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Neither Left Nor Right, But Catholic . . . The Left: Dishonest, Rigid, Escaping From Reality, Authoritarian

August 4, 2022 Frontpage No Comments


While historically the political left has been known for promoting unrealistic and ultimately socially damaging positions such as socialism or welfare statism and dismissing the necessity of incentive and self-interest in economic life, the American left recently has descended further into unreality and even irrationality in its thinking.
What also now increasingly characterizes the left’s attitudes and actions is intolerance of those who disagree with them and a tendency to want to divide people into groups and promote hostility among them.
The left’s embracing of unreality is seen, for example, in its outrageous unwillingness to recognize that there are two sexes and to believe that people can somehow change sexes. Some even suggest that men can get pregnant.
We even witnessed the new Supreme Court Justice Ketanji Brown Jackson being unwilling during her confirmation hearing to say what a woman is. It was not so long ago that such behavior would not just have disqualified a person from any public office, but might also have made him or her a candidate for a mental institution.
In the meantime, the left seems to pay no attention to the genuine serious, portentous realities of our time such as the international threat posed by the rising power of Communist China. Either they see China as a benevolent ideological soulmate, or they just don’t have the least conception of the realities of international politics. It is irrelevant to them that China gave us the coronavirus. In line with their obliviousness to the China threat they don’t even blink an eye at the possible weakening of the U.S. military because of Biden’s threat to discharge the many who refused to get the coronavirus vaccine.
The left is known for propounding lies. This doubtless starts from the fact that it does not believe there is such a thing as truth. Leftists, shaped by the course of much of modern thought, are relativists. Their “truth” is whatever will advance their ideology. For the hard-core leftist, his ideology is like a religion for him. It’s a substitute for true religion that most committed leftists have little regard for and are even hostile to. Among the mountain of lies that the left has recently pushed is its claim that the Constitution was a racist document, that the police are always responsible whenever a Black criminal is killed in a confrontation with them even if he is shooting or about to shoot at them, and the alleged Trump-Russia collusion. Further, some of what they accuse their opponents of is actually being done by their fellow leftists.
The left’s lies help to fashion their unreal world. They claim that present-day America is an utterly racist nation. They never bother to tell us what is meant by “racism,” and one wonders if they ever bothered to open a history book to see what, say, the Jim Crow South was like eighty years ago. While such claims are certainly generated by political opportunism and flow forth from unquestioned ideological presuppositions, undoubtedly many on the left wholeheartedly believe them. It’s part of their fantasy world.
Their lies help to stimulate conflict among groups in society. Their false claims of racism and the like help create the very prejudices and racial antagonism they say they are against. Some on the hard left are likely doing this in the belief that stirring up group and class conflict could help to transform our political order to conform to their vision or at least bring about the policy change they seek.
Most, perhaps, are just impervious to the damage this does — both to society and to the members of those groups themselves. In the meantime, they pay no attention to the serious problems within those groups, such as fatherlessness and family breakdown within the Black community and the high crime rates there which mostly threaten the members of that community.
While some on the left can escape a full-fledged indictment for lying because of their misconceptions about socio-political reality that were shaped by the indoctrination or near-indoctrination they received in college and maybe even in earlier education, others are simply impervious to the truth. As mentioned, lying for them is a perfectly acceptable way to achieve ideological objectives. The lack of integrity of the left cries out.
Apart from outright lying, the left is good at twisting the truth and making false comparisons to advance their ideological agenda. Kamala Harris’ recent attempt to compare legal bans on abortion in the wake of the Supreme Court’s Dobbs decision to slavery is a prime example of that. Somehow, for her, owning another person and not having the right to kill a person within a woman are the same. Her illogicality and contradictoriness are blatant: Isn’t it, in a certain sense, like “owning” a person when you are claiming the right to kill him? In other words, isn’t it just the opposite of what she claims: It is legalized abortion that is like slavery, except that it involves the even more extreme claim of a right to kill a person instead of just subjecting him to forced labor?
The utter close-mindedness — that is almost an understatement — of the left is also striking. It increasingly is unwilling to compromise on its basic beliefs, in addition to resisting any attempt to look critically at and question them even when confronted with facts and well-reasoned arguments to the contrary.
What is perhaps most potentially threatening about the current left is its increasingly authoritarian attitude. Not only does it refuse to compromise, but it is prepared to suppress opposing views and impose its ideas once it’s in the position to do so. This is like the Marxism that undoubtedly helped to shape it.
We see this in how the leftist-oriented social media companies routinely censor views they don’t agree with, the left’s pushing mandatory coronavirus vaccination irrespective of the possible adverse effects, and campus leftists’ violent attempts to suppress any speech at their institutions that they oppose.

A Far Cry

To be sure, one can’t claim that most politicians on the left are simply unwilling to compromise on policy questions in the manner of leftist activists and groups. What we do see, though, is less of a willingness to do so than in the past. Congress, for example, has become increasingly ideologically polarized — no doubt due to the influence of these activists and groups and their heightened influence on the Democratic Party. A party — including in Congress, especially in the House of Representatives — that once had different factions now seems to be outright leftist. It almost seems as if the House Democrats — and most Senate Democrats, as well — have surrendered their good judgment to ideology.
How much Democrats in the electorate nationally have also embraced the most extreme thinking of the left is seen in a recent Rasmussen survey where most of the Democratic respondents saw the Constitution as “racist” and “sexist” and almost half think it should be rewritten.
This is all a far cry from American liberalism fifty and more years ago. It was transformed in the 1970s and has now become little more than unremitting, ideologically rigid leftism.

  • + + (Stephen M. Krason’s “Neither Left nor Right, but Catholic” column appears frequently in The Wanderer. He is Professor of Political Science and Legal Studies and Associate Director of the Veritas Center for Ethics in Public Life at Franciscan University of Steubenville. He is also co-founder and President of the Society of Catholic Social Scientists and a lawyer. Among his books are: Abortion: Politics, Morality, and the Constitution; The Public Order and the Sacred Order; The Transformation of the American Democratic Republic; and Catholicism and American Political Ideologies.)
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