The Liberal Mask is Slipping

A corpse starting to stink up the joint.

A corpse starting to stink up the joint.

Bizarro World. For the first time the monolithic Obama edifice of infallibility has begun to crack, with betrayals by two secretaries of defense, a former Secretary of State, a couple of White House advisers, and the guy who felt a “thrill down his leg” when Obama spoke. To top it off, we learned just how desperate the MSM has been to keep the myth intact. NBC actually wanted Jon Stewart to take over the helm of Meet the Press.

I’ve enlisted Mrs. IP to help me keep this post to a manageable size. Because I have four essays to offer, all of which should be read in their entirety, to demonstrate that the myth of liberals as liberal, tolerant, and open-minded is finally cracking apart like the coldly deceptive, authoritarian mask it is.

We grin. Because we own you.

We grin. Because we know every single button to push to keep you under our thumb.

But what’s underneath that mask is astonishingly ugly. Ugly in matters of sex, religion, race, and fake religion. First up, a piece titled “It’s Time for Polite People to Ignore the Trolls.” (she also gets into climate change in a big way, but you have to read some to get there.)

It’s been a rough week. Jill Filipovic, noteworthy feminist and senior political writer for Cosmopolitan, has evicted me from my own sex. Check out her response to my most recent reflection on abortion…

But that’s how it works nowadays, right? If you’re Jill Filipovic, member of the Cosmo panetheon [sic], you can say or do whatever you want. We can’t expect Cosmo writers to be respectful of others’ gender identities. Nor can we expect Ruth Bader Ginsburg to be culturally sensitive about the poor. Nor can we demand that Lena Dunham to pay her workers a living wage (or any wage), just because she thinks all the rest of us should.

These Beautiful People can’t be expected to play by the laws they benevolently generate to edify the rest of us. It’s only we, the poor normal schlubs, who must toe the line and abide.

Next is an essay that explores the left’s extraordinary aversion to Christianity, even when it is demonstrably behaving heroically. It’s called “Why Do So Many Liberals Despise Christianity?” Apparently, liberals can admire what Christians do while hating why they do it.

[The] urge to eliminate Christianity’s influence on and legacy within our world can be its own form of irrational animus. The problem is not just the cavalier dismissal of people’s long-established beliefs and the ways of life and traditions based on them. The problem is also the dogmatic denial of the beauty and wisdom contained within those beliefs, ways of life, and traditions. (You know, the kind of thing that leads a doctor to risk his life and forego a comfortable stateside livelihood in favor of treating deadly illness in dangerous, impoverished African cities and villages, all out of a love for Jesus Christ.)

Contemporary liberals increasingly think and talk like a class of self-satisfied commissars enforcing a comprehensive, uniformly secular vision of the human good. The idea that someone, somewhere might devote her life to an alternative vision of the good — one that clashes in some respects with liberalism’s moral creed — is increasingly intolerable.

But we can all agree, can’t we, that liberals own all matters of race, racialism, and racism. Unless you’re John McWhorter, professor of linguistics at Columbia University, who was also inadvertently born black. His contribution, “Acting White is Still a Barrier to Black Education,” doesn’t seem to find reflexive liberal demagoguery helpful but pernicious and condescending.

Newspaper coverage of the phenomenon has been rich. John Ogbu wrote a whole book squarely documenting black kids being told that doing well in school was white. After I wrote Losing the Race in 2000, I was surprised by thousands of letters, including over a hundred from black people explicitly attesting that they were teased as “white” for liking school, as well as from concerned teachers wondering what to do about black kids coming to them and telling them about this happening. I could go on, and on, and on (and have, elsewhere). The evidence is of crushing weight.

But no, all of this is apparently mere “anecdotes,” refuted by the fact that if you ask black kids whether they respect school they say yes. Or, beyond that, people who want to wish the “acting white” problem away have a rather extraordinary collection of further feints.

The “acting white is a myth” crowd see quite the weapon in, for example, Tyson, Darity and Castellino’s finding that it’s mostly in integrated schools that the “acting white” charge flares up. Their implication seems to be that because it isn’t an issue among poor black kids, it basically isn’t an issue at all. But whence suddenly the idea that only poor black kids’ problems matter? Anyone can see that the reason poor black kids underachieve is lousy schools, not being called “white,” but surely we aren’t under the impression that there are so few middle class black students in 2014 that their problems qualify as mere static. That black kids suffer this in advantaged circumstances such as these is exactly why the “acting white” issue is a problem.

