The fundamental difference between ourselves and the left isn’t that we believe in smaller government and they don’t. Nor is it that we believe in the practical necessity of borders and they don’t. It is that we believe in a life with absolute standards… and they don’t.
Take the transgender issue for example. Ten years ago, the notion that a man should be allowed to use the women’s restroom simply on the grounds that he has “declared” himself a woman would have been an absurdity to almost everyone in this country, right and left. What we didn’t realize until recently is that the two sides believed the same thing for entirely different reasons. Conservatives have access to certain moral resources progressives lack. Most of us have at least one foot grounded in the Bible, which, despite the corrosive power of liberal churches, tendeth not to move around much on the fundamentals. Things that are Biblically wrong remain Biblically wrong — forever. Even nonreligious conservatives have a sort of visceral skepticism about change – a feeling in their bones that change is at least as likely to be for the worse as for the better. Conservatives who don’t believe in God, in other words, at least believe in not reforming what isn’t currently broken.
Progressives lack such standards to guide them. Cut off from any permanent underpinnings by a quixotic belief in change, they move as a herd guided only by their loudest members. Yesterday the herd believed that women’s rights were paramount, so any intrusion into a woman’s restroom by a male, especially a deviant one, was an outrage. But now — presto change-o! — the merely female has been outranked by the more trendy and interesting transgender, and women must shift a row toward the back of the progressive bus. For the progressive, any moral idea is merely a passing fashion — something to be discarded when last year’s victims start to get a little boring. To take a permanent stand on any issue would be to deny that we must follow our leaders down the perpetual road of progress — or, as an earlier generation of leftists put it a bit more honestly, a permanent state of revolution.
Progressives live on a kind of moral roulette wheel, ready to conform to whatever emotional imperative the ball happens to land on next. It was quite ironic that, during the 2016 elections, progressives launched a campaign to smear conservative Trump supporters as sharing one unique characteristic — a marked tendency toward authoritarianism. Really? This observation came from a leftist electorate so pliable to authority that they can believe even a person’s gender is merely a choice — if their opinion makers so decree.
I know of no one who supported Donald Trump because he was an authority figure. He wasn’t. If that was what we wanted we would have rallied behind some senior general — not behind a real estate tycoon with orange hair. Far from voting for a human master, we picked the first candidate in decades with the courage to articulate our standards — even if the man himself hadn’t always conformed to them. We will, no doubt, abandon Trump should he betray us.
We are not the people who backed Hillary Clinton, no matter how obviously crooked she was, on the grounds that, as a woman, she had a right to the presidency — at least as long as there wasn’t a candidate of color or a trendy pervert in the race. Far from being pro-authoritarian, we back those who are willing to fight for our interests and our deeply held beliefs. It is the left, not we, who grovel in cult-like groupie worship before their celebrity victim candidates du jour.
While they help themselves to a self-image of intellectual and ethical sophistication, progressives are often no more sophisticated than teenagers trying desperately to maintain their places in the “in” group. The ideal of the Christian is to live a Godly life — even in the face of humiliation, ostracism, and persecution.
The ideal of the progressive is to go with the flow. “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” We should not be in the least surprised about any of the recent scandals in Hollywood. Such events are scandals only by our standards — not by theirs. It was precisely the general notoriety and acceptance of Harvey Weinstein’s sexual appetites that protected him. If his predations had been a secret, some woman would have had the courage to come forward much sooner. Since they were not secret, anyone coming forward had to be willing to risk fighting Hollywood itself — not a man, but an entire subculture of people who accepted both the man and his behavior.
The same phenomena has produced the Teflon-like immunity of the elites to prosecution. Any prosecutor or law enforcement agent, no matter how exalted his status, understands the risk entailed by proceeding against members of the political class. When there is no higher authority to whom one can appeal, humans succumb to their own weak and venal natures. This, too, is why progressive morality is often so amazing shallow — saying the right thing rather than doing the right thing. Keeping the dream of the welfare state on life support decades beyond its demonstrable failure. It does not matter what reality is, but only what the New York Times says reality is. The illusion, not the nation, must be protected at all costs. What is virtue to a progressive but a feeling of being in sync with of the anointed herd?
As a Christian, I am compelled to see the gulf that divides our country in Christian terms. The unity of God’s people lies in our common membership in the Body of Christ. Globally, we are genuinely diverse — yet we are all one people by the extraordinary mystery of God’s saving Grace. We all are guided by His immutable will.
Collectivism, in any of its forms, is merely a sham for the Body of Christ. It is a counterfeit community lead by a group of cynical human beings who exploit a real, God-given need for belonging. Progressivism, paradoxically, fills this spiritual void by dividing its followers into an ever-expanding catalog of interest groups — often groups who really have no natural basis. There really is no such thing as a “genderqueer” community in exactly the same way there has never been such a thing a “schizophrenic” community. There is only an uneasy herd of confused, unhappy individuals who, rather than being given help and firm direction, have been given the lie of their own unique but nonexistent polities. Left to their own devices, it would be only a matter of time before progressives actively and openly courted the pedophile vote. They’ve already stood in solidarity with felon community. What standard could there be to hold them back?