For well over 20 years, and particularly since I first became a college student, I have marveled at the intellectual contortionism of leftists. Confessedly, I have been intrigued as to how ostensibly intelligent human beings could hold positions that are as intellectually untenable as those to which leftists subscribe.
I am not guilty of an ad hominem attack, here. I am far from the first observer to note the readiness with which True Believers on the left strain out the proverbial gnat while welcoming in the camel:
Leftists decry “racism” when black criminals who fight with police (whether the officers in question are white, black, or other is inconsequential) are shot in response. Yet they either ignore or explain away the all too routine occurrence of black-on-nonblack violence.
Leftists obsess over the “anti-immigrant” sentiment that they ascribe to Americans and Europeans who typically do no more than call for the governments of their countries to enforce immigration laws, Westerners who only want to conserve the borders and traditions of the lands that their ancestors made the envy of the world.
Yet they either ignore or explain away the tremendous costs of immigration, including and especially the cost of crime against the indigenous citizens that immigration has imposed.
Leftists howl about “Islamophobia” because millions cast their presidential vote for Donald Trump and the president-elect proposed (at one point) a temporary moratorium on immigration from Islamic nations that have a record of supporting terrorism. Yet the left either ignores or explains away the numerous terrorist attacks that Muslim immigrants have executed against Americans whose generosity they have exploited.
We could go on ad infinitum.
To crack this mystery, this puzzle of how both the intellectual and moral visions of presumably intelligent and even decent human beings can be as impoverished as those of the left, I’ve finally realized that we must turn our attention from the intellectual to the psychological.
There are, I believe, two things that account for this otherwise incomprehensible phenomenon.
First, there is the burning desire for power that we cannot overlook.
Leftists generally, and non-white leftists specifically, are motivated by a desire to accumulate political power. The 19th century German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche said that all living things are driven by “the Will to Power,” the will to dominate their surroundings, to coerce others into accepting their own values. “My idea,” Nietzsche writes, “is that every specific body strives to become master over all space and to extend its force”—the Will to Power—and “thrust back all that resists its extension.”
Whether all human beings fit Nietzsche’s description is questionable. That the members of Black Lives Matter, La Raza, and other racial and ethnic activist groups do has become unquestionable. Ideals like “racial equality,” “black liberation,” and “equality” have proven to be devices or smokescreens by which these racial activists have sought to affect a radical redistribution of power that promises to benefit them.
Feminist and LGBT activists are no different in this respect, cloaking their aching desire for ideological domination behind the language of “equal rights” and the like.
It is this obsession with total power over anything and anyone that attempts to “resist its extension” that accounts for why leftists bemoan only those “inequalities” that seem to frustrate their ambitions. As for those inequalities that the left finds either conducive to its quest for ever greater power or at least non-threatening, it sells them as the manifestations of “diversity.”
Yet there is another psychological feature to account for leftist politics that is all too frequently neglected by partisans of all stripes: fear.
The truth of the matter is that for all of the hyperbole over “right-wing extremism,” in contemporary America there is no parity in the least between left and right when it comes to the penchant for committing violence.
It was Black Lives Matter, not the members of the Tea Party, who marched in the thousands screaming for the deaths of dead police officers.
It wasn’t at a Tea Party rally, but at a Black Lives Matter “protest,” that five Dallas police officers were assassinated.
It wasn’t Donald Trump supporters who crashed their political opponents’ rallies, visiting violence upon Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton supporters, but the latter who targeted for attack Trump supporters—and at Trump’s rallies.
It isn’t white Americans who have been videoed waving American flags as they reduce to ashes Mexican flags. It is Hispanic activist thugs who have had the unmitigated gall to torch the American flag as they have held up the flags of the countries from which they have fled.
It isn’t right-wing militias, neo-Nazis, Klansmen or anyone else who the left identifies with the right that are taking to the streets and pummeling those whose presence they resent. It is self-avowed “anti-fascists” and SJWs who are ready to resort to incivility and brutality when encountering those whose speech they dislike.
Here’s the point: Though they can’t bring themselves to admit it, in the deep recesses of the minds of those otherwise decent human beings who are leftist sympathizers I believe there lurks a chronic fear of the left generally and of the hard or militant left in particular. There is a fear of professional ruination and social ostracism, certainly, but as well a fear of being physically harmed or worse.
Only fear can explain how otherwise decent, reasonable human beings can wax indignant over “racial profiling” on the part of police officers, airline companies, and department store clerks while remaining utterly silent, or even explaining away, the most brutal and sadistic interracial crimes involving black perpetrators and non-black victims.
Only fear can explain how otherwise decent human beings can decry the refusal of Christian bakers to participate in a gay wedding ceremony while simultaneously decrying as “Islamophobic” those Westerners who resist the importation into their societies of a culture that not only condemns homosexuality per se, but punishes it with death.
Only fear can explain how otherwise decent human beings who purport to champion gender equality can blast as “sexist” white CEOs over an “inequity” in pay between men and women while refusing to utter a peep about the burkas that women in the Islamic world (and in the West) are made to wear.
Presumably decent human beings fear being suspected of harboring politically incorrect thoughts lest they find themselves exiled from “respectable society,” it is true. Yet I also contend that they fear incurring the wrath of those on the militant, thug-left who they know are violent thugs—even if they can’t bring themselves to consciously admit it.