It should come as no surprise to anyone that in the United States of America, a country awash in guns and intolerance, acts of domestic terrorism are becoming more and more common. Some news organizations seem reluctant to identify terrorist acts for what they are - particularly if the terrorist is not of Middle Eastern persuasion - but anytime a bomb goes off or a shooting rampage occurs over something that has its roots in politics or policies deemed unfair by a significant portion of the population, an act of terrorism is underway.
One way to gauge the honesty of our political class is to observe and note their reactions to acts of domestic terrorism. Do they label it for what it is, or do they try to look the other way and ignore it?
This week's shooting at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado serves as a way to begin separating forthright politicians from those who are less so. It wasn't necessarily surprising that all three Democratic presidential candidates condemned the actions of shooter and killer, Robert Dear. Almost the entire slate of Republican contenders kept quiet on the issue - and that wasn't surprising either. That must have been exceedingly difficult for some of the GOP candidates considering that one of the dead was a police officer and part time Christian minister, but, nevertheless they stayed quiet - not wanting to upset their "Christian" base who abhor Planned Parenthood.
The statements from both sides were highly predictable with one glaring exception.
Former Baptist minister and Fox News personality, Mike Huckabee, a man who sees himself as God's horse in the presidential race, stepped back, looked at what actually happened, and called a spade a spade. It was, he said, an act of "domestic terrorism." While speaking of the shooter, the Huckster lamented on CNN:
"But regardless of why he did it, what he did is domestic terrorism, and what he is did is absolutely abominable, especially to those of us in the pro-life movement, because there's nothing about any of us that would condone or in any way look the other way at something like this."
The ground between the pro-life and pro-choice movements has always been a bit of a swamp, with many in the pro-life movement seeming to favor capital punishment and policies leading to war, while many in the pro-choice movement oppose legal practices that terminate the lives of adults - and both sides quick to label the other as hypocrites.
Huckabee managed to maintain his pro-life principals while condemning the shooter in accurate terms. The shooter, Mr. Dear, made a statement to arresting officers that indicated a sympathy with the pro-life movement, but his actions were not theirs. Mr. Dear's actions were those of a terrorist - and it was very good of Mike Huckabee to admit that.