The Evil Contortions Of Liberalism

Go Ahead, Make ...

Go Ahead, Make …

Two related articles today covering the same topic, which would be the insane irrationality of the liberal-leftists, or as I describe in the header – The Evil Contortions Of Liberalism.

Way back in 1959, iconic conservative, William F. Buckley wrote a book titled “Up From Liberalism”, a scathing treatise on what Buckley described as “the liberal mania”. In the first piece, Jeffrey Lord in today’s American Spectator, writing about Buckley and what he might have thought about the Rolling Stone fictional rape story, describes this:
In the foreword to Buckley’s book, the novelist John Dos Passos wrote of the “lynching spirit” of what he termed “militant liberalism.” What better description could there be of what was done to the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity than a “lynching”? More precisely, to borrow from Justice Clarence Thomas at his confirmation hearings, what was done to this fraternity was a “high tech lynching of a bunch of uppity white boys.”

Buckley famously stated that he longed “to stand athwart the course of history and yell ‘Stop!'”, and even now, who can doubt the desirability of that given what we confront on a daily and regular basis? “Liberal-Leftism” is a mental disease, almost to the point where liberal-leftists need to be institutionalized for their own safety, but more particularly, for the safety of rational society, and getting rid of The Evil Contortions Of Liberalism.

The second piece is from Ben Shapiro and his Truth Revolt, titled “Why The Left Lies”, also related to the Rolling Stone fictional rape story. Shapiro describes it thusly:
Herein lies the problem. Journalism does not require sympathy for human beings. It requires sympathy for readers, who deserve truth. But for the left, truth represents a secondary value. It is far more important to forward a particular political narrative than it is to simply state the facts. And that narrative can only be forwarded if there is controversy over the facts. If, for example, everyone agreed that Jackie had been gang raped, there would be no controversy over sending her rapists to prison or prosecuting all those who looked the other way. But the leftist narrative requires an opposition, a group of evil haters who take rape less than seriously. That is how society can be blamed for the alleged rape of one woman by seven men.

The Evil Contortions Of Liberalism can be overcome. As John the apostle expresses it: “And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free”. ~ John 8:32

Jeffrey Lord is a former Reagan White House political director and author. He writes from Pennsylvania at jlpa1@aol.com.

Jeffrey Lord is a former Reagan White House political director and author. He writes from Pennsylvania at jlpa1@aol.com.

The list grows longer.

The three most recent entries the Rolling Stone rape-at-the-University of Virginia story. Ferguson and the “hands up don’t shoot” business. Indiana and the Religious Freedom Restoration Act.

From cries of “racist!” to shrieks of “rapist” (to borrow from Kevin Williamson over there at National Review) over and over and over again liberals — liberals in the media and out of it — are repeatedly plunging the country into manic frenzies over stories that eventually turn out to be flat out false or in serious dispute at best.

Why is this?

On occasion I have cited the late William F. Buckley Jr.’s perceptive observations in his book Up From Liberalism — written all the way back in 1959! — about what Buckley termed the “liberal mania.” As the news out of the Rolling Stone rape debacle settles in — that in fact yet again another left-wing furor was centered on a story now proved to be 100 percent false — it is worth looking again at Buckley’s point.

In the foreword to Buckley’s book, the novelist John Dos Passos wrote of the “lynching spirit” of what he termed “militant liberalism.” What better description could there be of what was done to the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity than a “lynching”? More precisely, to borrow from Justice Clarence Thomas at his confirmation hearings, what was done to this fraternity was a “high tech lynching of a bunch of uppity white boys.”

Mr. Buckley would surely not be surprised at the Rolling Stone episode. He described it effectively a full fifty-five years before the story was published, not to mention long before the central participants targeted in the story were even born. Indeed he predicted this kind of story almost a full decade before Rolling Stone — founded in 1967 — existed.

Wm. F. Buckley

Wm. F. Buckley

What Buckley knew in 1959 was this:

I shall be assuming that in most respects the liberal ideologists are, like Don Quixote, wholly normal, with fully developed powers of thought, that they see things as they are, and live their lives according to the Word; but that, like Don Quixote, whenever anything touches upon their mania, they become irresponsible. The liberals’ mania is their ideology. Deal lightly with any precept of knighterrantry, and you might find, as so many innocent Spaniards did, the Terror of La Mancha hurtling toward you. Cross a liberal on duty, and he becomes a man of hurtling irrationality.

