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When the Enemy of Your Enemy Is — Your Enemy

by Ben Shapiro – Feb 22, 2017

Ideas and values should matter more than tribal identity.


Unfortunately, many conservatives have embraced this sort of binary thinking: If it angers the Left, it must be virtuous. Undoubtedly, that’s a crude shorthand for political thinking. It means you never have to check the ideas of the speaker, you merely have to check how people respond to him.

That’s dangerous. It leads to supporting bad policies and bad men. The enemy of your enemy isn’t always your friend. Sometimes he’s your enemy. Sometimes he’s just a dude sitting there minding his own business.

You don’t have enough information to know. The logic of “if he melts snowflakes, he’s one of us” actually hands power to the Left, by allowing leftists to define conservatives’ friends. It gets to choose whom we support. This isn’t speculative. It happened during the 2016 primaries, when the media attacked Trump incessantly, driving Republicans into his outstretched arms. The media’s obvious hatred for Trump was one of the chief arguments for Trump from his advocates: If, as his detractors claimed, he wasn’t conservative, then why would the leftist media hate him so much?

The logic of ‘if he melts snowflakes, he’s one of us’ actually hands power to the Left, by allowing leftists to define conservatives’ friends. To be fair, after Mitt Romney’s bludgeoning at the hands of the media, there was at least a shred of justification for this logic. Romney wasn’t a hard-core conservative, wasn’t a personal shambles, and got savaged by the media anyway, simply for the sin of having an R after his name. The same happened to John McCain, a “maverick” Republican the leftist media had openly pushed for years. If the media opposed Trump with all their heart and all their soul, that must have been some sort of reaction to Trump himself.

It wasn’t, though. It was a combination of factors, including the fact that Trump was amazing press and the press thought Trump an unusually weak candidate. More-honest leftist commentators openly preferred Trump to more-conservative candidates such as Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio.

But Trump’s war with the media carried him to the nomination, and from there to the presidency.

In fact, Trump continues to live off of this backward logic. His press conference last week was no ballet of informational expertise and policy knowledge, nor was it a brilliant recasting of his policy successes. It was a blunderbuss attack on the media, entertaining in the extreme, occasionally daft, occasionally ridiculous. Yet many on the right immediately concluded that it was the most successful press conference in world history, not because it was successful with Americans per se — there was no evidence of that — but because it was a successful assault on the media, who had it coming.

Never mind if Trump lied to the media. They were angry. That showed it worked. Watching Chuck Todd fulminate and Chris Wallace rage and Don Lemon bemusedly tut-tut scratched conservatives where they itch — and it made Trump a hero.

None of this is to argue that Trump is a leftist or that conservatives are wrong to support many of his policy prescriptions. But if your standard of right and wrong is whether the Left hates it, you’re making a category error.

It’s not good enough to just be opposed by the Left – you must actually oppose the Left. We must ask what someone is fighting against, not merely whom. We must ask what tools they’re using — and we must insist they use the truth. Ideas and values matter more than identity.

But not anymore. The Left’s identity politics is focused on racial, ethnic, and sexual identity — aspects of identity that place you somewhere in the hierarchy of intersectionality. The Right’s identity politics comes with a label: enemy of the Left. So long as you’re wearing that button, you’re presumptively on our side and you’re nearly bulletproof.

Until it turns out that you’re not. Until we jump the wrong way because we substituted political laziness for a philosophy. Until we embrace somebody nasty because the other side hated him or her and stop caring about truth so long as the other side is triggered.

Then we become the bad guys. And that’s a problem.

Read more at National Review





  1. I don’t agree with BS here. The deliciously refreshing thing about Trump is A ~ His refusal to play “Identity Politics” or be defined by it. And B ~ His “Independent” courage to expose the media as the enemy and whores they are. Gen’l Patton cussed a lot and slapped a soldier. But who would any of us have rather had leading the charge against Hitler?

