The Moral Universe of Liberals

Today's enlightened liberals are not so much into deconstructing rival iconic figures as they use to be. It may be because they are too busy fashioning alternative narratives, and sometimes even deliberately forgetting the lugubrious past history of some of their own cultural icons. Of course, there are grave errors inherent to this obscurantist approach, chief among which are the squandering of vitally important lessons for posterity, and a scoffing at wisdom that may otherwise be retained as a legacy they can proudly call their own.  

The indignant bickering from the Hollywood glitterati at the belated arrest of acclaimed Film Director/Child Rapist Roman Polanski provided a good sampling of this collective penchant in elite liberal circles for reinventing the past. Moreover, the  whole  episode  practically sealed what many have come to accept as a rather charitable assessment of the established liberal orthodoxy, so well epitomized by those in the entertainment industry; that is, it's not that liberals lack morals per se; it's just that whatever morals they observe are precariously mounted on rather brittle foundations.

Essentially, most liberals feel that there should be fluctuating moral standards for all sorts of different people and situations. For those who have expressed a desire to pursue a life of righteousness, a moral standard should function only to indict them once they fall short of the projected expectations. For those who prefer not to answer to any higher moral authority other than their own malleable conscience, an untrammeled admission of their trespass ought to be viewed as an act of courage. Forgiveness and a call for restitution are not the appropriate responses to such brazen candor. A more fitting response is to salute the offending party for their admirable honesty, eclipsing the fact that any transgressions have been committed in the first place. That is why, generally, liberals consider it a virtue to air one's dirty laundry.

Liberals are also quick to applaud the epic achievements of their own luminaries, while showering many of their egregious character flaws with extreme leniency. The opposite treatment applies when it comes to noteworthy, but just as imperfect personalities in the conservative domain.

The liberal's punctilious contempt at Sarah Palin over the farfetched accusations of ethical violations for example, does not hold a candle to the magnanimous empathy directed at the libertine self-indulgence of a John Edwards. The odious invectives of an inebriated Mel Gibson warrant only a smidgen of the moral reprieve that is vouchsafed the adulterous liaisons of a sober, clout wielding, David Letterman. In this same spirit, indignant liberals have demanded that what they view as threadbare rape accusations against Director Roman Polanski be dismissed.

As far as Hollywood society is concerned, Polanski should not have to bear the creativity-stifling punishment reserved for the average person who commits crimes of a similar nature. Presumably, all liberal icons accused of a crime are owed this deference, whether one is talking about an unrepentant domestic terrorist who claims to ghost-write memoirs for future presidents, a politician with a prestigious lineage who likes to drive under the influence, or a renowned film director with pedophile tendencies; ever more so if their crimes seem only a distant memory of bygone days and provided they have not been officially ordained to serve as members of the Catholic Priesthood.

Thus in the alternative moral universe coveted by Polanski's more progressive, intemperate Show Business peers, the rape of a child -- no less by a uniquely talented Director -- ranks as a relatively minor indiscretion, and should be ignored, in light of his overriding contributions to the culture at large. That is pretty much what Debra Winger, Hollywood's newest ethics exegete extraordinaire implied, when she stated that Polanski's arrest was "based on a three-decades-old case that is dead but for minor technicalities" and that the faithful Tinsel Town community would "...stand by him and await his release and his next masterpiece."  She was also joined by Whoopi Goldberg, who protested that drugging and sodomizing a noncompliant minor, does not really constitute what is typically defined as rape, bemusedly revealing the extent to which any remaining vestiges of her once pristine conscience are implacably seared.

This is the fruit that comes from embracing moral relativism. But liberals rarely fret over repercussions that typically result from the real life applications of their rather peculiar convictions. They prefer to deal with abstract ideals in the ethical realm, as they do not foresee the latter affecting them on a personal level anytime in the near future. This is why not one of the indignant celebrities stopped to pause and ponder the obvious consideration:  would they have clamored for the release of this child rapist had the victim been their own child? And of the many who willingly signed a petition demanding Polanski's release, none appeared to be having second thoughts about their steadfast commitment in defense of a sexual predator's "integrity".

Now, there is no doubt that Roman Polanski is a great director, on a par with genius, as can be demonstrated by his body of work in the film industry. For all I know, he may also lead a private life as an outstanding humanitarian. But these are not reasons why he, nor anybody else, should be allowed to prostitute justice. That is something that we must all agree upon, if only for the sake of our own survival as a civilized society.

But perhaps this is why many people allege that the mission of Liberals is to create a society where depravity is mainstreamed, deviance is redefined, and -- as shown most recently by the Nobel Prize Award panel -- mediocrity is rewarded. And that the problem with liberals is that they do not have much use for their brains. Instead, it is claimed that liberals think only with their hearts. I would suggest that in this particular case, they are more apt to be accused of straining the undependable reasoning faculties of that otherwise very efficacious cavity assigned to perform a particular bodily function, about which one typically refrains from conversing in polite company.