Viral Post via The Federalist Papers. Woman’s “Top 10 Reasons I Am No Longer A Leftist” Goes Viral
If hate were the only reason, I’d stop being a leftist for this reason alone.
Almost twenty years ago, when I could not conceive of ever being anything but a leftist, I joined a left-wing online discussion forum.
Before that I’d had twenty years of face-to-face participation in leftist politics: marching, organizing, socializing.
In this online forum, suddenly my only contact with others was the words those others typed onto a screen. That limited and focused means of contact revealed something.
If you took all the words typed into the forum every day and arranged them according to what part of speech they were, you’d quickly notice that nouns expressing the emotions of anger, aggression, and disgust, and verbs speaking of destruction, punishing, and wreaking vengeance, outnumbered any other class of words.
One topic thread was entitled “What do you view as disgusting about modern America?” The thread was begun in 2002. Almost eight thousand posts later, the thread was still going strong in June, 2014.
Those posting messages in this left-wing forum publicly announced that they did what they did every day, from voting to attending a rally to planning a life, because they wanted to destroy something, and because they hated someone, rather than because they wanted to build something, or because they loved someone. You went to an anti-war rally because you hated Bush, not because you loved peace. Thus, when Obama bombed, you didn’t hold any anti-war rally, because you didn’t hate Obama.
I experienced powerful cognitive dissonance when I recognized the hate. The rightest of my right-wing acquaintances — I had no right-wing friends — expressed nothing like this. My right-wing acquaintances talked about loving: God, their family, their community. I’m not saying that the right-wingers I knew were better people; I don’t know that they were. I’m speaking here, merely, about language.
In 1995 I developed a crippling illness. I couldn’t work, lost my life savings, and traveled through three states, from surgery to surgery.
A left-wing friend, Pete, sent me emails raging against Republicans like George Bush, whom he referred to as “Bushitler.” The Republicans were to blame because they opposed socialized medicine. In fact it’s not at all certain that socialized medicine would have helped; the condition I had is not common and there was no guaranteed treatment.
I visited online discussion forums for others with the same affliction. One of my fellow sufferers, who identified himself as a successful corporate executive in New Jersey, publicly announced that the symptoms were so hideous, and his helpless slide into poverty was so much not what his wife had bargained for when she married him, that he planned to take his own life. He stopped posting after that announcement, though I responded to his post and requested a reply. It is possible that he committed suicide, exactly as he said he would — car exhaust in the garage. I suddenly realized that my “eat the rich” lapel button was a sin premised on a lie.
In any case, at the time I was diagnosed, Bush wasn’t president; Clinton was. And, as I pointed out to Pete, his unceasing and vehement expressions of hatred against Republicans did nothing for me.
I had a friend, a nun, Mary Montgomery, one of the Sisters of Providence, who took me out to lunch every six months or so, and gave me twenty-dollar Target gift cards on Christmas. Her gestures to support someone, rather than expressions of hate against someone — even though these gestures were miniscule and did nothing to restore me to health — meant a great deal to me.
Recently, I was trying to explain this aspect of why I stopped being a leftist to a left-wing friend, Julie. She replied, “No, I’m not an unpleasant person. I try to be nice to everybody.”
“Julie,” I said, “You are an active member of the Occupy Movement. You could spend your days teaching children to read, or visiting the elderly in nursing homes, or organizing cleanup crews in a garbage-strewn slum. You don’t. You spend your time protestingand trying to destroy something — capitalism.”
“Yes, but I’m very nice about it,” she insisted. “I always protest with a smile.”
Pete is now a Facebook friend and his feed overflows with the anger that I’m sure he assesses as righteous. He protests against homophobic Christians, American imperialists, and Monsanto. I don’t know if Pete ever donates to an organization he believes in, or a person suffering from a disease, or if he ever says comforting things to afflicted intimates. I know he hates.
