It’s getting harder and harder to be a good leftist these days. As the high priests and priestesses of the PC cult keep narrowing acceptable points of view, reasonable liberals are finding it difficult to toe the line.
Consider the case of Bret Weinstein, the former professor of evolutionary biology at Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington. Weinstein, a supporter of the Occupy movement, was the victim of leftist mob hysteria for refusing to participate in the college’s racist “Day of Absence," which called for white people, students and faculty alike, to refrain from coming to school for a day. The video of the incident with Weinstein is chilling, because of both the ferocious intensity and the abject stupidity of the student protesters.
Though Weinstein still considers himself a liberal, he is of the belief that the Left is destroying itself with its insistence on PC culture. “The question is, is the Left eating itself,” Weinstein said during a panel discussion on the subject. “There are a couple of ways we can answer this question, one is yes. Another would be, yes, of course it is.”
Weinstein believes that a part of the problem with the Left is that those with the most radical beliefs are the loudest and are thus setting the agenda. “The Left has a bad actor problem,” Weinstein explained. “What I’m witnessing in the present are bad actors that have control over the entire dialogue, and that is a very dangerous situation.”
And student mobs aren’t the only problem. Sometimes, people with administrative power are even worse. Just ask Lindsay Shepard.
The 22-year-old graduate student and first-year teaching assistant at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario, needed a teaching tool. Shepard was teaching grammar to a group of first-year students. A discussion on pronoun usage was scheduled and the young, eager teacher thought she had come upon the perfect device, a panel discussion from the Ontario Public Broadcasting program The Agenda. One of the panelists was Professor Jordan Peterson of the University of Toronto, a critic of the Canadian law that compels citizens to use whatever pronoun a transgender individual deems correct for them.
Shepard, who had always described herself as a liberal, was of the opinion that the use of genderless pronouns, such as those used in the Farsi, Hungarian, or Armenian languages, might be the way to go, rather than the gender-based pronouns used in English. After showing the clip, she opened up the issue for discussion.
Nobody is certain which of the students in the class complained to the administration of the college, but complain someone did. Shepard was brought in to be reprimanded by her supervisor, simply because the video clip she showed featured Peterson, who has become enemy number one of Canadian leftists. Shepard recorded the conversation with her supervisors, who “mansplained” the error of her ways to her. At one point, one of the supervisors actually compares Peterson to Hitler.
“Through this I’ve found myself to be profoundly disappointed with the Left,” Shepard said on Louder With Crowder, “I almost feel like I’m being kicked out from the left side of the spectrum.”
Recently, Shepard released a video explaining why she was leaving the Left. “What is the Left now? They’re pro-censorship, they are victimhood culture, they are all about moral righteousness,” Shepard said. “I, in no way, want to be associated in what the Left has become. I’m not a leftist anymore.” Shepard then concluded, “I do not want to have any part in this disgusting leftist culture.”
There have been many high-profile defections from the Left, some of which were brought on by the type of madness that Weinstein and Shepard have faced. Others have simply come to the logical conclusion that the radical tenets of the modern Left no longer represent what they believe. Among those is Dave Rubin, formerly of the liberal news/opinion show The Young Turks.
“Today’s progressivism has become a faux moral movement, hurling charges of racism, bigotry, xenophobia, homophobia, Islamophobia and a slew of other meaningless buzz words at anyone they disagree with,” Rubin said in a Prager University video. “The battle of ideas has been replaced by a battle of feelings. And outrage has replaced honesty…. For these reasons, I can no longer call myself a progressive.”
Of course, people who leave the Left don’t automatically become conservatives. What’s interesting is that leftists don’t seem to care that people who basically agree with them are chased away from their ideology over what are, sometimes, tiny disagreements. The radical Left punishes even the smallest departure from politically correct orthodoxy by marginalizing and shunning the offender.
None of this means that America’s more leftist party, the Democrats, will never win another election. In fact, there’s a very good chance that Democrats will regain a majority in the House of Representatives this November. But many Democrats don’t understand how far left the party has actually become. And the danger of this radical tilt leftward is that some of the Left’s crazier ideas may become more and more mainstream. And that’s dangerous for everyone.