There is a frequently used term I often come across in my readings. The term I'm referring to is “the intellectual left.
I wonder to myself, just who are the intellectual left?
When I look up the word intellect, the definition reads “the power of knowing as distinguished from the power to feel and to will. The capacity for rational or intelligent thought especially when highly developed.”
That makes sense. But again, it brings me back around to my original question, who is the intellectual left these days? Where are they?
Perhaps they are in hiding. Or perhaps they have all retired to a bohemian existence cradling their Buddhas while watching reruns of Fellini's “Satyricon.”
That's not to suggest of course that liberal philosophies, issues or ways of life have retreated. To the contrary. We Americans now live in a country that has succumbed to a liberal sanctity. We opened our arms to socialized medicine (Obamacare). We have hardly batted one eye at the decimation of our once proud military, and we are content to meekly take our place behind China, India, Russia and Amsterdam as world leaders.
There continue, of course, to be those causes that the left claims ownership of, including racism, income equality, legalization of drugs, the environment and freedom of choice.
But I question whether liberals, leftists or progressives are any longer influenced by intellect. I would suggest that the intellectual left has instead been replaced by the emotional left.
I agree that occasionally you will see Noam Chomsky on some late-night PBS channel. Gore Vidal is dead. So is Karl Marx, much to the dismay of Van Jones.
But at least they would not shy away from debate. You know the word debate – bring your educated opinion and I'll bring mine and we will let the listeners decide once the dust has settled. Go to YouTube and check out the old episodes of Firing Line when Chomsky and Vidal would sit opposite William F. Buckley. But that's not how it's done these days with the emotional left.
In fact they don't want to hear anything. So they throw pies. They didn't want to hear what conservative columnist William Kristol had to say at Earlham College, so they threw a pie in his face. They threw pies at Ann Coulter and David Horowitz. Or they collectively go to where you're speaking, and if you're not saying what they want to hear, they shout you down, just like they did to NYC Police Commissioner Ray Kelly when he was “invited” to speak at Brown University.
Or take, for instance, when conservative Don Feder tried to speak at the University of Massachusetts. In a demonstration organized by the International Socialist Organization, he received catcalls and had profanities hurled at him by college students whom he would later describe as having “the self-control of toddlers with Tourette Syndrome.”
The emotional left shies away from meaningful conversation or deliverance of opinion instead opting for mockery. Like when MSNBC commentator Melissa Harris-Perry and her guests made fun of Mitt Romney's adopted black grandchild. Or when another MSNBC personality, Martin Bashir said on the air that former Alaskan Gov. Sarah Palin deserved the same treatment as what slaves received.
The emotional left seems to have no problem trouncing either their own country's integrity or any victim's honor when making a point. In order to get a chuckle, Bill Maher has no problem saying things like “We have been the cowards lobbing missiles from 2,000 miles away.” Staying in the airplane when it hits the building, say what you will, it's not cowardly.
I'm quite sure that there will be some local libs who will become incensed upon reading my opinions. That is if they actually read beyond the first paragraph of this piece. And maybe I am a proud conservative.
If Maureen Dowd, Janeane Garofalo and Paul Krugman are the best the left can offer, then I'm more than happy to keep reading Thomas Sowell and Charles Krauthammer. If Saul Alinsky has not replaced Thomas Jefferson as your historical source of inspiration, then I'll continue to believe that John Adams is more relevant.
I'd rather be inspired by intellect than manipulated by emotion.