    1. Hitler, The greatest story never told. I read Patton said we killed the wrong enemy. just like in America today propoganda in Germany was to get the world to hate whites, who in Germany had been forced in extreme poverty discriminsted against boycotted. When they gathered as us today to vote for a man to correct this all hell broke loose. Today we find we were told the war was over 1945 but whites christians called nazis in cold blood were killed by allies until 1950. russians genicided as well. babylon has always been at war with europeans. There is only one group of people who dare call Americans nazis based on white race. their whine and cries are deception a cover to hide their true agenda.

  2. “But not anymore. The Left’s identity politics is focused on racial, ethnic, and sexual identity — aspects of identity that place you somewhere in the hierarchy of intersectionality. The Right’s identity politics comes with a label: enemy of the Left. So long as you’re wearing that button, you’re presumptively on our side and you’re nearly bulletproof. ”

    This article pretty much lays out why the framers went with a Constitutional Republic for our type of government. What do I mean?

    People change with time, with ideas, etc. Political parties change also, mostly in that eternal search for more power. But with a document, with a contract that creates a type of government; where it lays out and assigns between different governments – local within each state, state, and federal – further breaking those up into the different branches/offices within a branch – duties that pretty much are the same throughout the decades stops the ‘change’ factor.

    Here in America we should always wake up and know that those that serve within the House and the Senate write Laws – no one else in any other branch, in any other position. That the person who serves as the US President enforces the Laws written if he deems they are in Pursuance thereof the US Constitution because IT is the supreme Law.

    Thomas Jefferson said: “Our peculiar security is in the possession of a written Constitution.”

    They even tell us how to view the US Constitution in a world of change.

    James Madison said: “Do not separate text from historical background. If you do, you will have perverted and subverted the Constitution, which can only end in a distorted, bastardized form of illegitimate government”.

    “The constitution of a state is stable and permanent, not to be worked upon the temper of the times, not to rise and fall with the tide of events. Notwithstanding the competition of opposing interests, and the violence of contending parties, it remains firm and immoveable, as a mountain amidst the strife and storms, or a rock in the ocean amidst the raging of the waves.” Vanhorne v. Dorrance, supra.

    “A constitution is designated as a supreme enactment, a fundamental act of legislation by the people of the state. A constitution is legislation direct from the people acting in their sovereign capacity, while a statute is legislation from their representatives, subject to limitations prescribed by the superior authority.” Ellingham v. Dye, 231 U. S. 250.

    “The basic purpose of a written constitution has a two-fold aspect, first securing [not granting] to the people of certain unchangeable rights and remedies, and second, the curtailment of unrestricted governmental activity within certain defined spheres.” Du Pont v. Du Pont, 85 A 724.

    We are actually not suppose to have political parties, what they called factions, because they are the first step in divide and conquer the people. The Declaration of Independence and the US Constitution, each state’s Constitution are our guides, our government. Their written words are lawful documents, they set up our nation, they set up the rules it is to run by.

    George Washington: “However [political parties] may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.”

    None of us should be looking at any party for directions, our guide, our government, is that to which our Oath is to, the US Constitution. It is never a person we should follow, whatever the party, whatever the position, because people change.

    Daniel Webster: “We may be tossed upon an ocean where we can see no land – nor, perhaps, the sun or stars. But there is a chart and a compass for us to study, to consult, and to obey. That chart is the Constitution.”

    Because the Constitution of our nation are in writing one can refer to it and always know what to do, what is lawful. Everyone can refer to it, that way all have the same knowledge, be on the same page of information through the decades – this is the way the US government is to be run, PERIOD. It is in writing how it is to be done. It is the contract that those that serve within it are Oath bound to support and follow whatever position they occupy – “low” or “high”. All are equal in that respect. All, except for US Presidents who are held to a higher standard, are required to do certain things first before following orders or doing the duties of the position they occupy; they are to Support and Defend the US Constitution (Those that serve as our Presidents are required to Preserve, Protect, and Defend it).

    The duty we have as Americans, particularly Oath bound Americans, is to support and defend that Document from ALL enemies, domestic and foreign, We must recognize the attacks on it when they happen and that can only be done by knowing it. We can then understand what our Lawful actions must be in its defense from those working to destroy it be they domestic or foreign enemies.

