Trump has nominated a conservative judge to the Supreme Court. Speaking a few days in advance, Nina Totenberg of NPR called it “the end of the world as we know it.”
Which world is that? Not the same one conservatives live in. Conservatives see this Supreme Court moment as a move toward restoring government as it’s meant to be.
No one — we need not worry about the fringe exceptions — thinks we should return to a world where blacks are discriminated against. That’s the big fear. No one thinks we should return to the world my generation grew up in, where a woman had five career paths to choose from: nurse, schoolteacher, secretary, retail clerk or homemaker. Injustice is not a conservative principle, despite the rhetoric you’ve been hearing.
The ‘Constitutional’ World Progressives Have Been Living In
But the world liberals have been “living in” is one where all injustice can be cured through government intervention. They’ve forgotten that our Bill of Rights was written to support justice and freedom by limiting government.
The world they’ve been living in is one where the Constitution contains a “right” to abortion and gay marriage.
It’s a world where the Constitution gave the Federal government power to decide such things for all the states.
It’s a world that foolishly supposes these matters are for judges to decide, not legislatures. It’s a place where somehow this represents the rule of law rather than the rule of men — even though it took but a simple majority of nine unelected persons to make these decisions into law.
It’s a world where liberty means the freedom to disagree with progressive social norms, provided you confine your disagreement to private conversation. You may never allow it to influence public action.
The Religious World They’ve Been Living In
It’s a world where belief in God should be contained and controlled; where faith is a gnat, an obstacle, an annoyance thrown up irrationally against them, on their way toward crafting a society of their own their liking.
It’s a world in which their new religion has overtaken all the old ones. Faith in this world means belief in government. Ethics in this world are entirely relative … except for rules they decree unyieldingly absolute. Guilt in the religion of this Progressive World adheres only to people of “privilege,” whose salvation is achieved only through shame.
It’s a world where freedom of any other religion is allowed only the most private terms possible: “freedom of worship” and “freedom of belief.” Freedom of public expression is not included, for that would be a hindrance to their Progessiveness.
It’s also one in which even the courts — and the Constitution itself — are to be no hindrance.
The All-or-Nothing, Black-and-White World They’ve Been Living In
It’s also — most ironically, given their public penchant for diversity — a black-and-white world, without gradations. Rick Moran’s compilation of progressives’ comments shows just how all-or-nothing their world is.
Rachel Maddow said the banning of birth control could be imminent. Where’d she get that from? Best I can tell, if abortion goes, everything goes, for she lives in an all-or-nothing world. Al Sharpton’s warning was, “All human and civil rights are at stake.” Not just some. All.
Their world is a world of exclusion, where only their ideas are allowed.
Meanwhile commentators at MSNBC called for “panic” and “freaking out,” as if that were ever a good idea. But this, too, reflects the world they live in: one in which the give-and-take of winning and losing under Constitutional processes is acceptable only when they win and conservatives lose.
Which leads to the greatest progressive irony of all: Their world is a world of exclusion; a world where people of every color are valued — albeit grudgingly and shamefully, in the case of whites — but only their progressive ideas are allowed.
The Adult World They Haven’t Been Living In
And it’s these last aspects of their world that reveal its true character. People who view themselves as adults living in a diverse world of other adults tend to respect one another accordingly. They know how to win and how to lose; they can accept either one graciously and move on. Conservatives generally did that in 2008. Progressives in 2016 and since? Not so much.
Am I implying something rude and judgmental here? How about this: I’ll just leave it with those observations, and let you draw your own conclusions.
I don’t mind if progressives disagree with conservatives. They’re adults, they have that freedom, and we all ought to work through our differences together. But we can only do it if we live in a world of adults together.
Their world may indeed be coming to an end. Given the way that world looks, I sincerely hope so.
Tom Gilson is a senior editor with The Stream and the author of Critical Conversations: A Christian Parents’ Guide to Discussing Homosexuality with Teens (Kregel Publications, 2016). Follow him on Twitter: @TomGilsonAuthor.