Somebody has to be the good guy. So says Peggy Noonan this week in the wake of the torture report, a 14 million page accounting of mostly standard, typical, usual, unremarkable methods of forcibly extracting information from an enemy. And isn’t that a word we seem to have forgotten: enemy.
The concept of an enemy is one of the most basic, primitive understandings possible. It is obvious, and should require no explanation. And yet here we are.
Because we don’t have them, anymore. There is no evil empire. The modern sensibility, informed heavily by pseudo-leftist pop culture and leftover hippie pretend philosophy has no room for foreign powers with whom we struggle and against whom we fight to the death. The concept is archaic to them. No, there is only one enemy and it is us.
I don’t mean that in the philosophical sense. I mean us. We. Conservatives. We are the enemy. Everyone else is different.
So the very idea that there is a man in this world who by virtue of having taken up arms against America, gets his deserts when left to listen to Taylor Swift too long or gets a hydraulic colonoscopy, cannot enter into their conscious mind as a truth. Even Bin Laden got privacy for his corpse and (officially anyway) a respectful Muslim burial. Because we are the good guys, the argument goes. Despite the fact that they very clearly will not accept the idea of a bad guy.