As the Obama era ended, I safely assumed my position to be that of the left. I considered the leftist position to be a consolidation of reason, moral principle, factual primacy and belief in western democracy. Liberalism was synonymous with a belief in free speech, social tolerance and equality of opportunity, but by 2015 my certainty in the left’s commitment to those ideals began to waver. This wavering had little to do with politics in the United States of America. Instead, it was the politics of the United Kingdom that began to shake my confidence.
After leading the Labour Party (the U.K. version of the U.S. Democratic Party) to a general election victory in 1997, Tony Blair became Prime Minister of the United Kingdom and led Labour to two more consecutive victories (2001, 2005). However, the unpopularity of his championing and involvement of the United Kingdom in the Iraq War soured his own popularity culminating in his 2007 resignation while his successor Gordon Brown was defeated in 2010 with the 2007 global financial crisis looming over his brief premiership. Not having enough seats for an outright majority, the Conservative Party formed a coalition government with the Liberal Democrats that was opposed under the tepid leadership of Labour leader Ed Miliband (son of the iconic Marxist author Ralph Miliband). Labour lost again in 2015 with the Conservatives defying expectation by winning an outright majority.
With Ed Miliband standing down from the leadership, populist/socialist backbencher Jeremy Corbyn won the leadership election but quickly became the most ineffective modern political leader with consistently low polling, by-election defeats, frequent resignation of his own shadow cabinet ministers, a vote of no confidence and an insurgent leadership challenge against him only a year after winning the leadership, all despite increasing Labour membership. Although able to win a second leadership contest against Owen Smith, Corbyn has proven incapable of quelling divisions within the Labour Party, managing the media, strategically presenting policy, leading a capable opposition or overcoming the negative perception of him on several issues. At present, Labour is heading into certain defeat in 2020 despite missteps by the Conservative government and the emerging possibility of Scottish independence.
In attempting to discuss the failures of Corbyn routinely results in “groupthinking Corbynistas” who refuse to concede any of the faults of their cult leader, blaming his own inabilities on the media, moderate Labour MPs and the Conservative Party as if scrutiny and opposition are something new to a political leader. Placing greater emphasis on being a protest party with a cult-like leader unable to win elections over winning elections with a capable candidate has resigned the British left to defeat for the foreseeable future. Any attempt at presenting this view is a futile exercise due to the narrowminded left who provided the first shake in my confidence in the political left’s commitment to social progress, reason or helping those in need.
A similar phenomenon ensued during the 2016 U.S. Presidential primaries in which democratic socialist Bernie Sanders challenged the corporatist moderate Hillary Clinton. Being a registered independent in New York state, I was not allowed to vote in the Democratic primary, which led me to donate to the Sanders campaign on two occasions early in the primary, but by April 2016 I concluded Sanders would lose the Democratic primary due to his weak voting coalition based on the young (who don’t vote) and white voters (who you cannot win a Democratic primary with alone). Given Clinton’s organized ground game and establishment support, I saw that Sanders could only wound her beyond the primary rather than stop her completely before it concluded. In voicing this opinion, the “groupthink” barrage swarmed with guttural attacks, seemingly showing that any contrary opinion even within the hive was a traitorous offense.
The progressive evisceration of the Democratic Party in the overwhelming majority of all U.S. governmental institutions demanded soul-searching on the left but the self-analysis was rather limited. It concluded that entrenching itself deeper into the far left while still embracing the politics of grievance, and identity is the winning strategy against Trumpism. Finding myself less inclined to this point-of-view, I unearthed a growing dilemma on the left that I paid little attention to originally in which the left has become regressive, illiberal with remarkably less commitment to the values of liberalism I thought were inherent to its core. The betrayal of these values undermined the progress of the left, reducing its influence over policy in the Western world.
