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Travis Rowley: Lies and the Left

Saturday, September 10, 2011


“Evil is not committed by people who feel uncertain about their righteousness...The evil in this world is committed by the spiritual fat cats, by the Pharisees of our own day.” – M. Scott Peck, People of the Lie

There is a deep ethical divide between the modern political Left and Right. Of course, because dishonesty is involved, it is a moral chasm that can be difficult to discern for the casual observer. Once recognized, however, the pattern of the Left’s shallow morality becomes unavoidably visible.

This writer has referred to the “leftist ethic” many times before. It is a mindset that allows – indeed, instructs – its subjects to suspend principles and values for the sake of political ends.

It is always worth mentioning the Democrats’ and the NEA’s highly revered book Rules for Radicals. The book that offers a salute to Lucifer on its early pages also teaches political organizers to deceive others in order to satisfy their goals. The author Saul Alinsky even offers his readers the justification for such fraud: “He who sacrifices the mass good for his personal conscience has a peculiar conception of ‘personal salvation;’ he doesn’t care enough for people to be ‘corrupted’ for them.”

According to Alinsky, bad and selfish people tell the truth. Good and compassionate people lie. Lying is wrong. Unless one is lying for the “mass good.”

Conversely, within his book People of the Lie, Christian psychiatrist M. Scott Peck warns that “it is a mistake…to think of sin or evil as a matter of degree. It may seem less odious to cheat the rich than the poor, but it is still cheating.”

This is the moral path of modern conservatism. There is right. And there is wrong.

Elites and Moral Relativity

Speaking of the morality of the Soviet Union, Ronald Reagan informed the world that the communists would “lie, cheat, and commit any crime to further the goals of communism.” Several years ago, writing about my time as a student at Brown University, I said that “I wouldn’t have to tone this line down too much to describe most components of Brown’s Campus Left.” Even as a young student I detected – and ultimately confirmed – sinister tendencies within the left-wing activists on campus.

On college campuses across the country young men and women are bombarded with the Left’s lessons of moral relativism. Minorities, homosexuals, feminists, and a slew of other politically correct activists – as well as those who purport to speak for them – are infamous for getting away with the most outrageous of campus antics. Meanwhile, hasty presumptions of guilt are cast upon those who are accused of crossing these protected groups. Our campuses have reached a point where it is nearly impossible for young liberals to graduate without having adopted the Left’s sense of elite status, and the assumption that life’s rules don’t necessarily apply to them – either due to their intellectual superiority, or their perceived position of victimhood.

With moral relativism at their ethical core, leftists may justify any immoral act. In 2003 Richard Perle, a known advocate and architect of the Iraq War, was invited to participate in a public affairs conference at Brown University. As often occurs whenever right-wing speakers visit a college campus, Perle’s thoughts were disrupted by rowdy campus activists who dropped leaflets onto the audience, and then released a banner from the auditorium balcony that read, “You’re A War Criminal, Mr. Perle.” Deciding to remain on stage, Perle was forced to hurdle interruptions from the crowd for the rest of the event.

When the militant protesters were faced with criticism over their disregard for the values of decorum and open dialogue, they defended their actions by simply informing everyone of just how intolerable they found Mr. Perle to be. “Must this form of protest be absolutely condemned no matter who the speaker is, no matter what the speaker has done or plans to do,” argued one Brown professor. This faculty mentor also went on to say, “Such disruptive protest can be morally and politically justified in some situations,” if for no other reason than other activists may have been “strengthened by this show of defiance” or “took heart from reports of these protests.”

Yes, free speech, of course. Unless the ruling elites decide otherwise.

Richard Tomlins (Democrat)

I couldn’t help but notice a similar case being made several days ago by Richard Tomlins, the former Democratic candidate for Mayor of Cranston. Tomlins appeared on the Dan Yorke Show to defend a patently misleading RoboCall that he sent out to Cranston voters. Tomlins had lied to Cranston residents, informing them that Mayor Fung (R) intended to “[remove] twelve million dollars” out of the Cranston public school system in order to fund a “private charter school,” and that Cranston “taxes would increase by between 6 and 8 percent per year.” Maintaining that his RoboCall reached 78% of Cranston households, Tomlins told Mr. Yorke that he was “proud as [he] could ever be.” Why? Because it gave him the “opportunity to bring out what’s really wrong with education” and that he got “the public interested in education.”

Yes, honesty, of course. Except when we’re dealing with something as important as education!

Tomlins is clearly infected with the same leftist ethic that allows all Democrats to sleep at night. Nmatter what the misdeed, Democrats can commit it with moral confidence because they see themselves as political elites who are standing up for the “mass good” – battling greedy CEOs, all forms of bigotry, and environmental destruction.

The pattern is clear: Democrats continuously grant themselves license to lie and cheat. A faulty conclusion is reached every time someone throws his arms in the air, lazily deciding that all parties are guilty of mass dishonesty. Certainly, Republicans have been caught doing bad things. But only Democrats have come to the intellectual decision that they are justified in doing so.


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