The View From 1776

Political Morality?

Liberal-progressives deny the existence of moral principles, but don’t hesitate to employ moral rhetoric to cudgel those who disagree with them.

Assessing a column by New York Times writer David Brooks, Peter Wehner asks, “Should I think less of the character of the coach of my son’s soccer team, or my daughter’s piano teacher, or the couple in my Bible Study, or the person who volunteers at a homeless shelter because of their views on climate change or the Affordable Care Act? On whether or not they want to raise or lower corporate tax rates? On whether they think illegal immigrants should be given a path to citizenship?

Mr. Wehner continues, “The answer for some people is yes. Jonathan Chait of New York magazine argues that those who hold political views contrary to his “live in a different moral universe” than he does and he therefore believes “their political views reflect something unflattering about their character.” This attitude shapes how he and others like him approach political debate.”

What is particularly odd about the liberal-progressive stance, to the extent that Jonathan Chait exemplifies it, is that a fundamental principle of liberal-progressivism is the denial of moral principles. 

Since the advent of Darwinian evolutionary theory, its champions have attacked the Judeo-Christian faith that there are unchanging moral principles flowing from human nature endowed by our Creator God.  For “scientific” liberal-progressive-socialists since the days of Karl Marx, religious morality has been regarded as no more than a hoax created by the ruling class to oppress the masses.  Darwin’s fiercest contemporary supporter, Thomas Huxley, asserted flatly that there is no such thing as sin, no such thing as morality; there is, he said, only the struggle for survival.  In that view, if liberal-progressives have the political power, there is nothing to forestall their forcible imposition of the materialistic religion of socialism upon the entire nation.

This paradigm remains robustly alive among liberal-progressives.  Obama’s defiant assertion that what the Constitution ordains is not to be regarded as an impediment to unilateral executive action is but the most grating reminder at present.  The Democrat-Socialist Party’s brute-force imposition of Obamacare, in the face of roughly 60% opposition by voters, is another.  Nancy Pelosi was notoriously astonished that anyone could even raise a question about the Constitution’s standing in the way of Obamacare.

Underlying today’s “get used to it” attitude is the earlier theory of legal realism (today’s critical legal theory), popularized by liberal-progressive icon Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., our first socialistic Supreme Court Justice.  Holmes proclaimed that the law should be whatever the majority of voters wanted it to be.  Politics in his view was just raw power.  He wrote that, if a majority of voters wanted to swap our constitutional political structure for a Bolshevik government, the Constitution should not stand in the way.  Ironically, Holmes is depicted by liberal-progressive writers as a defender of the Bill of Rights.  But, were his real views to prevail, our society would degenerate into a mobocracy in which unrestrained enthusiasms of the moment, driven by media propaganda, would sweep away all the protections of individual rights intended by the Bill of Rights.

It’s time for today’s degraded educational system to teach again that the Constitution was written expressly to curb tyranny of the majority, mob actions vitiating rights of individuals, however, unpopular, and that the Constitution was structured to prevent the grasping of tyrannical power by any branch of government.