Nice Liberals

I have a dear friend who, after she finishes sharing an anecdote about someone who is clearly lacking a moral compass, says "But she's so nice..."

My former publisher once wrote a great blog about this phenomenon. It went like this:

"I recently got a peek at "Blue America" It wasn't pretty, but it was instructive." A friend, a thoroughly good-hearted liberal, told me how he had got to know a Palestinian businessman in Dallas over the past few years. The man's warmth and courtesy charmed my friend. Sometime later, the FBI raided the guy's office and arrested him for channeling money to Hamas. My friend was flummoxed. It was as though he were trying to reconcile two mutually contradictory pieces of data: The man is a terrorist, but he is also nice."

I loved this blog and thought of my friend when I read it. I have had numerous conversations, particularly with women, who can't fathom the idea of a nice person being evil or simply misguided. As if mean or evil people are going to show their stripes to others. Indeed, most people can be described as "nice" -- but it doesn't necessarily make them good.

"A conservative, it seems to me, has no trouble accepting that a man can be both nice and evil. But for liberals, being nice and being good are the same thing -- a serious misunderstanding of human nature that, if you think about it, informs their entire political agenda."


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