Democratic Ideals as a Religion
Why leftists believe they can do no wrong.
Editors' note: Below is Part 2 of a new essay written by Bruce Hendry: Democrats, Progressives and Socialists. Stay tuned for the ensuing chapters. To see Part I, CLICK HERE.
4. Democratic Ideals as a Religion.
In a religion there are shared values and shared mythologies. In a religion, if somebody challenges any of the orthodoxies they are attacked personally. Religions stay together because of these shared values and because, if you want to continue to be accepted by your group, you cannot challenge these shared values and mythologies. Progressives behave this way.
Religious people indoctrinate their children to believe in their orthodoxy, and we can easily observe that if you start the indoctrination early enough it will last a lifetime. Democrats have taken over our educational system from kindergarten to university and that kind of religious, socialist, indoctrination is going on, right now, in our schools.
Curiosity should be a community value but it is actually a community threat to those in power. Curious people who challenge religious ideas are not met with a kindly response but instead are met with an attack that is personal. By silencing those with different opinions, either by enforcing politically correct speech or verbally attacking the person that is trying to express a different opinion, you win the argument. This is basic strategy for Democrats.
David Horowitz’s observation that progressivism is a religion explains a lot for me. Every society/culture in recorded history has had a religion. It’s the glue of shared values and shared mythologies that keeps the group together. Look at it this way. A religion needs three elements:
1]. A God
2]. An oppressed group
If you look at the modern Democratic party as a religion, then it all makes sense. The Democrats [God] have such high ideals and motives that they can do no wrong. Even violent acts and personal attacks on their less than human opponents are okay because of the basic goodness/godliness of the party. Democrats think that they hold the moral high ground and the bad things that they do, like personal attacks on people who have different opinions, are justified and excused because of their moral superiority.
Let’s look at an example: If you belong to a strong Mormon community of faith and you and you question whether Joseph Smith, their founder, actually saw the golden tablets, you would be vilified and thrown out of the Mormon community. Democrats are like that. When some of my wife’s “best” friends found out about her conservative views, they threw her out of the group and don’t even return her e-mails. The same treatment came from her brother when he found out that she didn’t like Hillary and wrongly thought that she voted for Trump. He hasn’t talked to her for two years.
If you are God, the defender of oppressed groups, you need an oppressed group, and if there isn’t one, you can create one. In our modern case the oppressed groups that God [ Democrats] is protecting are African Americans, women, Islamic immigrants and gays. Who are the Democrats protecting them from? Primarily white men and Republicans despite the fact that there it is illegal in America under the 14th Amendment to discriminate against any group.
There is however a category of policies that has been made an exception to the equal rights guarantees of the 14th Amendment, that discriminates against white men and other so-called “privileged” groups. It’s called “Affirmative Action.” This exception has been in force for 60 years. It gives designated “oppressed” groups “of color” an advantage over people that have white or yellow skins when applying for admission to universities and when applying for jobs. Women, even white women also benefit from this exception. But it is primarily enforced for the benefit of certain persons “of color” – but not all. Asians who are successful on their own are actually discriminated against. In the real world, white males and Asians are the only groups in America that are actually and legally, oppressed.
5. Big Lies.
Stalin used the “big lie” to cover up his misdeeds and by repeating the lie over and over again making it the truth. Anybody who challenged the official ideology with facts, logic or common sense, was defamed, jailed and often shot. This is the same tactic that Democrats use. In the Soviet Union some 20 million of these offenders were sent to prison or executed. In our democracy, character assassination serves as an equivalent, eliminating political opponents from the political battlefield. The Left, the Democrats, are deadly serious about protecting their ideology from facts, logic and common sense, and will stop at nothing to advance their cause.
Stalin also had a tactic that the Democrats use a lot, which was to accuse the opposition of the bad thing that you yourself are doing. For instance, progressives call Trump a fascist when it actually they who are the fascists. Fascists don’t allow alternate opinions to survive, for instance, Charles Murray a well known conservative writer, brilliant, cultured academic, needs security when speaking on a college campus. This reminds me of the Nazis who severely punished anyone caught listening to the BBC, and even killed some. Thankfully that hasn’t happened in America yet, but a Bernie Sanders supporter did come within an inch of killing congressman Steve Scalise because he was a Republican.
The Left slanders conservatives as “racists,” because they don’t accept the progressive party line. This is patronizing and racist to African Americans, saying to them they are not capable of defending themselves or competing with others. Apparently they need Democrats and Affirmative Action policies to protect them because their skin is black. Affirmative action is a slap in the face of black Americans. Democrats say that if you are white you are a racist simply because of your skin color and even if you, a white person, don’t think that you are racist, you are because of the color of your skin. That is a grossly racist attitude by Democrats and progressives.
