ByEvan MackeyCable television is replete with nature-themed shows these days. Some of the most popular are those that feature quirky blokes who get dangerously close to deadly animals, usually because they claim to have an understanding of the beasts. The results are predictably dangerous, and sometimes deadly. There is an inherent savagery found in the animal kingdom that we ignore at our own peril. We in the civilized world have become so removed from the realm of the wild that we seem to have lost touch with our instincts when it comes to our perception of other creatures that inhabit the earth.
This skewed perception often produces horrific results. There is no shortage of video footage of hapless or naïve people who sometimes unwittingly provoke potentially deadly encounters, or happen to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Polar bears are portrayed as our soft and cuddly friends, but how many people fully understand that a polar bear would ravage and consume your flesh in an instant if it had the chance? The same goes for their black and brown cousins. And how many know that those cute, chubby hippos are just as deadly as crocodiles?
Similarly, although they may seem like overgrown pets, wild animals raised in captivity are capable of inflicting serious harm. Chimpanzees have always been depicted as whimsical little guys who are so good at "aping" human behavior, but we often tend to forget that they are wild animals capable of unbelievable viciousness. Even the oh-so-adorable panda bear has been known to get in on the act.
More than any other creature, sharks seem to embody animalistic savagery in its purest form. They provoke some deep, primal instinct of fear within us, and why shouldn't they? These are extremely powerful and aggressive apex predators that have jaws lined with rows and rows of razor-sharp teeth. Yet there is a popular sentiment among shark experts that our fear is misguided and naïve, and that sharks are actually "harmless" to humans. Apparently, these docile creatures are simply misunderstood. It is merely human ignorance that has caused them to be depicted as mindless eating machines.
To illustrate that humans have no need to fear sharks, one of the aforementioned shark experts stood hip-deep in a lagoon infested with bull sharks. His intention was to disprove the supposed myth that these fish are deadly man-eaters. This "expert" went on to assert that once the circling sharks sensed that he posed no threat, they would simply leave him alone. Long story short: he is very lucky to be alive today, although he is missing a very large chunk of his left leg. In subsequent interviews, he has stated that he still can't believe that a shark would intentionally harm someone who has such understanding and empathy for it. He claims that it must have been his fault. Perhaps he did something to offend the shark.
Please forgive the lengthy set-up to an eventual point, but does all this sound vaguely familiar? Is it not reminiscent of the attitude of progressives toward violent Muslims whose soul and explicit mission is our violent destruction? There is no shortage of evidence of their desire to do us harm, in the most violent way possible. No one is safe from their evil goal -- not women, or children, or the elderly, or the infirm. Those who are deemed "infidels" are targeted for torture and grisly death. They even murder their own family members in the name of "honor." And yet, those on the political left seem to believe that these vile marauders just need our empathy and compassion. Even otherwise shrewd and intelligent individuals place themselves into situations where they fall victim to such savagery. We have gone to ridiculous extremes to appease, even to the point where this administration has expunged the word "Islam" from national security documents. Other nations have gone even farther to placate violent radicals. In other words, free people are being fed to the sharks by weak-kneed progressives, whose first instinct is to mollify the enemies of freedom.
Of course, the comparison between shark and jihadist is far from perfect. It would be ridiculous to imply that a shark attack is fueled by personal hatred of its victim. To assume such a thing would be as naïve as assuming that it also has the capacity for benevolence in its golfball-sized brain. Also, to be fair to the sharks, Islam has killed far more human beings.
The point is that it is in a shark's nature to kill and eat prey that ventures into its domain. It's what it does. It's all it knows. Similarly, the very nature of violent Islamic jihad is death and destruction. To assume otherwise is extremely naïve and potentially deadly. Still, the political left favors a policy of détente with murderous thugs, as if mollification will cause them to renounce jihad. The logic goes that if we only avoid any direct confrontation with the enemy, he'll forget his evil ways and learn to love us. It is identical to the left's traditional take on any other violent offender roaming the streets of this nation. That the criminals despise and attack us must be our fault, not theirs. The left stubbornly adheres to this philosophy even after the enemy has repeatedly torn the proverbial flesh from our limbs. Obama's policies have placed us once again hip-deep in shark-infested waters, giving the jihadists more opportunities to sink their teeth into us again.
Political correctness has turned common sense on its head and created a hospitable environment for all those who are intent to commit unspeakable acts of violence. It has bred such a fear of being labeled "judgmental" into so many of our citizens that there is now an overwhelming tendency to ignore our intuitive reflex for avoiding dangerous people or situations. According to P.C. dogma, it is a mortal sin to be afraid of someone who looks threatening, even though he may very well be threatening. In a gesture of true understanding, you must override every reasonable fear instinct and reach out to this poor "misunderstood" individual or group. You may be putting yourself and your family in jeopardy, but that is the price one must pay in order to foster tolerance. We have been so conditioned to believe that one should not "judge a book by its cover" that we have become subject to a broad societal tendency to suppress blatant warning signs. We have even gotten to the point where we are told that to fear dangerous animal predators is a form of bigotry.
Unlike other animals, we humans have the gift of reason, which affords us the ability distinguish between right and wrong, good and evil. We do not operate purely on instinct, nor should we. But neither should we completely eschew our instinctive capacities in an ill-conceived attempt to accomplish some foolishly idealistic goal of political correctness. Like it or not, there are still human beings who are driven by primal, dark urges. If given the chance, they will act on these urges. And like other predators in the animal kingdom, they are drawn to the weak, the gullible, and the unsuspecting.
(See also: "Why Muslims Must Hate Jews")