There is a fascinating article in American Thinker by Andrew Thomas about the role of “evil” in politics. As a Christian I happen to believe there is such thing as evil, pure, unadulterated evil. As a thinking person I also know that almost all of what we consider “evil” is not actually “evil” but is mental illness, character disorders, and perception.
I disagree with Thomas’ perception of Democrats as “evil”. Democrats like Republicans have an agenda. Unless that agenda is abjectly intent on actual harm, it should not be defined as “evil” the way Thomas does. Thomas assumes anyone who disagrees with his political thesis is “evil”.
Having piddled around with politics since I was a little kid with my mother, I’ve met people good, evil, and indifferent. Some of the nicest people I’ve ever met in politics are Democrats and liberals. They are good people. We simply disagree on a political agenda. One of the worst acts of personal harm done to me (as an adult) was executed in cold blood. It was calculated. It was manipulated to do the worst possible harm to me – personally. The person who did it is still a very highly a “respected” conservative political operative, scholar, and writer. I am still dealing with the personal heart-ache this person created. The dirty deed was done over a decade ago and may never be repaired.
As a human being, I have experienced evil, coming close extremely close to having the ultimate evil – murder – inflicted on me by a sociopath, pedophile, and an elementary school principle. The evil continued, this time enforced by “good” men who proceeded to cover up the molestation and ultimately remove all the records of this person ever having been employed by Oconee County.
Good people can do evil things, sometimes with the best of intentions. Then again, this is quit rare, and when people do evil things, they usually intend to do evil things. The best discussion of this subject The Pink Flamingo has ever read is Dr. M. Scott Peck’s The People of the Lie.
A reviewer once wrote of Peck’s book:
“…Peck’s thesis is simple: There really is such a thing as human evil, and it has certain definable characteristics. What is evil? He once asked that question of his eight-year-old son, who answered, “That’s easy, Daddy, evil is live spelled backwards.” That definition is good enough for Peck. Human evil is that which destroys human life. More telling, however, is what characterizes evil. According to Peck, it is the persistent and accumulative refusal of the evil person to face the truth about himself. He may admit publicly that, of course, he is a sinner just like everyone else. But deep down inside he does not believe it. So rather than face up to his own sin he is constantly scapegoating: laying it on other people, making his faults theirs. Evil people are masters of disguise, morally. They are constantly dodging their conscience. In other words, evil people are liars. Hence the title of the book….”
Thomas seems to think that anything “Democratic” or “Liberal” is evil. He also looks at Barack Obama as “evil”. Heaven only knows I truly dislike Obama, but I cannot categorize him as “evil”. The man is suffering from a narcissistic personality disorder. That in itself is not evil. People who have this disease can do some terrible things to anyone who gets in the way of their personal ambition. But there are also some individuals who have this disease who truly do not comprehend their actions or see them as “evil”. They react in a primitive survival mode. (I know someone like this who has done everything possible to destroy my mother’s life. I don’t even know if this person realizes what she is doing. As she has grown older, we’ve come to realize her actions are part of her mental illness).
“...For instance, what are we to make of a president who suddenly bursts out laughing while being interviewed on the potential for economic depression in the U.S.? How about a jovial president giving a friendly “shout-out” to a colleague before delivering a listless homily on the brutal murder of thirteen American soldiers by a ruthless domestic Islamist terrorist? Perhaps the picture of Obama striding down the White House steps while his “friend” Professor Gates is helped by Officer Crowley is an indicator of his true personality….”
Sorry, but these are not the actions of an “evil” individual. They are the actions of a man who may not be “fit” to be President. James Joyner has an interesting take on Obama’s Administration. I think I agree with him.
“…My colleague Dave Schuler, who supported Obama’s candidacy precisely because he preferred his temperament on foreign policy matters to John McCain’s, has expressed similar concerns. He rightly attributes the proximate cause to poor staff work rather than personal failing on the part of Obama, on the not unreasonable theory that there was no reason to expect him to have a nuanced understanding of protocol upon taking office. (Indeed, because presidents don’t come up through the ranks in the way of a British prime minister, much less a hereditary monarch, it’s rare that we elect someone with that type of background.) But that’s a distinction without difference from the perspective of foreign leaders and the American public alike….”
Incompetence is a much better description of Obama’s Administration than evil. Thomas equates the quest for power, etc. with evil. It can become evil, but it is not evil in itself. There is no way you can honestly call Nancy Pelosi evil. She’s a witch with a “b”. I’ve heard she is as “mean as a snake”. She is ambitious. There is a difference between corruption and evil. The corrupt can be evil, and the evil are corrupt, but there is a line between the two that should not be mistaken.
True evil is a repulsive thing. It is like the great Cecil B’s version of the Hebrew Angel of Death (The Ten Commandments), crawling along the ground in Egypt, bringing doom to anyone who did not follow God’s orders during Passover. True evil is like death. If it does not bring outright termination of life, it destroys something in a person who is being targeted.
It took over 25 years for me to even begin to be at a point where I could start recovering from the things that were done to me as a child. In many ways it is like someone recovering from alcoholism or drug addiction – one day at a time. I was robbed of my self-esteem, sense of well-being, and what was left of my childhood. Once I was a very trusting, vivacious child who loved to perform in front of crowds. Instead of doing that, I cowered, seeking refuge behind books. I still do.
In the back of my mind, I have a theory that Barack Obama was somehow victimized as a child. Something happened to him in order to cause him to be such a textbook narcissist. Like other narcissists I’ve had the misfortune to encounter, there is ultimately no hope for him – and that is pure tragedy.
Having been victimized by several horrific lies during my lifetime, I think one of the most pervasive versions of evil is the lie. They are a thing of beauty, subtle, with a life cycle of their own. Done right, they will forever scar their target and will ultimately destroy them. Done right they entangle the willing, the innocent, and those who don’t care to look beyond their seductive appearance.
It might be the 9/11 Truther who has formulated a way to forever brainwash and taint a young woman. Or it is her college professors who spin a web of contaminated filth that may forever render young people incapable of becoming rational participants in our Republic. It could be the television host who is looking to feed his checkbook, and his ego. It is the religious leader who corrupts his message. Or it just might be the conservative columnist and blogger whose hatred of a United States Senator and a man of honor is so evil and so irrational that it spreads outward, threatening to ruin the work of a lifetime.
In order for lies to work, they must find willing receptacle. The minions of George Soros who willingly spew his vile hatred are no different than the conservatives promoting their purity agenda. The only difference between the lies of George Soros and Michelle Malkin is the money. There’s not much difference between the Soros desire to destroy George W. Bush and Malkin’s mission to destroy Lindsey Graham – is there?
Evil is evil.
Perhaps the only way evil is compounded is when good men and women willingly embrace and promote those lies. Conservatives are not immune to this syndrome, far from immune.