Long before Senator Kerry, or even before there were Communists, the political left consistently avoided facing the brutal fact of deliberate evil that can only be defeated by force. Edmund Burke recognized their reluctance to confront evil back in the 18th century, when he said: "There is no safety for honest men but by believing all possible evil of evil men."
Yet even in our own times there have been those who recoiled when Ronald Reagan called the Soviet Union an "evil empire" and when George W. Bush spoke of an "axis of evil" consisting of recklessly belligerent Iraq, Iran, and North Korea.
Perhaps the most deadly menace in our history, a nuclear-armed North Korea, is headlined in the New York Times as "reaching out to the world" and the world as "reaching back," leaving the United States "isolated" in its inexplicable hostility. Not since The Times of London adopted a see-no-evil attitude toward Hitler in the 1930s has a major newspaper been so tragically blind.
Senator Kerry has argued for a more "nuanced" approach to foreign policy and a more "sensitive" way of fighting international terrorism. People who cannot make hard choices often talk about complexity and nuance, about gray areas and twilight issues.
There are of course gray areas. But not all areas are gray. And not all 24 hours of the day are twilight.
There is of course complexity. But trying to square the circle is not complex. It is impossible.
A President of the United States should know all sides of an issue. But he cannot be on all sides of an issue. He cannot keep flip-flopping like John Kerry.