Wikileaks and thinking for yourself

When I saw a prominent conservative make the bold claim that Julian Assange was arrested for “telling the truth,” I was amazed that anyone could say that with a straight face. But this exposes a need to think clearly, and reject partisan loyalty in favor of principle.

A few years ago, conservatives understood Wikileaks was doing bad things because they were exposing sensitive military secrets, putting national security and our military in danger. But because Wikileaks damaged Hillary Clinton in 2016, many conservatives have warmed to the organization. But we should not forget that this is still the same organization that endangered national security in the past and will probably do it again. Plus, they enabled an act of treason by Bradley Manning.

This “all or nothing” mentality is dangerous. We can think and reason without being hyperpartisan. We should not see every single issue, person, or organization as totally good or totally bad depending on what is politically beneficial at the moment. Two things can be true at the same time: Exposing the corruption in the Democratic National Committee and the Hillary Clinton campaign was a good thing, and that threatening our national security is very bad.

One can also think that revealing the corruption of the Clinton campaign was good while not approving of the way the information was obtained or the fact that sensitive information was also leaked. It does not invalidate support of some of the things Wikileaks does while opposing other things that Wikileaks does.

How is this so difficult to understand? Human beings are complex, capable of good and evil. In almost all cases, a single person can do both good and evil things. An organization can do evil, and also do good, because that organization is made up of complex and flawed human beings. Here is an idea: Think for yourself. If someone does good, support him for it. If someone does bad, then oppose it. Be an adult who is capable of thinking clearly, with absolute loyalty to no one. Both the conservative movement and the country as a whole desperately needs more people who can do that.