Dennis Prager

If you want to understand the Left, the best place to start is with an understanding of hysteria. Leading leftists either use hysteria as a political tactic or are actually hysterics.

 Take almost any subject the Left discusses and you will find hysteria.

 The Patriot Act: According to leftist spokesmen and groups, the Patriot Act is a grave threat to liberty and democracy. It is frequently likened to the tactics of a fascist state. This is pure hysteria. The Los Angeles Times recently published statistics concerning the use of the Act. Through 2004, of the 7,136 complaints to the Justice Department's inspector general, one was related to the Patriot Act. The number of "sneak and peek" warrants, allowing searches without telling a subject, totaled 155. The number of roving wiretaps was 49, and the number of personal records seizures under Section 215 of the Act was 35.

 The war in Iraq: It is not enough for leftist opponents of the war to argue that the war is a mistake, was initiated due to faulty intelligence, or is being poorly prosecuted. Rather they charge that President Bush lied, that the war was waged for Halliburton, and that America is engaged in a criminal and imperialist enterprise. Each charge is a form of hysteria.

 Risks to health: Not everyone who believes the hysterical claims of danger made about secondhand smoke, baby formula, dodgeball or Bextra is on the Left. But the Left leads the country in hysteria over dangers to health. That is why leftist organizations are generally incapable of merely saying that something is unhealthy. The danger must be described as the killer of hundreds of thousands and often be ascribed to some murderous corporate conspiracy.

 Environment: More people may be attacked by aardvarks in any given year than visit the remote and frozen region of Alaska known as the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge (ANWR). It is the home, however, of vast oil reserves and many caribou. Good people can differ on whether or not to drill for oil there. But the rhetoric of the Left is hysterical. Listening to leftist organizations one would think that drilling would bring no benefit to America and would render the caribou virtually extinct. None of this is true. It is all drama.

Dennis Prager

Dennis Prager is a SRN radio show host, contributing columnist for and author of his newest book, “The Ten Commandments: Still the Best Moral Code.”

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