The Professional Left vs. the Amateur Right
A class of radicals who live off charitable donations and devote their lives to spreading ideology has expanded its reach all the way to the White House.
August 18, 2010 - 12:00 am
Of all the slips of the tongue and unintentional admissions by this administration, Robert Gibbs’ “professional left” comment may well be the one they wish they could squeeze back into their collective windpipe the most:
I hear these people saying (Obama) is like George Bush. Those people ought to be drug tested. … I mean, it’s crazy. … The professional left … will be satisfied when we have Canadian health care and we’ve eliminated the Pentagon. That’s not reality. … They wouldn’t be satisfied if Dennis Kucinich was president.
That is, perhaps, the first objective analysis we’ve heard from Gibbs in his career as Obama’s press secretary — and it’s likely to be the last one. For speaking his mind, Gibbs has been urged to resign in disgrace, as if he had committed treason. We may laugh it off, and leave it at that, but the left’s ferocious attacks on Gibbs might be caused by something more sinister than a mere suggestion that on the planet of Hopeychangia, reality is a buzzkill. The latter is not a secret; neither is the fact that the truth is to the loony fringe what the cross is to the vampires. If that were Gibbs’ only transgression, he would’ve been slapped on the wrist, not kicked in the liver. So why the uproar? Why the feeling of betrayal? And just who exactly is the professional left?
The term “professional left” denotes a growing industry that specializes in converting other people’s money into an ideological product, while making a good living out of it in the process.
It would seem that Robert Gibbs broke the first rule of the professional left, which is (of course): you do not talk about the professional left. The second rule? See the first rule. Now that Gibbs has recklessly uttered the monster’s true name, the professional left has collectively risen from the murky depth, roaring and raving, demanding a ritualistic sacrifice in the form of the press secretary’s political corpse.
The term “professional left” hasn’t been in open circulation before, but it deserves to stick. The casual way in which Gibbs dropped the phrase suggests that it is part of the inner circle’s jargon, and that the White House residents are fully aware of its meaning, function, and implication. There is a class of people with radical leftist views who have made it their job — with the help of abundant grants, foundations, and trusts — to carry out propaganda campaigns, indoctrinate, subvert, and plant the seeds of the leftist worldview in people’s minds through the arts, media, education, blogging, and street protests. For many it’s the only income they’ve had in years. As with most professional enthusiasts, after a while the pre-paid idealism gives way to cynicism, and the quest for truth turns into a mechanical repetition of talking points.
In today’s busted economy, the professional left remains the only booming sector. It has grown so big, it’s time they unionized — which may be a good thing, for it will definitely reduce their productivity and make them go bust, just like the auto industry. That’s when the American economy may finally start booming again, since there definitely is a reverse correlation between the two. But then, I’m afraid, the cycle will repeat, because the professional left tend to multiply faster in a booming economy with plenty of trickle-down opportunities. When a tide lifts all boats, it also lifts flotsam and jetsam.
Observe how many professional left organizations spawned in the years of Bush’s presidency, when tax cuts ushered in economic prosperity. Immediately, they started working on bringing the economy down. The most prolific hatching, of course, occurred in the wake of the hate-Bush political flotilla.
These creatures always give themselves benevolent, kind names. Common Dreams, for example, hatched in the good year of 1997, when the Republican majority in Congress was steering the country into prosperity. Among other things, the name “Common Dreams” adequately describes the professional left’s collective ambition to attach themselves to a “progressive” think tank, with the feeding tube connected directly to the deep pocket of George Soros or his equivalent.
In contrast, there’s no such class of people on the right. Those employed in the several right-leaning think tanks are too few to make up a class, or even a guild. The same applies to a handful of magazines and newspapers, one Fox News channel, and a few dozen local and national radio talk show hosts.
They are not living off public subsidies, leeching off charities, or smuggling in a fringe ideology wrapped in a mainstream format, which is what the professional left does. Unlike their ideological opponents, these people openly state their beliefs, make a living through legitimate advertising, and run honest, sustainable businesses. They may be a force, but there aren’t enough of them to fill a large auditorium.
As of this writing, the professional left is desperately trying to coin the term “professional right,” and to use it as broadly and as often as they can to counterbalance Gibbs’ statement. Notice how unanimously they are repeating it now, pretending it had always existed and wasn’t made up by them just a few days ago for damage control.
But in real life, no intellectually honest person can talk about a “professional right” with a straight face. If such a term existed, it would most likely refer to those who earn a living in the private sector, own businesses, and are indeed professionals.
I’m not talking about official political parties and their operatives. Many of the activists on the right aren’t registered Republicans; even when they vote for the GOP candidates, they often do so holding their noses. What we have is the amateur right: a loose amalgamation of free-roaming conservatives and libertarians who engage in political activism in their spare time — and on their own dime.
The amateur right’s favorite pastime is listening to talk radio and fighting a battle of wits on political blogs and discussion forums. They are frequently accused of being corporate sellouts by their leftist opponents. A typical presumption is that no one would defend capitalist free markets unless they were paid to do so by a shady deep-pocketed entity. (That happened to me more than once and I’ve heard similar stories from others.) When the amateur right finally protested in the streets as tea partiers, the professional left and the Democrat leaders similarly accused them of being Astroturf laid down by insurance companies.
The accusations are telling. The astroturfing itself is a patented invention of the professional left — complete with union-sponsored buses full of uniformed “activists” with identical pre-printed signs. Many leftist bloggers are getting paid for building up the visibility of their causes on the Internet. Assigning these traits to the amateur right appears to be a projection, shaped by a narrative that measures success in dollars received from grants, charities, government funding, and salaries within the ranks of the professional left.