Over a decade ago, I realized how true to form American leftists run. They’re more aggressive now, but their tactics are still the same.
A friend and I were speaking about the political predictions we’ve made in the last decade. We realized that I was right significantly more often than he had been right. Further conversation revealed why I was so prescient.
It’s not that I’m smarter or more informed than he is. (Believe me when I say I’m not.) It’s that I’m a pessimist and he’s an optimist. I always assume the worst will come true. That doesn’t mean I don’t occasionally see positive outcomes. For example, I predicted in 2007 that Obama’s pro-Iranian worldview would bring Israel closer to the Sunni Arab world. Trump’s peace initiatives proved me right.
Today’s ascendant leftism means that I’m doing exceptionally well in the prediction business. When leftists have power, if you always assume the worst, you will seldom be wrong.
After all, leftists are nothing if not predictable. No matter the means they choose, the ends are the same: Anti-liberty, anti-unity, anti-American, anti-Christian, anti-Jewish, anti-Constitution (and, specifically, anti-First, Second, and Fourth Amendments)…I could go on but you get the point. Whether they use class, economic disparities, race, sex, or imaginary genders, the point is to destroy liberty in all its manifestations. Easy to predict.
Of course, I’m new to the game of analyzing and predicting leftism, having started only 20 or so years ago. However, one well-known American novelist was very good at it. I wrote a post 11 years ago looking at her work compared to the world Obama was giving us in 2010. She’d nailed what had happened. Since then, her predictions, which show up as commentary in her novel about how leftists operate, are proving to be even more eerily accurate.
I’m going to use this post to update my old post. Then, at the end of this post, I’ll link to that old post so that you can see how accurate her calls about leftists have been whether applied to the Obamistas or the Bidenistas. What should be clear is that we’re in another Cold War — except that it’s a hot war being fought on American soil, with American leftists and the Chinese Communist Party on the one side, and the rest of us on the other side.
The following is the updated version of that post from 2010:
I’m reading a very enjoyable novel right now that is impressively on point about the way in which the left operates, especially when it comes to the media and academia.
The writer identifies the name-calling that substitutes for informed debate. The protagonist, Paul, worked for an upscale lifestyle magazine before spending some years doing military service. When he returns, he discovers that the magazine is receiving submissions that consistently misstate facts, always slanting them in a pro-leftist direction. Here’s a conversation between Paul and his editor, Bill Weidler:
“But – Bill, why don’t you publish the story you told me? Just as you’ve told it to me? Let your readers know. Let the public see what is happening.”
Weidler’s frown came back. “You know what will happen? There will be a campaign against us. We’ll be called fascists, war-mongers, American imperialists, witch-hunters.”
“You’ve forgotten to add ‘hysteria-inciters,’” Paul said, smiling. “Strange how often they’ve been using hysteria recently – almost hysterically, in fact.”
It’s as if the book’s author had a crystal ball and saw the Black Lives Matter hysteria that has been sweeping America, along with its matched partner, the hysteric claim that all whites are white supremacists. For proof, there’s the poll showing that, while self-identified Republicans worry about illegal immigration, police security, and taxes, Democrats worry about Trump supporters, white nationalists, and systemic racism. The former are real issues that immediately affect the lives of all Americans. The latter are boogie men that the media have deliberately created to turn Democrats into gibbering hysterics.
The book also addresses what we nowadays call the “root cause” issue; that is, the contention that minority criminals are never responsible for their acts. The blame always goes to the system (and, nowadays, the system is all about “systemic racism” and “white supremacy”). The following is a dialogue between the book’s heroine, Rona, and her sister, Peggy, regarding an unpleasant acquaintance:
“She isn’t a friend of yours, is she?” Peggy was now very much the elder sister.
“Not particularly,” Rona said, which was a miracle of understatement. “Scott says she’s a product of her environment,” she added.
“Strange how we never use that phrase when we are describing pleasant people,” Peggy said….
Using a conversation between Paul and Jon, a professor, the writer has a long riff on the way in which the left deliberately targets universities and newspapers – indeed, all media of mass communication – as a way in which to manipulate the public:
“You’re in education, Jon. Do you think propaganda is a powerful force? Could it be dangerous? Supposing an enemy of this country had its sympathizers carefully planted here? Supposing these propagandists were trying to infiltrate such businesses and professions as radio, the press, films, schools and colleges, the theater, publishing?”
