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  • Writer's pictureStephen Palmer

What Defines Morality for the Modern American Left?

Updated: Apr 27, 2020

August 28, 2019

As moral and political battles rage about us on various fronts, one can’t help but wonder what accepted cultural norm will be the next to be cast carelessly aside. And what institution or organization will be the next to be co-opted by the Left in its lust for power? It seems like only about five minutes ago that Democrat politicians such as Bill Clinton and Barack Obama were opposed to same-sex marriage. They were both against it, that is, until the political winds dictated that they support it. And we can all remember the good old days (as recent as 2016) when the FBI was a respected and prestigious crime-fighting institution before morphing into a corrupt leftist political machine bent on overthrowing the results of a free and fair presidential election.

One can easily get swept up in this endless march of what the Left—seemingly sincerely—refers to as “progress.” But just what we’re supposedly progressing towards is quite the mystery. And the smoke and destruction and confusion wrought by the Left’s take-no-prisoners-and-shoot-the-wounded march through our institutions and culture makes it dangerously easy to lose sight of the overall picture. Before turning to the overall picture, however, one can’t help but acknowledge the skill with which the Left wages war.

The Left deftly cloaks itself in goodness and virtue, seizing the moral and linguistic high ground and holding it tenaciously on all fronts. Their actions are taken in pursuit of “fairness” and “equality” and “tolerance.” They fight against racism and sexism and ageism and ableism. They fight not for themselves, of course, but for “minorities” and “the children.” Their opponents are portrayed as seeking to “turn back the clock” to a dark and dreadful past in which church pews were full and divorce and abortions were more difficult to obtain.

They assail those who dare to assume that a certain type of genitalia determines one’s gender, and they despise white men who refuse to accept the blame for all of society’s ills.

The Left’s advantages are not limited to the propaganda arena, however. The Left is also adept at moving forward towards its ultimate goals (and I shudder to think what those may actually be) despite the misgivings of its more timid members. Conservatives debate and discuss and form circular firing squads among themselves. Meanwhile, their political and cultural opponents on the Left charge ahead, dragging the likes of the Blue Dog Democrats along for the ride, shamelessly using them to protect their flanks.

The skills of the Left are such that conservative leaders have difficulty discerning the scope of the battlefield. This makes it impossible to react strategically. Instead, conservative warriors are limited to mere tactical steps, mostly in the form of timid rear-guard actions to cover not-so-orderly retreats. It’s to that overall battlefield, the bigger picture if you will, that I propose to turn now by asking this question: what is the source of morality for the modern day American Leftist?

In other words, who or what determines the next dragon that must be slayed by the Left? What code, what document, what constitution, what by-laws, what religious text, sets the parameters for their religious, political, and cultural crusades? What defines good and evil, darkness and light, in the muddled mind of a Bernie Sanders or Michael Moore or George Soros or Nancy Pelosi?

Whereas many on the Right would point to God and the Bible as the source of their morality and therefore their politics, the Left discarded God long ago. Christianity is widely mocked and derided by our betters on the Left. It is used as a sword to shame the seemingly backwards and uneducated deplorables who dare to question the greatness and wisdom of a Hillary Clinton or an Elizabeth Warren. Of course, the Left enjoys holding Christian conservatives to the high standards of the Bible, citing them for hypocrisy when they inevitably fail to uphold them. But Democrats conveniently avoid burdening themselves with any similar standards. Accordingly, we must rule out God and the Bible as the Left’s moral compass.

The Left has made common cause with radical Islamists of late, so perhaps Allah is their god and the Koran is their lodestar? No, we must reject this hypothesis, as the alliance between the Left and Islam is nothing more than a marriage of convenience. If the enemy of my enemy is my friend, then Democrats and Islam were made for each other, at least in the short term.

Each group hates Israel. In many cases, they hate Jews as a whole, whether Israeli or not. Each group despises Christians, with Muslims doing so because Christians chose the wrong religion and Leftists because Christians chose a traditional religion at all. Nevertheless, surely American Leftists understand, deep down, that they are little more than useful idiots in the eyes of their Muslim allies and would be slaughtered right along with the Jews, Christians and other infidels were the Islamists to realize their goal of establishing a worldwide caliphate. Additionally, Muslims must understand that the Left’s desire for a Palestinian state is driven by animus for Israel rather than reverence for Islam or respect for Palestinians, and that Leftists privately hold Muslims in the same contempt which they reveal publicly with respect to Christians. And so we must eliminate the Koran, along with the Bible, as the guiding light of the Left.

Perhaps the Left looks to a political document for its moral code, rather than an ancient religious text. This may be the case, but we can quickly and easily strike the founding documents of the United States from the list of possibilities. The U.S. Constitution, especially the Bill of Rights, is designed to limit government power over the individual. Few concepts cause Leftist heads to explode faster than the idea that the federal government just might have an outer limit to the scope of its power over our lives. And if the Constitution were so revered by the Left, they wouldn’t have such a burning need to twist it into something that it clearly doesn’t say. They may derive moral justification from the fictional, unwritten “living Constitution” that exists solely in their minds—quickly making its way to the pages of the legal opinions of the latest crop of left-wing fabulists to ascend to the Supreme Court—but not from the actual version printed on the page before us.

Likewise, the Declaration of Independence hardly seems to be a source of inspiration to 21st century Leftists. Who can imagine them getting inspired by a group of underdog, overtaxed individualists breaking away from a powerful, overbearing, central government? Similarly, the goals of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” are also out of favor on the Left. The party of abortion, assisted suicide and population control in the name of saving the planet isn’t overly interested in life. And the Left, at best, merely tolerates liberty, stamping it out in a ruthless fashion whenever feasible. As to the pursuit of happiness, Leftists may pursue it, but they haven’t found it yet. After all, how many happy Leftists do you know?

The most likely source of morality and marching orders for today’s American Left would be the writings and sayings of Marx and Lenin. Today’s American Leftists would certainly deny this. Even the admitted socialist Bernie Sanders pushes back against the not-unreasonable notion that there’s no practical difference between his socialism and full-fledged communism.

Also, the near-perfect alignment of the policy proposals of the Left today with the Marxist Leninist philosophy may be more accidental than purposeful. In other words, one has great difficulty imagining someone as intellectually incurious as Patrick Leahy, Nancy Pelosi or Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez poring over The Communist Manifesto before deciding whether or not to support an increase in the minimum wage. The fact that Republicans oppose it is enough for them to be in favor of it.

Thus, perhaps the most logical conclusion is that the modern American Left has no written code, no guiding light, no clearly-defined source of morality. This lack of moral foundation would explain the sudden explosion in the number of genders from two to whatever it is today (Facebook offers more than fifty options for gender as of this writing). It would also help us understand why terms such as “golf” or “Chicago” are perfectly acceptable one moment but are racist dog whistles the next. Sadly, Leftists are evidently making it all up as they go along in their never-ceasing quest for power. Even more depressing is the fact that they are winning the battle on many fronts.

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