Choosing sensitivity over debate, an anti-free speech movement has subsumed the moral position of the left, resorting to an intensified reiteration of its own hypocritical hubris over actual arguments. The left assumes itself to have inherently superior moral virtues that have become ingrained as holy writ. It chooses to no longer defend its positions with carefully expressed, well thought-out arguments. Instead, it treats its views as dogma that cannot be challenged. When it is challenged, the left browbeats everyone with its hand-me-down morality in which it labels contrary views as automatically racist, sexist, xenophobic, homophobic or Islamophobic as it dictates that the cisgender, heterosexual, white males be quiet about all issues that it doesn’t assume the position of inherent guilt. The left no longer seeks to provide an equal opportunity for everyone, but instead to unjustly equalize the outcomes. In these precepts, it becomes clear that social justice is truly about revenge, which is an unjust and immoral position.
Without realizing that the word “racist” does nothing to rebut any argument, the left associates itself with self-righteousness arrogance and belief in one’s own morally superior position. Going down this path has polarized discussion, obscured the role actual arguments play in social change and put the left in a position where they’ve forgotten that a position doesn’t defend itself on its own behalf. Recoiling in shock at the horror that those outside of the bubble don’t acknowledge liberal precepts as inherently correct doesn’t invalidate the responsibility the left has in carrying its own mantle. The cries of foul do nothing to assuage the damage of not only failing to present an argument that resonates, but also the failure of even mustering one. In the circle of liberal browbeating, the right-wing have learned to be uncompromisingly unafraid of their liberal opponents or the lion’s den of liberal ridicule. The incoming generation, that’s seen as resoundingly liberal, provide no solace as they’ve grown up in the vacuum of competent liberal leadership capable of holding their own unfriendly environments. The new generation is also cradled in the existence of the failure of this failing tactic, ideology and faulty principle.
It’s often parroted that millennials are the most tolerant generation ever. Such pronouncements should typically be viewed with a great deal of skepticism especially since millennials are the least tolerant generation ever as their upbringing, social conditioning and indoctrination is not conducive with tolerance of outside opinion. As a generation, millennials were brought up under the auspice of the self-esteem movement that foolishly purported that self-esteem would contribute to increased performance when it merely rewarded and gave confidence to the unskilled, undisciplined and the undeserving who all lacked the appropriate level of participatory effort to truly succeed. Social promotion in public education is a prime example of this principle as it chose sensitivity over substantive merit. The byproduct of providing a false sense of esteem to a child undeserving of that esteem was the discouragement of effort among the more capable, while fostering unpreparedness among the less capable. In short, it brought everyone down to the level of the less capable as a means of achieving esteemed equality, which ironically is a frequent argument against the more extreme versions of left-wing socialism.
Cable television was introduced in the 1980s, contributing to mass hysteria over child murder, abduction, molestation, Satanism and explicit music lyrics from the sexually-charged “Darling Nikki” by Prince to the alleged promotion of suicide in Ozzy Osbourne’s “Suicide Solution.” Mothers began overprotecting their children leading to the onslaught of “helicopter parenting” aided even further by the increase in single-parenting. Coupled with the decade-old self-esteem movement in place, millennials began their lives encapsulated in safety provided by pandering parents who eliminated instances of competition, conflict and hazard in their young children’s lives. The result was a weakness in confronting social challenges, the delaying of the rites of passage, the feminization of social environments and expectations as well as the increased use of adults and authority figures to solve problems that naturally occur between young, developing children.
The frequent uproar about bullying is portrayed as an “unprecedented” deviation from schoolyard protocol, requiring political activism, social awareness and increased involvement of adults. While bullying is not a good thing, it is important that children handle themselves in social confrontations whether it be using verbal skills to avoid or defuse conflict, or even using physical self-defense to protect oneself from predatory individuals as many real-world situations involve bullies with central leadership positions who cannot be easily sanctioned by higher authorities. With the safety factor increased among millennials, less young people can handle such confrontations physical or verbal. This weakness carries onto adulthood with some employers reporting that parents have called to intercede on their children’s behalf from everything from the hiring process to workplace conflict. At present, many cannot even handle reading harsh words or contrary opinions on Facebook or YouTube.
