The Left Is Unable to Confront Evil
Liberals are certain of the tea partiers' motives, yet they find Islamic terrorists inscrutable.


Dennis Prager

I think that most honest observers would argue that all the confusion was on Mr. Klein’s part, not his readers’. But, in any event, even in his explanatory column, he made no reference to Shahzad’s religious beliefs as the terrorist’s motivation.

Instead he re-emphasized that it was impossible to even speculate what Shahzad’s motive might be: “Speculating about why a terrorist commits a terrorist act is a mug’s game. . . . People who desire the murder of innocents qualify, I think, as pretty disturbed.”

Klein was not alone on the left in associating home foreclosure with Shahzad’s attemted mass murder. Annie Lowrey, an editor at Foreign Policy, wrote: “I think it’s a bit above my pay grade to speculate on the broader sociological meaning of this. But for what it is worth, the arrested subject of this past weekend’s Times Square bomb plot is a homeowner in the midst of foreclosure.”

And a long background piece on Shahzad by the Associated Press — the most widely reprinted news source in America — had the title, “Times Square bombing suspect’s life had unraveled.” Not one of the article’s 1,076 words mentioned Shahzad’s Islamist beliefs as even a contributory factor. It was all about his economic misfortune and his walking around depressed.

This is but one more example of how leftism permeates the upper echelons of American (and Western) society and has people mouthing sentiments that those not of the Left regard as morally absurd.

The best chance America has of retaining its greatness, let alone its exceptionalism, is to understand the Left. And the Left’s explanations for what makes a Faisal Shahzad or a Major Hasan seek to slaughter Americans are key to understanding the Left.

A defining characteristic of the Left is its inability to identify — and therefore confront — evil: from Jesse Jackson’s and Dennis Kucinich’s expressions of support for Venezuela’s Hugo Chávez, to decades of leftists’ praising Fidel Castro, to the mainstream media’s denial of moral culpability for the arsonists, murderers, and rioters in Los Angeles after the Rodney King verdict (“Understanding the Rage” was the title of the Los Angeles Times’s daily special section devoted to the riots), to the universal liberal outrage at Pres. Ronald Reagan’s characterization of the Soviet Union as an “evil empire,” to the Left’s virtually unanimous hostility to Israel.

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.”

Dennis Prager is a nationally syndicated radio talk-show host and columnist. He may be contacted through his website,


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