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Misguided and Destructive, Yes; Evil, No.

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Recently on my radio show, former Senator Byron Dorgan of North Dakota slammed colleagues of both parties for their inability to work together to solve the nation’s worst problems.  An angry caller disagreed, telling Senator Dorgan that compromise in today’s climate was immoral since conservatives know “you can’t compromise with evil.”

This response raises crucial questions: is it right or useful to classify Democrats like Dorgan as “evil”? Al Qaeda is evil, Soviet communism was evil. And American liberalism may be destructive and misguided – as I believe it is –but calling it evil is a bad mistake. That attitude insures both continued gridlock and more conservative defeats.

It’s impossible to persuade patriotic Democrats or independents to join our cause if we label politicians they’ve supported in the past – or at least considered supporting – as evil.

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