Whether one is on the left or right, it cannot be denied that the left has had an enormous impact on the major institutions of American society -- specifically journalism, education and the judiciary.
In every poll I have seen, liberals overwhelm conservatives in academia, including the teachers' colleges, which are quite far left, and in journalism. And few deny the leftward tilt of the Supreme Court for most of the last 40 years.
The question, then, is not whether the left has had such an impact, but why.
I learned a major part of the answer years ago in Idaho where I was the moderator of a panel of judges -- including a past California Supreme Court justice -- and lawyers connected to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. I asked the panel members to give their view of the role of judges. The response of the liberal former California Supreme Court justice opened my eyes to the left's view of virtually everything in society.
He said that the purpose of a California Supreme Court justice, and for that matter, every judge, is to fight economic inequality and racism in society. I responded that I thought the one purpose of a judge was to render justice in the courtroom.
I might as well have responded in biblical Hebrew (that's where I got the idea of a judge's role anyway): He and the other liberals on the panel reacted as if I had offered a new and original notion of judges' roles.
Because the left views the purpose of judges as furthering a social agenda that transcends justice in the courtroom, the judicial process has been distorted for decades. Perhaps the best-known example is Roe v. Wade, a decision that even some liberal scholars -- such as Professor Laurence Tribe of Harvard Law School -- have criticized.
In the words of pro-choice liberal Washington Post columnist Richard Cohen, "[T]he very basis of the Roe v. Wade decision -- the one that grounds abortion rights in the Constitution -- strikes many people now as faintly ridiculous. Whatever abortion may be, it cannot simply be a matter of privacy." But for the liberal justices involved, the question was not whether abortion rights are to be found in the Constitution; it was whether or not they wanted to legalize abortion.
The same principle holds true in journalism. There was a time when the primary purpose of journalists was to report the news. That is why they were called "reporters." But for most news people on the left, reporting the news is insignificant compared to changing society for the better, which is the whole point of being a leftist.
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