The Rear End of the Political Circle


by Reid Fitzsimons
The political left and right are commonly viewed, incorrectly, as a linear function: the further left or right the greater the separation. More properly it is circular function, i.e. the further one becomes “right” the closer one gets to the “left,” and vice versa. If we compare the historic archetypical right-winger Adolf Hitler with the archetypical leftist, Joseph Stalin, there really was little difference. They both yearned for and largely achieved a totalitarian state in which not just speech was but even thought was controlled. And, of course, countless millions suffered and died in the process.
We can apply this circular concept to the fracturing between right and left we seem to be experiencing today. Though I suspect the pathetic right-wing white supremacists are comparatively small in number despite the media and social media hype, they have a commonality with the progressive left antifa fascist movement in that they are all, to resurrect an apt term from the 70s and 80s, douche bags. While rarely do we see the KKK minded people dressed in the full regalia of white sheets and hoods, which I always thought was tacky from a fashion standpoint, metaphorically at least they are interchangeable with the more stylishly black clad antifa fascists and their jaunty balaclava face coverings.
Neither side can verbalize their goals and aims beyond bumper sticker drivel. As I’m writing this (Aug. 20, 2017) there is a headline, “Atlanta NAACP calls for boycott of NFL, Falcons game over treatment of Colin Kaepernick.” Now there is a goal worth fighting for- take it to the streets to support a whiney rich guy, the beneficiary of a lifetime of “white privilege” who somehow discovered he can grow one heck of an afro, to demand he receive another multi-million dollar contract to play a meaningless game. Actually there is something we have in common- boycotting the NFL out of existence wouldn’t be a bad thing. As for the white supremacists, to the extent they exist, I have no idea what their demands might be.

Ultimately we are seeing selfish and bratty children, steeped in wealth and greed, who are seeking some kind of affirmation and meaning in their pointless lives. James Alex Fields Jr, the murderous nitwit who ran over a bunch of people, killing one, in some fit of righteous rage, had the complete modern loser package- video gamer, anger control issues, psychotropic med user, Facebook page; he’s of the right age to have been the product of public school self-esteem enhancement programs. It’s no fun psychologically being a loser, but it takes effort and some degree of self-sacrifice to become an accomplished person, so why go through the bother when all one needs to do is dress in black, cover your face and go about breaking windows, setting fires, and beating up people with whom you disagree. Or simply ram your car into a crowd of people.

A significant difference between conservatives and the progressive left, assuming for example that James Alex Fields Jr. is sentenced to a long prison term, is that he’s not going to become some kind of conservative martyr, regardless of whether or not he writes children’s books in prison. Nor will he be asked, in decades hence, to be a guest of honor at some “conservative pride” parade. Come to think of it, there are no conservative pride parades. Conservatives unhesitatingly disavow such violent idiocy, whereas the left endlessly equivocates if the offender’s politics were correct, and even engages in blatant hagiography. How tiring it is to see the same old contortions coming from the left to trivialize acts of murder and violence: the violence was isolated so therefore not really significant (“he was a ‘lone wolf’”), excused for extrinsic reasons (he was a victim of economic and social forces), ignored (NPR’s coverage of leftist avenger James Hodgkinson- see, or even celebrated (threats to assassinate Trump). In eight years of the Obama presidency I don’t recall a single conservative celebrity holding a fake severed Obama head.

In some Christian theological belief systems, especially conservative ones, a believer is admonished to love God with all his or her heart and soul at all times, that everything one does should be to glorify God, and anything done otherwise is a sin. While I’m an agnostic who at times can be childishly sarcastic of Christianity (Did you just pass gas? Yeah, but I did it for the glory of God), I understand that the very impossibility of this exhortation is the purpose itself: to always strive to know and love God more fully. The progressive left has its own similar theology- that while their set of beliefs is endlessly fluid, in order to avoid excommunication one must accept and embrace them with all their heart and soul at all times, without question.

It is exquisitely difficult to achieve a progressive state of grace as it requires people to constantly disabuse themselves of previously held sacred secular beliefs, rebel against logic, and discard inclinations of kindness, reconciliation, and decency. The source of the latest doctrine is rarely apparent: perhaps a 19 year-old Oberlin College student majoring in post-modern lesbian literature studies conjured up a new gender identity and disseminated it on her IPhone via social media while having her second latte at Starbucks. It is not to be debated, one must simply acknowledge that this heretofore nonexistent identity has suffered centuries of oppression which must be righted by whatever social justice means necessary.

Somewhere it is recalled that book banning and censorship were anathema to liberal ideals. Suddenly, however, it is required lest a word or idea contained in the writing might trigger a fleeting uncomfortable emotion in a fragile reader. The formerly bedrock liberal philosophy of “I may disagree and even abhor what you have to say, but I will defend to death your right to say it” is transformed into we must bring all societal and cultural (and ideally legal) pressure to bear to prevent the expression of opposing ideas. The concept of “we agree to disagree” has become a frenzy of rioting and window breaking to avoid hearing thoughts that might potentially conflict with the progressive dogma of the moment.

Previously you scorned the practice of head covering by observant Jewish women as oppressive, now you delight in the wearing of burkas by Muslim women. An observant progressive must believe that the many women who accused Bill Clinton of sexual impropriety and even rape were part of a vast right-wing conspiracy and deserved to be belittled as trailer park trash. At the same time you believe that any accusation by a female against a male must be accepted without question, and the accused should have no recourse.

