How the Left Thinks

To understand leftism, the most dynamic religion of the last hundred years, you have to understand how the left thinks. The 2013 inaugural address of President Barack Obama provides one such opportunity.

–“What makes us exceptional — what makes us American — is our allegiance to an idea articulated in a declaration made more than two centuries ago: ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal; that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.'”

What American does not resonate to a president reaffirming this magnificent statement from our Declaration of Independence?

But here’s the intellectual sleight of hand: “What makes us exceptional — what makes us American” is indeed the belief that rights come from God.

But this seminal idea is not mentioned again in the entire inaugural address. This was most unfortunate. An inaugural address that would concentrate on the decreasing significance of God in American life — one of the left’s proudest accomplishments — would address what may well be the single most important development in the last half-century of American life.

–“We learned that no union founded on the principles of liberty and equality could survive half-slave and half-free. We made ourselves anew, and vowed to move forward together.”

If there is one word that most excites progressives, it is “new.” (“Old” turns the left off: Judeo-Christian religions and the Constitution are two such examples.) The fact is that Americans did not make “themselves anew” after the Civil War. What they did was finally affirm what was old — the Founders’ belief that “all men are created equal.”

So why did the president say this? Because what he and the left want to do is to make America anew — by making it a left-wing country.

–“Together, we determined that a modern economy requires railroads and highways to speed travel and commerce, schools and colleges to train our workers.”

The president used the word “together” four times in his speech. In no instance, did it make sense. What he meant each time is government. In the mind of the left, together and government are one.

Moreover, the point is meaningless. We determined that “a modern economy requires railroads and highways to speed travel and commerce”? Isn’t that utterly self-evident? Isn’t it as meaningless as saying that “together, we determined that jets are faster than propeller planes?

–“Together, we discovered that a free market only thrives when there are rules to ensure competition and fair play.”

Again, “together” — meaning the government.

And, again, this is an intellectual sleight of hand in order to make his case for more government. The free market “only thrives” when individuals have the freedom to take risks. Too large a government and too many rules choke the free market. Look at Europe and every other society with too many rules governing the marketplace.

–“Preserving our individual freedoms ultimately requires collective action.”

This is pure leftism: Individual freedom will be preserved by an ever-expanding state.

The whole American experiment in individual freedom has been predicated on as small a government as possible.

–“No single person can train all the math and science teachers we’ll need … or build the roads and networks and research labs …

Who, pray tell, has ever said that a single person can train all teachers, build the roads, etc.? The point he is making, once again, is that only the government can do all these things.

–“The commitments we make to each other through Medicare and Medicaid and Social Security, these things do not sap our initiative, they strengthen us. They do not make us a nation of takers; they free us to take the risks that make this country great.”

This is either a non-sequitur or a falsehood. Huge government programs do not increase risk taking, and, yes, they often do make “a nation of takers.” Again, look at Europe.

If such programs encouraged entrepreneurial risk-taking, European countries would have the most such risk-takers in the Western world. Instead, Europe has indeed become a continent of takers.

–“We will respond to the threat of climate change … Some may still deny the overwhelming judgment of science, but none can avoid the devastating impact of raging fires and crippling drought and more powerful storms.”

“The overwhelming judgment of science.” Just as the left has changed global warming to “climate change,” the president has now changed scientists to “science.” To differ with the environmentalist left on the sources of whatever global warming there is, or whether to impede the economic growth of the Western democracies in the name of reducing carbon emissions is now to deny “science” itself, not merely to differ with some scientists.

Moreover, all three claims of the president are false.

As the Danish environmentalist, Bjorn Lomborg, who believes that there is global warming and that that it is caused primarily by carbon emissions, wrote about the president’s claims:

On fires: “Analysis of wildfires around the world shows that since 1950 their numbers have (SET ITAL) decreased (END ITAL) globally by 15 percent” (italics in original).

On drought: “The world has not seen a general increase in drought. A study published in Nature in November shows globally that ‘there has been little change in drought over the past 60 years.'”

On storms: “Hurricane activity is at a low not encountered since the 1970s. The U.S. is currently experiencing the longest absence of severe landfall hurricanes in over a century.”

–“That is how we will preserve our planet, commanded to our care by God.”

Finally God is mentioned — on behalf of solar panels and windmills! The god of the left is the god of environmentalism.

–“We the people still believe that enduring security and lasting peace do not require perpetual war.”

The president’s favorite American — the Straw Man. Who exactly believes in “perpetual war?” Perhaps the president confuses perpetual strength with perpetual war.

