The Atlantic has an article in its most recent issue entitled Why America is Moving Left. Now when you hear that, you may think that the author, Peter Beinart, means that America is becoming more liberal. If so, you would be wrong. Rather, the author argues by “Left”, he means that America is becoming more Progressive.
It is yet another attempt by Progressives to convince true Liberals that extreme Progressivism – with its Identity Politics, political correctness, and stifling of free speech – is actually some form of Liberalism. The future of Liberalism. It is not.
To convince us, he has the audacity to use several ridiculous examples, which on closer inspection prove to be disingenuous at best. For instance, he cites the Black Lives Matter activists’ interruption of Bernie Sanders speech last summer in Seattle (image below). Despite the fact, that those “activists” physically forced their way on stage like thugs, and were literally booed on-stage after calling the crowd “a bunch of white racists” (at time 4:40 in linked video).
Beinart argues that this is an example of America moving to the Left. However, the reality is that the behavior and antics shown in that video display why Progressives will be the End of the Left. By ridiculing and mocking their opponents, all while manipulating identity politics as a bludgeon to stifle true debate through shaming language, the Progressives are engaging not in democratic behavior nor liberal ideals. Rather, they are veering into Totalitarian behavior. Bullying. If there is a reason many people dislike Donald Trump, well then, these folks are his mirror image on the Left.
The reality is that we all have our critics, whether it be Feminists/SJWs/Progressives or the KKK. But the reality is that people judge you not by your critics, but by your own behavior. The KKK isn’t racist because people call them that, it is because they have engaged in behaviors that bore that out, lynchings and cross-burnings and the like. People don’t call Feminists man-haters because of “misogynists” … they call them that because of things like the National Organization of Women (NOW) and other feminist women’s groups opposing legitimate lifetime alimony reform in Florida, even though nearly 60% of college undergrads are now women in the U.S. and that nearly as many women now work as men do . If Feminism is supposed to be about equality/equal-rights, then you have to behave like it, or no one will believe you. And they will, in the end, distance themselves from you.
The reality is that if Progressives become the face of “liberalism”, then people will distance themselves from Liberalism.
What is most funny about the Atlantic article is that just last year, the Atlantic published this article discussing the problems of the Illiberal Left, even going so far as to cite Jonathan Chait’s excellent article in the New York Magazine decrying how political correctness and thought policing are undermining liberal ideals.
It’s like the Atlantic can’t make up its mind … perhaps because they don’t seem to understand that no matter how much they tell us we are supposed to be more “liberal” as a society, the things they are promoting as “liberal” seem like a disconnect.
A perfect example of this is the recent Progressive outrage over the Oscar nominations for being too “white”. First, let’s point out none of the criticisms were that any of the white actors nominated were undeserving, it was that they were the wrong color. Indeed, I saw the Revenant – Leonardo DiCaprio was fantastic in it. No, my friends, the problem was their race. The word for that is racist.
But the even more ridiculous issue is that all the black nominees, deserving as they may be, are multi-millionaire actors with 3 houses, 6 cars, and probably a couple boats to boot. These are some of the most privileged people in the world, complaining about not being privileged enough. Complaining about not being nominated for an award by a bunch of other privileged multi-millionaires. All while some black kid gets shot in south Chicago, or some poor white male starves in the Appalachian foothills of Eastern Kentucky. Someone send the memo to Spike Lee … how about you fight for people less privileged than you, regardless of their color or gender? I’m not going to call you a racist, Mr. Lee, because I’m not into shaming language, but people notice that shit.
The real problem here is that when people say “equality”, it depends on what they mean. Are we talking about equal opportunity, or equal outcomes. The former means that everyone deserves a fair chance, while the latter means we force things to be exactly the same. Harrison Bergeron style. As such, equal outcomes usually implies forced disenfranchisement of one group, even if not every member of that group actually enjoys the privileges of that group (known as the Apex Fallacy). Think poor white boy from Appalachia … not every white male is the CEO of a Fortune 500 company. Punishing the poor white boy is fundamentally unfair … and people intuitively sense that, regardless what the Progressives say.
Indeed, the discrepancy between seeing ALL white Western females as more “oppressed” than, say, black males, or even poor white males … or for that matter seeing ALL black males as worse off than many poor white males underscores the logical inconsistencies of Identity Politics, and thus progressivism itself.
As much as the Atlantic or others may want to convince us that we should all be Progressives, people sense those discrepancies, and the fundamental unfairness they entail. They sense something is amiss. Something fractured in the story we are being told. It is often not the storm, but the cracks within your own walls, that prove your undoing.