My natural inclination was always to empathize with the downtrodden and with all those who were less lucky than I in the hope that their conditions could be bettered. In the early 1990s I finally had enough spare time and spare income to allow me to subscribe to The Economist, a paper I'd grown up reading through my father's subscription. For the first 5-6 years I read it, I disagreed furiously with it's economic line. As time went on, however, I noticed, quite to my surprise, that the avowed Left media was giving an inordinate amount of attention to what Joan Baez had once famously called "All the scummy things that America does", while The Economist was seriously focussed on what needed to happen to make poor people's lives better. Like their economic line or not, you couldn't deny that they were consistent advocates of doing things that would reduce poverty, all over the world. (As you'd expect with highly educated Englishmen and women, they were also rather poor on understanding the Israel-Arab conflicts, but no-one's perfect).
Why am I mentioning this? Because Charles Krauthammer's column today demonstrates the same template in a different context. It is the political Right, or at any rate, parts of it, which cares about the mass persecutions of the world's uglier regimes; while the Left is still fixated on those same "scummy things America does". This isn't exactly what Krauthammer writes, but it's a reasonable proximation.
A few weeks ago at that conference in Melbourne I participated in, an elderly man posed a question to one of the lectureres, to nods of agreement from everybody else in the room: "Shouldn't we admit that the Left has lost its soul?"