The Leftist Contempt for Middle-Class Values

By Dennis Prager Published on October 3, 2018

When I was in graduate school, I learned a lot about the left. One lesson was that while most liberals and conservatives abide by society’s rules of order and decency, most leftists do not feel bound to live by these same rules.

I watched the way leftist Vietnam War protesters treated fellow students and professors. I watched left-wing students make “nonnegotiable demands” of college administrations. I saw the Black Panthers engage in violence — including torture and murder — and be financially rewarded by leftists.

Today, we watch leftist mobs scream profanities at professors and deans, and shut down conservative and pro-Israel speakers at colleges. We routinely witness left-wing protesters block highways and bridges; scream in front of the homes of conservative business and political leaders; and surround conservatives’ tables at restaurants while shouting and chanting at them.

Conservatives don’t do these things. They don’t close highways, yell obscenities at left-wing politicians, work to ban left-wing speakers at colleges, smash the windows of businesses, etc.

Why the Left Feels Entitled

Why do leftists feel entitled do all these things? Because they have thoroughly rejected middle-class, bourgeois and Judeo-Christian religious values. Leftists are the only source of their values. Leftists not only believe they know what is right — conservatives, too, believe they are right — but they also believe they are morally superior to all others. Leftists are Übermenschen — people on such a high moral plane that they do not consider themselves bound by the normal conventions of civics and decency. Leftists don’t need such guidelines; only the non-left — the “deplorables” — need them.

In August 2017, University of Pennsylvania law professor Amy Wax wrote a column for the Philadelphia Inquirer in defense of middle-class values. She and her co-author cited a list of behavioral norms that, as Wax, put it, “was almost universally endorsed between the end of World War II and the mid-1960s.”

They were: “Get married before you have children and strive to stay married for their sake. Get the education you need for gainful employment, work hard, and avoid idleness. Go the extra mile for your employer or client. Be a patriot, ready to serve the country. Be neighborly, civic-minded, and charitable. Avoid coarse language in public. Be respectful of authority. Eschew substance abuse and crime.”

She later wrote in the Wall Street Journal, “The fact that the ‘bourgeois culture’ these norms embodied has broken down since the 1960s largely explains today’s social pathologies — and re-embracing that culture would go a long way toward addressing those pathologies.”

For her left-wing colleagues at Penn Law School, this list was beyond the pale. About half of her fellow professors of law — 33 of them — condemned her in an open letter. And Wax wrote in the Journal, “My law school dean recently asked me to take a leave of absence next year and to cease teaching a mandatory first-year course.”

The Pennsylvania chapter of the left-wing National Lawyers Guild condemned her for espousing bourgeois values and questioned “whether it is appropriate for her to continue to teach a required first-year course.”

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As regards traditional Jewish and Christian codes of conduct, just read the left’s contempt for Vice President Mike Pence’s religiosity. They fear him more than President Trump solely for that reason. One would think that leftists, as sensitive as they are to sexual harassment of women, would admire Pence’s career-long policy of never dining alone with a woman other than his wife. On the contrary, they mock him for it.

The Viciousness of the Left

With such high self-esteem and no middle-class, bourgeois or Judeo-Christian values to guide them, many leftists are particularly vicious people.

The opening skit of Saturday Night Live this past weekend — Matt Damon’s mockery of Judge Brett Kavanaugh — provided a timely example. It is unimaginable that a prominent conservative group or individual would feature a skit mocking Kavanaugh’s accuser Dr. Christine Blasey Ford. Indeed, Kavanaugh noted his 10-year-old daughter’s prayer for his accuser, and a political cartoonist promptly drew a cartoon with her praying that God forgive her “angry, lying, alcoholic father for sexually assaulting Dr. Ford.”

Is there an equally prominent conservative public figure on the right who has ever said “F*** Obama!” on national television just as Robert De Niro shouted, “F*** Trump!” at the recent Tony Awards?

Now, why would De Niro feel he could shout an obscenity at the president of the United States with millions of young people watching him? Because he is not constrained by middle-class or Judeo-Christian moral values. In Nietzsche’s famous words, De Niro, like other leftists, is “beyond good and evil,” as Americans understood those terms until the 1960s.

In 2016, at a Comedy Central roast of actor Rob Lowe, the butt of the jokes was Ann Coulter, not Lowe. They mostly mocked her looks, and if there is something crueler than publicly mocking a woman’s looks, it’s hard to identify. For example, Saturday Night Live cast member Pete Davidson said, “Ann Coulter, if you’re here, who’s scaring the crows away from our crops?”

