4 Things to Learn from Arizona

As always, after any tragedy like the assassination attempt of a US Congressman in Arizona, various people and groups always attempt to spin it for political advantage, as Rahm Emanuel proclaimed “Never let a crisis go to waste”.

It didn’t even take hours for the political spin and blame-game to begin.

Knee-Jerk reaction

We don’t have proof yet that this was political, but the odds are that it was. … (Her father says that “the whole Tea Party” was her enemy.) And yes, she was on Sarah Palin’s infamous “crosshairs” list.

You know that Republicans will yell about the evils of partisanship whenever anyone tries to make a connection between the rhetoric of Beck, Limbaugh, etc. and the violence I fear we’re going to see in the months and years ahead. But violent acts are what happen when you create a climate of hate…

Of course, Krugman himself uses rough rhetoric — once he said A message to progressives: By all means, hang Senator Joe Lieberman in effigy, so perhaps he’s referring to his own speech contributing to the climate of hate he laments. Yeah, right.

Now you know why they’re called “knee-jerk liberals”, for Mr. Krugman posted this only a few hours after the attack, not waiting for facts or investigation, but choosing instead a barf-back of his preconceived ideas — whether factually based or not.

That’s a problem, but not the problem; consider two differing expressions after the shooting:

  1. In a country of 300 million people, a small percentage will always exist who are nuts.
  2. It’s Sarah Palin’s fault, or Glenn Beck, or Rush Limbaugh. Oh, and we need more gun control, more control over the Internet, new restrictions on free speech, and laws banning Fox News.

Those two summarize two different world views, but the basic problem stems from people in group #2 (Krugman, et al) failing to understand the most basic principle:

1. Evil exists

It’s not just the left failing to understand the existence of evil. Even some “Christians” look to shift responsibility from where it lies, as Jim Wallis said on Monday:

A central calling for Christians is to be peacemakers. Peace, we understand, is not simply the absence of current conflict, but the presence of a just community. In the midst of tragedy and violence, I believe this means every Christian must ask themselves: “How am I responsible?” What more can we do to bring peace to this world as the Prince of Peace has called us to do? What are the situations and environments that allow this kind of hate and violence to grow?

Some groups believe we’re working toward utopia; when madmen attack it destroys their worldview, thus instead of modifying their view they desperately seek someone to blame, and ask how someone else besides the madman could be responsible — after all, man is basically good, and it’s his environment making him bad, thus when madmen attack, it must be our fault, or Sarah Palin’s, or a lack of “social justice”, or too many Twinkies, instead of acknowledging the truth.

Evil exists, and a few deranged people do horrendous things.

2. Evil Must be Confronted

You must confront evil. It won’t go away on its own. You can’t “dialog” with it or seek to “understand their motives” or any of the popular gobblygook feel-good ideas of today. Evil must be confronted, not avoided.

3. Evil Must be Defeated

You must work to defeat it, not some substitute blamed for political or other reasons.

Of course, to defeat an enemy you first must know who the enemy is, which means placing the blame squarely where it belongs: with evil madmen who can’t be reasoned with. Seizing control of the Internet, limiting free speech, increasing gun-control, blaming Sarah Palin, Twinkies, or a lack of social justice all fail because they don’t identify the culprit.

Evil madmen who do horrendous actions.

If you fail to engage the correct entity, you’re doomed to failure; the more you become sidetracked and avoid the actual culprit, the more frequent these events become.

4. Acknowledge Responsibility

It’s not rhetoric, guns, the tea-party, lack of “social justice”, Fox News, or Sarah Palin causing a madman to do what he did Saturday. Deflecting responsibility means not only a failure to understand the problem, but a failure to attack it. How much “analysis” did you hear blaming everyone but the perpetrator?

Little Johnny failed the class not because he goofed off the entire semester, but because he ate too many Twinkies and Big Macs, and the teacher had it out for him. It’s not his fault.

As John Loeffler says, we’ve transformed from people being right to feeling good about being wrong. It’s not your fault, you have a disease, and it’s always someone else’s fault. Some simply can’t recognize the responsibility remains solely on the man pulling the trigger; even “Christians” suffer from this malady as Mr. Wallis demonstrates.

Crazed people could listen to Bing Crosby and watch Sesame Street all day and still end up axe-murderers for one simple reason: they’re evil (Gasp! Non politically-correct speech alert!). It’s not their environment, childhood, too many Big Macs, mother, Sarah Palin, or Fox News. Evil people do evil things because they want to — it’s their nature, it’s what they are — evil.

It’s a worldview problem. We need to leave namby-pamby land behind, and travel back to reality. People exist who are nothing but evil, and can’t be “rehabilitated”, “understood”, or changed.

Failing to understand the nature of evil means we’ll continue to need ever more “grief counselors” as people thrash around trying to reconcile contradictory ideas — the existence of evil with the utopia they think they’re creating (“every day in every way we’re getting better and better”).

We’ll leave you with the words of Franklin Graham:

To try to place blame before an investigation has occurred is in itself inciting hatred … Because we may disagree with a person from another political party, and something bad happens to that person, does that mean that we are responsible for what happens to that person? By no means…

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