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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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Democrats worship Lucifer!?

Comment #1 by Real Clear on 2011 09 10

Real clear: did Mr. Rowley actually SAY that Democrats worship Lucifer? No, he did not. What he said was that liberal icon, and Obama influencer, Saul Alinsky dedicated his book "Rules for Radicals" to Lucifer. This is what is known as a fact, and Mr. Rowley is justified in SAYING that Alinsky so dedicated his book, because that is the truth. Liberals like to obfuscate by doing what you did; extrapolate a statement into something specious. That is a lot of big words for most libs, so please allow me to translate: You, Real Clear, are talking out of you rear end.

Comment #2 by Michael Trenn on 2011 09 10

Well Micky "Democrats continuously grant themselves license to lie and cheat." means Democrats lie and cheat. I don't do either but I know another Rowley overlong hyperbolic Rowley smear piece when I read one.
Get out from underneath Travis shadow and get some fresh air.

Comment #3 by Real Clear on 2011 09 11

Hey Beaver, how about people who take pensions and never pay into them? Is that stealing or just a lie? Not sure? Ask your Dad.

Comment #4 by Travis Yowley on 2011 09 11

Travis, do you actually believe that the "right" is any more ethical or honest? Or does your hatred for unions and democrats cloud your facts. You cited two examples here of the left's lies and the "heroism" and righteousness of the right. One: Pres. Reagan oversaw or his apologists would say forgot about the Iran-Contra Scandal. That whole affair was about lying and deceiving the American people as well as blatantly violating the Constitution. Plausible deniability and early onset Alzheimers are not an excuse. Tea Partiers like yourself would be ready to impeach Obama for a similar act. Second: Richard Perle's architecture of the Iraq War was made up of almost 100% lies and dishonesty. History and fact says this not political feeling. Not to justify the Brown kids actions but your point there is ridiculous. The Bush Administration deceived you and all of us over Iraq. Both parties lie!!

Comment #5 by erik bryson on 2011 09 11

Read carefully, everyone. This is the crucial point. Which I believe Rowley slammed home: "Certainly, Republicans have been caught doing bad things. But only Democrats have come to the intellectual decision that they are justified in doing so."

Comment #6 by Chris O. on 2011 09 11

I have read carefully and the more I read the more Travis' point is ridiculous and makes no sense. Many on the fundamentalist right side of the aisle are so blinded by their faith and dogma that "intellectually" or politically or ethically or whatever they will lie or propagandize or mislead or whatever to try to prove their point. The left and right or democrat and republican are no different when it comes to actual politics or regular political discussion. I know that Travis seems to be a hero for those on the right and people will defend his arguments no matter what but his article and point here is weak and purely a cheap shot at liberals and democrats.

Comment #7 by erik bryson on 2011 09 11

This style of starting articles with quotes is getting repetitive...

Comment #8 by Travis Yowley on 2011 09 11

It's not Micky, bozo. At least I use my real name. I am not at all under Rowley's shadow. The party of John "who's your daddy" Edwards, and Bill "it depends on what the definition of is is" Clinton sure looks a lot like what Rowley describes. One was President, and one was favored for the nomination.

Comment #9 by Michael Trenn on 2011 09 12

Travis Yowley: I have a pension that I never paid into, either. It's from a private corporation. Do you believe I am cheating, too?

Comment #10 by Peter Cassels on 2011 09 12

If they only thing you get out fo the piece is that lainsky dedicated his book to Lucifer, then the pont is made. Here's the big lie going round now.." If all those billionaires Warren Buffett's talkin' about had to pay taxes, the economy would be great." and the other is mor of a self deception and form of denial " Just let the houses's get foreclosed because why should I have to pay someone else's mortage. If the Hosuing sector is allowed to crash we aill allbe better off in the long run. So we get Obama's more teachers, will magically cure unemployment, and placate labor and irresponsbile unpaid for promises with more taxes later instead what McCain called for, an aggressive measure to make sure peeople got re-financed. Thank you Democrats for your unresponsive fixation with your agenda and discredited Keynesian nonsense. Thankk you smug reactionaries for allowing a downward spiral in real estate that will continue to dog our economy for another 7 years if we don't do something about it. Lucifer knows the art of the lie but delights more in self deception. Anger, denial, bargaining acceptance...how long will it takee us to fix the problem that got us into theis mess..Housing.

Comment #11 by Michael Gardiner on 2011 09 12

sorry for typos last comment LOL..got busy at work.

Comment #12 by Michael Gardiner on 2011 09 12

I agree that there needs to be some form of social decency and allowance, but it is preferable to make the argument logically. So, this edition of the jeremiad ends, “Democrats have come to the intellectual decision that they are justified in doing so…[ RE: various questionable actions]” Which, ostensibly, means that the Left has a coherent vision (to themselves) that they are doing right - certainly not a relative position. But to begin the article Rowley quotes, “Evil is not committed by people who feel uncertain about their righteousness.” The Left as he describes it IS very certain about their own righteousness, actually adhering well to the standard of the quote, though not its underpinning. They literally do not “feel uncertain about their righteousness.” Whether they ARE righteous is another question entirely, to which the answer is “no.” The article’s point –that absolutism, the hard and fast moral code, somehow morally trumps wishy/washy relativism—is insane in the first place, because an operator within either side of either system can say whatever it wants and still be irrelevant. Mystifyingly, this article itself exemplifies relativism.

Comment #13 by Depa Slatter on 2011 09 12

Peter C. , no I don't

Comment #14 by Travis Yowley on 2011 09 15

Question 1: does Rowley get paid for this
Question 2: if so, how much
Question 3: is this considered satire or editorial
Question 4: is there a 'left'-leaning column offered by this site/publisher as well

Comment #15 by lucy williams on 2011 11 12

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