The Western world has come to accept more socially liberal positions in the 21st Century laying the foundation of the social atmosphere young millennials, with their limited reference of history, have come to believe as being edict. Any contrary opinion is a throwback to an arcane world that has long been dismantled. However, that world still exists and is no longer willing to be browbeaten underneath the sociopolitical surface and there are very few on the left with any cogent arguments to oppose them. Meanwhile, a small minority of activists representing a wider minority are attempting to push society too far, too fast, into a direction its uncomfortable with. It took 20 years to convince the wider public that same-sex marriage was not an affront to marriage as an institution or society in general. In just a few short years, transgender activists are attempting to push society to understand transgender subjects based on extraordinarily flimsy claims about gender being a mere “social construct,” sex/gender merely requiring identification with a given sex/gender, demanded recognition of non-binary gender pronouns (“zhe,” “they”) and access to bathrooms based on self-identifying opposed to biological reality. Challenging or questioning these claims is not met with cool, levelheaded, intelligent, open debate. Instead, its met with browbeating persecution complexes dictating that not conceding such requests as being invalidating of their existence, a sign of disrespect and moral/legal complicity with incitement of hatred, violence and suicide. The weakness of such of claim is further undercut by the requirement of others to validate their own identities, identities that are rarely ever formed completely as a teenager or young adult.
Such thinking is cultivated in the university system that spends less time challenging students to think for themselves and more time devoted to indoctrination by activist-type, agenda-driven faculty with postmodernist views that seek to undermine all social structures without replacing them with adequate and stabilizing structures. These agendas are formed on murky, unsubstantiated theories about race, gender, sexuality, religion and “social justice,” a term/philosophy that should not be taken at the face value of its name. Selling this idea is predicated on anointing a specific group with a right to grievance as being the “victim,” identifying with those groups, and painting anyone representative of the majority, that seems to be in control or in stark opposition to their theories as being the perpetrator of the oppression and injustice of the victim. Its cynical philosophy can be spotted from everything from the term “intersectionality” to anytime you hear someone say, “I dislike labels.” They dislike the terms “gay” and “bisexual” until there’s a circumstance where they can play the victim, and cash in on a special right to grievance.
These illogical ideas operate on the basest arguments with little utilitarian purpose other than socially re-engineering society by the most delusional and misguided means to the most destructive ends. The case in point of the illogical argument is found in the claim that if a corporate board doesn’t have 50% women, its exemplifies systemic sexism. There’s merely two variables in the equation, requiring a third variable to establish how the two variables are inherently linked or corresponding. If the rates of organic food and autism rise over the same period, it doesn’t establish a link between the two as it could be feasible that parents of autistic children are buying more organic food. The purpose of these poor arguments is to attempt to equalize the outcomes of the workplace by requiring equal percentages and exact reflection of population figures. To equalize the outcome must come at the expense of those that are deserving. It is perfectly true that Asians are highly represented in specific fields from technology to medical fields. Should hiring practices lower their rate of representation? Or will only white people be subject to this? In either case, how will this end in a stable situation? However, these questions and challenges to conventional left-wing opinion are not being fostered in the university system. In fact, it’s being quelled.
The Milo Yiannopoulos Riot at Berkeley
The Charles Murray Speaking Protest at Middlebury
The Shrieking Girl at Yale in Protest of Halloween Costumes
The Ohio State University Sit-In
Jordan Peterson Swarmed
A Conservative Debates a Social Justice Warrior
Such clips document infantile behavior that illuminates the tempting compulsion of planting a right-hook to the liberal establishment and sample the delightful taste of the salty tears of liberals crying in their beers, watching the sense of entitlement drain from their melodramatic eyes. These incidents paint a picture of a left falling prey to the same misguided ideas that formed the self-esteem movement and helicopter parenting, with enforced policies of multiculturalism/diversity quotas imparting a false sense of self-esteem rooted in victimization rather than achievement/strength while using the government as a helicopter parent to implement a permanent safety that doesn’t truly exist. As the millennial generation learns it’s fighting techniques from these failed attempts at utopia, it presents a Twilight Zone-shift in which affronted groups would gain more political, social and inner strength in opposition to the left, presenting a rather unusual paradigm shift.
