I’ve been undergoing a pretty significant change in the way I interpret the world and how to ‘be’ in it. As I’ve grappled with how to understand my shifting perspective, I’ve found that writing down my thoughts has helped to put them in some kind of order, so this is an attempt to continue doing that. I know some of my friends have wondered why I’ve lately been so critical of the left, my home, so I wanted to share with you what a vocal part of my particular and admittedly self-selected echo chamber is like.
For the record, this is not illustrative of all of the left or even and especially of all of my liberal friends. (That shouldn’t have to be said, but we seem to have spell out things like that these days.) In fact, I’m partially writing this because I know a lot of my liberal friends are blessedly NOT privy to this part of the left. I was talking with a friend who is also liberal and she does not see this kind of stuff regularly, like I do. In the venn diagram that is Facebook, I hope you don’t find yourself overlapping with this circle, or maybe I do, because my vantage point may shed some light on why my beliefs are changing, and on where I see things possibly headed.
I see increasing numbers of so-called liberals cheering censorship and defending violence as a response to speech. I see seemingly reasonable people wishing death on others and laughing at escalating suicide and addiction rates of the white working class. I see liberal think pieces written in opposition to expressing empathy or civility in interactions with those with whom we disagree. I see 63 million Trump voters written off as “nazis” who are okay to target with physical violence. I see concepts like equality and justice being used as a mask for resentful, murderous rage.
The most pernicious aspect of this evolution of the left, is how it seems to be changing people, and how rapidly since the election. I have been dwelling on this Nietzsche quote for almost six months now, “He who fights with monsters, should be careful lest he thereby become a monster. And if thou gaze long into an abyss, the abyss will also gaze into thee.” How easy is it for ordinary humans to commit atrocious acts? History teaches us it’s pretty damn easy when you are blinded to your own hypocrisy. When you believe you are morally superior, when you have…