaningless to the average Leftist:
The Left’s inability to identify the religious beliefs of Islamic terrorists, its insistence on instead ascribing their murders to terrorists’ psychological tensions and economic problems, and its simultaneous certainty that conservative white Americans have only the most vile motives — these are all expressions of the Left’s failure to recognize and confront real evil.
Just remember this: If Faisal Shahzad had not been identified as the would-be bomber, the mainstream (i.e., liberal) news media and leading Democrats would have told us repeatedly that a white male — surely a conservative white male — was the Times Square terrorist, and that we should therefore be looking suspiciously at our fellow Americans on the right, especially those attending tea parties. For while liberals claim not to know the motives of Muslim terrorists, they are always certain of conservatives’ motives: racism, sexism, homophobia, and xenophobia.
When, one day, the Left exits from history’s stage, its epitaph will read: “Those who do not understand evil will not understand good.”
The Left understands fully understands evil; it just doesn’t define it the same way we do.
Our conservative baselines are justice and maximum freedom, with respect for life as an important subset of those values. Sometimes we understand that, as in the case of just wars aimed at expanding or protecting freedoms, innocent lives will be lost — and that’s a price we recognize we must pay for the greater good.
For Progressives, however, a more Orwellian baseline applies: All people are equal, except those classified as PC victims, are more equal than others. Freedom, justice and respect for life all pay homage to a hierarchical world view that organizes people by victim classifications. Once classified, the rule of thumb is that someone who is in a victim class cannot be considered evil when s/he turns on someone in an oppressor class. And that’s it. There are no abstract values. It’s just a bizarre spreadsheet of relative victimhood.
UPDATE: Please see the way in which Rick, at Brutally Honest, has expanded on the ideas expressed above (with a nice nod to me) using as his springboard a nonchalant young woman’s casually professed desire for a second Holocaust.
In an email exchange with Rick, I noted that she is nonchalant because her ideology is precisely the same as the Nazi ideology: killing a Jew is just like squishing a bug. You simply don’t get that upset when you view yourself as simultaneously a member of a master race (or religion) and a righteously oppressed person. It gives you carte blanche to do whatever the hell you want to anyone who gets in your way.
I’ve quoted it before to you all, but I’d like to quote again my cousin’s words about Islam (he’s a Christian prison pastor in Virginia):
It is not a contradiction to be a Muslim and a murderer, even a mass murderer. That is one reason why criminals “convert” to Islam in prison. They don’t convert at all; they similarly remain the angry judgmental vicious beings they always have been. They simply add “religious” diatribes to their personal invective. Islam does not inspire a crisis of conscience, just inspirations to outrage.