Two progressive Democrats from Washington D.C. have been brutally murdered by ISIS militants while bicycling and blogging their way through jihadi-controlled territory with the goal of proving to America that “evil doesn’t exist“.
Jay Austin and Lauren Geoghegan, who were both in their late 20s, quit their jobs in 2017 to embark on a trip around the world. Austin, a vegan, and Geoghegan, a vegetarian, decided they were wasting their lives working in D.C.
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“I’ve grown tired of spending the best hours of my day in front of a glowing rectangle, of coloring the best years of my life in swaths of grey and beige,” Austin wrote on his blog before he quit.
“I’ve missed too many sunsets while my back was turned. Too many thunderstorms went unwatched, too many gentle breezes unnoticed.”
Throughout their travels, the couple shared Instagram posts and wrote a blog together where they preach the liberal gospel and advocate for open borders. Then it all came to a sudden and gruesome end in Tajikistan, a country with a known jihadi terrorist presence.
A grainy cellphone clip recorded by a driver shows what happened next — the ISIS militant’s Daewoo sedan passes the cyclists and then makes a sharp U-turn. It doubles back, and aims directly for the cyclists, ramming straight into them and accelerating over their fallen bodies.
Four people were killed, simply because they were from Christian countries: Mr. Austin, Ms. Geoghegan and cyclists from Switzerland and the Netherlands.
Two days later, ISIS released a video showing the same men sitting in front of the black ISIS flag. They looked at the camera and vowed to kill “disbelievers,” according to The New York Times.
Throughout the ill-fated trip, the liberal couple blogged about the kindness of strangers and sought to prove to their followers that human beings, all over the world, are inherently good. According to Austin, evil does not exist.
“You read the papers and you’re led to believe that the world is a big, scary place,” Austin wrote. “People, the narrative goes, are not to be trusted. People are bad. People are evil.”
“I don’t buy it,” he continued. “Evil is a make-believe concept we’ve invented to deal with the complexities of fellow humans holding values and beliefs and perspectives different than our own… By and large, humans are kind. Self-interested sometimes, myopic sometimes, but kind. Generous and wonderful and kind.”
Some conservatives have framed the tragedy as a cautionary tale about not just the perils of travel to insecure locations but also liberal foolishness and naivete in general. In their telling, an overly generous understanding of human nature is behind much of today’s progressive movement, including calls to abolish ICE, open our borders, and introduce socialism.
Some liberals, for their part, might view Austin and his partner Geoghegan as martyrs in the struggle for a better world, or simply as unfortunate.