“That’s a damned silly question,” Jon said almost angrily. “You ask how dangerous it might be?” He looked at Paul, unbelievingly, but Paul kept silent. “This is the twentieth century, with communication easier and more powerful than it’s ever been. The trouble with those who see no danger, who think we are perfectly safe if only we invent more hideous bombs is that they are still living with a nineteenth century idea of peace. Wars haven’t changed much except in bigger and better holocausts. But peace, as we are going to see it in this century, is something quite altered. A lot of new dangers are going to stay with us permanently just because we’ve invented a lot of peacetime conveniences that make life so interesting. It isn’t only armies we have to fear today: it’s words, words abused and corrupted and twisted.”
Still Paul said nothing.
“You see,” Jon went on patiently, “a hundred years ago, fewer people could read, fewer people were educated, and fewer people thought they could argue about international conditions. Also, in those days, propaganda spread more slowly and less widely. But now we’ve got a vast public who read their papers, discuss books and articles, go to the movies and the theater, listen to their radio, watch television, and send their children to schools and colleges.”
“And a public,” Paul interposed, “who have enough to do with arranging their own lives without analyzing all the things they read or hear. They’ve got to trust the honesty of those men who deal with the written or spoken word. Just as the journalist, or the movie director, or the teacher, has got to trust the honesty of the businessmen and workers whenever he buys a refrigerator or a car or a shirt. Isn’t that right?”
The above perfectly describes the media’s power, which went from purveying data alongside an editorial page that took political positions, to its current incarnation as a Pravda-like arm of the Democrat party. We thought the media had abandoned objectivity in 2008 and 2012. That didn’t prepare us for what happened in 2016. And I don’t think anything could have prepared us for what happened in 2020.
Last year, the media didn’t just lie about Trump (claiming he was incompetent and criminal) and Biden (claiming he was sentient and honest). They also didn’t just suppress news, such as the proof that Biden was pimping his drug-addled son to the Chinese and the Ukrainians while he was working in the White House. Instead, the media also bent their will to purveying corrupt news about the Wuhan virus to increase panic, change voting norms and, quite possibly, to hide evidence about medicines that could have blunted the virus’s impact. Cuomo wasn’t the only one who killed people for political ends.
And, as Paul predicted in the book, the public bought these lies hook, line, and sinker, because a significant segment still trusts that journalists, while they are obviously biased, are still factually accurate. The difference between now and the book is that, today, big lies get promulgated with warp speed, in myriad media outlets, and they live forever, corrupting political discourse.
The writer of old knows well that leftists rely heavily on moral relativism. Here are Rona and her boyfriend Scott (whom she is beginning to realize isn’t an unlucky guy but is, instead, a leftist making his own bad luck) having a debate about a party guest who Rona believes has a tiresome habit of painting everything in left-of-center colors:
“His line is so old! Two years ago, or three, he could manage to get away with it. But not now.”
“What do you mean?” Scott looked across the room.
“Just that he wasn’t the least little bit the original talker he likes to imagine he is. He only succeeded in annoying most of our guests.”
“Because he thinks differently from them? Se we must all talk the same way, think the same things?”
“No, darling!” She rose and came over to him. “I don’t believe two of us in the room echoed any point of view, except in a general way – well, of believing that right is right and wrong is wrong.”
“That’s all relative,” Scott said. “Depends on each man’s frame of reference.”
“I don’t believe that,” she said, “except for the small things in life. You can find them as relative as you like. But in the big things, you’ve got to decide what is right, what is wrong. Or else you’ve no moral judgment, at all. Like Murray. He’s just a parrot, that’s all he is.”
Moral relativism, of course, is one of the left’s perpetual talking points and a chronic problem for those whom the left educates and controls. We’ve seen it repeatedly in the last year, culminating in the events of January 6. When leftists, many of them black, rampaged across the country in 2020, destroying property and taking lives, that was virtuous. It was merely “unrest,” and it was “necessary” and “good” to correct systemic problems.
And of course, virtuous violence has the added benefit that it doesn’t increase the risk of spreading the Wuhan virus. The media made it very clear that the virus is selective. It’s sufficiently aggressive that Blue state governments closed almost every small business for a year. Meanwhile, the same erratic virus left untouched big political donors such as Walmart and Costco. And, all actual evidence to the contrary, the virus is more toxic to teachers than to any other people in America — so much so that it would be best if they taught via Zoom, from the comfort of their homes, forever.
