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Leftism is an Identity

Leftism is a matter of personal identity. It’s not about reasoned compromise or applied philosophy. It’s a label worn to confirm one’s own goodness.

I state this not as fact, but as hypothesis. It is drawn from much experience. And although I might be guilty of confirmation bias (seeing what I already believe), it explains the leftoid obsession with personality. They’re much more willing to make personal attacks and use ad hominem fallacies in place of sound argument.

This idea has been better developed around the intertracks. But I haven’t come across a comprehensive accounting of the incidents of politics as personality. Maybe in another life I will write one (comparing the levels found in several major political philosophies).

As one bit of evidence, I put down this marker. Today on Progressive radio, Thom Hartmann has spent the first half hour of his show talking about Ayn Rand’s boyfriend. With a small diversion onto Donald Trump’s hair.

Rand’s philosophy is cited by leading righties as a foundational text. Somehow, since she was infatuated with a murderer, that means that all the righties are sociopaths. I’m not making it up. I’m not exaggerating. And this is from the host most widely acknowledged as the calm and reasonable voice of Progressivism.

A person’s character has no bearing on the soundness of their arguments. Nor does a person’s hairstyle.

Superficial style and personal narratives are ways to separate “them” from “us”.

Rarely do I hear righties going on about Karl Marx’s potential homosexuality, or his privileges upbringing as a way to discredit the current President. Sure, everybody takes a cheap shot now and again. It’s both entertaining and an effective rhetorical tool.

But the outcomes of policies operate more along the rules of reason. Those are the rules most useful in evaluating how we proceed as people and as a society. It’s as if the lefties are still in middle school, operating in a microcosm of cliques.

I’ll never be one of the cool kids.