The Left's Big Obsession
The "leftist mind" has been undone by its allegiance to bad ideas.
In the movie Casino (1995), Ace Rothstein is dining in the restaurant of the casino he manages and discovers that his blueberry muffin doesn't have as many blueberries as his dinner companion's blueberry muffin. Being the boss of the joint, he marches back to the kitchen for a chat with his baker (video):
ROTHSTEIN: From now on, I want you to put an equal amount of blueberries in each muffin -- an equal amount of blueberries in each muffin.
BAKER: Do you know how long that's going to take?
ROTHSTEIN: I don't care how long it takes. Put an equal amount in each muffin.
This scene mimics the political left's obsession with equality. A lefty is like a child at a birthday party complaining that another kid got a bigger piece of cake than he did.
In a conversation about equal treatment of the sexes -- I forget whether we were talking about the military draft, unisex bathrooms, or what -- a young woman actually told me that "equal" doesn't mean "the same." Uh, yes it does. Equal means the same in all respects. Identical. No differences whatsoever. Indeed, "equal" equals equal.
If "equal" doesn't mean equal, then all thought is for naught. Mathematics and logic are out the door. Without the ability to conceptualize absolute equality, Homo sapiens would be Homo sappy ones. We wouldn't have gone to the Moon, invented computers, or done any of the things that have set us apart from the lesser primates, like lefties.
In his majority opinion in Rostker v. Goldberg (1981), Justice Rehnquist wrote: "The Constitution requires that Congress treat similarly situated persons similarly, not that it engage in gestures of superficial equality."
What an unfortunate formulation -- what the devil is "superficial equality"? Imagine how mathematicians would receive: 2 + 2 superficially equals 4. Also, the words "similarly situated" and "superficial" don't appear in the Constitution. "Equal," however, does.
What Rehnquist should have written in Kostker is something more like this: the Constitution requires that Congress make a good-faith effort to treat everyone equally.
In the "real world" we operate in, equality is nonexistent. Even so, equality is the big obsession of the left. Despite the impossibility of achieving equality, the left worships at its altar, and like the Pharisee, they do so very publicly. For instance, the Democratic National Committee tried to honor Nancy Pelosi for her time as Speaker, but she rejected the honor, wanting the DNC to add mention of her "accomplishments for equality."
What America should embrace is Compassionate Social DarwinismTM. Under CSD, government would make a good-faith effort to see that no one starves nor freezes to death, but beyond that, not much. Rather than worrying about whether everyone has an equal slice of the pie, government would give the indigent just enough gruel to sustain life, and they would sleep on concrete floors in heated warehouses.
As for health care, under CSD the uninsured poor would get compassionate pain relief, such as free aspirin. But there'd be no liver transplants for destitute alcoholics. And if the poor can't pay for their Viagra, they'll just have to do without.
The "leftist mind" has been undone by its allegiance to bad ideas -- ideas like equality. The left, aka progressives, would do better by pushing other ideas, ideas that have a chance of being realized. How about the idea of "niceness"?
If the left's obsession were niceness, then they could harangue everyone about whether everyone's lot in life is nice (not equally nice, mind you, just nice). Then Al Sharpton could orate: "The dream was to make everything [nice] in everybody's house."
Niceness, however, doesn't have the same advantages as equality. The left, you see, uses equality to divide America, and they're not very nice about it. Outcomes must be equal, even though people aren't.
The left has tried to make conservatism out to be some psychological abnormality. But the left is the faction whose highest commitment is to something that can't be realized on this earth. Perhaps lefties suffer from multiphrenia.
If government could create equality, we'd all be wretched. But hey, we'd all be equal.
Jon N. Hall is a programmer/analyst from Kansas City.