The Permanent Adolescence of the American Left
Donald Trump's remarkable and unpredicted victory in 2016 unleashed perhaps the pinnacle of all unintended consequences. By their ongoing nonsensical reaction to the Trump victory, the American left has exposed and validated their irrationality, obliviousness, and immaturity. As an immigrant to the United States, and thus a sideline spectator of the panorama that is American society, and someone who has spent most of his adult life in the field of international finance, I have been fascinated by the characteristics of the American left as compared to its counterparts in the rest of the world – and why the vast majority of Americans, who are essentially conservative or moderate, not only tolerate, but acquiesce to the left's temper tantrums and manipulation of the culture.
On the surface, there may appear to be similarities to the left in other nations; however, when it comes to the motivation and personality quirks, it is only the left in Britain that bears any resemblance to the American left. In fact, the American version consistently denigrates "old white guys" as the scourge of humanity while ostensibly promoting the philosophy of "old white guys" such as Hobbes, Hegel, and Marx. In reality, American leftism is a unique amalgamation of socialism, Darwinism, and oligarchism requiring an army of foot soldiers who dwell in a state of permanent adolescence.
Among the traits 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 as well as their current enthrallment with movies based on comic book heroes, there will always be some monolithic entity to rescue them and ensure joy and happiness. Therein are the basic personality parameters of the rank and file of the modern American left.
Membership in the American left is, thus, easily attained. All one needs to do is believe and accept the following:
- 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 penultimate gaggle, all one has to do is to robotically spout pre-approved talking points and espouse leftist ideology without having the foggiest idea of what it means or its veracity. Therefore, any and all innuendo regarding Trump, or false narratives of Russian collusion, or accusations of Republican duplicity, or the racism of conservatives is unquestioningly believed and regurgitated.
- In a corollary to (a) above, the rank-and-file leftists believe that all the really cool people are on the left since the self-proclaimed leaders of the movement have decreed that there are no moral absolutes and Christianity is calculatingly oppressive; therefore, one can party on, having a supposed endless and uninhibited good time. The modern American left is the current in crowd corralling those mesmerized with celebrity and self-indulgence. Those who expound on the consequences of an unfettered secular and hedonistic lifestyle are condemned as oppressive proselytizers.
- Americans are, by and large, obsessed with finding "meaning" in their lives. For the left and its acolytes, the easiest way to achieve that meaning is either to be a victim or to vociferously champion the cause of those the enlightened leaders of the left christen with exalted victim status. This has the dual endgame of not only self-righteousness, but blaming the cause of the victimhood on a repressive and unfair society. However, it is becoming increasingly difficult to be a victim in 21st-century America, therefore new categories of victimhood must constantly be fostered, and the old categories never resolved. The latest: What heretofore was considered a serious mental health problem, transgenderism or gender dysphoria, is now victimhood on a par with racial discrimination.
- Government, that great and infallible monolith behind the green curtain, can solve all of mankind's problems. Its primary function is to make certain that 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.
- Those on the right are mean and determined not only to take away the good times, but make certain that government – see (d) above – will not take care of everyone and too many true believers may actually have to find meaningful work. Thus, the American right is the declared and unquestioned enemy and must be defeated by any means possible.
- 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.
- 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 in the proper hands – see (d) above – can distribute this never-ending bounty.
These character traits are not 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 is 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 living in a country that has enjoyed the greatest period of peace and prosperity in the history of mankind has created this mindset. Unfortunately, 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 the American left – which accounts for no more than 25% of the population.
But the United States cannot remain overwhelmingly powerful and prosperous if the American left continues to maintain its disparate and overwhelming impact on society and government. This nation must not be destroyed by a handful of egotistical and permanent adolescents, therefore the counter-strategy is to denigrate the left by never missing an opportunity to call its members out and above all ignoring their infantile tactics. In other words, treat them as the adolescents they are – a strategy currently being essentially utilized, either deliberately or inadvertently, by Donald Trump and one the bulk of the populace must adopt.