I do have right-wing friends now and they do get angry and they do express that anger. But when I encounter unhinged, stratospheric vituperation, when I encounter detailed revenge fantasies in scatological and sadistic language, I know I’ve stumbled upon a left-wing website.
Given that the left prides itself on being the liberator of women, homosexuals, and on being “sex positive,” one of the weirder and most obvious aspects of left-wing hate is how often, and how virulently, it is expressed in terms that are misogynist, homophobic, and in the distinctive anti-sex voice of a sexually frustrated high-school misfit. Haters are aware enough of how uncool it would be to use a slur like “fag,” so they sprinkle their discourse with terms indicating anal rape like “butt hurt.” Leftists taunt right-wingers as “tea baggers.” The implication is that the target of their slur is either a woman or a gay man being orally penetrated by a man, and is, therefore, inferior, and despicable.
Misogynist speech has a long tradition on the left. In 1964, Stokely Carmichael said that the only position for women in the Civil Rights Movement was “prone.” Carmichael’s misogyny is all the more outrageous given the very real role of women like Rosa Parks, Viola Liuzzo, and Fannie Lou Hamer.
In 2012 atheist bloggers Jennifer McCreight and Natalie Reed exposed the degree to which misogyny dominates the New Atheist movement. McCreight quoted a prominent atheist’s reply to a woman critic. “I will make you a rape victim if you don’t fuck off… I think we should give the guy who raped you a medal. I hope you fucking drown in rape semen, you ugly, mean-spirited cow… Is that kind of like the way that rapists dick went in your pussy? Or did he use your asshole… I’m going to rape you with my fist.”
A high-profile example of leftist invective was delivered by MSNBC’s Martin Bashir in late 2013. Bashir said, on air and in a rehearsed performance, not as part of a moment’s loss of control, something so vile about Sarah Palin that I won’t repeat it here. Extreme as it is, Bashir’s comment is fairly representative of a good percentage of what I read on left-wing websites.
I could say as much about a truly frightening phenomenon, left-wing anti-Semitism, but I’ll leave the topic to others better qualified. I can say that when I first encountered it, at a PLO fundraising party in Marin County, I felt as if I had time-traveled to pre-war Berlin.
I needed to leave the left, I realized, when I decided that I wanted to spend time with people building, cultivating, and establishing, something that they loved.
2 & 3) It doesn’t work. Other approaches work better.
I went to hear David Horowitz speak in 2004. My intention was to heckle him. Horowitz said something that interrupted my flow of thought. He pointed out that Camden, Paterson, and Newark had decades of Democratic leadership.
I grew up among “Greatest Generation” Americans who had helped build these cities. One older woman told me, “As soon as I got my weekly paycheck, I rushed to Main Ave in Paterson, and my entire paycheck ended up on my back, in a new outfit.” In the 1950s and 60s, my parents and my friends’ parents fled deadly violence in Newark and Paterson.
Within a few short decades, Paterson, Camden, and Newark devolved into unlivable slums, with shooting deaths, drug deals, and garbage-strewn streets. The pain that New Jerseyans express about these failed cities is our state’s open wound.
I live in Paterson. I teach its young. My students are hogtied by ignorance. I find myself speaking to young people born in the U.S. in a truncated pidgin I would use with a train station chai wallah in Calcutta.
Many of my students lack awareness of a lot more than vocabulary. They don’t know about believing in themselves, or stick-to-itiveness. They don’t realize that the people who exercise power over them have faced and overcome obstacles. I know they don’t know these things because they tell me. One student confessed that when she realized that one of her teachers had overcome setbacks it changed her own life.
My students do know — because they have been taught this — that America is run by all-powerful racists who will never let them win. My students know — because they have been drilled in this — that the only way they can get ahead is to locate and cultivate those few white liberals who will pity them and scatter crumbs on their supplicant, bowed heads and into their outstretched palms. My students have learned to focus on the worst thing that ever happened to them, assume that it happened because America is unjust, and to recite that story, dirge-like, to whomever is in charge, from the welfare board to college professors, and to await receipt of largesse.
