November 16th, 2018


A tragedy that couldn't go to waste

Wesley Pruden

By Wesley Pruden

Published June 10, 2016

Tragedies are usually sad for most people. But the opportunists always take to heart the famous advice of Rahm Emanuel, the mayor of Chicago and once President Obama's top aide: "Never let a tragedy go to waste."

Most Americans regard what happened in Orlando as an unspeakably evil outrage, an attack not only on innocents of the gay persuasion but an attack on every American. Some gay activists have angrily taken to the airwaves and to the Internet to say they don't want the "thoughts and prayers" of those who disagree with the radical elements of the LGBT agenda. In the passion of the moment it's only human to try to find someone to blame for the enormity of a crime. Men and women of goodwill send their condolences from a heavy heart, anyway.

But some on the political left are beside themselves with glee over the unexpected opportunity to bang Donald Trump, conservatives, Christians, Republicans, owners of guns, and even occasional Democrats trying to hang on to their sanity in a world gone barking mad. This is the tragedy that cannot be left to go to waste.

President Obama obviously meant it when he said he regrets what happened to the happy swingers, singers and schmoozers at the nightclub Pulse in Orlando. He even came close to calling it by its right name, "radical Islamic terrorism." But he stopped just short, and went to the ritual lecture to Americans who he said have "attitudes" they must change.

He should aim his lecture at the people with the wrong attitudes. Most Americans, whatever they think of the lavender agenda — same-sex marriage, restrooms crowded with many genders and other politically correct impositions on the regular order — have no wish to kill or maim anyone, and certainly not in the name of religious faith. Who are the monsignors, the Baptist evangelists, the rabbis and the pastors preaching from a text summoning their faithful to kill in the name of harsh doctrines of an earlier millennia? If the president knows who these people are, spreading such "attitudes" in cathedrals, synagogues and wayside chapels, he has a responsibility to tell us, so we can warn our children against such malignant Judeo-Christian preaching.

Hillary Clinton, trotting at the president's heels in the manner of the trot dog, happy to trail in the steps and shadow of its master, was right behind as usual. She said Omar Mateen, the gunman who killed 50 or more when he sprayed the dance floor with a pistol and a rifle at the nightclub frequented by gays, used "a weapon of war," and "we have to sort through the decision."

What's to sort through? It's wrong to spray gunfire across a dance floor. That's a decision nobody has to sort through. Everyone who never went to Sunday school knows that's wrong.

Hillary tried to sound balanced and thoughtful. "Yes," she told a television interviewer, "there is a right for law-abiding, responsible Americans to own guns. And yes, there are reasonable common-sense measures to try to keep people safe from guns. We've got to figure out the best way to move forward on that."

The president said "we know he was a person filled with hate," but nothing about the source of the hate. It would never have occurred to FDR to caution against blaming Shinto or Nazi doctrines for the evil waged against the United States and the allies during World War II. But Mr. Obama has a curious aversion to telling it like it is about radical Islam.

The propagandists of the left are masters at spreading the smear of the right. A lawyer for the American Civil Liberties Union blames Christians for the massacre in Orlando. "You know what is gross?" asks Chase Strangio. "Your thoughts and prayers and Islamophobia after you created the anti-queer climate."

A columnist for The Washington Post, thinks it's all Donald Trump's fault. "Omar Mateen despised gays in the same way that Donald Trump and too many of his supporters despise Muslims," writes Petula Dvorak. "And hate, alas is contagious. No, Mateen didn't kill people because he was a Muslim. He killed people because he was an angry, unstable person who apparently beat his former wife and was outraged when he saw two men kiss in Miami."

If only the poor kid growing up had had access to good day care, or his mother had had the services of a reputable abortionist, or the Equal Rights Amendment had been adopted, or the District of Columbia had achieved statehood, this tragedy would have been averted. But the nation would have been deprived of a tragedy that couldn't be allowed to go to waste.

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JWR contributor Wesley Pruden is editor emeritus of The Washington Times.