Had he not been a leftist, he could have said:  “We the people still believe that enduring security and lasting peace require perpetual American strength.”

–“But we are also heirs to those who won the peace and not just the war.”

Whatever peace we have won has been won as a result of war and/or being militarily prepared for war. But acknowledging that would mean abandoning leftist doctrine.

–“We will show the courage to try and resolve our differences with other nations peacefully — not because we are naãve about the dangers we face, but because engagement can more durably lift suspicion and fear.”

“Not because we are naãve?” The entire sentence is an ode to the left’s naivetÇ regarding evil.

–“Our journey is not complete until all our children, from the streets of Detroit to the hills of Appalachia, to the quiet lanes of Newtown, know that they are cared for and cherished and always safe from harm.”

The president didn’t say what would create more security in children than anything else — a father in their lives. Why didn’t he? Because the left doesn’t talk about the need for fathers. Such talk is deemed sexist, anti-women, anti-single mothers and anti-same-sex marriage.

But the left does talk utopian. In what universe are children “always safe from harm?” The answer is in the utopian imagination of the left, which then passes law after law and uproots centuries of values in order to create their utopia.

–“Being true to our founding documents … does not mean we all define liberty in exactly the same way.”

That’s more left-wing ideology: Liberty means what you want it mean. As does marriage, art, family, truth and good and evil.

–“We cannot … substitute spectacle for politics, or treat name-calling as reasoned debate.”

No conservative could agree more with that. They are, after all, two of the most prominent features of left-wing political life.

–“Let us …  carry into an uncertain future that precious light of freedom.”

The president began his address citing Creator-given rights, but never mentioned either the Creator or Creator-given rights in what followed. So, too, he ended his address with a call to freedom that had nothing to do with anything he said preceding it. The address was about climate change, same-sex marriage, equal pay for women, and mostly, expanding the power of the state – not freedom.

The speech was not inspiring. But it did have one important value: It illuminated how the left thinks.

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  • wgwst

    Why overthink it?

    Will to power. Now, since the election, unmasked.

    Everything else is window-dressing, best ignored and bypassed.

  • Mary Sue

    The interesting part is liberals do NOT think. They FEEL. And Obama's a hypocrite for denouncing namecalling. He himself has indulged in the practice.

    • Deep Space

      Look, I'm not an Obama supporter but there's plenty of name calling on both sides of the fence. And this whole "liberals do not think, they feel' line really rings hollow after reading how the parents of Sandy Hook victims were heckled by pro-gun supporters at a recent public meeting. I guess its ok to have 'feelings' about your gun but not about your murdered child.

      • Rebecca

        They did not heckle anyone. One of the fathers asked a direct question of those in the audience. The question was why they needed an assault-style weapon or high capacity clip. He than paused waiting for someone to answer. No one said anything. He than replied that no one can answer that question. That is when some of the people respectfully answered. You can hear some of them quoting the second amendment. To the lame stream media, and you apparently, this is heckling. It is not. This type of propanda doesn't fool us on the right but to the ill informed and lazy minded this lie that you have just repeated becomes reality.

        • SFLBIB

          Re: "The question was why they needed an assault-style weapon or high capacity clip."

          I missed that piece. Anyone ask why he has the right to demand that people demonstrate a need for something? Sounds too much like, "From each according to his ability; to each according to his need." And we all know who said that.

          • beez

            There was dead silence at the end of his speech, at least initially. His question was rhetorical. There could be endless debate on that question. There is no clear cut right or wrong answer.

      • kasandra

        Rebecca is absolutely right. NBC edited the tape, a specialty of theirs, to tell the story they wanted to tell. You can find videos of the meeting as it occurred and NBC's tape of it as broadcast on Al Gore's wonderful Internet and see for yourself. Just like the Zimmerman telephone call to the police they edited the tape to fit their pre-determined narrative – in the Trayvon Martin case so they could portray Zimmerman as a racist, in this case so they could portray gun rights advocates as calous, rude and worthy of contempt.

        • kasandra

          Here, I'll make it easy. You can see both versions here:

          • SFLBIB

            It was just as I thought it would be. When he turned his head after asking the question, he changed it from rhetorical to actual and opened it up for comment from the audience. No one said anything at first because they assumed what would happen is what actually happened: the chairman threatened to clear the room.

      • Mary Sue

        I'm not saying it's wrong to namecall. I'm saying it's wrong to namecall after standing against namecalling.

