I like to say that I became a conservative after a very left wing youth shortly after I got mugged. And not by reality, Mr. Kristol, but by a flesh and blood mugger.
Selin Goren, spokesman for a left wing organization, who was ambushed and forced to perform oral sex in the city of Mannheim, had a significantly more terrible experience and yet did a better job of keeping the faith than I did. Here is what happened (via Breitbart and Powerline):
Although she went straight to the police after the attack, she did not report the ethnicity of the men, nor that they were speaking Arabic or Farsi.
Instead, she said the men spoke German and robbed her.
However, after her initial interview she went back to the police 12 hours later and told the truth.
She told the latest edition of Germany’s Spiegel magazine that, after the reaction to the Cologne sex attacks, she did not want to create “more hatred against migrants in Germany”.
She also wrote an open letter to a fictional migrant on Facebook, saying: “I am really sorry that your sexist and line-crossing treatment of me could help fuel aggressive racism.”
It is easy to ridicule this attitude, but it is astonishingly prevalent in Western Europe. In recent weeks, numerous stories have leaked out about “migrants” molesting girls in swimming pools, groping young women at outdoor rock concerts, and so on. For the most part, these incidents are covered up by the authorities, and where the outrages are committed by Muslim immigrants, that fact is blurred, at least until public outrage kicks in. This is a phenomenon that goes way beyond Stockholm Syndrome. It seems more like a death wish on the part of many in Western Europe.
If you'll indulge me once more: During my lefty period, I had a friend who was an indigent defender in New Orleans. I am all in favor of indigent defenders, by the way, because everybody deserves a defense in court.
Anyway, my friend got some rum (and very clearly guilty) characters off. But one of her clients was not grateful for her services. He attacked her in a corridor of Tulane and Broad, the court building, and pummelled her to within an inch of her life.
She was more in the Selin Goren camp than mine, but what really bugged me was that the vicious assault didn't make her stop and at the very least wonder whether any of the clients she sent back into circulation might harm innocent people who didn't share her sympathies.
Like Ms. Goren, she was not mugged by reality.