I’m trying to think of ways to get the mentally flabby, but still impassioned, Progressives on my real-me Facebook feed to start figuring out that their way is not working. My latest effort was to post a link to the news story talking about how France’s Front National leader Marine Le Pen, who is routinely classified as far right, is set to gain votes following the last two horrible days in France. My comment was a simple one:
No matter the country, if the mainstream party refuses even to acknowledge what people reasonably perceive to be an existential threat, the people will inevitably look to that fringe party that promises to protect them.
I understand, of course, that using the word “mainstream” to describe France’s socialist party is ridiculous, but remember — I’m not preaching to the choir, with the choir consisting of intelligent, reasonable people who look at the world as it is, rather than trying to mold it to some Marxist fantasy. Instead, I’m trying to reach people who believe that Obama and France’s socialist government occupy the comfortable middle. I want those people to start processing a couple of ideas:
Idea Number One is to get them to start being very, very worried about governments and media that consistently deny the existence of Islamic terrorism. This is the right time to do it because, after the attack on Paris (which all sophisticated Progressives consider their spiritual home), my friends started to do something weird: They linked to articles blaming Islam for the terror. That is, even as the Obama administration took it upon itself to teach us, once again, that Islam is an entirely peaceful, they were looking at The New Yorker. I think part of why this is happening now, and did not happen to these Progressives after the Boston Marathon bombing, is because (a) there’s something clinical and distant about a bomb and (b) they could say it was just two crazy, messed-up brothers being lone wolves together. The Paris massacre, however, came complete with utterly appalling footage of an organized, paramilitary assault, complete with the casual murder of a defenseless, wounded man.
Given that the Progressives in my world are having a vulnerable moment, nows the time to get them to look at the Obama administration and the Democrat party and media (but I repeat myself), and to start wondering why the administration and the media consistently insist that there’s no such thing as Muslim terrorism. I know that, in my journey from flabby Leftist to thoughtful conservative, cognitive dissonance made the difference. My “crossing the Rubicon” moment came about because of the vast disconnect between MSM reporting and my actual, first-hand knowledge of Israel. As I’ve seen in my own case, and through conversations with other former Lefties, when you start questioning any one part of the narrative, suddenly you start question all of the narrative.
Idea Number Two assumes that the Progressives aren’t quite willing (or will never be willing) to abandon their beloved Leftist governments. In that case, I want them to start realizing that there are things worse than having their government defend America against terrorism. And what’s worse is that, when the leaders do nothing to stop terrorism, than their leaders will lose — and, worse (from a Progressive viewpoint), they’ll lose to “far right” candidates who promise to care for the people. Progressives fear conservatives a whole lot more than they fear terrorists, and reminding them that their intransigence on self-defense plays into conservative hands might motivate them to start demanding that their Leftists governments make the tough decisions that allow them to push back an enemy that transcends borders, nations, generations, race, gender, etc. (David Goldman takes an unsparing look at what that hard-line might be.)
I can see in my mind’s eye that some of you are already gearing up to tell me that I’m wasting my time and that Lefties will never change their minds. I’m sorry to say, but that’s wrong and they will, provided that they get the proper trigger to do so. I changed my mind, and so did a lot of other well-known conservatives: Thomas Lifson, Michael Medved, David Horowitz, the Power Line guys (although I can remember which ones), our own Charles Martel, and many more. People change and I do think we have an obligation to do what neither the Muslims nor the Marxists will do: to convert through kindness allied with facts and reason, rather than through coercion, state action, and violence.