Much commentary this week about whether the Hard Left, with a lot of Democrats in tow, has jumped the shark. They just don’t seem to be making sense anymore. Hillary Clinton contends that there can only be civility when Democrats are in office. Apparently, storming the doors of the Supreme Court does not constitute “a mob.” Oh, and Eric Holder proposes kicking political opponents. There have been times when such things would not even make the news, and until very recently, even if they did they would be quickly dismissed as the rantings of silly people. But in the modern age, when we live in a stew of bad ideas, this sort of thing makes a sort of sense – at least enough to have to give it reasoned attention.
- We live in time when it is considered bad form to tell a child they have failed at something.
- We live in a time of ideological socialism – “My ideas are just as good as your ideas.”
- We live in a time where churches talking about sin is rare, very rare.
- We live in a time when youth sports leagues do not keep score lest anyone think themselves a loser.
- We live in a time where everybody claims a identity based grievance, so much so there is much fake scholarship in the field.
- Identity is everything and everything is identity.
- We live in an age where religion, all religion – and especially Christianity – is considered oppressive.
- We live in an age of moral relativism.
It is not surprising that people raised in and educated about such things would behave the ways we are seeing.
Much of what we are seeing post-Kavanaugh strikes this observer as simple poor-loserism. Is that really surprising? We have raised a couple of generations of people now that were not allowed to lose. From sports leagues that did not keep score to constant praise and never criticism, they don’t know what it is like to lose. Thus when they do lose they are not going to know what to do.
A lot of what we are seeing strikes this observer as people taking a straightforward political loss on a very personal level. Does not the idea of “identity politics” make all politics very personal? Especially when that loss is related to SCOTUS which those that partake of such thinking have relied upon for decades now to stand up for their identity (and therefore their person) against “the forces of oppression.” Throw the Blasey-Ford accusations in to the mix and things are beyond personal, they are volatile. For those that view the world through the lens of identity, Kavanaugh was not a loss; it was an assault.
If morality is relative, if all ideas are the same, if there is no moral standard beyond the personal, then one might tend to equate a legally executed vote in the Senate that did not go the way one wanted with storming the doors of the Supreme Court building. Seriously, in the mind of those that have behaved in such a fashion their actions are justified by the “grievance” they have suffered.
If you really think about it, much of the ugliness we have seen this past week is entirely predictable. And that includes, sadly, the antics of those like Holder and Clinton that not only are supposed to know better, but are supposed to lead people to better.
This toxic stew of bad ideas in which we live has had two outcomes that are more lamentable even than the ones just discussed. For one, when everything is personal and no one is a loser, no one wants to be lead anywhere. They no longer look for someone to tell them what is a better way or to cast visions for them, they look purely for someone that reflects their vision and their better way. Thus, secondly, political leadership is reduced from presenting a vision and asking people to sign on to it, to pandering to a crowd. Of course Holder and Clinton are going to say those things – those things will get them the donations and votes they desire.
But most lamentable of all is that in so many of its expressions the church has succumbed to this toxic stew as well. In the “name of love,” we refuse to acknowledge sin. Rather than show people a better way – we try to affirm their brokenness. Rather than lead, we pander – just like the politicians.
Now is a time for leadership. From whence will it come?