Catch those words? “Irresponsible”? “Hurtling irrationality”? What better description of what has unfolded with Rolling Stone or Ferguson or the Duke rape case or Indiana could there possibly be? Recalling that Buckley’s book was written in 1959, it is amazing the events that would string out over the next several decades all the way to today that illustrate his point.

Think of the mania that surrounded various left-wing movements of the 1960s and later. Sometimes they were peaceful — the massive nuclear freeze demonstrations, for example. The occasional “die in” was a peaceful if media-made event. (Rush Limbaugh just referred to the latter yesterday, as it happens. For those who came in late, a die-in would have protesters lie down in the street or in front of the White House or wherever pretending to be victims of a nuclear attack.) Sometimes things were violent — as was the riot that engulfed the anti-Vietnam War protests at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago in 1968.

But always the defining characteristic was a mania, which Buckley used Webster’s to define: “… Characterized by disorderly speech and thinking, by impulsive movements, and by excessive emotion.”

The other day over at NewsBusters (where, full disclosure, I also write), columnists Brent Bozell and Tim Graham reported with regard to the story of the O’Connor family who served gays and everybody else in their pizza parlor but answered a hypothetical from an ABC reporter by saying that their religious beliefs would keep them from catering a gay wedding — although they had never been asked to cater any wedding, gay or straight, in the past. What Bozell and Graham reported here is classic liberal mania as Buckley defined it. They reported on the reaction to the story filed by the ABC affiliate:

The angry Left went berserk. Tweets came like this one: “Who is going to Walkerton, IN to burn down Memories Pizza with me?”

Christians are now living in fear in this country.

Owner Kevin O’Connor shut his pizza parlor down until further notice after his family began receiving threatening phone calls and social media postings. Leftists flooded the store’s Yelp.com page with negative reviews trying to destroy his business. Homoerotic photos were posted to embarrass them.

A blogger on the radical Daily Kos boasted: “The hand of justice in the age of social media has never been swifter.”

This is Buckley’s liberal mania in all-too-vivid 21st century action.

The topics that launch the mania are usually broad if repetitive: race, war and peace, sex, economics, and class are generally the big attractions. But under those rubrics the subjects change, move on, and come back again. Additionally, the leaders in the mania of the moment subtly and not so subtly suggest, as Buckley notes, that when it comes to a serious discussion of the issue at hand, with conservatives the idea that there is really anything to discuss is itself ridiculous. “As Buckley noted of this liberal attitude, “the tacit premise [that there is any need for debate] is ridiculous because there is nothing whatever to debate about.”

A very incomplete list of recent liberal manias? Ferguson and the phony “hands up, don’t shoot” mania. The Rolling Stone rape mania. The college campus rape mania. The political correctness mania. The Indiana Religious Freedom Act mania. The Duke University rape mania. The “Bush Lied” mania. The Trayvon Martin mania. The Clarence Thomas sexual harassment mania. The Robert Bork mania. The Occupy Wall Street mania. In every case, the liberal “tacit premise” that there is or was anything to debate was seen as absurd.

rollingstonecoverrape

And make no mistake, these manias can have an effect on public policy. When the lynch mob (as Dos Passos described it in his foreword to Buckley’s book) is in full cry, nominees for the Supreme Court can be defeated (Bork) — or almost defeated (Thomas). Laws can be reported untruthfully and changed (Indiana), a magazine news story can shut down a fraternity and ruin reputations (Rolling Stone). The truth of the events leading to a war can be repeatedly misrepresented (liberal portrayals of Bush lying to go to war in Iraq) and a new president elected as a result. Indeed, in his book, Buckley himself cites the Joe McCarthy era as an example of the liberal mania, acerbically referring to liberal hysteria over McCarthy as what liberals portrayed as “the Reign of Terror.” A depiction that exists to this day — evident in the description of some figure of today engaging in “McCarthyism,” which is to say, a participant in some current “Reign of Terror.” It is by now long accepted conservative wisdom that to disagree with a liberal in the middle of an episode of liberal mania automatically launches the branding of said conservative as a “racist/sexist/homophobe,” etc., etc., etc.

