By Leo White
Leo can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org for questions or comments.
When I was in high school, a friend of mine who was a left-leaning libertarian, and registered Democrat used to parry my political arguments with the chestnut “But the government can’t legislate morality.” This axiomatic truth was evidenced by the Larry Flynt trial (To fight pornography), the Hollywood 10/McCarthyism (to fight those who hold political opinions which are anathema to America), and the ongoing war on drugs (To fight destructive substances that threaten our health) which were all seemingly noble attempts to use the power of the federal government stop ignoble things from spreading. The goal was ostensibly to keep these vices from destroying our culture and our way of life.
Well, they failed. They failed because the cultures of the 50s, 60s, 70s, 80s, and even the 90s is gone. The idea of the Christian right attacking video games as the root of adolescent violence in the 90s is replaced by SJWs attacking video games as the root for violence against women/transgender/etc in the 2010s. It’s the same story, different characters. As another friend of mine is wont to describe films, “it’s a new version of the age old morality play.”
The left has so many outlets that focus on 3 things: Commentary, Virtue Signaling, and controlling the narrative. They pretty much OWN this idea conveyance method, by the way. The idea of stories “going viral” is fairly owned by sites like Gawker, Uproxx, Upworthy, Buzzfeed – how many conservative voices come out of there? How many libertarian? How many post-identity politics, feminist voices? You get my point. Let me ask you: If Marx and Engels are writing the book on capitalism, how fair of a shake do you think it’s going to get? That’s like asking Xerxes to write “A Brief history of the heroes of Sparta.” The only legitimacy would be in its likely laconic tone: “There were none.”
So, the left controls the commentary on issues by having the majority of commenters; they engage in a purity race to see who can be the most sinless by their own moral code, and through this lens they write their stories. Does this seem to ANYONE else like the “Religious Right” from the 80s and 90s, except instead of Christianity, they adopted Progressivism? It’s like John Calvin’s Geneva, if he was a member of AntiFa.
“You can’t say that.” “You can’t write that.” “You can’t think that.” “You.” “Can’t.” These are their hallmark words. Their touchstones. The Democrats used to castigate Republicans for being the “Party of No,” “The Party of Obstruction.” Some Republicans claimed it was “just politics.” Now the Democrats/Progressives rally cry is “Obstruct! Resist!” but they are TOTALLY genuine and are super cereal, and aren’t just using it to make political hay.
What blows me away is that they’re using the same moral high-ground argument that the religious right did not so long ago. How can 2 sides of the abortion debate claim to have the moral high ground? How can 2 sides of the gay marriage debate claim to have the moral high ground? The answer has to logically be “different definitions of morality,” right? This moral relativism is not “pure” relativism, in the sense that “what’s right for one may not be right for another,” but more of an “abstract” moral relativism that just doesn’t have a basis in Judeo-Christian (10 Commandments) law, but is still pushed as objective morality all the same, by its zealots.
Progressivism is more and more mirroring an ersatz religion, who should not be questioned, should not be openly challenged, and should deliver ruination upon anyone who deigns step in its way. Its priests and priestesses (Usually more priestesses) will sermonize about inequality and identity, and the evils of a fallen society. Literally the only thing we need on college campuses are women with pink dreadlocks holding banners that say “You’re all terrible people: White men, men, republicans, Nazis…” as mirror images of those who used to throw the same epithets their way out of dedication of faith, and need for attention.
Maybe the human brain is wired to need religion. Maybe we as a people are masochistic, and have to create a hard line force to impose strict morality on us. Maybe liberalism will eat itself as it enforces strict adherence to its own dogma. Hell, maybe in 30 years we’ll have to watch out for Branch-Wateridians wearing exploding vests at CPAC. What I do know is that those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it, and those who create modalities to enforce morality are doomed to have someone else’s morality enforced on them one day.