The Peculiar American Left
As an immigrant to the United States, and thus a sideline spectator of the panorama that is American society, as well as someone who has spent most of his adult life in the field of international finance dealing with a myriad of countries and nationalities, I have been fascinated by the characteristics of the American left as compared to their counterparts in the rest of the world. While on the surface there may appear to be similarities, at least on a so-called philosophical basis, there are, however, virtually none when it comes to the motivation and personality quirks of the American left.
In 1904 Scottish playwright J.M. Barrie introduced to the world a play entitled: "Peter Pan, or the Boy Who Wouldn't Grow Up". Similar to the central character in that stage production the American left is primarily made up of those who will not grow up. However, unlike the central character in the play, far too many on the left are self-centered, willfully ignorant and lazy.
Winston Churchill touched on this subject matter when he said: "If you are not a socialist at 20, you have no heart. And if you are not a capitalist at 40, you have no brains." Fortunately, he did not live to see the vast bulk of the so-called progressives, of any age, in America of 2013, who are still in their adolescence.
Among the traits expected of those in their adolescent years is the conviction that they are always right and the rest of the world is wrong -- that they are, in fact, much smarter than those silly and inane adults around them. However, being part of the in-crowd is really, really important thus they must look for guidance to the cool guys to establish what they are supposed to believe in. And, as in the fairy tales relayed to them while in childhood, there will always be some monolithic entity that will be there to rescue them and insure joy and happiness. Therein are the basic personality parameters of the entity known as the modern American left.
Membership in the American left is, thus, easily attained. All one needs to do is believe and accept the following:
- a) Those at the top of the pyramid, the self-anointed leaders of the left, claim to always be the smartest and most sophisticated people in any room. Therefore to envision oneself as part of this circle all one has to do is to robotically espouse leftist ideology without having the foggiest idea of what it means or its ultimate outcome.
- b) All the really cool people are on the left since they believe there are no moral absolutes and one can party on having a supposed endless good time. The modern American left is the current in-crowd corralling those mesmerized with celebrity and too lazy to be aware of the world around them.
- c) Government, that great and infallible monolith behind the green curtain, can solve all of mankind's problems. Its primary function is to make certain the people are taken care of and assured of equal outcomes--as long as it is dominated by the leaders of the left--who are equally infallible. Barack Obama's self-proclaimed role as the "messiah" fits in nicely with this tenet.
- d) Those on the right are mean and determined to take away not only the good times but make certain government -- see (c) above -- will not take care of everyone and too many true-believers may actually have to find meaningful work.
- e) It is mandatory, when confronted with an alternative point of view, to throw a tantrum, as one used to do on a school playground, and call conservatives (i.e. adults) any conceivable name or accuse them of anything since the left's cause is just and those on the right are Neanderthals who could never be correct about anything. Actually the country would be far better off if conservatives were made to walk the plank on Captain Hook's pirate ship.
- f) Guilt is the ultimate weapon. (Remember it worked with one's parents) There is always something in the United States to be guilty about and that guilt requires restitution or public humiliation. Besides, just as there is a pot of gold at the end of a rainbow, there is a bottomless pit of wealth in America, but only the government--see (c) above-- can distribute this never ending bounty.
None of these character traits are dominant among the left in the many countries of Europe or elsewhere who have socialist leaning governments or citizenry. Dependence on government is a common trait but the spoiled child approach to ideology and the opposition is not. It appears to be the sole preserve of the American left.
Perhaps growing up in a nation that has not experienced any national adversity in over seventy plus years or to live in a country that has enjoyed the greatest period of peace and prosperity in the history of mankind has created this mindset. Certainly there is a belief among a vast segment of the populace that there will never be truly difficult times as the United States will always remain overwhelmingly prosperous and be able to overcome the foibles of its people and ruling class.
The reality is the nation cannot survive long-term as long as the current portrait of the United States being governed by a horde of unruly adolescents remains unchanged.