We live in an age of cognitive dissonance, of inverted values and of true Orwellian doublethink. The Left believes in, amongst other things, gay rights, women's rights and rehabilitation for thieves while also offering moral support to radical Islam, which hangs gays, stones errant women to death and chops the hands off thieves. On the Right, we stand in bewilderment wondering why nobody has learned the lessons of the evil of socialism throughout the last century or understands the threat of totalitarianism in this one.
Given all of this topsy turvey-ness it seems to me that we need some sort of test, a guide, in order to establish whether your moral compass is tuned correctly. Therefore, I have prepared the following 10 signs that you're a Moral Idiot and hope that it helps guide you towards good, solid values in life.
UPDATE - The original list called for ideas for the #10 sign. I've updated the list to include it.
1. You can't tell the difference between Israel and her enemies*. This really is the ultimate test. If you are so dozy, so hopelessly indoctrinated with University-educated ignorance that you equate a democratic (and extremely left wing!) Israel, a country that has had to defend itself from attack for all of its existence, in which a million Arabs live peacefully alongside Jews, in which Arabs have the highest standard of living (by miles) of any country in the Middle East, in which Arabs serve on the judiciary, in which Arabs stand for, and are voted into, the Knesset (their parliament) with the suicide bombing, fanatical, genocidal, death cults known as Hamas, Hezbollah or Fatah then you are definitely a Moral Idiot and there's no hope for you. Click here to go to a website of like minded and racist moral idiots.
2. You believe that the United States is the greatest threat to world peace. This sign is similar to the first sign about Israel. In order to hold this view you must forget that America fought a civil war to eradicate slavery, costing a huge number of lives, proving the moral strength that underpins its values even to this day. You must forget about America's role in saving the Allies in WWII, rebuilding the Japanese and European economies afterwards and defeating socialism during the Cold War (probably something you're still not too thrilled about anyway) and then going home afterwards when it could have annexed half of Europe. You must forget about the fact that the US is the largest provider of humanitarian aid on the planet, exceeding all other nations combined and is the first and only non-Imperial superpower in history (even France still has greater imperial influence than America). You must forget that its free market approach and entrepreneurship have driven the economies of the world forward in a way unlike the collective efforts of all nations through history. China is on the rise because of it, as is India and many others. The result? Vastly increased living standards and hugely longer life expectancy. How appalling! You must forget about the positive outcome of the civil rights movement that, while divisive and momentarily destructive, has led to equality of opportunity for all citizens of the United States. You must forget about the threat of the deranged regime of North Korea or the completely round the bend Islamic Revolution in Iran building nuclear weapons and you must laugh off their threats to annihilate their neighbours and Israel because 'they're not really serious'. You must forget about Al Qaeda's declaration of war in 1996 on the US (before 9/11, imagine that!), as well as the Lebanon peacekeepers bombing, the attack on the USS Cole, the attacks on the embassies in Africa that left hundreds dead and the first World Trade Centre attack - and you must recast all of those events into a "it's all due to US policies in the Middle East" and "we've brought it all onto ourselves" framework. You must magnify the smallest US mistake into the greatest sin, believe that Vietnam was the worst war ever, that Iraq is just a repeat of it and that we were all better off with the world's worst living mass murderer, Saddam Hussein, who had killed hundreds of thousands of his own citizens and was an existential threat to the world, still in power. In short you must believe that there is nothing exceptional about the United States at all and that its only intention is to rule the planet in spite of the fact that there is nothing in the evidence cupboard to support the argument. If you believe that the United States is the greatest threat to world peace then you're a Moral Idiot.
3. You believe that all cultures are equally valid. This particular piece of hare-brained logic has its roots in secular multiculturalism. The loss of belief in God, particularly in oh so enlightened Western Europe, has resulted in a loss of societal values and along with that has gone the ability to differentiate good from evil and right from wrong. Cultural relativism dictates that equality is the order of the day and that all cultures are equally good. What a complete load of bollocks. If I go to Saudi Arabia I will behave exactly in accordance with their culture and customs, understanding all the while that they have certain harsh punishments for crimes that if they were committed here would result in a slap on the wrist compared to a complete loss of the wrist over there. If a Saudi comes here and enslaves his house keeper, beating her along the way such as is reported from time to time then he should expect to be given time in jail for something that isn't even considered a crime over there. But, oh no, cry the cultural relativists. We can't offend people with cartoons! We must respect their culture and bend over backwards to accommodate their disgusting values even if it means allowing Muslim women to wear the profoundly demeaning mask of oppression, the burqa, when in public here, giving moral support to the obnoxious and evil Sheik 'cat meat' Al Hilaly or agreeing to replace our own symbols for fear of offending a violent and backward religion. It demeans us and cheapens our culture. Congratulations, if you believe that all cultures are equally valid then you're a Moral Idiot.
