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My colleague Victor Davis Hanson raised the question in these pages the other day: “Just how far will the Left go?” in its attempt to overthrow the government of Donald J. Trump? With his customary precision, Hanson laid out the catalog of enormities committed by the Left in its pursuit of Trump and of conservatives in general, among them the fatuous investigation led by Mr. Straight Arrow himself, the demonization of Trump-as-Hitler, their frustration over losing the 2016 election (which they thought would cement their hostile takeover of the American Republic) and their inability to mask their true anti-American natures any longer.
So let me provide an answer: As far as they can, for as long as it takes.
The Poison Behind “Youthful Idealism”
I first became aware of the deadly hostility of the American Left back in the early 1970s, during the height of the student protests against the Vietnam War (largely motivated by a fervent desire to avoid the draft), when they hitched their “youthful idealism” to two causes: anti-imperialism—you don’t hear much about that these days, but that was how the Vietnam War was mischaracterized—and anti-racism, a byproduct of the American civil rights movement. Since then, almost every cause the Left has espoused has combined some elements of America-as-predator (whether international or domestic) and America-as-racist-bastion.
Vietnam was ideal for both tropes. We were waging (in their eyes) and aggressive war against brown people, because we could. In their telling, the domino theory—a holdover from the aftermath of World War II—was merely a fictive fig leaf to conceal our country’s rapaciousness, belligerence, and innate hegemonistic tendencies. We had run out of Indians to kill, so now we had to venture abroad to find fresh victims. And we did it because they were brown. What happened to South Vietnam and Cambodia after the Communist victory was of no interest to them.
The 1960s-era leftists, many of them red-diaper babies themselves, were anti-Americans, of course. But there was also a significant element of self-loathing within them as well. “White people,” a liberal college classmate once wrote to me from his temporary domicile in Central America, “are the freaks and monsters of society.” At the time, I dismissed this as the ravings of the far-Left, but over time it has become among the dominant strains of thought, widely promulgated now as the triumphalist wing of the Democrat Party celebrates the Ted Kennedy-induced demographic transformation of the United States from a primarily European country into a Third World country. The Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, known also as the Hart-Celler Act, was passed at the height of the civil-rights movement and signed into law by President Lyndon Baines Johnson, whose campaign slogan in 1964 had been “All the Way with LBJ.” As the late Lion of the Senate said at the time:
Contrary to the charges in some quarters, [the bill] will not inundate America with immigrants from any one country or area… In the final analysis, the ethnic pattern of immigration under the proposed measure is not expected to change as sharply as the critics seem to think . . . The bill will not flood our cities with immigrants. It will not relax the standards of admission. It will not cause American workers to lose their jobs.
There was much that was good and necessary about immigration reform in 1965, especially the opening to Asia, from which America has benefited enormously. But the cultural-Marxist proponents of essentially unfettered immigration, whether legal or illegal, took Hart-Celler and drove a truck through it, in honor of the Alinsky Rule No. 4: “Make the enemy live up to their own book of rules. You can kill them with this, for they can no more obey their own rules than the Christian church can live up to Christianity.” So what began as a well-meaning attempt to broaden the scope of international legal immigration turned into a stick with which to beat the dominant society into submission in expiation of its racist sins. The result is, we now actually have Democrats like Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand of New York actively calling for the abolition of ICE as she positions herself leftward for a possible presidential run (stop laughing) in 2020.
If a political movement is willing effectively to abolish the country’s borders (but keep bleeding its productive class in order to fund its welfare/patronage system), what does that tell you about its ultimate aspirations? The American Left (a subsidiary of the International Left) has as its goal the “fundamental transformation” of the United States from a free-market capitalist, at least nominally Christian country of mostly European descent into something resembling the old Soviet Union, a place where “from each according to his ability” gleefully embraces the buggering of the taxpaying class in order to give “to each according to his needs.”
Discrediting the Founding, Accruing Power
Like an opportunistic cancer, the Left finds the weak spots and pounces, often retroactively. The Declaration of Independence says “all men are created equal,” and yet all men were manifestly not equal, and thus the American Founding is morally indefensible; that what the Founders meant were “equal in the eyes of God” and what the socialist Left means is “economically equal,” is passed over. Similarly, the reductive Left has transformed what we used to call Italians, Germans, French, English, Irish, Russians, Poles, Greeks, and other ethnic/national groups of European origin into “white people,” the better to identify them as the “other”—freaks and monsters—and pit them against Latin America, Africa, and Asia in a cultural-Marxist reboot of the class struggle, now crudely and reprehensibly racialized.
And so it goes. Each day brings a new outrage, a development enthusiastically promulgated by a brain-dead media that thinks a headline must contain the words “sparks outrage” or “comes under fire,” to be newsworthy. The foxes of anger and resentment have been set among the hens of political cohesion, and every day the squawking grows louder—as it will until that day comes when there are no more hens left to lay the eggs.
The key to understanding the Left is that it cannot stop. Once it has set itself on a path to power, it must have all the power. Once it has created a social program, it must run that program into the ground. Once it has identified an enemy, that enemy must be destroyed, no matter what the cost to itself. Like a shark, the Left must always keep moving—forward! And the end result is always the same.
How far will they go? All the way. “By any means necessary” is their slogan for a reason. They mean it.
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