    James Madison: “The preservation of a free Government requires not merely, that the metes and bounds which separate each department of power be invariably maintained; but more especially that neither of them be suffered to overleap the great Barrier which defends the rights of the people. The Rulers who are guilty of such an encroachment, exceed the commission from which they derive their authority, and are Tyrants. The People who submit to it are governed by laws made neither by themselves nor by an authority derived from them, and are slaves.

    We hold this prudent jealousy to be the first duty of Citizens, and one of the noblest characteristics of the late Revolution. The free men of America did not wait till usurped power had strengthened itself by exercise, and entangled the question in precedents. They saw all the consequences in the principle, and they avoided the consequences by denying the principle. We revere this lesson too much soon to forget it.” (Memorial and Remonstrance against Religious Assessments (1785))

    Gov. Samuel Johnston: “When Congress makes a law in virtue of their constitutional authority, it will be an actual law. I do not know a more expressive or a better way of representing the idea by words. Every law consistent with the Constitution will have been made in pursuance of the powers granted by it. Every usurpation or law repugnant to it cannot have been made in pursuance of its powers. The latter will be nugatory and void. I am at a loss to know what he means by saying the laws of the Union will be unalterable. Are laws as immutable as constitutions? Can any thing be more absurd than assimilating the one to the other? The idea is not warranted by the Constitution, nor consistent with reason.” (North Carolina Ratifying Convention of the U.S. Constitution (1788))

    One does not have to be confused here in the USA concerning what is lawful or not. If it is in Pursuance thereof the US Constitution it is Lawful. If it is not, then it is not Lawful and must be stopped. It really is that simple in thought, though action taken must also be Lawful in the replacement of those who usurp our nation. Again, the US Constitution tells us of what tools we must use – Grand Jury Investigations that WE call and use, Grand Juries that we call and use, the Militias of the several states, clean elections – and when there are dishonest elections and those serving within our governments have proven it is beyond their capabilities to clean them up, it falls to us to do so. All of this is in writing, it does NOT change; not for us, not for those who serve – only the tools used changes, not the duties.

    What is being spoken of in the article is factions. We do not follow or let factions lead us astray, we follow and support and Defend the US Constitution because IT IS our government and the people who serve within it are NOT, nor are the parties that divide us. We can ALWAYS know what is right and correct for our nation because it is in writing, and all that serve within our governments are bound to it. There should be no confusion in that area of our lives ever.

  3. WRONG, the left has been using Alinsky tactics on the conservatives for decades and are winning. They lie constantly and justify it through their reasoning of ends justify the means. You cannot tie one hand behind your back and expect to come out the victor. This article is rubbish.

    You must fight fire with fire and a fair fight is the one you will lose.

  4. What I got from Ben Shapiro’s article is a warning not to rely on the shortcut,”The enemy of my enemy is my friend”. It’s simply not enough information to make an educated decision.

    Cal says it better in his last paragraph above: “What is being spoken of in the article is factions. We do not follow or let factions lead us astray, we follow and support and Defend the US Constitution because IT IS our government and the people who serve within it are NOT, nor are the parties that divide us. We can ALWAYS know what is right and correct for our nation because it is in writing, and all that serve within our governments are bound to it. There should be no confusion in that area of our lives ever.”

  5. Agree with Nancy and Cal here. I have condensed it down to “Monkey See; Monkey Do.” The spooky aspect is, willingness to follow a single, centralized narrative for which the origin is unknown. Have seen it happen in real time. Here’s an interesting example.

    About 6 years ago, I was in an Environmental Assessment class. Because I was 3 years in on my degree, I became the class outcast (am putting that nicely). One day someone mentioned the Columbia/Snake river temperature considerations for an assessment they were looking over. I piped up and said, “the main thing that holds the temperatures up is the slow flow of water, that gets exposed to sunlight (energy) for a longer period of time.” The good thing is that the ground around the water is a consistent 58 degrees, about 5 feet down, thus holding a certain stability.”