4. You believe that Iraq 2.0 is all about oil. "No blood for oil!" wailed the crowds of bra-less grandmothers and grey haired, pony tailed protesters as the US prepared itself to invade Iraq in 2003. The only reason that the US could have to go into Iraq was oil. Nothing else. It's all about the oil. That it was the home to a terrorist supporting, brutal dictator with masses of the blood of his citizens on his hands after the repeated use of WMD against the Kurds, who was defying UN resolutions and whose daily activity included shooting at US aircraft patrolling the no fly zone protecting the Kurds is completely lost on people (by the way - if you believe the war was illegal then go and read the text of UN resolution 1441, which clearly states the consequences of non-compliance). Here's a fact that people don't know - 80% of the United States oil supply comes from itself, Canada and Mexico. Hmmmm. Bet you didn't know that, did you? Now, here's a really big question. I want you to concentrate really hard. Put on your tin foil hat if you think it'll help. If the United States wanted Iraq's oil then...why didn't it just buy it? Would have been much cheaper. Because they're warmongers and wanted it for free, you cry, thus demonstrating the terrific double standard you have that also supports socialist confiscation of western companies' assets such as happened in Chile and Cuba, and is going on in Venezuela today particularly with foreign owned oil companies. If the US wanted the oil then they would have simply taken over the refineries and pipelines, rolled up the oil tankers and pumped away. Would have been much easier. Did that happen? No. If you believe that Iraq 2.0 is all about oil then you're a Moral Idiot.
5. You believe that war is not the answer. The irony is that war was the answer when it was needed to protect your ongoing right to say that war is not the answer. It was the answer to defend Europe from Germany in both WWI and WWII. It was the answer when socialism threatened South Vietnam (and would have been the ongoing answer if Congress hadn't cut off funds to the South Vietnamese Government). It was the answer in Korea. It was the answer in the First Gulf War. It was the answer in Kosovo. It was the answer in Panama. It was the answer in Grenada. It seemed to be a pretty good answer to the question of freeing the slaves in the South even if there were more Americans killed than in WWII. And I think you'll find that Israel thinks it's been a pretty good answer to 60 years of Arab aggression. Oooooooh, sorry. I completely missed your point. It's only not the answer when the major nations like the United States, Australia or the UK go to war. Of course, how silly of me. When the Soviets invaded Afghanistan you didn't protest against that because it was obviously OK for them to cause the death of 1.5 million people. Not a peep when the Rwandans started a war that exterminated a million or more Hutus. Must have been the answer to something, surely? Perhaps their library books were overdue. Let me see here. Uh huh, no protests against the Iran-Iraq War with another million dead. No protests about Ethiopia or Mozambique or the 1.5 million killed in the Congolese conflict. Checks the history...nope, no protests against Cambodia and the 1.6 million dead there or the 2 million dead in the Second Sudanese Civil War. If you stay silent on totalitarian and socialist atrocities while advocating that for the good guys 'War is not the answer' then you're a Moral Idiot (and a bloody dangerous one at that).
6. You believe that Fidel Castro has been a positive influence for Cuba and a role model for the world. This really is one of my favourites. Cuba used to have a vibrant, competitive economy and now has a stagnant, pitiful self-enriching dictatorship. But they have free health care for all, you cry, and free education too! Well guess what? So did the Soviet Union and look what a bastion of enlightenment and progress that turned out to be in its hideously murderous and repressive seventy-something year history. And guess what else? Cuba has been just as repressive and backward as it. Read Against All Hope and check out The Real Cuba and if you can look at the reality of the health care, education and living standard and still believe that Fidel Castro has been a positive influence for Cuba and role model for the world then you're a Moral Idiot.