Progressives’ use of group identifications to judge people is racist because this submerges the individuals so described and erases their individual identities and achievements. What are some of progressive’s group identifications? There are gays; transgenders; women; men; white men; African Americans; illegal aliens to name a few. Many of these groups have nothing in common with each other so there must be a common enemy to unite them. That enemy is white men and Republicans.
In his book “1984,” George Orwell called the attitude we know as political correctness - a term designed to get everybody to tow the same political line - “doublespeak.” Doublespeak describes a situation in which the truth is exactly the opposite of what the party is saying. Saul Alinsky is the father of the modern progressive movement. In his book “Rules for Radicals,” Alinsky instructs his readers to use these communist tactics of lying and urges them to personally attack those who disagree with their politics in order to silence them and to cut off any rational discussion. Modern day Democrats use the same Alinsky/communist tactics which we politely call “political correctness,” but which is nothing less than censorship of unorthodox thoughts.
Examples of progressive Big Lies:
- White Privilege. The Democrats say that whites have a privileged status denied to “people of color,” which in our country is 100% wrong. It is actually a lie, as there is no law in the country that identifies a person with white skin, and then confers some special privilege on them. There is, as previously noted however, a body of law that identifies persons “of color” as entitled to special privileges called “Affirmative Action.”
- America’s DNA is racist and white Americans should be ashamed of their past. This is a concept that is already widely accepted but is 100% away from the truth.
The truth is that America inherited slavery from England and that almost all of the black slaves were captured by other black Africans and then sold at slave auctions run by black African slave owners. For the most part, American did not enslave anybody; they bought people who were already slaves. Most of the slave history of North America took place in English colonies before 1787 when America became a nation dedicated to equality and liberty, and began freeing the slaves. The North rejected slavery at that time and eventually fought a bloody war against the South to free its slaves too.
America’s birth certificates - the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution - declared that all individuals were equal and had a God-given right to liberty. It took a Civil War and the death of a 350,000 mainly white men to enforce those ideals, but they did, and inspired movements for equality and freedom all over the world. Americans – white and black - should be proud, not ashamed, of their racial past and the battles for freedom they waged.
White people are racist, even though they might not be aware of their own racism. It turns out that 95% of Blacks voted for Obama despite the fact that he had virtually no experience in any job prior to being elected President. But a majority of Obama’s votes came from white Americans in the same election. Who then are the racists?
“All are Welcome” The catchy phrase, used in progressive forums like K-12 schools, indicates that all nationalities, skin color and religions are welcome here. But this is not true since whites generally and white males in particular are singled out as part of a racist, oppressor class. As are Christians. In our Edina grade school there is a prayer room set aside for Muslim children, but the word Christ, as in Christmas, is forbidden. No Christian songs are permitted at the “Holiday” concert, formerly known as the Christmas concert. So “All are Welcome” is just another example of progressive double speak.
At the University, we welcome diversity. The only diversity permitted at most college campuses today is a diversity of color, and even this diversity is restricted for whites and Asians. There is no diversity of opinion permitted and if a conservative attempts to express a point of view different from the progressive orthodoxy, she is likely to be shouted down and shamed or not permitted to talk. Diversity on campus is another progressive lie.
- Multiculturalism. This is the idea that all cultures are equal in value and that none is better than the others. This is 100% false, as the exact opposite is true. The most important feature of thing in any society is culture.
For instance, Jewish culture values education highly. Not all cultures do and we can easily observe how this Jewish cultural value has served the Jewish community well over the centuries. In many African American communities in America’s inner cities, education is not valued, and black children who try to learn are called oreos and are often made fun of by their classmates. Only 25% of black male children actually graduate from high school in Minneapolis. Just like observing how the Jewish culture of education helps that group, we can also observe how the lack of a culture of education hurts these African Americans.
A cultural value in the United States is that everybody is equal under the law. That is not true in many countries that give special privilege to the rich and connected citizens or to persons that profess a certain religion, as in some Islamic countries.
Does your culture value hard work? How about treating others outside of your family or tribe honestly? The Quran requires Islamic followers to treat other Muslims with respect and honesty, but allows and in some cases encourages Muslims to cheat and even kill Infidels. Some cultures produce Mozart and Einstein, while others sanction the genital mutilation of young girls and treat suicide bombers as martyrs bound for heaven. Everybody’s culture is special to those in the culture, but the value of cultures to those who live under them is vastly different.
Even private companies, in the same city, making competing products or services will have different outcomes depending on their “company cultures”. Cultures do not have equal value or produce equal outcomes, as is obvious to anyone not blinded by progressive ideology.
