Tuesday, February 01, 2005

The Monolithic Left

Dennis Prager has nothing to worry about, apparently. Although he has written about the coming Civil War between Religious Righties and atheist Lefties, apparently it's a done deal. You see, according to his latest column, The Left is Worthless.

And why are we worthless? We do not recognize evil. Apparently a holocaust survivor this last week stated, "Someone who does not know the difference between good and evil is worth nothing." I'm not sure I would disagree with that.

And since the left is fine with Saddam Hussein and Fidel Castro, we are worthless. Clearly Castro and Hussein are evil, and we do not recognize that evil, so we are worthless.

Of course there are a few points one might make to counter this particular arguments. One I hint at in my title. The left isn't monolithic. Some on the left are comfortable seeing Saddam and Fidel as good guys who have been targeted by the imperialistic USA. Many many many more on the left would strongly disagree with that interpretation of the situation. Are we all to be held accountable for the opinions of a few?

Let me put it another way. Some on the right think that it is OK and even desirable to assassinate doctors who perform abortions. Most on the right do not think that is ok. So who should we hold accountable? Some monolithic right, or the few individuals responsible for committing such acts?

Another chink in this argument is putting Castro and Hussein in the same essay. Because obviously we have followed different strategies in dealing with these dictators. We invaded Iraq; we have left Cuba largely alone (except for our embargo of course). Why are we willing to accept the suffering under Castro and not under Hussein (and of course this barely scratches the surface of countries I could name, including some supporting by the United States).

A third chink in the argument is the assertion that the left doesn't recognize evil. On the contrary the left is easily as moralistic as the right, albeit on different issues. For example, the torture inflicted in Abu Ghraib or Guantenemo was quickly condemned by the left, while the right was busy comparing it to fraternity stunts.

In fact, looked at a certain way, hoping to incite conservatives to start a second civil war could be looked at, in a way, as evil.

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