Cat Scratch Evil

Ted Nugent cracks me up.  In a good way.  As some of you may know, Ted is a rarity–a conservative rock and roller.  I do not cotton to some of views, finding them part and parcel of a particularly nasty and spiteful streak of conservatism.  Once in a while, though, the patron saint of crotch rock gets it right.

Evil is an uncomfortable subject to the 21st century mind.  In an age of slippery slopes and watery concepts, it has become unpopular to call evil, well, evil.  Instead, we use the word “evil” to describe things like the Fox News network.  No, Fox News is not evil.  Neither is the New York Times editorial page.  (Give me a second here–I am double-checking Paul Krugman.  OK, he comes back just short of evil.)

Evil is something so dark and so destructive that everyday people find it hard to imagine.  Someone who would bind and torture another for the sake of his/her own pleasure, for example.  Most of us have our “mean” moments, gaining some small ignoble pleasure from insulting others (see Paul Krugman reference above).  A few of us may get some perverse joy from the thought of punching someone else out.  But it is only a tiny number, an exclusive group, who relish the idea of inflicting unspeakable pain or death on a fellow human.  Explaining them is useless.  One who would act in such a way is to be ended on the spot if necessary, not explained.

This is the heart of the issue Nugent raises.  In a world inhabited by enough evil people to make a difference, it pays to be ready. It is only in the recent history of humanity that we have been able to walk around relatively unaware and unconcerned with our physical safety.  Like the distracted grazer devoured by a hungry predator, though, we are still subject to fatal surprises.

Fortunately, our friend Ted does not descend to the level of the “carry a gun” bromide.  He, like me, supports gun rights.  At least in this article, however, he does not offer guns as the simple answer to a disturbing possibility.  Awareness and a warrior mentality are the key.  Learn to live happy, relaxed, and fun-loving while remembering what lurks in the bush.  Better to see and hear the hungry lion well before you need a gun.

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About Terry Noel

I am an Associate Professor of Management and Quantitative Methods at Illinois State University. My specialty is entrepreneurship.
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