- Strength through diversity. 100% wrong. A lie. Devise; divisive: devious; divide all have the same root word and it’s the opposite of united or unity. Strength comes from unity, as in the “United States” not from being diverse. Diversity breeds suspicion and conflict. Being united brings discussion and peace.
Original immigrants to the United States had diverse languages such as English, French and German, but they had a common Christian, European culture. They came to this country and gave up their diversity in order to become united with their various states and with a new common culture shaped by their European roots. Strength comes from unity, not diversity.
Donald Trump discriminates against women. 100% wrong. Exactly the opposite is true if you look at the responsibility that he has conferred on his daughter and the number of women executives in the Trump organization, or his employment of Sarah Sanders as his spokesperson, or Niki Haley as our UN Ambassador, or that he appointed the first woman head of the CIA. “Donald Trump is homophobic” is another brazen lie with no factual basis. But it is believed by millions because this lie has been repeated over and over by Democrats and an anti-Trump national media. In my opinion, Trump is a bully, a narcissist, an exaggerator of the facts and an obnoxious personality, but there is no evidence that he discriminates against women or gays. Another 100% lie from our Democratic friends.
The rich don’t pay their “fair share” of taxes. 100% wrong, another lie, which has become the truth for millions of voters because this particular lie has been repeated over and over again. The actual facts on the IRS web site show that the top 1% of taxpayers pay 38% of all income taxes collected while the bottom 50% of taxpayers pay nothing. The facts on taxation render Bernie Saunders slogan “the rich don’t pay their fair share,” meaningless and divisive.
- Income gap between the rich and the poor. This gap, as you would expect, actually exists, but is dramatically smaller than presented by Democrats and the National media for political reasons. The comparisons that are made, exclude government assistance, and inflate the income of the wealthy by using pre-tax income. At the lower tax rates the ”taxpayer” pays zero income tax and then gets an earned tax credit, essentially a cash gift that is not taxed and not counted in his income. At the upper end, taxpayers actually pay taxes and have less after tax income than presented in this comparison.
The way the counting is done hides $1.6 trillion dollars of income that the poor receive, like free medical care, food stamps, subsidized housing and utility bills and low cost college. They overstate the income of the wealthy by not deducting the taxes they pay before the comparison is made. It’s a phony comparison made by the Left and made legitimate by the national press and unscrupulous politicians like Bernie Saunders and Elizabeth Warren. The spread between rich and poor is actually dramatically less than reported by the Democrats and the national press. Moreover, the economy is not a zero sum game. The rich do not put their wealth in their mattresses. They invest it in creating industries and jobs. If the rich get richer so do the poor and the middle class.
In 2015 the international poverty rate for a family of four was $240. In the same year in the United States the poverty rate was $25,250. A “poor” person in the United States is actually very rich by world standards and that number does not include the $1.6 trillion that is given to, but not counted to the “poor” in the United States.
The poor in the United States are actually wealthy by world standards. This is evident in the number of poor people who try to emigrate to this country, sometimes at risk to their lives. Like taking a leaky boat or raft from Cuba to Florida, or paying your life savings to a smuggler who will put you into a sealed truck with a hundred other illegal migrants in order to sneak into the United States.
In the United States the very rich and the very poor both eat plenty of calories, have hot and cold running water, hard surfaced floors in their homes, color televisions, cell phones and heated homes in the winter. People that are actually poor, as in the rest of the world, don’t have these things.
By focusing on the income gap progressives divert attention from the questions that should actually be asked, and that is, whether the system is fair. Is the system rigged in favor of the rich? If so, how is the system rigged? Of course, that question is never asked because the American system is not rigged in favor of the rich and the promise of becoming successful in America is still there. Emphasizing the wealth gap is just another way of sowing resentment and division, which is how progressives expand their power.
I, as well as many of my friends are the beneficiaries of this favorable political/economic system which allowed us to go from being poor to being rich. Delaying personal pleasures like marriage and having children, getting an education and working hard will still bring one success in America. Unfortunately, this fair economic system with its immense opportunities is under siege by Socialists, who now call themselves Democrats and Progressives.
I think it’s fair to say that America is the best place in the world for the average citizen to live and that it’s the best time in the history of the world to live in America as a black person, as a woman or as a homosexual.
Bruce Hendry is a retired businessman who began from humble origins to become a highly successful investor and captain of industry. He embodies the American dream having earned his way to becoming the president and chairman of the Erie Lackawanna Railroad and Kaiser Steel. He is one of the leaders of the economic revolution that has made America the envy of the world, and also the target of resentful and spiteful leftists who want to destroy it.