The Cost of a Postmodern Left

I find myself writing this on the tail end of the American election, having waited weeks for the bombast to subside and sober minded thought to ease its way back into political discourse. I want to challenge the liberal reader to a degree of introspection, to ask the question “Has the left gone too far?”

Extreme left-wing politics has ventured into the deep political waters known as the “regressive left”. The regressive leftist accepts only liberal principles and rejects contrary viewpoints without consideration for their validity. The regressive left is rife with elements of postmodern philosophy, the belief that reality changes from individual to individual. This is done to foster emotional security rather than to engage in honest intellectual debate. It is a dangerous paradigm which rejects potentially beneficial policy in an attempt to spare certain preferred groups from offense. This is why I say postmodern left instead of regressive left: it is much more descriptive and hopefully more revealing.

When dealing with collective responsibility and security, postmodernism is as dangerous a worldview as they come. To be sure, multiculturalism and social equality are essential to our society, but at what cost? Should we, as socially responsible individuals, indulge in self-delusion to obtain a higher level of self-righteousness? I hope at this point the answer is obviously ‘no’. The postmodern mindset is systemically eroding the integrity of public conversation, which was once a pride of western culture.

President Obama has been criticized for his unwillingness to blame Islamic extremism for the vile acts of terror seen round the world. At the same time, the far left has waged a sort of internal cultural war against western Christianity. How is it that Islam has become above reproach in the world of left-wing politics? Immoral acts occur much more frequently today in the name of Allah than any other religion. With nearly 83% of Americans fearing another terror attack, why is it that liberal politicians have been so reluctant to speak openly about the real and present issue of Islamic extremism? Why have honest threats been addressed dishonestly? The left, it seems, has forced its representatives to abandon reality. They are ignoring genuine threats while engaging in broad intellectual dishonesty, and lose credibility for it. But the refusal to address reality does not end at the government level.

When a Trump presidency seemed inevitable, CNN’s Van Jones described the result as a “whitelash against a black president”. It takes only a simple thought experiment to realize how ignorant that statement is: if the country is so racist as to elect on grounds of racial nostalgia, how could a black president have been elected by those same voters only four years ago? It is simply misleading and inaccurate. In fact, white voter turnout dropped from 72% in 2012 to 70% in 2016, and the white republican vote dropped from Mitt Romney’s 59% to Trump’s 58%. Trump also received a higher black vote than both Romney and John McCain. Frankly, it was not whitelash which won the vote, though that hasn’t dissuaded other left-wing commentators.

Full Frontal with Samantha Bee is a left-wing political commentary show hosted by Samantha Bee on TBS. It is of the modern ‘YouTube soundbite television’ format wherein every line is delivered as if it were a first-round-knockout-punch. In her episode subsequent the election entitled The Morning After, Bee declared that Trump’s victory was the responsibility of white voters. She states “If Muslims have to take responsibility for every member of their community, so do we [white people]!” At face value, this is just a cheap attempt to garner applause from her left-leaning audience. Deeper consideration however reveals a much more dangerous theme; Bee creates a false equivalency between race and religion. People are born into their race. It is not something a person needs to “take responsibility for”. Religion, on the other hand, is an ideology. A Muslim chooses to espouse their religion. Muslims do therefore have to take responsibility in part for the actions of those who share their ideology. This is the case for all religions, political affiliations and economic ideologies. Bee further states that “the Caucasian nation turned out in droves to vote for trump.” The left is found yet again propagating a false narrative of racism and bigotry.

I put the question to you again: what is the cost of a postmodern left? What is the consequence of the abandonment and denial of reality? Trump’s victory was not a result of a whitelash. It was not racists and bigots who showed up in droves. It was a collective who value security, economic fortitude and personal liberty over censorship and socialism. If  democrats soon realize this, the left can rebuild faster than the wall which it so desperately fought to avoid. Until then, a nation has decided that enough is enough: enough of the zeitgeist wherein reality has been rejected. I submit to you that America is through with politicians unwilling to function in reality. The West has finally decided corruption and institutionalized self-delusion has had its day. The cost of a postmodern left, as it turns out, is a Trump presidency.

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