But back to that moral relativism. BLM riots are good. However, when several hundred people, some of them leftists and some of them Trump supporters, with a minute sprinkling of loathsome white supremacists, enter the Capitol, as happened on January 6, things were different. It doesn’t matter that they caused almost no property damage and didn’t kill anybody — three people died of unrelated causes (and I’m including Officer Sicknick in that number), one was trampled by the crowd, and one got murdered…by a Capitol police officer. And for a little more moral relativism, try to remember the lefts’ outrage when activists stormed the Capitol during the Kavanaugh hearing. Oh! Never mind. There was no outrage.
Nevertheless, we’re told that the small event on January 6 was an armed insurrection (no one was waving arms, although ten people had guns). For that reason, these moral relativists tell us, D.C. must henceforth be under constant military protection, every person involved must be prosecuted (something that didn’t happen at all in 2020), and Trump supporters must be destroyed across America because they’ve proven to be dangerous white supremacists.
The prescient novelist also tackles the left’s habit of targeting individuals by appealing to their sense of victimhood. Multiculturalism isn’t a means of preserving what’s special about a group’s ethnicity. Instead, it’s a political tool aimed at dividing Americans from each other and making them dependent on the left as their only savior.
Today’s alleged victims are blacks, Hispanics, LGBTs, women (as long as they don’t try to trump mentally ill men who claim to be women), Muslims, etc. In the novel, a Jewish man resents this multiculturalism and victimhood. He refuses to let the left define him as either a victim or something other than an American. As you read the quoted language, ponder the fact that George Soros, a genetically Jewish man who loathes religion and the state of Israel, allows his supporters to claim that the only reason he could ever be attacked is anti-Semitism:
“I’ve a battle on my hands right now. They want us to keep different, and I’m telling them the hell with that, we’re Americans. That’s what we are. Stop building a wall around us, stop emphasizing differences, that’s what I keep trying to tell them. And they look at me as if I were some kind of traitor.” He looked at Jon Tyson. “But I’m building no wall, and no one is going to persuade me to do it.”
The author also recognizes the way in which the left is hostile to any wars that might conceivably advance American interests. In speaking of a college campus, she has a character state:
“The colleges and universities were full of pickets with placards saying it was all an imperialist war. The students and faculties were deluged with leaflets denouncing war-mongers and reactionaries. Speakers were appearing on the campus, haranguing us all not to fight.”
There’s a universality to that description for it aptly describes the Left’s anti-War tactics in 1940, 1968, 1991, and 2003 through 2016. To the Left, the possibility of a good war, a war to maintain the line against totalitarianism and preserve freedom, is always impossible to imagine – and the easiest targets for that failure of imagination are colleges students because it is they who must be convinced that they are fighting for something worth defending in order for our nation to wage a victorious war.
What no one could predict is what we’re seeing in the Biden era: The left is aggressively pro-war under two circumstances: (1) the war does not benefit America and (2) it enriches the military-industrial complex that Eisenhower warned against.
One of the reasons the Deep State booted Trump from office is that he did not start any new wars and he brought troops home from old wars that were not benefiting either America or the military-industrial complex. Biden has already shown that he’s dancing to the leftist tune of endless wars to benefit the party. (Orwell understood this, with Oceania’s endless wars against a constantly shifting panoply of identical enemies with different names.)
So, here’s the big reveal: The book in question is Neither Five Nor Three, by Helen MacInnes, published in 1951. It focuses on the left’s infiltration of the media world and college campuses.
MacInnes wrote at the beginning of the Cold War, of course, so she couldn’t look ahead and realize how that leftist infiltration would be completely successful. While we were challenging the Soviet Union abroad, it was taking over our institutions at home. All of the nascent tactics MacInnes described then – the moral relativism, the victim-based multiculturalism, the name-calling, the anti-Americanism – have become permanently entrenched in America’s media and education cultures. In those days, people saw these things and remarked upon them. Today, people believe in the message and approve of the messengers.
(You can see my original post here, which looked at the Obama era and the problems with Islam, which are now overshadowed by the problems with China.)