      • beez

        Deep Space, you must be referring to the space between your ears. The full video tape of one Sandy Hook parent, a man, proves that he was NOT heckled. You bought the MSM's lie that he was heckled. He was NOT heckled, and you would know that if you had seen the entire videotape instead of assuming that what you're told by the media is gospel truth.

    • SFLBIB

      Re: "…liberals do NOT think. They FEEL."

      That is why they trot out these heart-wrenching stories every time something like this is cause by a crazy person. Just because he lost a child to some crazy doesn't make him an expert on how to reduce gun violence any more than it makes him an expert psychiatrist on insanity. In fact, why didn't he demand that legislators do something to get the crazies off the streets instead? If he was so committed to gun control, why did he wait until his own son was killed?

      • beez

        The reason why the liberals and the MSM do this is that the surviving family members of a tragedy are always morally unassailable. NO ONE wants to appear to disagree with them because they've obviously suffered an incomprehensible loss. In effect, they have complete imm
        unity from criticism.

    • EarlyBird

      Mary Sue, the left replaced thinking with feeling a long time ago. What is so striking about today's right winger in America is that they are nothing but feelings and hysteria. Look around at this site. Do you think this is a place where thought reigns?

      It's nothing but a bunch of frightened, ignorant, hateful hysterics screaming about how the world is going to hell in a hand basket. And generally they all hate America.

      • Maxie

        Pure projection Birdie. SOP for Lefties to paint conservatives with the sins of the Left. Psych 101.

      • Mary Sue

        no, do not mistake hysteria for frustration. Some of these right wingers been feeling like they've been banging their heads against a brick wall.

        • beez

          For one thing. I'm a conservative, NOT a right-winger. I refuse to wear the label liberals insist I must wear.

  • Y. Ben-David

    Today, for Obama and his Leftist allies, "freedom" means only one thing….the freedom to have sex with anyone you want, any time, any place. Everything else must be controlled or abolished….soda pop, meat, automobiles, coal-fired power plants….everything. When will the American people wake up and realize that their precious, hard-earned Constitional freedoms are being destroyed?

  • Robin

    On the do not think but feel conflict above. It is global education policy that is driving this push to make feelings dominant over rational thought. And before you throw out Sandy Hook, that elementary school was using one of the worst of the social learning instead of knowledge programs called Responsive Classroom. Connecticut was an early and aggressive adopter of Outcomes Based education and it never stopped. Relying on name changes to distract parents and taxpayers. On the day of that awful tragedy the school district was proudly proclaiming it focus on Character Education as the theme that made learning accessible to all students.

    And none of those parents should ever be criticized for their beliefs after such an awful tragedy by anybody. But I am watching all the controversial social and emotional curricula being repackaged now as the Mental Health monitoring for all approach needed in the classroom. No mention that it was already part of Obama's Positive School Climate Executive Order of July 28, 2012 or that previous to that it came from either CASEL in Chicago, the UN's World Happiness initiative, or the Center for Social and Emotional Education out of Columbia. The latter is now called the National School Climate Center.

    My point was that the one vision of America is being called Purple America and the NEA is marketing the curricula and training for it. Also coming in as a soft skills, life skills, Character Education approach.… tells that story. SEL is the abbreviation for social and emotional learning. Which the accreditation agencies want monitored through data gathering on Growth for each student.

  • tagalog

    Sadly, when it comes to Barack Obama, when he mouths inspiring words, he's just lip-synching, but when he mouths collectivist slogans he really means it from his heart.

    • Mary Sue

      he's like the Milli Vanilli of politics!

    • stevef

      Who is writing the crap on O's teleprompter?

  • Tony Christensen

    The Left's Orwellian journey continues apace: they present their project of undermining the authority of the U.S. Constitution as if it were being all the more true to the American Founding.

    They always feel it necessary to cover their tracks by posturing morally, and so many people believe it.

    • EarlyBird

      Gee, Tony, where were you when W. Bush was shredding the Constitution?

      • Maxie

        How about an example or two Birdie?

  • Ghostwriter

    Oh boy! President Obama really stepped in it this time. A lot of Americans think of themselves as individuals,not as some gigantic massive blob.

  • Civilus Defendus

    –”Preserving our individual freedoms ultimately requires collective action.”

    Orwellian translation: Ensuring your equal "freedom" requires a government boot at the neck of anyone who isn't towing the line determined by the Collectivist-in-Chief. The left's version of "equality" necessarily destroys individual freedom. Every child should attend Prager University…

  • Maxie

    Mr. Prager: Excellent job of parsing Obama's blather. Who writes his material? M.a.r.x?

  • stevef

    "Freedom is Slavery": B. Obama, 1984