Examine the cases brought forward by British historian David Starkey. In his first case in opposition to state-imposed liberalism, he argues that the new progressive morality is as tyrannical as the conservative one. He highlights the opposition he faced against his homosexuality from his Christian, working-class parents during an era in which homosexuality was criminalized, treated with harsh violence and led to social ostracizing. He argues these hardships formed the basis of his inner-strength and perseverance, while criticizing the unrealistic social morality that ill-prepares people for a polarized world with contrary, and sometimes hostile opinion. In this case, whose ideology creates the stronger individual? Is it Starkey’s advocacy of strength despite opposition, or the left-wing mantra of compelling opposition to agreement and/or silence as anything otherwise would lead to gay people committing suicide?
In Starkey’s second case, he argues that people dislike being freed, much to the chagrin of his fellow liberal panelist who without thinking (or arguing) saw the statement as a sign of racism on Starkey’s part. However, Starkey reinforces his point by pointing out the resentment against liberators and the failed states of “liberated” countries. The case is further brought home by my own examination of Zimbabwe, a nation that prior to 1980 was known and recognized as Rhodesia. Like South Africa, it was a country colonized and partially inhabited by white settlers who ruled the state. A civil war ultimately led to independence that drove out the settlers and established the Zimbabwean state that was legally recognized in 1980. Compare that to the 101-year journey of African-Americans between the Emancipation Proclamation of 1863 (an executive order by Abraham Lincoln to free slaves) and the 1964 Civil Rights Act (which ensured civil rights for all people). Which people had greater pride in themselves? The self-liberating Zimbabweans in 1980 or the “freed” African-American slave? In this case, which ideology creates the stronger individual? Is it Starkey’s position that only the individual can free themselves, or the modern left-wing mantra of mighty saviors providing “freedom” to an enslaved or affronted people?
Dressing up patronizing condescension and consolidation of weakness with sympathy for the victim shows the well-intentioned, soft-racism of the left that was satirized in Jordan Peele’s recent box office hit Get Out. As a film, it expresses a rejection of the white, middle-class liberal’s good intentions in favor of highlighting the fear of its self-centered perspective that cynically uses self-flagellating white guilt to feign a sense of understanding, solidarity and mutual interest. The transparency of this arrogance is clear to all outside of the liberal bubble, and quite a few of those who are objective and willing enough to see reason rather than stick their heads in the sand of resolute liberal ideology treated as religious dogma, especially as the sand becomes heavier and more suffocating.
The suffocation of ideology and groupthink has invalidated the left’s claim to its commitments as it contributes to the opposite of what it purports itself to be. In defending cultural sensitivity over free speech, modern liberalism has aligned itself with its enemies and the enemies of freedom, equality, human rights, the ideas of the Enlightenment and the best of Western democracy. Those enemies spread from right-wing extremists such as Steve Bannon to faux liberal wolves in sheep’s clothing such as Linda Sarsour. The metastasizing cancer of the left has resigned it to castigating defeat but it is a well-deserved defeat that should only cease upon the removal of the infesting illiberal maggots from its flesh and a compelling new vision that emphasizes self-empowerment over defining oneself by victimization. The blurring of these lines into a radical “groupthink” exercise reminiscent of right-wing populism is perfectly encapsulated in the English alternative rock group Radiohead’s 2016 single “Burn the Witch.” Regardless of who wins politically, such forms of populism and dogmatic ideology are equally poisoning of democracy, liberalism and freedom. For those reasons, I detest the modern left and consider being called a liberal a grave insult.
STAY IN THE SHADOWS, CHEER THE GALLOWS
THIS IS A ROUND UP, THIS IS A LOW FLYING PANIC ATTACK
SING A SONG ON THE JUKEBOX THAT GOES…
BURN THE WITCH
WE KNOW WHERE YOU LIVE
RED CROSSES ON WOODEN DOORS
AND IF YOU FLOAT YOU’LL BURN
LOOSE TALK AROUND TABLES
ABANDON ALL REASON, AVOID ALL EYE COTNACT
DO NOT REACT, SHOOT THE MESSENGERS
THIS IS LOW FLYING PANIC ATTACK
SING THE SONG OF SIXPENCE THAT GOES
BURN THE WITCH
WE KNOW WHERE YOU LIVE
Lyrics by Thomas Yorke