Mimsy Were the Borogoves

Editorials: Where I rant to the wall about politics. And sometimes the wall rants back.

Mom didn’t leave the left, it left her

Jerry Stratton, December 2, 2015

I’ve been doing some travel over the holidays, and I was a little surprised to hear one very left long-time family friend say that my mom is getting more conservative as she gets older. It is supposedly a given that when you are young, you are on the left because you still idolize being taken care of, and as you enter the workforce and family responsibilities you become more conservative because you learn that every resource given had to be earned through work by someone else. But I haven’t really noticed my mom’s political stances changing.

What I have noticed is the left becoming more and more intolerant of religion and forcing people more and more to have political stands where once they were content to merely have personal stands.

My mom rarely if ever mentioned abortion until the eighties or possibly even the nineties. She was always religious and I suspect always considered abortion wrong as a personal choice. But until the left decided that abortion was a right that must be paid for with people’s taxes, I couldn’t have said. There was no religious need to be publicly and politically anti-abortion. She could still vote Democrat while not having an abortion herself. Even after abortions skyrocketed and became part of the general Democratic position, the left still tolerated people who were personally anti-abortion and against public-funding and public-encouragement of abortion.

Today, however, that is no longer true. If you are a woman against abortion today, you are not only engaged in a war on women that puts you beyond the pale of the left, but you are not a true woman yourself.

That makes it difficult for a woman-whose positions haven’t changed—to continue to identify as on the left. It’s hard to identify with the left when the left is telling you that you are not who you are.

Even if you fully support keeping abortions legal, you are engaged in a war on women if you merely want to require parental notification when a minor wants to have the surgery.

This didn’t used to even exist to be against.

It isn’t just that positions have become more extreme, sliding some people out, but that some things that didn’t even need to be positions before, people are now forced to take a stand on by the left. This is even more obvious with the more recent, and sudden, shift on the left to just wanting to leave gays and lesbians free to marry, to forcing everyone to jettison their religious beliefs and take part in gay marriage. My mom never cared one bit whether gays get married. But she does care that she might have been forced to take part back when she did catering on the side.

What was once not even a political stand has been forced to be one.

The idea that we would start encouraging confused teenagers to make irrevocable choices about surgically altering their biological gender was not something people used to have to take a stand on. Nobody was against teenage boys using teenage girls’ restrooms ten years ago. It wasn’t something you had to be against because it wasn’t conceivable.

When the left did not set itself against religion, it was possible to be religious and still be part of the left. Today, the leader of the Democratic Party can complain about Christians “clinging to their religion” and face no backlash from the left. That doesn’t leave much room for Christians.

And it isn’t just religion and morals. Twenty years ago you didn’t have to be against social security benefits for adults who are unemployable partially because they self-identify as infants. Now, that makes you against public aid, and, according to the left, unreasonably conservative.

As someone who lived for a long time in urban California but traveled to rural Michigan, I am well aware of the phenomenon of being conservative in one place and on the left in another—for a long time, being against criminalizing abortion but supporting parental notification did this, for example. But that’s not really what I’m talking about here. No one in either place had any position on biological males competing in women’s sports—until recently, when you must support it to be on the left.

It isn’t just, to paraphrase Reagan, that mom didn’t leave the left, the left left her. It’s that the left has begun redefining biology as psychology, science as religion, and insanity as sanity. And like most believers whose beliefs bely logic, they cannot stand that others don’t believe. Those who don’t believe are enemies. Their belief must be forced at the sword. And so what was once personal becomes political.

Last week I put up a satirical post about things we were promised would never happen if we supported gay rights. In fact, part of the reason it’s satirical is that some of them weren’t promised: they were never even considered as a possibility because nobody would be that crazy. I hope that the future promises I added are satirical enough that they don’t happen, but I’m not willing to put down any bets.

In response to Your devil has no clothes: The others of the extreme left and right have different qualities. The others of the left—Sarah Palin, the Koch brothers, Brendan Eich, for example—voice opinions, but are otherwise fairly unobtrusive politically. They are people who would not have been an issue if they weren’t personally made an issue by the vanguard of the left.

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