The massacre at a gay nightclub in Orlando—the worst act of terrorism on American soil since the attacks of 9/11—had barely ended when the debate over its significance began. As usual, the political class divided into competing camps, with liberals predictably claiming that the real issue is gun control and conservatives just as predictably claiming that the real issue is radical Islam. There wasn’t even agreement over whether this was a hate crime or an act of terrorism. (Why couldn’t it be both?)
Faced with the cacophony of competing sound bites, it is tempting to throw one’s hands up in despair and simply bemoan the debased state of political discourse. But we don’t have that luxury, because terrorism remains a real and growing danger. So how should we combat it? By adopting the best ideas from the left and the right on how to improve security at home and by going after terrorists abroad. In dealing with such a complex threat, no part of the political spectrum has a monopoly on the truth.