The militant lefty is an overgrown brat who never made the emotional transition from the funk of total unfairness that teenagers inhabit to the appreciation for life of the mature adult.
I am coming to increasingly dislike the use of the word “liberal” to describe the American left-wing: there are very few authentic “liberals” out there. Most of what claims the mantle of “liberalism” these days is anything but; it is, rather, statist authoritarianism implacably opposed to everything that has contributed to the American ideal, and American success, for more than 200 years. As this essay accurately puts it,
“Resentment is the force that gives the left meaning.
“What animates the left is the conviction that everything (except their own tastes, preferences and opinions) is terrible and must be reformed until it too is like them. America is racist, homophobic, transphobic, Islamophobic, arachnophobic and claustrophobic.”
Resentment, the essay continues,
“doesn’t just color the politics of a militant leftist. It encompasses his entire outlook on life. The personal conviction that the world is an unfair place fits neatly into an ideology that claims to be able to prove using science and history that the world is a truly unfair place…
“The left isn’t actually fighting for anything. It’s fighting against things. Big things and little things. It’s fighting against America. And it’s fighting against families sitting down to Thanksgiving dinner.”
In contrast, as the linked essay also points out, “the best antidote to leftist resentment is conservative thankfulness.
“There are plenty of problems in our country and the world. But if we can’t stop to be thankful for the good things, we will sink into the same swamp of resentment as the left.
“To be thankful is to be reminded of what we are fighting for. The resentful left doesn’t really fight for anything. Its resentful causes have no end point. There will never be a time when race relations, the environment, social mobility and caloric intakes are good enough for them to hang up their hats. The left maintains a perpetual state of crisis because it justifies a perpetual state of resentment.”
Indeed! As C.S. Lewis pointed out, decades ago,
“Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”
However, the linked essay continues,
“Conservatives fight for the things in our lives that we value. And these are the very things that we are thankful for. Our gratitude reminds us of what we want to conserve. These include the tangible things, our families, our homes and our lives, and the intangible things, our freedoms and our traditions.
“The left can’t be thankful because it can’t admit that there’s anything worth appreciating. Revolutionary movements don’t create, they destroy. But we can and should be thankful for what we conserve…
“If we lose our ability to be thankful for the good things in our lives, we lose everything.”
Amen, and amen!