But for those of us who believe that clarity is the prerequisite to moral progress, the landslide victory of the terrorist organization Hamas in Palestine has a silver lining.
First and foremost, it proves what people who perceive reality have been saying for decades: The great majority of Palestinians -- like the majority of Arabs elsewhere and like vast numbers of non-Arab Muslims -- want Israel destroyed. Even granting legitimacy to the argument that the complete moral, financial and political corruption of Fatah was partly responsible for the Hamas victory, those who voted for Hamas did not find that organization's terror, religious celebration of murder or charter calling for Israel's destruction an impediment to their vote.
It is true that in 1933, some Germans who voted for the Nazis did so out of anger at the Versailles Treaty and because of the economic chaos that engulfed their country. Indeed, it is widely agreed among historians that Hitler played down anti-Semitism in the Nazis' electoral campaigning. But every German voter was aware of the ferocity of the Nazis' Jew-hatred. And, whatever the case in 1933 Germany, in 2006 Palestine, Hamas has never played down its anti-Semitism or its support for continuing terrorism.
So the Palestinian vote reveals the falsity of the worldwide Left's view of the Palestinians as committed to peace. It likewise reveals the falsity of the Left's belief that Palestinian terror is supported by a small minority of the Palestinian population.
That is one reason why the Bush doctrine -- we need to spread democracy everywhere possible, including, or even especially, in the Arab world -- is so valid. You cannot deal with any problem in life -- from the most personal to the most macro -- by engaging in wishful thinking and denying reality.
Thanks to this election, the mask has been removed. When given the opportunity to express themselves, most Arabs and many Muslims elsewhere support terror and seek the annihilation of Israel. That is why the Hamas victory is such a defeat for the world's Left -- university professors, news media, socialist parties, the European Union, the United Nations, "peace" activists, editorial writers, and all other apologists for the Palestinians.
A personal anecdote will help illustrate this. Two years ago, thanks to the Hoover Institution at Stanford, I spent a week lecturing at the university. Coincidentally, Israel's Independence Day fell during that same week, and pro-Israel students asked me to speak at their rally honoring Israel.