    My Professor said, “that’s not the problem, it’s the lack of tree around the feeder streams and main stems of the rivers.” I wasn’t in the mood that day but, the Columbia and the Snake rivers are about 300 yards wide at the narrowest points after the Grande Ronde (200+miles up Snake), and the ferry crossing well above Grand Coulee on the Columbia (maybe 5 or 6 hundred miles up?). At this time there was a high push for Wolf Management in WA State. They decided that the wolves are good for the environment because they displace the elk from the streams to allow the trees to shade the water. This in no joke, when WDFW applied for ESA Sec. 6 money, they included the Brown Trout as a beneficiary.

    As luck would have it, I did my paper on the “Wolf Management Plan” and got a story today about the Columbia/Snake Rivers warmth. My wolf paper started out about the myths on both sides of the wolf and ended with, “For now the majority wins” due to our BS referenda voting system here. Here’s two links;

    And if you’re interested here’s the link to historical Dam information;

  6. Most of us who voted for him know Trump is NOT a conservative or a constitutionalist . BUT he is better than HILLARY. and some of his cabinet choices are good ,while some are ‘swampy’. IF he does not shake it up and tear it down…then we as a nation are headed to war…a ‘civil’ one at that..because some of us will never accept another liberal progressive marxist as president…never…and if one is placed there to again try to enslave us ….it will be …on…..imho….Semper Fi

    1. True, but it is our duty, not just our expectations, to hold President Trump to that contract and Oath. WE cannot ignore that he is required to keep that Oath and that contract. We must also start – for those who have not been – reminding those who serve within the other branches that they too are Oath bound and under the US Constitution contract.

      We must require of him to enforce the Laws of our nation and that includes the charging and prosecuting of Hillary Clinton, Obama, there administration, and those in the Military of high rank – because they have been working against our nation and legitimate government that requires there not be a standing military, but instead a Militia trained as Congress requires our military to be trained who will be first into any defense needed for our nation, while a military – if and when needed – can be taken from the already trained Militia.

      When we require a public person to uphold our legitimate government, we must support that person as needed, and NOT allow what happened to Kennedy, or if it does, not stop until those who really committed the deed are arrested, charged and prosecuted. People were too naive now to realize that when he was calling for a Militia, he was letting us know he needed our assistance. Now we must assume that those who are in the WH, elsewhere, that mean President Trump harm in whatever way it will take for our nation to be put back on the unlawful course they had us on. We cannot expect him to control domestic enemies and traitors when they are housed with him without assistance.

      I am not sure how to offer that assistance to him, but it is important for him to understand that he is backed for as long as he keeps the Oath by real Americans. And that this time we are not tolerating more criminals in OUR WH/government. Something else, run for office in your state, any and every, hate it or not, because your country needs you there.

  7. I agree with the commentators and not Ben Shapiro. I have noticed many of the conservative pundits are trying to frame our current situation as a good vs evil type of argument. They admonish us that we cannot use the tactics being used against us because we are better than that. They admonish us, you must uphold our ideals, morals and values. As one commentator above suggested above, we are fighting with both hands tied behind our back.

    Each time I hear this argument I think back to the original Star Trek series and the episode “The Savage Curtain.” Kirk, Spock, Abraham Lincoln and Vulcan legend Surak are pitted in battle against notorious villains from history for the purpose of helping a conscious rock creature’s understanding of a concept he does not understand, “good vs. evil”. I know I am giving away my age but the lesson has stayed with me for many years. It was eloquently stated by Kirk when the rock creature asked what the difference was. Kirk stated in not so many words it was what he was fighting for, not the way he fought that mattered.

    I truly believe if we do not start to think on those terms (what are we fighting for) we will loose with our high minded ideals. I have come to believe that the good guy finishes last regardless of how Hollywood portrays us. Yes, I consider myself a good guy and have learned from my experience. I do not intend to loose. Trump is playing the same way when he unapologetically uses the #winning. If you are not willing to use every resource at your disposal to protect your family, what good are you?

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