The left that I thought I knew back in the ‘60’s isn’t the same as the left I see today. When I was a young man way back then I didn’t have a problem with most of the stated progressive points of view. Liberals, after all, stood for many worthy goals. Equal rights for all, tolerance for other’s opinions, clean air and water, and a healthier society. Who didn’t agree with such noble ideas? While I didn’t quite consider myself an actual liberal, I still agreed with much of what they were saying. For instance, I thought they were right when they said you couldn’t trust the government. What the government then was saying then about Vietnam didn’t seem to jibe with what was happening over there. The President was caught in a lie about Watergate, and then was pardoned before a trial! The liberal view about government seemed justified.
But there were some problems for me with the left even then, things that just didn’t ring true. I think that affirmative action was the first time I became aware of a major contradiction between what they said and what they did. Affirmative action was supposed to address the unfairness of social injustice. Social injustice is a bad thing, but I didn’t see how being unfair to a new group, Caucasians, made up for previous discrimination of minorities. How could passing over a more qualified white person simply because of their race, not be just as wrong as the other way around? Yet liberals justified this. That didn’t seem right.
And then there was Vietnam. I agreed with the liberals that peace is a good thing, but considering how badly the communists in Vietnam behaved I didn’t understand how liberals could actually support the other side. The communists were certainly not nice people. Also, calling friends of mine who served over there “baby killers” was unwarranted. Where was their tolerance of other people’s point of view? Where was their compassion for the South Vietnamese brutalized by the Viet Cong?
That duplicitous tendency of left has become more noticeable and pronounced as they have gained power and influence over public opinion. Not only have leftist positions become more and more radical, but their demands and actions have become more and more extreme. And, their hypocrisy has become more and more obvious to anyone paying attention.
I remember in the early days how the left railed against governmental abuse of power. Yet now we have a leftist government that is abusing power in more ways than ever before. And not just in big things, like the kind of health insurance I must buy, but in a myriad of smaller but intrusive ways. How can progressives justify telling me how big a soft drink I can buy, what lunches I can send to school for my children, or whether I can build a house with a wood burning fireplace? The left was supposed to be against abuse of power by the government, but now that they feel fine micromanaging every aspect of our lives.
As for intolerance of other people’s point of view it is the left that now seeks to silence those who disagree with them. Conservatives are not invited to speak on college campuses, Christians are sued for holding true to their convictions, and any who disagree with the progressive point of view are ridiculed and defamed. When did love of God and country become a bad thing? That is not the freedom of expression the left preached when I was young.
I do not know if this intolerance was always part of the left or if it grew as liberals gained more power and influence. Whichever is the case the modern left has shown both appalling narrow-mindedness toward those they disagree with and a fanatical allegiance to their policies even when those same policies don’t work or are flat out contradictory to their stated positions. Their vision for America has nothing to do with freedom.