The left just wants to sit at the cool kids table. They’ll sacrifice everything for it: honor, principles, even self-respect.
Everyone says we’re divided as a country, but I don’t think anyone fully realizes how much
The problem is that to heal the division, we would not only need to be able to speak the same language (doable) or work together towards common goals (common goals are debatable, but we might be able to identify some), but – and this is more difficult – we would need to have the same interests in life.
Okay, let me explain. I don’t mean that we have an interest in freedom and the left has an interest in slavery.
Sure, you could say that and not be far wrong, but it’s not just that.
As humans, we come from great apes (trust me, those were the best apes! Very great apes!). Great apes are social animals. It is normal for social animals to want to fit into the group at all costs.
Yesterday, my friend Tom Knighton wrote a post for my blog in which he explained that the left doesn’t care if it makes things up. This is true. In fact, their deceptions reach the childish level, and I’ll have more to say about that in another article. Anyway, as part of his post, there was this sentence:
After all, the American left has made it pretty damn clear that they don’t really care about the lives of people who disagree with them ideologically. They’ve taken to stalking and harassment in public spaces to try and shame conservative leadership into…who the hell knows? I guess they think they can turn the right into leftists with enough shame or something. That’s not how it works, mind you, but that’s what they apparently think.
When I heard this, something clicked. It makes no sense to us, of course. But here’s something I noticed: stalking and harassment in public spaces (and private) do work on the left.
Haven’t we seen this played out many times in the circles of the left? It can be seen three times a week on Twitter. They decide one of their circle has stepped too far out from the accepted “beliefs” and descend with the shame games. Soon enough, the creature being accused – often of outrageous falsehoods, because once the victim is identified they pile on – crawls back and promises to be a good boy or girl or whatever, and never again departs from the “revealed truth™”.
I mean, I know this is true in our midst. Time and again, we’ve seen a leftist author accused of “bad thought” or of not being sufficiently woke. Sometimes the victim puts up a token resistance, but soon enough he or she folds and begs for forgiveness and promises to be good. Soon enough he is defending those who attacked him.
We see this in politics too, where even the GOP – who frankly are soft left – when “shamed” in the press and accused of outrageous stuff tends to fold like a cheap umbrella and, even though it’s clear that they’ll always be the “permanent designated villain” by the left, still try to ingratiate themselves, or at least not be so “evil” that they get completely kicked out of “polite society” (which I think in congress-person means “cocktail party circuit”).
Our side? Sure, we don’t like to be completely on the outs – we’re still social animals, see – but through the years when the media controlled the entertainment-news industrial complex, we were the ones who had to step outside that comfort zone.
We might keep quiet at work, or even in the family, not so much for the sake of acceptance as for the sake of peace, but each of us knew in our heart of hearts that there was something that mattered more to us than mere “fitting in.” Principles, truth, individual freedom, the Constitution. Mix and match in different amounts, but each of us had to step out of line and not go back in for the sake of one or all of those principles.
We took it with varying levels of comfort too, of course, but we knew what mattered, and it wasn’t just “having the approval of all the cool kids.”
In the nineties, I read one of P.J. O’Rourke’s books, I don’t remember which, in which he pointed out that modern leftists if transported to the sixties would be not the long-haired rebels or the anti-establishment fighters they believe they’d be. No. They’re comfortable creatures of the establishment, cozy with the acceptance of believing what the loudest voices and the authority figures say. If they went back to the sixties, they would be the “squares.”
I’m not sure O’Rourke is right. I think more than anything the left would be the “pretty girls” and the “hot jocks” of high school years. The ones who claim the “good table” and for whom death consists of being shunned by the “beautiful people.”
They really want to be loved and popular and to be in good with “the right people.”
This is why they shun us, humiliate us in public, and otherwise try to shame us into getting back in the fold. It would work with them. They can’t understand why it doesn’t work with us. Are we stupid? Or crazy?
Worse, they don’t understand we’re not in high school anymore.
Look, to the extent that the Left has been the establishment, in charge of the plum political jobs, the newspapers, the books, the arts, the best way to get ahead was always to be in their good graces. People who were and are instinctive toadies did very well indeed.
But now the freakouts and cannibal feasts are coming closer and closer on the left. And the rewards are getting smaller and smaller, as their institutions roll left and die.
And they don’t understand. They just want to be liked.
They also don’t understand why Trump won, or why the right doesn’t join their freakout over everything the news says Trump said or did.
The reason Trump won is that he threw open the high school doors and realized there is a world besides who gets to sit at the popular leftist-girls table. He spoke with no regard for whether he’d be welcome “in polite society.”
In the same way, the high school door has flown open to almost all of us, both with his election and after.
Except in a few, isolated cases, most of us are talking back. Sometimes it’s even just a small resistance, just an “I don’t think so,” but it’s enough to make them go crazy. Because not only are they used to no-resistance, but if someone is questioning the cool-kid hierarchy, how can they be sure they’re on the “right side” to be loved?
It’s important to remember this. Attacking them on their principles is fruitless. They don’t have any.
Mock them, deride them, hit at their need to belong, and they’ll fold to us, just as they fold to their own side.
It’s all they have. It’s all they do. They’re cool-kid wannabes looking for a table.