The further to the left or the right you move, the more your lens on life distorts.

Monday, September 12, 2022

The Shore of Truth

Yesterday was the 21st anniversary of 9/11. In the intervening years US government officials and many prominent politicians on both the Left and the Right have worked hard to divorce Islam from any culpability for that murderous attack. Their argument, which has some merit, is that not all Muslims are allies of the Islamist extremists who perpetrated an attack that killed almost 3000 Americans that morning.

Unfortunately, more than a few prominent leftist politicians and their followers don't try nearly as hard to divorce the actions of a relatively small number of right wing extremists in this country from the much broader population of American citizens who did not vote for Democrats in the last presidential election. They seem perfectly willing to connect everyone who voted for Donald Trump to the few extremists who rioted at the Capitol on January 6. Yesterday, it got even worse.

Social media was inundated with comments from hard left ideologues who tried to compare the attack on 9/11 to the January 6th riot at the U.S. Capitol. They argued in a variety of ways that the two events were equivalent.

It is patently absurd to suggest, for even a second, that the murder of 3000 innocents is in any way comparable to a four-hour riot by a bunch of right-wing knuckleheads who entered the capitol building. It shows a level of historical ignorance and fantasy thinking that would be mind-boggling if it weren't so common In recent years

A protagonist in Dean Koontz‘s novel, Quicksilver, ruminates on this when he thinks:

"I despaired that so many people, born with the knowledge of intuition and with the ability to reason, shaped their lives instead by sheer emotion. So many were swept away by boldfaced lies and swayed into currents of vicious fantasies, until they were so far from the shore of truth that they couldn’t even see it."

If you are one who honestly believes that 9/11 and 1/6 are equivalent events. If you honestly believe that an attack that killed 3000 people and did billions in property damage, traumatizing the nation for years afterward, is to be mentioned in the same breath as a riot that lasted for half a day, while accomplishing nothing of great substance, you have drifted "far from the shore of truth" and need a moment for introspection.