The Blog

No More Idealism on the Left

One of the stranger phenomena of today's politics: The Left wallows in cynicism, while the Right is full of starry-eyed dreamers.

11:00 PM, Dec 4, 2002 • By DAVID SKINNER
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Indeed, why can't a Left that built its domestic agenda on equal rights for women and minorities oppose a dictator who licenses the procedural rape of dissident females and kills minorities? Why can't a Left that supports an absolute separation of church and state find the strength to oppose religious dictatorships abroad? Ditto for economic opportunity, the freedom of speech, and the right to vote. Why can't the Left be passionate about these ideals when it comes to the most pressing political events of the day?

The accompanying cliche to the idealist liberal was the cynical conservative. Conservatives were cautious and suspicious of action. But the Right today is alive with hopes and energized by a sense of possibility: Reaganites, neo-Wilsonians, realists, all of them taking part in a war against the world's most despicable aggressors. Unlike leftists, they can claim they are doing quite a lot to achieve that most cherished of ideals, peace.

David Skinner is an assistant managing editor at The Weekly Standard.