As Shelby Steele so brilliantly points out in his book White Guilt, the star of the sob story my students tell in exchange for favors is very much not the black aid recipient. The star of this story, still, just as before the Civil Rights Movement that was meant to change who got to take the lead in American productions, was the white man. The generous white liberal still gets top billing.
In Dominque La Pierre’s 1985 novel City of Joy, a young American doctor, Max Loeb, confesses that serving the poor in a slum has changed his mind forever about what might actually improve their lot. “In a slum an exploiter is better than a Santa Claus… An exploiter forces you to react, whereas a Santa Claus demobilizes you.”
That one stray comment from David Horowitz, a man I regarded as the enemy, sparked the slow but steady realization that my ideals, the ideals I had lived by all my life, were poisoning my students and Paterson, my city.
After I realized that our approaches don’t work, I started reading about other approaches. I had another Aha! moment while listening to a two minute twenty-three second YouTube video of Milton Friedman responding to Phil Donahue’s castigation of greed. The only rational response to Friedman is “My God, he’s right.”
5 & 4) Straw men and “In order to make an omelet you have to break a few eggs.”
It astounds me now to reflect on it, but never, in all my years of leftist activism, did I ever hear anyone articulate accurately the position of anyone to our right. In fact, I did not even know those positions when I was a leftist.
“Truth is that which serves the party.” The capital-R revolution was such a good, it could eliminate all that was bad, that manipulating facts was not even a venial sin; it was a good. If you want to make an omelet, you have to break a few eggs. One of those eggs was objective truth.
Ron Kuby is a left-wing radio talk show host on New York’s WABC. He plays the straw man card hourly. If someone phones in to question affirmative action – shouldn’t such programs benefit recipients by income, rather than by skin color? – Kuby opens the fire hydrant. He is shrill. He is bombastic. He accuses the caller of being a member of the KKK. He paints graphic word pictures of the horrors of lynching and the death of Emmett Till and asks, “And yousupport that?”
Well of course THE CALLER did not support that, but it is easier to orchestrate a mob in a familiar rendition of righteous rage against a sensationalized straw man than it is to produce a reasoned argument against a reasonable opponent.
On June 16, 2014, Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank published a column alleging that a peaceful Muslim was nearly verbally lynched by violent Islamophobes at a Heritage Foundation-hosted panel. What Milbank described was despicable. Unfortunately for Milbank and the Washington Post‘s credibility, someone filmed the event and posted the film on YouTube. Panel discussants, including Frank Gaffney and Brigitte Gabriel, made important points in a courteous manner. Saba Ahmed, the peaceful Muslim, is a “family friend” of a bombing plotter who expressed a specific desire to murder children. It soon became clear that Milbank was, as one blogger put it, “making stuff up.”
Milbank slanders anyone who might attempt analysis of jihad, a force that is currently cited in the murder of innocents — including Muslims — from Nigeria to the Philippines. The leftist strategy of slandering those who speak uncomfortable facts suppresses discourse and has a devastating impact on confrontations with truth in journalism and on college campuses.
6) I believe in God.Read the rest of the article here. And PLEASE PLEASE spread the word!
Read Marx and discover a mythology that is irreconcilable with any other narrative, including the Bible. Hang out in leftist internet environments, and you will discover a toxic bath of irrational hatred for the Judeo-Christian tradition. You will discover an alternate vocabulary in which Jesus is a “dead Jew on a stick” or a “zombie” and any belief is an arbitrary sham, the equivalent of a recently invented “flying spaghetti monster.” You will discover historical revisionism that posits Nazism as a Christian denomination. You will discover a rejection of the Judeo-Christian foundation of Western Civilization and American concepts of individual rights and law. You will discover a nihilist void, the kind of vacuum of meaning that nature abhors and that, all too often, history fills with the worst totalitarian nightmares, the rough beast that slouches toward Bethlehem.