Day By Day© by Chris Muir.

Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Today's morality lesson

This is just the beginning of an excellent Dennis Prager column distinguishing between unfairness (and, as I always say to my kids, "life isn't fair") and actual evil:

If you want to understand the Left, most of what you need to know can be summarized thus: The Left hates inequality, not evil. As one raised as a New York Jew (who, moreover, attended an Ivy League university) and therefore liberal – it took me a while to recognize this fatal moral characteristic of the Left. But the moment I realized it, it became immoral not to oppose leftist values. It is neither possible nor virtuous to be devoid of hatred. Even those who think it is always wrong to hate must hate hatred. The question therefore is not whether one hates but what (or whom) one hates. For example, on the basis of the value system that I hold (Judeo-Christian) I try to confine my hating to evil. By evil I mean the deliberate infliction of unjust suffering on the undeserving; cruelty is the best example of such evil.
The rest of the column is just as good. It also goes a long way, I think, to explaining why those of us who embraced conservatism later in life are such zealots. First of all, converts are often zealots (perhaps because you really have to get your engines revving to make a big ideological leap). Second, I think we're zealots because of the tremendous relief we feel when we no longer have to validate evil on fairness grounds. Evil is evil, wrong is wrong, stuck on stupid is stuck on stupid. Once you figure out a few moral absolutes, there's a certain clarity. Of course, it's this same clarity the Left hates because the Left fears that this is the same clarity that led the Nazis to create the gas chambers. As to that, though, I don't think it's too much to accept that there is a difference between a clarity based on recognizing and rejecting evil, and a clarity based on embracing evil. UPDATE: Kathryn, at Suitable for Mixed Company, linked to my post as part of an interesting discussion about people who have moved from Left to right. In the comments section, she and another addressed by point about "embracing evil." I'm not arguing that all liberals are evil or embrace evil, or that the history of liberalism is the history of evil. I think the liberals should be justly proud of the civil rights and women's rights movements. However, I think there has always been a movement in liberalism to embrace anything that is hostile to American interests -- even if that hostility arises from evil impulses, not good ones. This article about Ramsey Clark perfectly captures that kind of liberal "embrace of evil."