A common complaint I hear Democrats tell one another is that “Republicans will do anything to win”

This is generally spoken as a precursor to the question “Why don’t we?”

(Ironically of course Republicans level this exact same query to one another when we’re caught up in an internecine squabble just outside of the primary season of a given election cycle).

All of which leads to thinking of justifications for morally and ethically questionable actions.

 “The other side is a bunch of rat bastards, and therefore it not only is morally acceptable for us to be rat bastards, but we have a moral obligation to be rat bastards — if you aren’t a rat bastard, you aren’t a patriot.”
That is a pretty common line of thought, if you want to call it that, on the right right now — and on the left, too. Our lefty friends moan that the Right has all the money on its side and all the corporations (except Google, PepsiCo, AT&T, NBCUniversal, Facebook, UBS, JPMorgan Chase, Deloitte . . .), and the Left is therefore justified in engaging in political violence, slander, lies, acts of suppression from the petty to the grand, blacklisting, etc.
These are obvious post facto rationalizations of bad behavior. It’s the same reason our Democratic friends have insisted that every Republican president of the modern era was the moral equivalent of Adolf Hitler — they want to behave badly, they do not have sufficient moral cultivation to control themselves, they are looking for a moral permission slip, and there is no ethical get-out-of-jail-free card like the National Socialist German Workers’ Party. You hear precisely the same thing from people who seek to justify terrorism. Jihad apologists will tell you that of course the Palestinians have to employ terrorism, of course they have to send suicide bombers, of course they have to murder women and children in Sbarro — the Israelis are so vicious and nefarious that anything is acceptable in opposing them, but the Arabs cannot beat them on the battlefield, try as they might.

Kevin D. Williamson

All of this is rooted in, stems from, a self-image of one already on the losing end of a holy conflict; if you are on the so-called right side of history yet perpetually ceding ground to the villains then whatever means you use to reach the inevitable victory will certainly be justified by the ends.

If the ends don’t justify the means than what does? If your opposition isn’t absolutely the worst than that implies you went too far; you certainly cannot have that. Yet once convinced that your opponent will do anything to win and that their ends are evil then certainly you are obligated to do (and say) anything to win. After all, they’ll kill Grandma.

Democrats’ accusation that my side is pure evil is obviously nothing more than cheap justification to act badly; they don’t believe that Donald Trump is a fascist, a “neofascist”, a white nationalist, or a dictator in the vein of Hitler. The Democrat Doctrine allows this as a general tactic. Every Republican President or Presidential candidate in my adult lifetime was described as a monster; the only thing that’s changed has been the escalation of bad behavior. Bad behavior has always been on the table.