“Evil” is a central concept for me. I named my blog about the need to fight evil. Two presidents in my lifetime have issued clarion calls about evil, and I think history may well ratify Bush’s usage as it already has ratified Reagan’s.
If “evil” is to mean anything, it must be reserved for the worst of the worst. So let’s take an inventory of evil:
- Stalin and his legacy? Check.
- Saddam Hussein? Check.
- Iran and North Korea, the other members of the Axis of Evil? Check, check.
- People with opposing viewpoints on health care policy? Umm….
In yesterday’s Wall Street Journal, William McGurn reviews the grief that Reagan and Bush both caught for calling evil by its name, then writes:
With all this history, you would think Harry Reid (D., Nev.) had ample warning. Nevertheless, the Senate majority leader invoked the e-word himself last week at an energy conference in Las Vegas, where he accused those protesting President Barack Obama’s health-care proposals of being “evil mongers.” So proud was he of this contribution to the American political lexicon that he repeated it to a reporter the next day and noted the phrase was “an original.”
This is the same Senator Reid who openly rooted against his own country in 2007 by declaring that “this war is lost, and the surge is not accomplishing anything.” People in high leadership positions should not indulge in partisan flame-throwing about critical issues. Reid’s rhetoric is disgraceful.