“The View” host Joy Behar recently drew a moral equivalence between President Donald Trump, North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un and Russian President Vladimir Putin. She went as far as proclaim the world has to rely on “the sanity of Kim Jong Un and [Vladimir] Putin over the president of the United States.”
When Meghan McCain, the only conservative co-host on the talk show, said it’s dangerous to suggest there’s a moral equivalence between Trump and dictators responsible for genocide, Behar doubled down. “What, you think Kim Jong Un is less moral than Trump?” she asked. “Do you?”
A shocked McCain immediately replied, “Oh, my God. I think Putin’s aiding and abetting Assad right now. Chemical gassing of children — last time I checked, America isn’t doing that to anyone.”
Viewers of “The View” should be glad that McCain is available to bring some reason and logic to Behar’s utterly wrong argument. Most Americans, including many who voted for Trump, acknowledge that Trump is a deeply flawed individual. Yes, he is known for his infidelity, just like Bill Clinton. We all heard his past derogatory comments degrading women. Yes, he sometimes is vain and ruthless. But it is a fallacy to suggest there is no moral difference between Trump’s personal misdeeds and authoritarian dictators who commit major atrocities.
For the sake of the argument, let’s do a side by side comparison of Putin, Kim and Trump.
Putin won his third presidential term virtually unopposed by either jailing or assassinating his critics; by having total control over state media and the election committee, which counts the votes and decides who makes it onto the ballot. Unlike Putin, Trump rose to power by competing fairly and squarely, first against 15 experienced Republican politicians for party nomination and then running against Hillary Clinton, who had raised more campaign funds and was supported by well-oiled political organizations.
From his candidacy until now in his presidency, Trump has faced a largely liberal media who are hostile to him and criticize everything he says and does on a daily basis. None of his critics lost their jobs or lives under Trump’s order. He hasn’t even fired Robert Muller, who is in charge of finding Trump campaign collusion with Russia and who did a Ken Starr by raiding Trump’s personal lawyer’s office looking for evidence of cover up for an extramarital affair.
Putin is also known for either instigating unrests or extending chaos around the world. He annexed Crimea from Ukraine, a sovereign nation. Under his leadership, the Russian government provided missiles to Russia-supported rebels in Ukraine, who used one to shoot down Malaysia Airline flight MH17, killing all 298 people on board.
Russia was supposed to help Syria destroy chemical weapons, yet as Megan McCain points out, it’s Russia’s aid to Assad that not only provides a lifeline to the Assad regime, but also enables the Assad regime to use chemical weapons against its own people, including children. It’s not an exaggeration to say that Putin has blood on his hands. Unlike most European Union leaders, Trump is openly calling out both Russia and Assad for their despicable act and is actively planning on doing something to prevent it from happening again.
What about Kim Jong Un? Is he more moral or does he have more sanity than Trump, in Behar’s words? We can find the answer in a 374-page report released by the UN in 2015, detailing the “unspeakable” scale of human suffering inside North Korea and the vast state apparatus the regime uses to control its people. Here are a few key findings:
- People were either sent to labor camps to work themselves to death or were executed in school grounds, marketplaces and on river banks for pitiful crimes that include distributing South Korean media and stealing copper. Their bodies were burned and ashes were used as fertilizer.
- Children are forced into weekly “confession and criticism” sessions as part of their indoctrination: Children are taught to draw either pictures of the Dear Leader or of stabbing U.S. and Japanese soldiers.
- Every home is fitted with a speaker through which North Korean propaganda can be blared.
- Violence against women is not limited to the home, and it is common to see women being beaten and sexually assaulted in public.
- The North Korean regime is estimated to have kidnapped 200,000 foreigners since 1950, including women abducted so they could be taken as wives.
Given that Kim Jong Un executed his uncle in cold blood and assassinated his own half brother abroad, no one should be surprised by the suffering he put his people through. Just like Putin, Kim Jong Un has blood on his hands too. A good question for Joy Behar, then, is which of Kim Jong Un’s deeds prove he’s morally superior to Trump?
The truth is Behar’s comments betrayed her own historical ignorance and delusion. She is fortunate to live in a free country where she can freely express her thoughts without fear. Had she lived in Russia or North Korea and made similar comments about either Putin or Kim Jong-un, she probably would have been pulled off air immediately and would have to spend the rest of her life languishing in a jail or labor camp.
Unfortunately, Behar is not the first liberal, and she won’t be the last liberal, who fails to see the moral difference between a ruthless dictator and a fellow American whose personal deeds, ideology or policies they disagree with, or make a moral equivalency between a totalitarian regime and a free country. Thus, liberals tell us, Trump is no better than Kim Jong Un; people who support the 2nd Amendment are not different from those who committed mass murders; Israel, the only democracy in the Mideast, is no better than the terrorist group Hamas.
By making such morally relativist statements, liberals in the U.S. are doing four things.
- They demonstrate their own ignorance and give people reason not to take them seriously.
- They show disrespect to fellow Americans who have a different political ideology.
- They insult millions of people like me who either suffered through or have family members who suffered through true atrocities.
- They contribute to the rise of Trump.
Liberals don’t want to admit this: as much as they hate Trump and Trump supporters, the liberals have themselves to blame for Trump’s rise to power. Republicans used to choose good and decent people to represent them, like Bush 41 and Bush 43, Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan. These are traditional gentlemen, who are faithful to their wives, who are deeply religious, who have long public service experience, who speak gently and kindly, who are thoughtful, and who are ready to compromise across the aisle for the good of the country. Liberals vilified everyone of them: Bush 43 was called a war monger; Mitt Romney was cast as a coldhearted 1 percenter who cares more about making money than ordinary people’s lives; Paul Ryan was depicted as the guy who pushed a grandma off the cliff through welfare reform.
After destroying the reputations of these decent people, now liberals find themselves face to face with Trump, someone who will go lower if you go low and who will punch you back three times harder if you punch him. As the saying goes,” be careful what you wish for, you just might get it.” In Trump, liberals like Behar get exactly what they deserve.