There’s religion, which liberals despise, and there’s an ideology of murder, persecution (and mutilation) of women, and implacable hatred of civilization that liberals defend tooth and claw. Here’s atheist Sam Harris describing his set to in the debate between Bill Maher/Sam Harris and Nicholas Kristof/Ben Affleck. Affleck, the chief aggressor, being the illustrious liberal and college dropout (no credits). Harris asks the critical question of the moment: “Can Liberalism Be Saved from Itself?

After the show, Kristof, Affleck, Maher, and I continued our discussion. At one point, Kristof reiterated the claim that Maher and I had failed to acknowledge the existence of all the good Muslims who condemn ISIS, citing the popular hashtag #NotInOurName. In response, I said: “Yes, I agree that all condemnation of ISIS is good. But what do you think would happen if we had burned a copy of the Koran on tonight’s show? There would be riots in scores of countries. Embassies would fall. In response to our mistreating a book, millions of Muslims would take to the streets, and we would spend the rest of our lives fending off credible threats of murder. But when ISIS crucifies people, buries children alive, and rapes and tortures women by the thousands—all in the name of Islam—the response is a few small demonstrations in Europe and a hashtag.” I don’t think I’m being uncharitable when I say that neither Affleck nor Kristof had an intelligent response to this. Nor did they pretend to doubt the truth of what I said.

The answer is no.

If you don’t know how this applies, there is no hope for you.

  1. Instapunk’s avatar

    Really? No comments. Why do I do this at all?


  2. Ron’s avatar

    Your observations are spot on. But… I’m simply speechless at how people can see all this — it’s not being done in a corner — and yet still align themselves with that crowd. I don’t get it. Otherwise intelligent people I know who ostensibly claim to mistrust politicians and want government out of their business will happily back liberal programs for health care and education. Here in Texas they grouse about the popularly elected state school board, suggesting that we need to defer to appointed Federal “experts”, common people be damned. Government apparently has no business telling a woman whom she can and can’t kill in utero, or whether a high school boy should be prevented from using the girls’ locker rooms if he’s more in touch with his inner princess. But it does have a responsibility to force Christian t-shirt printers to make “gay pride” shirts? (And consign them to mandatory “diversity training” when they object?)

    I… I… I… I’m completely baffled. It’s an upside-down world.

    Chesterton was always talking about “common sense”, and how the salvation of a country lay in the common sense of the common man (over against the insanity of its politicians). What frightens me is the prospect that there isn’t much common sense left even among the common people…


  3. Peregrine John’s avatar

    I’ve been out of town for most of a week, watching surf and dolphins and birds and trying to reconstitute into a solid. The crap that goes on in the world still goes on, of course, but it was nice to inhale before girding up my loins again. Now, while the above essays do represent the complete lunacy they promised, it does my charred heart good to see that the mask is at last slipping and people are beginning to notice. Not just observant curmudgeons, but the brainwashed gits who would sooner become slaves than admit they voted stupidly.

    The question I’ve been trying to answer for months is how to get past any bit of the brainwashing to sow some seeds of doubt. Of the 4 sources, only Sam Harris’ blog isn’t in danger of the “Oh, they’re conservative” dismissal that seems to armor their minds. Yeah, it’s all that tiny and that stupid. We’ve got people out here who with a straight face refer to Mother Jones, HuffPo, and NPR, but look askance at Reason. Chesterton would despair. Friend of mine tells me to look for the “vulnerable ones” who are easier to sway instead of trying to bull into the middle of the phalanx, and try to nudge, in my microscopic way, the public opinion toward a tipping point. He’s probably right.


  4. Peregrine John’s avatar

    Case in point for the cracks in the monolith: Howard Fineman of HuffPo hesitatingly calls Dear Leader on his frankly lame ways. He can’t let it go without making apologies for The One not being able to live up to being The One because after all, Dear Leader is only a man, dontcha know. Still, a concession from a hardened and normally-blithering lefty is something notable.


  5. Instapunk’s avatar

    Glad to hear about dolphins and birds, which are healing things.

    But have you asked any hard questions yet? Your hope rings hollow if it’s still founded in fantasy.


  6. Peregrine John’s avatar

    Unsure. I’ve broadened from what most consider hard questions to the essentials, which you do, and to reasonable success.



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