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Some on the Right Are Having a Moral Meltdown

Dennis Prager on

My disdain for the Left began at a young age. From as early as I can recall, I hated evil, and I therefore always hated communism. When I realized the Left either supported communism or, at the very least, opposed anti-communism, I understood that leftism was a force for evil. Liberals and conservatives hated communism; leftists did not.

As liberals began their leftward drift in the 1960s -- to cite one example, virtually all liberal media condemned President Ronald Reagan's description of the Soviet Union as "an evil empire" -- I came to regard conservatism as a moral refuge in a dark world. In the conservative moral universe, America was essentially a force for good; communism was evil; liberty, most especially free speech, was a supreme value; Western civilization was a morally superior civilization; the Judeo-Christian value system was the moral bedrock of the West; and Islamic violence -- as exemplified by al-Qaeda, the Islamic State, Boko Haram, the Taliban, Hamas, Hezbollah and the Iranian regime -- was the great religious threat of our time.

That conservative moral universe is in decline. Some leading figures on the Right are as confused as the Left on some of the most important moral issues. This was made manifest last week when Tucker Carlson told Joe Rogan that any person who defends the dropping of the atomic bombs over Japan is evil.

Here is what he said:

"People on my side ... on the Right, you know, have spent 80 years defending dropping nuclear weapons on civilians. Like, are you joking? That's just like prima facie evil. ... It's wrong to drop nuclear weapons on people. And if you find yourself arguing that it's a good thing to drop nuclear weapons on people, then you are evil. Like, it's not a tough one. It's not a hard call for me. So, with that in mind, like, why would you want nuclear weapons? It's, like, just a mindless, childish sort of intellectual exercise to justify -- like, 'Oh, no, it's really good because somebody else will get it.' How about 'no'? How about, like, spending all of your effort to prevent this from happening? Would you kill baby Hitler, you know, famously?"

Given that nearly every liberal and conservative thinker over the past 80 years has defended the atomic bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, in Tucker's view, nearly every conservative and liberal thinker of the last 80 years was or is evil.

 

For those 80 years, the charge that America was evil for having dropped those bombs on Japan has been associated almost exclusively with the Left.

Now, an increasing number of America-first conservatives have adopted the position identified for three generations with the America-hating Left.

In another column, I will attempt to explain this right-wing moral decline. But here I will confine myself to a brief moral defense of President Harry Truman's decision to drop the atom bombs on Japan.

1. The responsibility for the war between Japan and the United States lay with Japan. Every Japanese death was the result of the fascist Japanese government's decision to attack the U.S., China, Korea, Vietnam, Malaysia, Singapore, Burma, Thailand and the Philippines. If the Japanese military regime had never attacked those countries, not one Japanese would have been killed.

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