Terrorism has been a defining force in American politics for nearly two decades now. Like it or not. Bush 43 was going to be the education president. He is now remembered as the president who had to take on the war on terror, like no other president before him. And since, unfortunately.

One can argue over what tactics and strategies are best. The Iraq invasion looks less wise with each passing year. But one cannot argue over George W. Bush’s commitment to fight terrorism. The same cannot be said of President Obama. Because he has willfully refused to define it as a war against terrorism. As if somehow he could negotiate his way around the brutal reality of radical jihadist terrorism.

He’s still trying.

After the weekend of terrorist attacks in NYC, New Jersey, and Minnesota, Obama lectured the media not to jump to conclusions and “get ahead” of the story. Like a mildly annoyed college professor dressing down his pupils for not turning in well written essays.

At every stage of his presidency, Obama has tried to downplay and qualify and relativize islamic terrorism. And as part of his now near-delirious insistence on his view that jihadism is not as great a threat as people think, the West must appease Islam. Or risk angry retaliation on the part of islamic peace-loving faithful who shall be pushed to take up workshops in IED’s because the West, and America, dare to defend themselves. Jihadims is always the West’s fault by his progressively perverse logic.

And of course, as Josh Earnest whined in an interview, we can’t let ISIL control the narrative by allowing them to turn their terrorism into a battle of the West versus Islam. Because that’s what will happen if we use phrases like: radical islamic terrorism. Does Earnest really believe what he’s made to say anymore? Maybe he does. Or maybe as a good spokesperson, he does his best to transmit his leader’s will to the public at large.

It’s getting to the point where comparing Obama’s foreign policy to Jimmy Carter’s is a bit of an insult to the former governor of Georgia. But Obama is, tragically, not at all alone in this matter. From Merkel opening up the borders of Germany and allowing terrorists in with the refugees, to British police who refuse to take action when they fear it will stir up complaints of islamophobia, even if it involves the abuse of adolescents, leaders in the West are paralyzed by the fear of being branded racist.

But that’s what aggressive activists on the left have done to speech in North America and Europe and around the world. Naming and Shaming, in everything from transgender bathrooms to micro-aggressions, has wrought a deadly silence on those who need to muster the strength and courage, but also the intellectual flexibility, to deal with what is a serious problem. And not one that merely affects the West. Terrorism has caused far more deaths in the Middle East and Asia, as well as Africa. But freedom of expression is not always a right in many of these countries. Nor is it expected to be. It is a right in much of the West. At least in theory. Because right now, fear in of being shamed seems greater than the courage to deal with terrorism.

Obama, however, is not someone fearful of being shamed. He actually and whole heartedly believes the progressive ideology. Rubio was right. America elected a charming smooth talking radical. And is now paying the price by a lack of vision on how to fight jihadism. Yes, the men and women who defend America – like the police forces and the FBI that were able to apprehend Rhahami in less than 50 hours – are doing admirable work day after day. They just need a leader who is willing to take up the challenge, instead of constantly belittling it.