Donald Trump has been raked over the coals for suggesting that he would bring waterboarding (and a “hell of a lot worse) back if elected president. Trump has been consistent on this point since the beginning of his candidacy, insisting that we cannot defeat ISIS if we fight the war with artificial handcuffs on our military. This mode of thinking, of course, is ghastly to the mainstream press, and Trump has been harshly criticized by Democrats and Republicans alike for his rhetoric.
According to a new Reuters survey, however, the majority of Americans are closer to Trump’s view on the matter than say, President Obama’s. Taken in the wake of the Belgium terrorist attacks, the poll asked respondents if they could justify torture “against suspected terrorists to obtain information about terrorism.” 25% said that such torture was “often” acceptable and another 38% said it was “sometimes” justified. Only 15% of respondents said it was never okay.
“The public right now is coping with a host of negative emotions,” said Elizabeth Zechmeister, a professor who says that those emotions spike after a terrorist attack. “Fear, anger, general anxiety: [Trump] gives a certain credibility to these feelings.”
Zechmeister isn’t wrong; studies have shown that liberals tend to get much more conservative about terrorism in the immediate aftermath of an attack. And of course, the leftist media reports this as a temporary bout of tastelessness. People get scared, they make rash statements about Muslims and immigrants, and then they eventually regain their senses.
But what if it’s the opposite? What if these are brief moments of lucidity on the part of liberals? What if these terrorist attacks are actually bringing these moonbats back to earth? Oh right, my progressive policies are absurd and dangerous! We should figure out what we need to do to keep them tethered to the ground rather than wave away their momentary visit as fear-induced insanity.
International laws governing torture aren’t entirely applicable to the war we’re fighting in 2016. We aren’t up against a state government. We aren’t waging wars between sovereign countries. We are talking about terrorists who think nothing of murdering innocent men, women, and children in the most brutal ways they can dream up. As Trump has often said, ISIS is drowning people in steel cages and we’re not allowed to waterboard.
Yes, the U.S. should strive to uphold a higher standard of morality than ISIS. Obviously. But when it comes to the subject of using enhanced interrogation techniques against terrorists, are Democrats really surprised that the majority of Americans don’t give a damn? Even for a bleeding-heart, sympathy only stretches so far.