Politics & Policy

What Bothers You Most?

The answer says a lot about your moral universe.

In both personal and public life, you can know a great deal about a person or a group if you learn what most bothers them — and what doesn’t bother them.

A news item this past weekend made this point with glaring clarity. It reported a meeting that the United Nations’ assistant secretary-general for human rights had on Friday. Before revealing the subject of that meeting, let’s review for a moment what is happening in the world regarding human rights.

North Korea continues to be an affront to the human race. That North Korea, whether or not it had nuclear weapons, is not a central concern is an indictment of humanity.

That the West, with the noble exception of Canada under Stephen Harper, is appeasing the dictators of Iran is an indictment of the West.

Add to this list the U.N.’s and the world’s ignoring of the Chinese government’s continuing suppression of all dissent in China and its decades-long violent eradication of Tibet’s unique and ancient culture.

Then add the slaughter of millions in Congo over the last decade; and the 100,000-plus killed in Syria just last year, most of them civilians killed by their own government; and the blowing up, burning alive, and throat-cutting of untold numbers of innocent people by violent Islamists in the Middle East and elsewhere on a daily basis.

In other words, if what bothers you most is evil — the deliberate infliction of cruelty on people by people — then North Korea, Congo, China, Syria, and radical Islam will bother you more than anything else on the world scene.

So, then, what was the subject of the meeting convened Friday by the United Nations’ assistant secretary-general for human rights?

The alleged racism of the name of the National Football League’s Washington team, the Redskins.

That’s right. All these horrific evils are happening as you read this, and the second-ranking official in charge of human rights at the United Nations had a meeting about the name Washington Redskins.

The U.N. is not alone in paying undue attention to the Redskins’ name. The Left in the United States is nearly obsessed with it. President Barack Obama has spoken out against it. The Washington Post editorial board has demanded that the team drop the name. In the herd-like way that governs the media, innumerable columnists and sports writers have written passionately against the name; and increasing numbers of sports writers have vowed to never again write or speak the name.

This left-wing obsession with a non-evil exemplifies the Left’s moral universe. That universe is preoccupied with lesser evils while nearly always ignoring the greatest evils.

Preoccupation with real evil is the greatest difference between Right and Left. The Right was preoccupied with fighting Communism while the Left (not liberals such as JFK, but the Left) was preoccupied with fighting anti-Communists.

The Right today is preoccupied with fighting Islamism; the Left is preoccupied with fighting “Islamophobia.”

One way of putting it is that the Right is preoccupied with fighting evil and the Left is preoccupied with fighting those who fight evil.

The Right is preoccupied with defending Israel against those who wish to annihilate it. The Left is preoccupied with Israeli apartment buildings on the West Bank.

This difference was made manifest last week in the address given by the one current world leader who exemplifies the Right’s preoccupation with evil, Canada’s prime minister, Stephen Harper. Talking about all the condemnations of Israel, Harper said: “Think about the twisted logic and outright malice behind that: a state, based on freedom, democracy, and the rule of law, that was founded so Jews can flourish as Jews and seek shelter from the shadow of the worst racist experiment in history. That is condemned, and that condemnation is masked in the language of anti-racism. It is nothing short of sickening.”

Only a conservative leader would have the moral courage to say that. Because while the Right fights evil, the Left fights the Redskins.

— Dennis Prager is a nationally syndicated radio talk-show host and columnist. His most recent book is Still the Best Hope: Why the World Needs American Values to Triumph. He is the founder of Prager University and may be contacted at dennisprager.com.


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