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OPINION

When The Left Gets in Your Face

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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AP Photo/Rick Bowmer

If you have ever lived or worked in a large city you probably have been verbally accosted a time or two. You’re just walking down the street minding your own business when all of a sudden, for no reason, some random guy notices you have a face and gets in it. 

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It happened to me regularly when I worked in Washington, DC. Sometimes they demand money. Sometimes they want to loudly tell a tale of woe. Sometimes they’re just delusional. Whatever the reason, something about them is clearly not right. 

In 2011, the Journal of Language and Social Psychology published the findings of a group of researchers who postulated that people most prone to this sort of behavior were, “individuals who scored low in adherence to the standards of conventional morality but high in ego defensiveness (unwillingness to accept criticism or correction from others) and affect intensity for anger and frustration.”

This finding may be unsurprising but it establishes a clinical baseline for figuring out what’s wrong with these people. Ordinarily, understanding such behavior wouldn’t be top of mind for most of us. But in recent years, the American Left has ratcheted-up its agitation on a variety of issues, and we sometimes find ourselves in the crosshairs of unhinged people who, with no provocation at all, want to get in our face and agitate on their issue du jour

Agitation is a core component of Marxism and its variants. It’s necessary to unsettle the proletariat and compel them to confront the bourgeoisie, according to Karl Marx. But agitation isn’t just a good idea for authoritarians; it’s essentially mandatory.

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Vladimir Lenin wrote in 1902, “We must bear in mind that in one year of intensified political life the proletariat can obtain more revolutionary training than in several years of political calm.” This establishes the predicate for perpetual agitation. Lenin then advises, “For this reason the tendency of the above-mentioned socialists consciously or unconsciously to restrict the scope and content of political agitation is particularly harmful.” (italic in original)

Got that? American Leftists are instructed that it is harmful to restrict agitation. It doesn’t matter what the issue is; abortion, global warming, LGBTQ stuff, or anything else, it’s all fair game. Authoritarians must behave in a manner that ignores accepted morality, reveals a defensive ego and manifests itself in intense anger. It sounds positively exhausting. 

One of the very early truths I learned from my father is that a lot of people just aren’t happy unless they’re miserable. That’s what we see in those promoting totalitarian agendas. They’ve been deceived into believing that Western institutions must be wrecked, inculcated to perpetually agitate, and are angry and frustrated that some institutions aren’t yet corrupted. Normal people don’t act like this.

Whether by accident or design, these Marxist commandments to defy morality, possess a defensive ego and live with intense anger and frustration are polar opposites of what the Bible tells us.

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The conventional morality of Western civilization largely comes from the Bible and Reformed Christianity. Starting with the 10 Commandments, and incorporating teachings from the Gospels and the letters of Christ’s apostles, most of American law and society reflect biblical precepts. 

I’m no theologian and do not know whether the Bible addresses the behavior of street people but the apostle Paul wrote to the church in Thessalonica, “Aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands, as we instructed you.” It’s not unreasonable to interpret this passage as, ‘don’t get in people’s faces.’

As for defensive egotism, Christ himself beautifully addressed that. In telling a parable recorded in Luke’s Gospel, Jesus said, “For everyone who exalts himself will be humbled, and he who humbles himself will be exalted.” No ambiguity here. 

One of the great Proverbs from the Old Testament is similarly unambiguous in telling us, “Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly.” Anger is the wellspring of despair. 

Frustration is the price of admission to life on Earth but there’s biblical guidance for that too. The Gospel of John records Christ telling his disciples, “In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

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Marx, Lenin and their ideological spawn demand their minions behave in a manner that is 180-degrees out of phase with Scripture. Perhaps this is why American Leftists are so unhappy. A 2022 YouGov survey found that conservatives are nearly twice as likely as liberals to be “completely satisfied” with their mental health. I certainly am. 

Tragically, many others are not. Their behavior may be childish and obnoxious but we must understand these are damaged, insecure people. They absolutely do not deserve our acquiescence but their being tricked into believing a dangerous and violent ideology is nothing short of pitiable. 

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