7. You believe that 9/11 was an inside job. Another particular favourite of mine. In order to believe this one you must first believe that America is rotten to its core and that it will do anything in order to promote its interests, including killing 3000 of its own citizens. Popular Mechanics profoundly debunks all of the hilarious and bogus claims about rate of building collapse, use of explosives, explosive pods on the 767s and the collapse of Tower 7. Even more hilarious than the 9/11 conspiracy sites are the ones that debunk the Popular Mechanics debunking. Here's a question. If the administration's goal (which had only been in office for eight months so obviously they were speedy workers) was to give it a cause to invade Afghanistan, and then Iraq, then why did it need four aircraft? Assuming that the conspiracy is true then one plane into the WTC might frighten people but not anger them into action so I can see that a second would be necessary. But a third? And a fourth? And why 'bring down' Tower 7 at all? It's completely unnecessary to the overall plot. The key, for me, was the reaction of George W Bush when told of the attacks. He sits there looking like a stunned mullet without a clue what to do for nearly ten minutes. If it was a set up then he would have been immediately up on his feet, in front of a camera, marshalling the country and showing himself to be a man of action in time of crisis. Conspiracy theories always rely on thousands of people keeping quiet and the hyper-competence of government. In spite of proving itself to be less than competent on a near daily basis on a wide range of issues it's still possible to believe that on this one issue it's hyper-competent. Want more proof? If there was something in it then the traitors at the New York Times would have gone looking, found one of those thousands of people keeping quiet and exposed it to the world like they have with so many other national security secrets. So, despite a plethora of incontrovertible evidence you continue to be driven by ideological hatred and maintain your lunatic position. If you believe that 9/11 was an inside job then you're a Moral Idiot.
8. You believe we should sign the Kyoto Protocol. Hmmm, you say, why is there a moral aspect to this? If you disagree with me then aren't I just an idiot and not a moral idiot? Good question, I'm glad you asked. A fully implemented Kyoto Protocol (the US and Australia sign, China and India etc are exempt) would cost the world $20 trillion and save 0.1C by 2050 and, if you're wondering, there's not much argument on those figures from either side of the political spectrum. The moral aspect comes into play in that it is completely immoral to spend such a massive sum of money on a completely symbolic project when millions of people in the world currently don't have access to clean drinking water, don't get enough to eat, suffer from diseases that were eradicated in the West decades ago (malaria, polio, cholera etc), live in totalitarian African regimes and have an average life expectancy of about 35. When the environmentalist Bjorn Lomberg gathered representatives from countries affected by these issues and created the Copenhagen Consensus Centre they came out with a report ranking the priority that aid money should be spent (in their case they assigned a hypothetical $50 billion). The first of the climate change issues, the Kyoto Protocol, ranked 27th on their list of 40. If you want to hamstring the US economy (the greatest provider of humanitarian aid on the planet) and transfer money to China and Russia through carbon trading schemes (which is their net effect) while we have a here and now crisis in Africa then your values are inverted and you're a Moral Idiot.
9. You believe that socialism is still the answer. The fact is that socialism is still surprisingly popular, especially among the world's academics and others that suck at the public teat. And just as a point of clarification - Marx made no distinction between communism and socialism - which is why I always use the latter, more accurate term (after all, it was the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics). The theory is that 'we just haven't got it right yet' and we still need to do some fine tuning. Well, Stalin fine tuned 20 million of his compatriots into early graves, but even he was left for metaphorical dead by Chairman Mao whose Great Leap Forward, Cultural Revolution and other assorted attempts at fine tuning socialism into something workable required the digging of 40 million graves in order to bury the evidence of failure. Those are extreme cases, you say, clutching feebly to the last straws of logic still left in your argument. Really? How many million did the Vietnamese knock off with their fine tuning? The Cambodians? And what about our current favourite socialists, those crazy North Koreans? The evidence against socialism is overwhelmingly stronger than the evidence in support of Global Warming but our pinko friends still reject the socialist reality while embracing wholeheartedly the results of computer climate models that have never shown to be remotely accurate even once. The European Union is the latest organisation to impose its socialist ideology. Do you know that the EU costs 600 billion Euros a year to operate? All it has done is add in a layer of unelected, totalitarian ideologues and detract spectacularly from economic development. Thus, the socialist EU is being completely outperformed by free market economies such as the US and Australia. But that's OK because they'll just keep fine tuning until they get it just right. How many millions of lives that costs is yet to be tallied. If you believe that socialism is still the answer then you're a Moral Idiot.
10. You support the troops but don't support the war. The people that are most vocal in their opposition to the war point to the goings on at Abu Ghraib, the killing of civilians by the US military and claim that it is all about funding Halliburton and Big Oil not to mention that it's an 'illegal' war. Saying that they support the troops but not the war is a way of protecting themselves from claims of being anti-military. If you believe in the troops then how can you support them if they tortured and killed at Abu Ghraib? If you believe in the troops then how can you support them if they wantonly kill Iraqi civilians? If you believe in the troops then how can you support them if they're really working for Halliburton and Big Oil? If you believe in the troops then how can you support them if the war is illegal in the first place? How can you support those troops that volunteered for service after the war started, after Abu Ghraib and in the 'knowledge' that it is a blood war fought for the profit of a few companies? If you claim to support the troops but don't support the war then you're a Moral Idiot.
* Thanks to Dennis Prager for the idea.