The Myth of Moral Equivalency

Burt Prelutsky
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Posted: Aug 08, 2008 12:01 AM
The Myth of Moral Equivalency

There was a time not all that long ago when most of us agreed about what constituted good and evil. But that time, I’m afraid, has come and gone and is now as passé as five cent cigars and 45 cents-a-gallon gasoline.

Our former sense of morality hasn’t been replaced by immorality, at least not entirely, but by something that’s probably more dangerous because it comes cleverly disguised as broad-mindedness. Those in the mass media and academia ridicule people who still believe there are nations, values and cultures, that are superior to others, and they regard those Americans who have the temerity to disagree with them as yokels, super patriots and religious hypocrites. The elitists trumpet moral equivalency as an ideal. And yet, time and again, they display their own double standards. The same folks who were so upset about George W. Bush’s time in the Air National Guard and his early problems with alcohol aren’t the least put out by Barack Obama’s avoidance of military service and his admitted use of illegal drugs. Apparently even moral equivalency doesn’t exist if one of the parties is a Republican and the other is a Democrat.

Steven Spielberg and his sophomoric cohorts got the moral equivalency ball rolling with “Munich,” a piece of Hollywood hooey that contended that there was no real difference between Palestinian cut-throats murdering 11 Israeli athletes at the ’72 Olympics and Israel’s tracking the murderers down and meting out justice.

More recently, we had Barack Obama’s insisting that Israel’s taking steps to defend itself against the constant missile attacks from Hamas is as inexcusable as the attacks, themselves. But then what can you expect from a guy who kept insisting that Iran wasn’t worth worrying about and that the Jews should seriously consider giving up half of Jerusalem to people who insist that any piece of real estate they covet is a holy Islamic city?

Those on the left regard themselves as the moral, as well as intellectual, superiors of those on the right because they claim to see shades of gray whereas conservatives see only black and white. The problem is that most things are black and white, and the inability to realize that doesn’t suggest clearer vision, but only lack of courage and conviction. So, while those on the right are convinced that capitalism, for instance, is better than communism and socialism, and have no problem saying as much, liberals go around parroting sound bites. They would have you believe that Guantanamo is the same as Buchenwald, Bush is the same as Hitler, and that the members of the U.S. military are either the same as storm troopers, in the words of Sen. Dick Durbin, or merely uneducated suckers, according to Sen. John Kerry.

It is not the height of sophistication to insist, as left-wingers do, that modern day Judaism and Christianity are no better than Islamic fundamentalism. When the Islamists are blowing up school buses and pizza parlors, flying jet planes into skyscrapers and beheading innocent human beings, to suggest that these blood-thirsty Neanderthals are the moral equals of Christians and Jews is not only absurd, it’s an evil slander of religious people who have never done anything wrong, and who are guilty of nothing worse than worshipping a God whose name doesn’t happen to be Allah.

Furthermore, when leftists claim that Israel is no better than its enemies, they are not merely mistaken, they are lying and, what’s more, they know it. After all, Israel is a western-style democracy. They don’t go in for honor killings. They don’t go in for suicide bombings. They don’t bestow honors on people who bash in the heads of little children. They even allow Israeli Arabs to vote and to hold elected office. What’s more, Israel is the only real ally America has in the Middle East, no matter how many bribes we pay out to the Arab world and no matter how much lip service our politicians pay to the likes of Egypt and Saudi Arabia.

Whenever I hear someone claim that he’s not an anti-Semite just because he’s always condemning Israel’s policies, I know he’s lying. On its worst day, Israel is better than Syria, Lebanon, and the Palestinian Authority. When a nation of five million Jews is surrounded by 150 million enemies who, day in and day out, plan and pray for its extermination, only a confirmed Jew-hater would insist that it’s Israel that must be reined in.

In conclusion, let me just say that moral equivalency may be a lot of things, but moral isn’t one of them.