There surely are mean conservatives — witness some of the vile comments by anonymous conservative commentors on the internet. And it is a moral scandal that Ford has received death threats. The difference in left-wing meanness is the meanness of known — not anonymous — people on the left. They don’t hide behind anonymity because they do not feel bound by traditional notions of civility, for which they have contempt.

Now you can understand why the left hates Mike Pence, a man who has, by all accounts, led a thoroughly honorable life. He — and other evangelical Christians and Orthodox Jews — tries to live by a code that is higher than him.

That ethic is what Übermenschen seek to destroy.

They are succeeding.

 

Dennis Prager is a nationally syndicated radio talk-show host and columnist. His latest book, published by Regnery in April 2018, is The Rational Bible, a commentary on the book of Exodus. He is the founder of Prager University and may be contacted at dennisprager.com.

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  • Patmos

    God is not mocked, you reap what you sow.

    I think it’s great to see the leftist fools ramble on, I love it, because every time they get what’s coming to them. Best part is you can easily rebuke them too, lol.

  • Andrew Mason

    There was a piece in I think it was the NY Times a while back which had an interesting observation – that liberals have more in common with the Religious Right they hate than the Irreligious Right. Christians believe in concepts like justice, tolerance, and love – of doing right by people including Illegals. Irreligious people by contrast have no reason to do so. The destruction of the Religious Right, while something the Left would celebrate, could thus be a Pyrrhic victory leaving the Left with an even more implacable and far more extreme enemy. Similarly the Left’s rejection of accepted values, of their normalisation of screaming at professors and deans, or shutting down speakers, of blocking highways and bridges, of screaming in front of homes and businesses, and shouting and chanting at those they hate in restaurants and other ‘private’ locations could become widespread throughout the culture. What happens if the Right adopts those values and screams at Leftists on campus, prevents Leftist speakers from speaking, protests in front of private homes and businesses and persecutes those they disagree with when trying to eat? Somehow I don’t think the Left will accept dissent regarding their sacred cows. And unlike the Right, the Left have demonstrated a willingness, even a preference for violence – Antifa etc. A pebble can trigger an avalanche, likewise the Left should be careful lest their conduct trigger a response beyond their wildest nightmares.

    • Kevin Carr

      The left didn’t have much in common. They promote and defend ungodly behavior, LGBTQ, divide by identity, and abortion. Most people don’t mind others immigrating here as long as they can be vetted and it is done legally. The left has called for open borders.

  • Vincent J.

    I’m afraid were are entering this time:

    Revelation 13:7 It was given power to wage war against God’s holy people and to conquer them.

  • tz1

    They were: “Get married before you have children and strive to stay married for their sake. Get the education you need for gainful employment, work hard, and avoid idleness. Go the extra mile for your employer or client. Be a patriot, ready to serve the country. Be neighborly, civic-minded, and charitable. Avoid coarse language in public. Be respectful of authority. Eschew substance abuse and crime.”

    She later wrote in the Wall Street Journal, “The fact that the ‘bourgeois culture’ these norms embodied has broken down since the 1960s largely explains today’s social pathologies — and re-embracing that culture would go a long way toward addressing those pathologies.”

    No, Back then America was CHRISTIAN. Not Judaeo-Christian. Nor Catholic complexity. Protestant simplicity with the work ethic, thrift, and industry.

    The culture was an EFFECT of American Christianity.

    Like stupid atheists and secularists, some want to have a Christian Culture without Christianity, or even Christianity without Christ, the Church, and the Bible.

    There is no American “culture” to re-embrace. You either surrender to Christ, and are transformed to CREATE – not embrace the culture of life – and prosperity, peace, and the rest – or you don’t and become a cargo cult where you are stripping rectanglar areas and building towers and lighting fires in the corners and wondering why the Planes with the cargo don’t magically appear.

    The VICE-ous left is winning because their father of lies is being worshiped and motivates them. The failed (cuck) conservatives whine and complain they aren’t playing by the rules. But they are playing by THEIR set of rules. We are coming up to the anniversary of the battle of La Ponto (Our Lady of Victory/Rosary) where we didn’t try to reason with Muslims (no more than President Jefferson did), nor to try to bring them to some secular civil court. We had to go militant.

    Where is the Church Militant? Not in the Jeb! Romneycare Flake “must lose but play by the rules even if the other side cheats” conservatism.

    If you were falsely accused like Brett Kavanaugh, who would you want on your side defending you and helping you?

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