You as a male remember that vague homosexual thoughts are part of the normal psycho-social development of young teens, between the girls have cooties phase and the they are mighty attractive end result. To be a progressive in good standing, however, you must exploit these transient feelings of your young son and encourage his evolution into an aggressive homosexual activist, as well convince your roughhousing seven year-old daughter she should become a little boy.

A leftist mother recalls with great fondness the nurturing times spent reading to her young child, but later learns from a leftist British sociologist that by doing so she was facilitating white privilege and she is now required to dwell in guilt. The overweight girl from high school you see at the 10th reunion and she is now slender and fit. You want to say something complimentary but you hesitate for fear of accusing her of body-shaming other fat people by losing weight or being a misogynistic pig for even noticing.

Still, even a part of you dreads the inevitability that the giants of Black American history, Frederick Douglas, Benjamin O. Davis, Martin Luther King, Jr, people you admired and respected your entire life, will be reviled once some progressive left professor Tweets out that they believed in equal rights, equal opportunity, and that a person should be judged not for the color of their skin but by the content of their character, tenets now antithetical to progressive philosophy. Statues of Frederick Douglas will have to be toppled, all those Booker T. Washington elementary schools will have to be changed to Nkechi Amare Diallo (Rachel Dolezal) Inclusive Elementary, and all those MLK, Jr Boulevards will have to become Maxine Waters Street.

Aside from the endless doctrine you must embrace and celebrate, perhaps the most difficult aspect of being a leftist progressive in good standing is the degree of hatred, rage, and bitterness demanded of you. Sure, you hate Trump with all your heart and soul, but you are also required to hate anyone who supports him, regardless if they are your parents, siblings, and even children. The hate must be all consuming, liberally expressed, and applied to any and all who disagree. You’re not really sure what the goals are, what your beliefs should be, and you aren’t supposed to think for yourself, but you must keep chanting, “Social justice by any means necessary!”

All semi-humor aside, there probably is a real potential for destruction and violence becoming commonplace in our country and society. The danger, however, is not from extremists per se: whatever pseudo-ideologies they rage about have been around forever, the modern difference being the absurd wealth and materialism in which they are saturated. Nor does the danger come from conservatives: we are more inclined to shake our heads, hope that Scotty beams us up, and go on living our lives; conservatives do not make rationalizations for the violent losers who try and claim some kind of kinship. The real danger comes from the lack of traditional liberals- political, academic, media, entertainment- providing checks and balances to the tantrums of their spoiled progeny and prodigies. I truly don’t know if they no longer exist or are simply too cowardly and weak to stand up and exert some kind of mature and adult leadership and guidance. I do know, however, that without some brakes being applied to this orgy of self-indulgence and solipsism, optimism is not fully warranted.

One thought on “The Rear End of the Political Circle

  1. Carole Ann Milljour

    Reid, you certainly summed it up! It is truly a dangerous world we live in. I was saddened to learn that statues are being demolished and for what? I seem to wonder and question what right anyone has to tear down and destroy those who past generations felt the need to honor and portray in their creation of statues to, not only represent our past, but to hold firm history for our future generations. What right does anyone have in this century to make that their decision? That to me is incomprehensible and that group, who is behind the demolition of these statues, ultimately causing the massive destruction of our history in such a violent way, should be prosecuted to in the fullest extent of the law! It is just so disgraceful and tragic in my eyes.
    ....and then, I have friends who make no bones about their political beliefs even after I ask them to keep their opinions to themselves since I don't agree with them (let alone understand them) and yet, they continue on.....These poor lost liberals appear to me to be trying, not only to convince me that they're right in their line of thinking, but really (and even more so) are appearing to me to be trying to convince themselves. I never cared for the previous administration or what our last president was doing to this wonderful country of ours, but I never harped at anyone who was for him....why only causes hurt feelings, we can't change the minds of friends by disagreeing anyway, and who needs it. I did sound off in letters to the editor of local papers and if someone asked my opinion, I would give it; but, I never approached anyone with my political opinion just to cause an argument. I think that in itself shows a great deal in lack of respect for your fellow American; and I am tired of walking away from it, but I do with a reminder that I don’t agree and can never be a part of their way of thinking. So, thank you very much, but no thanks! ….and it is not just friends either; three times this week I ran into people who outright discredited our President. You don’t have to say a word, you don’t even have to know those people….they are just blatantly out there. I will say one things, I’ve gotten better with my responses to them.
    I don't think most people think for themselves anymore. I wish they'd use their brains for more than just a hat rack. Oddly enough, I remember my dad saying that to us kids when we were growing up. Too bad more people didn't use that philosophy instead. It might help them realize what they're lacking in so many ways!
    Wake up America! It's not too late. Be proud of your past and build a decent future for your children's children....leave them a legacy, not a country destroyed by ignorance and greed! It won't last if that's what your intent is. Winston Churchill said it best, when he noted that Socialism brings about communism.
    You can't get any better than a free society and if the liberals and progressives continue to berate our President and County as we have grown to know it, we won't have a country left.....we'll be toppled over and trampled on just like the statues they so easily destroy for no good reason. I wish they knew what they were doing, because if they truly did, I doubt they’d be doing it. Personally, I think they are afraid to face the facts that they are wrong in so many areas because it would be an embarrassment to them to have to face that reality…especially when they are working so hard to convince themselves and others that they are correct….notice I didn’t say right! If they continue down the path they’ve taken, they will never be on the right or be right for that matter!
    There are people on the left getting paid to instill violence through protests; but outside of that paycheck, if you asked the majority of them what they stand for, they wouldn't be able to tell you because there is no rationale to their way of thinking! So sad!


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