The power of this signaling cannot be underestimated, although virtually no one in America’s political and media elite seems to understand it. When killers say, “Those who defy our sacred laws must die!” and the response is, “Killing is wrong, but we agree that defying their sacred laws is also wrong, and we’re prepared to hold the blasphemers at least partially responsible for the violence,” what message do you think “moderates” are getting? Let me give you a hint: they don’t hear a single damned word of the self-righteous jibber-jabber about how the highest, purest liberal values of tolerance lead the elite curiously to agree with violently intolerant fanatics.
Every point made above is explicitly stated in communication between terrorists and their supporters, in public speeches, sermons delivered by radical imams, and Internet forums. Unfortunately, our cultural elite pretends they can’t hear any of that over the sound of Pamela Geller giving an award to a cartoonist.