What’s Left for the Left to Do?
If the 2016 elections proved anything, it was that the classic American order still prevails. Americans still have a strong attachment to the Founders’ vision of life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness. Translating this conservative vision into Red State terms, this means that many Americans still stubbornly cling to their morals, guns, and religion.
The supporters of the liberal agenda lost the election primarily because people perceived that they had abandoned this traditional narrative. The massive upset that carried the day in so many states and statehouses points to the fact that significant sectors of the population are happy with a kind of historical immobilism that confounds the agents of change who want a progressive America without the restraints of family, community, and faith.
While liberals still have significant support, it is insufficient to overcome this obstacle. They now face the inconvenient truth that the traditional American order will not be defeated soon by their competing misinterpretation. The only thing left for the left to do is try to subvert the classical narrative and use it against itself.
The use of the system against itself is hardly a new tactic, but it will become more dominant as the progressives struggle to find a new identity and forge a way forward. It will consist of using the institutions and tactics they have long opposed as means to promote their own opposite agenda. They will further seek to change the American narrative by weaving it into their own. They will use their freedoms to stifle the freedom of others.
A typical example of this tactic is the current marriage debate. Feminists have long denounced marriage as slavery and have done everything possible to destroy the insoluble bond of matrimony through free love, contraception, and divorce. Today, feminists are enthusiastic supporters of marriage -- when it applies to same-sex unions. They proclaim their freedom to define marriage yet bring down the force of law claiming discrimination to stifle the freedom of others who disagree with them or refuse to violate their consciences by facilitating same-sex “marriage” through a license, flowers, photos, banquet hall, lodging, or wedding cake.
This tactic is especially used in the current immigration debate. Liberals have long opposed tradition as a hindrance to freedom, a guardian of morality and an enemy of progress. However, when it comes to immigration, the immigrant’s traditions, language, and customs suddenly take on paramount importance as an expression of cultural diversity that must be protected at all cost.
Indeed, in this twisted narrative, every tradition is protected and defended save one -- America’s own -- which must be sacrificed on the altar of diversity as hopelessly bigoted and old-fashioned.
This same behavior is curiously found in liberal attitudes toward Islam -- for the most part, a radically anti-liberal religion. The religious freedom that the left denies Christians and the Little Sisters of the Poor is generously extended to Islam. Then liberals suddenly become ardent defenders of religious liberty. Thus, the same liberals who shudder at the public display of a cross have no problem protesting the burning of a Koran that contradicts all they believe. Those who criticize any notion of Christian modesty will nod understandingly at the donning of a burka. The same feminists who decry traditional American society as patriarchal and oppressive to women rally in support of Islam and its abusive treatment of them under sharia law.
The court system that liberals have defied when it serves their purpose is also a helpful tool. They surprisingly become ardent defenders of the judicial order when it comes to freezing executive orders that implement prudential measures deemed necessary for the country’s security by the president.
Liberals who have long been ardent supporters of the federal government in overruling states on issues like marriage now insist that sanctuary states, counties, and cities have the right to flout federal law. Nullification has now jumped to the other side of the political spectrum.
While immigration seems to be the major focus, the same tactic can be seen all over the cultural landscape. Pacifists who have long opposed the very idea of the military now demand the right to have homosexuals and “transgenders” serve. Satanists who have hidden in the dark shadows of society are now coming out to demand the right to educate elementary school children in after-school Satan clubs. Liberal scientists politicize their purely empirical disciplines by skewing the cold hard data to make global warming the scapegoat for all societal ills.
Throughout it all, there is a persistent and pervasive political correctness now joined by “microaggressions” that stifle free speech and rational debate.
Thus, one might ask: to what avail is all this activism if the left has no plausible narrative of its own? Indeed, what is left for the left to do?
The left can take the immigrant, the LGBTQI (etc.) partisans, and Satanists and turn them into a new proletariat that forces itself on everyone as it madly rushes to enter into the mainstream of the classic American narrative.
The immediate target is the narrative, at least its Christian reading. However, since the latest election has proven that this classic narrative is resilient and not easily overthrown, it is left to the left to use the narrative against itself to subvert and destroy its internal integrity.
The ultimate target is America’s precarious attachment to the Christian principles and a Ten Commandments morality that buttress this classic American order. It does no good to attack this Christian order directly; it only awakens reactions. It is left to the left to break this Christian order by forcing it to coexist with an anti-Christian order. This is the greatest danger of the moment.
John Horvat II is a scholar, researcher, educator, international speaker, and author of the book Return to Order, as well as the author of hundreds of published articles. He lives in Spring Grove, Pennsylvania where he is the vice president of the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property.