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Jewish World Review March 22, 1999 /5 Nissan 5759

Thomas Sowell

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Loving enemies

(JWR) ---- (
OF ALL THE BIBLICAL INJUNCTIONS, the one that seems hardest to keep is loving your enemies. Yet that happens with remarkable frequency in politics.

No one is a bigger enemy to women than those who promote easy sex. Many a woman has been saddled with the burden of raising a child alone, while the man responsible has gone off and forgotten all about his responsibilities.

Yet feminist "leaders" have pushed easy sex and a unisex vision of the world, when in fact the consequences for women are very different -- and much worse -- than for men. Yet such leaders have been followed by the very women whose lives have been blighted by their philosophy.

Blacks vote overwhelmingly for liberal Democrats and yet no group has suffered more from the way liberal Democrats among politicians and judges have let violent criminals walk the streets. Moreover, no one has done more to make it illegal for the victims of these criminals to get guns to defend themselves with than liberal Democrats. No group has lost more from the dumbing down of public schools than blacks, as liberal propaganda has replaced academic study.

Apparently loving your enemies isn't nearly as hard as it seems. People have been doing it throughout history.

Nobody brought more death and destruction down on Germany than Adolf Hitler did by attacking so many countries and arousing so much of the world against his regime. By the end of World War II, many German cities were little more than vast piles of rubble, inhabited by hungry and desperate people. Yet one need only look at old newsreels of the 1930s to see the love and rapture in German crowds as they cheered their fuhrer.

At least the Germans had the excuse that they did not know in the 1930s what horrors this hate-filled demagogue would bring down on their heads in the 1940s, or what lasting disgrace would hang over Germans in general as a result of Hitler's atrocities. Even Germans whose families had lived in other countries in Europe for centuries were sent "back" to Germany by the millions, as a result of the postwar backlash against the Nazis.

On a smaller scale, we have seen charismatic cult leaders like Jim Jones in Guyana and David Koresh in Waco lead their people into lethal disasters. Jones and Koresh turned out to be the biggest enemies of their followers, though adored by them.

Dictator Juan Peron and his wife Eva were the toast of Argentina as they transformed this prosperous and vibrant country into an economic disaster area. Argentineans were as capable as anybody else of loving their enemies. Kwame Nkrumah in Ghana, Lenin in Russia and Mao in China are among the many beloved leaders around the world who brought catastrophe to their respective peoples in this century. Napoleon was said to have been regarded as a demi-god by the troops he led to their deaths in the vast frozen reaches of Russia.

Maybe there is something in the human psyche that makes us yearn for idols. Euphoria over rock stars and mass adulation for Princess Diana are among the milder forms of this idolatry. Even so, it is painful to contrast public responses to the deaths of Mother Teresa and Princess Di within a short time of one another.

Hating your friends is apparently just as easy as loving your enemies.

Ibsen wrote a play titled "An Enemy of the People" about a man who revealed dangers that others wanted to sweep under the rug, and who ended up as an outcast as a result.

The smearing of honorable men has become a highly developed political art form ever since the orchestrated demonization of Judge Robert Bork during the 1987 confirmation hearings on his nomination to the Supreme Court.

Although a similar smear campaign against Judge Clarence Thomas narrowly failed to stop his elevation to the high bench, a more all-out campaign of smears has made special prosecutor Kenneth Starr a national villain for finding out the truth about people who lied. Meanwhile, Monica Lewinsky has gotten up off her knees and gone on to collect big bucks here and overseas.

Many people find it impossible to believe the polls because these polls seem to reflect so badly on the judgment of the American public. Believe them. They are part of a long tradition.

If it turns out that we have been supporting a man who jeopardized this country's military security for the sake of political campaign contributions from China, it may be catastrophic for America someday, but it will be nothing new in history.


