By J. Peder Zane for RealClearWire
I wish I had more sympathy for liberals shocked by the apologias and celebrations of barbarity their progressive brethren have issued in response to Hamas’ slaughter of Israeli civilians on Oct. 7.
But liberals share great responsibility for the antisemitic eruptions on many college campuses and the streets of major cities by allowing left-wing ideologues to hijack their politics and their children – for turning conservatives into Cassandras by refusing to heed our warnings about the ongoing assault on truth and justice.
These same wounded souls offered no resistance as the Democratic Party tripled down on identity politics in recent years, assigning Americans to specific groups and then pitting them against one another. They stood by as the left falsely trashed America as a hotbed of hatred, white supremacy, and Christian nationalism. Now Jews are also somehow the bad guys.
Liberals continue to subscribe to fearmongering publications such as the Washington Post, the Atlantic and the New York Times which routinely compare Donald Trump to Adolf Hitler and warn that he plans to rule as a dictator if he wins in 2024.
They have supported Democratic prosecutors who have weaponized the criminal justice system by filing 91 felony charges against the former president, most of which are flimsy, some of them absurd.
They cheered the Department of Justice’s years-long fishing expedition based on Hillary Clinton’s slander that Trump stole the 2016 victory by colluding with Vladimir Putin. Once that hoax was exposed, they were happy to see Trump become the third president in history to be impeached merely for asking Ukraine’s president to look into the Biden family’s shady dealings in that country.
They supported numerous other efforts to remove Trump from office, including two impeachments, on bogus claims of corruption – Saudis are staying in his hotels! – while willfully ignoring Joe Biden’s own longstanding involvement in his family’s lucrative influence-peddling schemes with corrupt and hostile nations.
They defined Trump’s hyperbole and lies as an existential threat to democracy while dismissing President Biden’s incessant falsehoods, starting with the claim that may have secured his election: “I never talk with my son or my brother or anyone else in the distant family about their business interests, period.”
They have shrugged their shoulders at evidence that the government has been working with Twitter (now X), Facebook, and other big tech players to censor speech it doesn’t like. Many have joined the effort to demonize Elon Musk for the sin of supporting free speech on X.
The same folks shocked at the rise of antisemitic rhetoric and behavior stood by when conservative speakers were bullied on campus and cancel culture became a favorite tool of the left to punish dissent. They supported divisive efforts to spin smears into facts by refusing to push back on phony claims about book-banning or prohibiting the use of the word gay, by demonizing parents concerned about what their children are taught, and by attributing all disparities between blacks and whites to racism.
Now they are shocked by the venomous responses to Israel’s actions.
It is easy to understand why liberals made this deal with the devil. As they became consumed by their fear of Trump and the tens of millions of Americans who support him, the left’s no-holds-barred tactics seemed to offer liberals a more effective way to crush their enemy than their traditional commitment to open dialogue and tolerance, democracy, and the rule of law.
Liberals were willing to suspend their values in the vain belief that they could control the forces they empowered. Like their naïve predecessors in Revolutionary Russia and 1930s Germany, American liberals are only beginning to realize their tragic mistake.
In just the last few years, the left has largely captured the most powerful forces of American politics and culture once dominated by liberals, including academia, corporate media, and the government’s permanent bureaucracy. They now control the narrative and the tools to punish those who challenge their dogma. Resistance can seem like an effort to push back the tide. It’s one reason liberals just keep their heads down and their mouths shut.
By revealing the inhumanity at the core of leftist ideology – which always and everywhere sees people as eggs that must be broken to make their pipe dream omelets – Oct. 7 has shown liberals in clear and horrifying terms the price of their dangerous alliance.
I fear that this recognition has come too late for them, and for America.
Still, resignation is unproductive. Given the spiritual season and the approach of a new year, we should allow room for hope. Despite our daunting challenges, small actions can lead to bigger things. Doing the right thing is good for the soul.
In this spirit I’d like to suggest one way liberals can stand up to the forces corrupting our culture: Don’t keep your head down any longer. Speak up. Realize that there is only safety in numbers if you make yourself heard. Resisting censorship begins with resisting the urge for self-censorship. Speak out, as the Old Testament advises us, on behalf of the oppressed, even if they might – heaven help us – sometimes vote Republican.
Syndicated with permission from RealClearWire.
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