So. What to do? Buckley’s suggestion was concise. Understand that the liberal mania is intrinsic to liberalism. They are (my words) like peanut butter and jelly. One cannot be a liberal without brandishing the liberal mania as a political weapon. Every “accretion of power by the state” must not only be resisted by conservatives but in resisting conservatives must understand that in pursuing that goal liberals will quickly become the embodiment of “hurtling irrationality.”

Thus making “the liberal mania” an issue unto itself — if only today’s conservatives are willing to stand up and take it on directly.

The good news? Those conservatives exist. They are on talk radio, on Fox, on the Internet at various sites including this one. And some of them are running for president — alphabetically at this point that means Ted Cruz and Rand Paul, with more like Donald Trump edging closer.

But no mistake. The “liberal mania” that William F. Buckley, Jr. long ago cited as “intrinsic to liberalism” is here to stay. The question? The next time an episode of the liberal mania sweeps the land — in a media outlet, on Capitol Hill, on a university campus or wherever — will more and more conservatives recognize it for exactly what it is? And make a point of standing up, identifying the liberal mania for the “hurtling irrationality” that it is — and fighting it? Those who say, correctly, that when it comes to national security the nation can’t fight Islamic radicalism if the President himself refuses to recognize and name the enemy for exactly what it is — should heed that same wisdom. To fight the liberal mania — it first has to be named correctly and recognized for exactly what it is.

As with so much else, William F. Buckley Jr. was ahead of his time. And he was right.

Now to Ben Shapiro and Truth Revolt …

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When yet another hand clamped over her mouth, Jackie bit it, and the hand became a fist that punched her in the face. ‘Grab its motherf—ing leg,’ she heard a voice say. And that’s when Jackie knew she was going to be raped.”

Thus started a 9,000-word article in Rolling Stone magazine about the supposed rash of campus rapes across America. The writer, Sabrina Erdely, began with the horrifying story of Jackie, a college girl who found herself raped by seven men at the Phi Kappa Psi fraternity house at the University of Virginia while two other men, including her date, “gave instruction and encouragement.”

The University of Virginia banned Phi Kappa Psi from campus. People vandalized the frat house, hurling rocks through windows and covering the premises with graffiti. Commentators and politicians all over the nation bloviated gravely about the deep problem of sexual brutality on campus. Those who questioned Jackie’s story were accused of not taking rape seriously enough; to demand facts equated to shaming a rape victim.

There was only one problem with Erdely’s story: It was false. Jackie had lied. And Rolling Stone had no evidence to back up Jackie’s story in the first place. This week, Rolling Stone apologized for the story but did not fire Erdely or any of its editors; Erdely apologized not to the fraternity or its members but to virtually everyone else. She added, “In writing each of these stories I must weigh my compassion against my journalistic duty to find the truth.”

Herein lies the problem. Journalism does not require sympathy for human beings. It requires sympathy for readers, who deserve truth. But for the left, truth represents a secondary value. It is far more important to forward a particular political narrative than it is to simply state the facts. And that narrative can only be forwarded if there is controversy over the facts. If, for example, everyone agreed that Jackie had been gang raped, there would be no controversy over sending her rapists to prison or prosecuting all those who looked the other way. But the leftist narrative requires an opposition, a group of evil haters who take rape less than seriously. That is how society can be blamed for the alleged rape of one woman by seven men.

So the left specifically chooses to feature situations in which facts are under dispute. Then leftists claim that no one could reasonably dispute the facts; the only people who would dispute facts about the occurrence of an evil are those who sympathize with the evil. Leftists craft Americans who require evidence into victimizers, simply so they can portray themselves as heroes. If you wanted evidence of racism with regard to the shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, you were a fan of Bull Connor-style police brutality. If you wanted evidence with regard to Lena Dunham’s rape accusations, you stood with rapists. Leftists don’t require any evidence; they will take any allegations that support the narratives they desire at face value because that’s how seriously they take rape, racism, etc.

The left’s mythmaking will continue. And there will never be consequences for that mythmaking because like Sabrina Erdely, their failures spring from caring, no matter who gets hurt.

The Evil Contortions Of Liberalism…

Sources American Spectator; Truth Revolt; and personal archives…

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