03/19/99: Naming names
03/15/99: Undermining the military
03/10/99: Joe DiMaggio -- icon of an era
03/02/99: Facts versus dogma on guns
03/01/99: Losing the cultural wars
02/22/99: "Saving" social security
02/18/99: Too many Ph.Ds?
02/8/99: A national disaster
02/8/99: Economic fallacies in the media: Part II
02/5/99: Why economists visit dentists so often
02/2/99: Warning: Good news
01/29/99: What is at stake?
01/26/99:Moral bankruptcy in the schools
01/22/99: Who is going to convict Santa Claus?
01/19/99: Seeing through the spin
01/13/99: A trial is a trial is a trial
01/11/99:Trials and tribulations
01/08/99: Rays of hope
01/04/99: Random thoughts
12/31/98: The President versus the presidency
12/29/98: The time is now!
12/23/98: World-class hypocrisy
12/21/98: The spreading corruption
12/17/98: Politically "contrite"
12/16/98: Polls and partisanship
12/14/98: The "non-profit" halo
12/11/98: Corruption and confusion
12/03/98: The health care "crisis"
11/30/98: Knowing what you are talking about
11/23/98: The impeachment legacy
11/23/98: Random thoughts
11/19/98: Tales out of bureaucracies
11/16/98: Scholarships based on scholarship
11/12/98: Forward march
11/09/98: Moral outrage
11/05/98: Will the Republicans ever learn?
11/02/98: A voter's duty
10/30/98: The poverty pimp's poem
10/29/98: Random thoughts on the election
10/27/98: "Partisan" and "unfair"
10/23/98: Ed-u-kai-tchun
10/21/98: McGwire, Maris and the Babe
10/16/98: Lightweight Boxer
10/14/98: A strange word
10/09/98: Impeachment standards
10/08/98: Alternatives to seriousness
10/07/98: Heredity, environment and talk
10/02/98: A much-needed guide
10/01/98: Starr's real crime
9/24/98: Costs and power
9/18/98: Are we sheep?
9/16/98: Judicial review
9/15/98: Hillary Rodham Crook?
9/14/98: Taking stock
9/11/98: Moment of truth
9/04/98: Random thoughts
8/31/98: The twilight of special prosecutors?
8/26/98: "Doing a good job"
8/24/98: America on trial?
8/19/98: Played for fools
8/17/98: A childish letter
8/11/98: Hiding behind a woman
8/07/98: A flying walrus in Washington?
8/03/98: "Affordability" strikes again
7/31/98: Random thoughts
7/27/98: Faith and mountains
7/24/98: Clinton in Wonderland
7/20/98: Where is black 'leadership' leading?
7/16/98: Do 'minorities' really have it that bad?
7/14/98: Race dialogue: same old stuff
7/10/98: Honest history
7/09/98: Dumb is dangerous
7/02/98: Gun-safety starts with
parental responsibility
6/30/98: When more is less
6/29/98: Are educators above the law?
6/26/98: Random Thoughts
6/24/98: An angry letter
6/22/98: Sixties sentimentalism
6/19/98:Dumbing down anti-trust
6/15/98: A changing of the guard?
6/11/98: Presidential privileges
6/8/98: Fast computers and slow antitrust
6/3/98: Can stalling backfire?
5/29/98: The insulation of the Left
5/25/98: Missing the point in the media
5/22/98: The lessons of Indonesia
5/20/98: Smart but silent
5/18/98: Israel, Clinton and character
5/14/98: Monica Lewinsky's choices
5/11/98: Random thoughts
5/7/98: Media obstruction of justice
5/4/98: Dangerous "safety"
5/1/98: Abolish Adolescence!
4/30/98: The naked truth
4/22/98: Playing fair and square
4/19/98: Bad teachers"
4/15/98: "Clinton in Africa "
4/13/98: "Bundling and unbundling "
4/9/98: "Rising or falling Starr "
4/6/98: "Was Clinton ‘vindicated'? "
3/26/98: "Diasters -- natural and political"
3/24/98: "A pattern of behavior"
3/22/98: Innocent explanations
3/19/98: Kathleen Willey and Anita Hill
3/17/98: Search and destroy
3/12/98: Media Circus versus Justice
3/6/98: Vindication
3/3/98: Cheap Shot Time
2/26/98: The Wrong Filter
2/24/98: Trial by Media
2/20/98: Dancing Around the Realities
2/19/98: A "Do Something" War?
2/12/98: Julian Simon, combatant in a 200-year war
2/6/98: A rush to rhetoric

©1999, Creators Syndicate