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Wednesday, April 26, 2017
The Left's Irrational Fury
There's an old joke about a psychiatrist who is approached by a patient in a mental ward who tells him , "I, sir, am Napoleon!"
"How do you know that?" asks the doctor.
"Because God told me!"
From the next bed comes the angry rejoinder, ""I did not!"
In a world bordering on insanity, delusions of grandeur are no longer a joke. Nor is there any need to visit designated mental facilities to be confronted by those who have lost all sense of reality. The delusional are out there in full display. And in many instances, they are the ones running the entire crazy show. The out-of-control antics of Senate minority leader Chuck E. Schumer, for example, have been much discussed -- or is that "disgust"?
Pretenders to America's progressive throne may not have reached the insane heights of a madman like North Korea's Kim Jong Un, but they have geared up for their own ersatz punitive wars. Thus far, their missiles have been aimed at those whose presumed crime is that of disagreeing with the liberal line. It may seem odd that progressives are so sincerely engaged in an out-and-out war, considering their ballyhooed abhorrence to the very idea.
But with Trump's unexpected election, the haters are feeling ever more desperate. As a result, they take issue with every issue and engage in what they consider a fight to the finish -- even if the election, itself, is over. Compromise hasn't a chance of presiding over what is political -- and these days, everything is political. As the battlegrounds of our divided country proliferate, the lines between good and evil become ever more sharply drawn.
It isn't just the obvious schisms -- such as the Democrat's rejection of Neal Gorsuch for the high court or the refusal of the leaders of sanctuary cities to obey the law of the land. In an attempt to thwart consensus of any kind, the liberal establishment has begun coloring outside the usual lines of attack. Their positions on contentious topics -- such as global warming, abortion, and immigration -- are now drawn with even bolder brushstrokes of irrational fury.
The full-throated righteous indignation of the Left can get tiresome, however, especially with its repetitive hackneyed phrases, such as "We are a country of immigrants!" or "We believe in building bridges, not walls!" Even more grating than the clichés is the simpleminded expedient of defining people and policies as exclusively "in" or "out," acceptable or deplorable.
The liberal establishment's claim to being "color blind" translates into seeing things as either black or white. Perhaps exceptions are overlooked because they do not believe in exceptionalism! And in their rush to judgment, progressives round up the usual suspects: the Trump administration, corporations, whites males, Wall Street, conservatives, the rich, the right-to-lifers, etc. To this list of evil-doers there seems to have been added yet another target for wrath: The Old.
Cooling my heels in a podiatrist's waiting room recently, I picked up a copy of Time magazine that featured what it called the "Next Generation Leaders," which included Jon Stewart's young replacement on "The Daily Show," Trevor Noah.
In the article, the talk-show host expresses a degree of modesty regarding his sudden success. But he is not at all reluctant to take a few digs at a segment of the population that doesn't much dig him. And naturally, he did so by way of prompting a favorite "concern" of the liberal establishment.
Noah states: "You look at global warming. Of course, old people don't care about the planet because they're not going to be here for the consequences." His statement suggests that the only humans willing to save the world from climatic chaos are young liberals. This year's Earth Day celebrated science, but the implication was that questioning the extent of mankind's role in heating up the planet is to be a flat-earther, too stupid to understand science, much less accept it.
So even as earth-dwellers' carbon footprints logically shrinks as we grow old, hotshot millennials like Trevor Noah still maintain that "the older generation has a 'me, me, me' attitude when it comes to issues like the environment." Bernie Sanders notwithstanding, the generation gap on this issue seems to have widened into a virtual chasm, with echoes of resentment reverberating from either side.
It is not unusual to blame the present state of things on those who have hung around them the longest. Or to find "pathetic" those who may be uncomfortable around technology. Yet this year's national Earth Day hoopla specifically honoring "science" seemed a bit presumptuous, considering that the PISA test scores of young Americans in math and science have been consistently below average compared to other participating countries.
But like other general, feel-good rally themes such as free speech, human rights, and universal love, championing science is a safe bet that requires little effort other than carrying a placard -- or maybe dressing like a solar panel.