OPINION —Denizens of the political left, self-anointed guardians of compassion and justice, are spewing hatred and venom these days.
One might expect those on the far left and right extremes – the ideologues – to espouse “take no prisoners” rhetoric. But today, a disappointing number of those who were viewed previously as center-left are the most rabid.
The proximate cause these days is hatred of President Trump and anyone and anything associated with him. But root causes go far deeper, back into the 1960s.
The blatant racism of the Jim Crow South and the need to eradicate it became a national cause supported by both political parties. The left moved onto this moral high ground while all too many die-hard segregationists found a home on the right.
Striking a resonant chord with the American public, the left set about to “deliver America from shame to decency” in African-American author Shelby Steele’s words. He goes on to say, “If racism was necessarily at the top of the list, it was quickly followed by a litany of bigotries ending in ‘ism’ and ‘phobia.’”
Intoxicated by their new-found political power, the left created a variety of federal social programs to combat its ever-increasing list of social ills. We’ve spent $22 trillion on them in the last 50 years.
The power to do all this flowed from readily-perceived American societal failings: discrimination and economic injustices. But as government programs to combat them became institutionalized, the left needed what Steele calls “new menaces” to combat.
In searching for new menaces, the left descended from the moral high ground and has increasingly lost its legitimacy.
As an example of lost legitimacy, today’s anti-American Democratic presidential hopefuls continue to flog what they claim is the country’s inherent racism. Here’s what they have to say today about America’s criminal justice system:
New Jersey’s Sen. Cory Booker claims that “we are at a time where injustice has grown to be normal in our country.”
Massachusetts’ Sen. Elizabeth Warren states that “the hard truth about our criminal justice system: it’s racist. . . . I mean, all the way, front to back.”
California’s Sen. Kamala Harris says that “our criminal-justice system has failed.”
Democrats all, these politicians are grasping at straws to keep the “menace” of racism alive. Their claims fly in the face of today’s American experience.
Mention the word “Ferguson” and images of a white police officer shooting an “innocent” black man come to mind, at least to the liberal mind. They conveniently ignore the fact that a grand jury ruled that the black man was the aggressor and police officer fired in self-defense.
A police officer is 18.5 times more likely to be killed by a black male than an unarmed black male is to be killed by a police officer. Even that statistic ignores those violently resisting arrest as was the case in Ferguson.
Black males make up 42 percent of all cop killers while making up only 6 percent of the population.
White-on-black shootings revive the menace of America’s racist past and become badly-needed political fodder for the left. Yet over 90 percent of blacks who are murdered are killed by other blacks.
None of these facts fit the liberal narrative so they get little or no political or liberal media coverage.
Following Hillary Clinton’s election failure, otherwise-centrist Democrats have turned to the politics of hate and to disparaging the country.
Rep. Adam Schiff – previously “known as a milquetoast moderate” according to the liberal New Yorker magazine – has become a Democratic hero for keeping alive the Trump/Russia collusion myth while trying to stifle an investigation into Obama administration misdeeds.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand was an upstate New York representative who belonged to the centrist Blue Dog Coalition. A 2013 New Yorker article called her “Strong Vanilla.” She’s now distinguished by having the Senate’s most anti-Trump voting record.
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo was quoted recently as saying, “America was never that great.”
Rep. Maxine Waters is a self-appointed practitioner of hate, urging her followers to think of hatred as power itself.
That hate is displayed when conservative speakers are shouted down and assaulted on college campuses; when Republican officials are harassed in restaurants, in the street, in front of their homes.
Running out of menaces in American society, the left’s arguments are becoming obsolete. The failure of the left’s programs to create the Utopian society they’d envisioned in the heady days of the 1960s weighs heavily on them.
Donald Trump makes a convenient target but Shelby Steele argues that behind the smokescreen, the left’s raison d’être is slip sliding away. All that’s left is anti-American hate and venom.
Howard Sierer is an opinion columnist for St. George News. The opinions stated in this article are his own and may not be representative of St. George News.
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