Walter Palmer, DDS: The Left's Perfect Villain

No, you didn’t know Cecil the Lion prior to this week, and neither did most of the emotional gaggle seemingly finding themselves in the throes of depression on social media or nearly weeping on national television.

From what I gather, Cecil the Lion was a big deal in lion-watching circles, even before it died at the hands of a prosperous white dentist named Walter Palmer.  But I seriously doubt that all your friends who are outraged about its death are involved in those circles. 

Full disclosure, I don’t get big game hunting, and don’t see the sport in it at all.  But then again, that goes equally for disc-golf, but I understand that some people just genuinely enjoy it and have built a culture around it.  So the fact that I don’t get it shouldn’t mean that others shouldn’t enjoy it, if that’s their bag.

What I do understand is that some people really take lion conservation seriously.  Restaurants that serve exotic meats can attest to that.  Years ago, Americans became enraged that restaurants had the audacity to serve lion meat – burgers in Arizona, tacos in Florida, what have you – and the result was that the restaurateurs faced very real, severe threats of violence for serving the meat. 

For whatever reason, people really love lions.  I blame Disney.

What has been truly disturbing about this issue, a point which I’m grateful is really becoming a focus of this discussion, is how enraged the American people became at the pictures of a dead lion that no one knew anything about because one could not have avoided seeing the pictures in news stories; but there seems to be far less broad concern about videos proving that Planned Parenthood kills unborn babies, harvests their organs, and sells them for profit unbeknownst to the mothers who are offering up the coveted baby “tissue” that they’d been gestating.

Honestly, seeing Ricky Gervais’ tweet, complete with a lion’s mugshot, saying “I’m struggling to imagine anything more beautiful than this,” should be an awfully disgusting reminder of a depraved moral compass in our culture. 

Sorry, but I personally don’t think a lion’s mug is the most beautiful thing ever.  It’s a lion.  Fascinating creature?  Sure.  Worthy of conservation efforts to protect from poaching and excess culling?  Absolutely.  But the beauty and value of its life pales in comparison to the life gestating in a mother’s womb, with a heart feverishly pumping blood and nutrients and oxygen, expressing God and nature’s determination to ensure his or her existence on this planet.  No amount of kale-nibbling eco-sensibilities can justify the suggestion that a lion being shot by a hunter is somehow a greater travesty than the saline-immolation, dismemberment, and sale of that unborn child.

And yet, here we are.  The lesser of these travesties is the most important issue of the day.  And all because there is this constant refusal to either report upon or accept that Planned Parenthood makes the greater of these travesties their stock and trade, and the finances supporting that trade are supplied by American taxpayers -- from Jimmy Kimmel the talk show host, who nearly wept at Cecil the Lion’s death, to little ol’ me, William Sullivan the Catholic, who prays regularly that the practice of frivolous abortions might be ended in this country by the better angels of our nature.

But in terms of the overall narrative, Planned Parenthood cannot be a villain, you see.  It is a fixture of the left’s design, and therefore the leftist elements orchestrating and profiting by that design cannot see fit to show the videos of Planned Parenthood technicians describing their horrific practices on the nightly news for every Tom, Dick, and Harry to see.  Better to have that horrific truth sequestered in the realm of conservative talk radio, conservative websites, and Fox News.  That way, the truth can be later denied by the flock dedicated to ensuring Planned Parenthood’s existence, suggesting that the videos were doctored, or edited funnily, or just outright lies.  That the targeted low-information voters will not investigate beyond the talking points offered by the left is, pretty safely, a foregone conclusion.

We see this same mechanism played out in other aspects of our lives, we’ve just become accustomed to it.  In Texas alone, nearly 3,000 homicides can be attributed to illegal aliens since 2008, none of whom had a legal right to be in this country, and had the Obama administration better enforced federal law, many of those lives might have been saved.  But the illegal alien is not the villain, of course -- except on conservative talk radio and whatnot.  He’s just here to do the jobs Americans won’t do, here to make a better life for himself, “we’re all immigrants,” and blah, blah, blah.

Nidal Hassan killed 14 Americans at Fort Hood in 2009.  Islamic terrorists can’t be the villains, however.  Whatever would we do if people were to have that impression?  No, the truth must be hidden.  He was just mentally disturbed, and this was just workplace violence.

The Tsarnaev brothers, devout Chechen Muslims both, bombed the Boston Marathon in 2013.  Before their identities were discovered, David Sirota of Salon openly hoped against hope that it would be revealed that the bomber was a white American guy, so he could pursue the story with all his journalistic talents.  But Muslim terrorists, identified as such, cannot be the villains, so when these Chechen Muslims were discovered as the culprits, he and his cohorts were sadly relegated to spouting the usual pieties about Islamists not being enemies, it was homegrown terrorists this, ungrateful welfare recipients that, on and on.

And Muhammad Yousseff Abdulazeez, just weeks ago, murdered five American military men in Chatanooga, Tennessee.  His yearbook photo cast an ominous portent of his eventual crime by suggesting that he was unfairly scrutinized for his religion, only to later commit murder in the name of his religion.  With a name and motive like that, he couldn’t be the villain.  Lone wolf attack, radicalization, [silence…]

Look, over there!  This rich, white guy from Minnesota killed Simba -- er, sorry, Cecil the Lion!  This guy can spend $50,000+ on a hunting expedition in Africa, so there’s no way that you can relate to this guy.  See, this is the problem with the one-percenters, no regard for human or feline life!  And it’s his kind of callous disregard to what we Americans hold dear that is the real problem in this country. 

Suburban Minneapolis dentist Walter Palmer is a name you know only because he is rich, white, and our current media have an easily identifiable interest in making men like him villains for whatever reason they might fashion to capture our attention from a focus on the far more threatening villainy in our midst.  And not coincidentally, the more threatening villainy happens to be the driving talking points countering the left’s primary narrative -- illegal immigrant crime waves, the threat of fundamentalist Islamic jihad attacks, and a government-sponsored baby-killing, organ-harvesting racket which is all too close to being fully exposed.  And these are just a few examples.

Like most, I would prefer that Cecil the Lion weren’t lured to a painful death by someone who gets his jollies killing animals.  But what we should never stand for is the sad fact that Walter Palmer was forced to close his dentistry practice and is enduring threats for simply hunting a big cat, as so many others before him have done.

Seriously, America.  Get your priorities in order.

William Sullivan blogs at Political Palaver and can be followed on Twitter.