FP: What do you think is toxic about the Left?
Berdichevsky: It has evolved to the point that it can perform the most absurd mental gymnastics necessary to accommodate support for tyrannical leaders, religious fanatics such as the ayatollahs in Iran, Hezbollah (The Party of God) thugs on the order of Hugo Chavez, organizations and movements throughout the “third world” who, without a blush, claim to represent the demand for rights and justice for women, children, ethnic and racial minorities, gays, and the institution of “social justice” yet are in reality light years behind the United States in all of these areas.
FP: Why are leftists so arrogant and always think they are right about everything? And why are they almost always wrong?
Berdichevsky: Their arrogance is manifest in practically every demonstration from the ones I experienced in the anti Vietnam war movement, today’s anti-Wall Street crowd to those mobs of “public service workers” who occupied the Wisconsin state capitol building and the Democrat Party state legislators who fled from Wisconsin to prevent the legislature from enacting a bill they didn’t like. It made me recall my days in Madison and the university that still claims to be the very model of liberal values – they are the cheeseheads who have turned the United States into a banana republic. They operate from the gut feeling cultivated over the past half century that their cause is so important and so authentic that it is perfectly admissible to ignore the laws (that they insist on to limit the fundamental liberties of others including the rights of Tea Party supporters to demonstrate. No matter how secular they may be, they often are motivated by a quasi-religious belief that they have a mission, like Jesus, to create a perfect world. For many Jews on the Left for whom Judaism is the equivalent of social justice, they do not differ from the ultra-Orthodox who are convinced they are serving God by the role they play as a chosen people who will bring “Light to the gentiles.”
They are almost always wrong because they are convinced that only they can sense the truth and that their truth will absolve them of any crime.
FP: Why is the Left consumed with so much Jew-hatred today?
Berdichevsky: The continued existence of any identifiable Jewish identity is a reminder of the conservative impulse to operate from a moral law that places limitations on us and venerates elements of stability. For the Orthodox it was the 613 moral precepts and ritual acts; for much of today’s organized Jewish community it may be only the Ten Commandments but these too are irksome reminders such as “Thou Shalt Not Covet” (Tenth and most Difficult Commandment?). This comes across as a slap in the face of those who continue to yearn for a ‘social justice” that will be achieved by taking from others.
Israel too inevitably comes into the equation. Beyond the ocean of ink spent on elucidating the dispute in the Middle East and the Palestinian Arab cause is the undeniable fact (uncomfortable for many on the Left who want equality before justice), of the incredible success of the Jewish state in creating a vibrant and prosperous society amidst the poverty and miserable failed record of Islam and the Arab world.
FP: Why is your book especially relevant to current events?
Berdichevsky: The book offers numerous examples of trends that are relevant today and operate under the guise of equality and social justice. These have pushed the Left further into a corner concerned primarily with the Balkanization of American society, a trend that turns its back on past concerns for individual rights and liberties. Under the mantra of diversity, our laws and operating procedures in government, private organizations and universities ignore constitutional guarantees and have created a patchwork of ‘commitments’ to reward groups. Our national mottoes of E Pluribus Unum and In God We Trust are both wholly out of date.
The political Left for the past 50 years has devoted itself to cultivating a sense of victimhood among those groups whose votes the hope to permanently retain by holding out the carrots of rewards in jobs. Whenever a gay (Tammy Bruce, former head of the national Organization of Women), a Hispanic (Republican Senator Marco Rubio from Florida), prominent Black Americans like philosopher and economist Thomas Sowell or Presidential candidate Herman Cain, “minority” Governor Bobby Jindal of Louisiana or conservative women like former V.P. candidate Sarah Palin and South Carolina governor Nikki Haley raise their voice in defense of traditional values, much of the media react in dismay that somehow they are not ‘authentic’.
We have come full circle from a time when the government’s response to the call for recognition of group rights in 1934 led President Roosevelt to honor a Catholic for the first time with a national holiday and proclaimed ‘Columbus Day’ as a national holiday to the present when the holiday has lost all of its previous respect and recognition because other groups, notable American Indians and many Blacks regard Columbus as the instigator of ‘racial genocide’.
Most of all, I believe my book makes a contribution to better understanding how those on the fringes of both the Left and the Right both glorify and deify abstractions such as “The Nation”, the King, the working class, the Church and worst of all “The People” promising ‘All Power to the People’, albeit usually in the form of a demagogue who promises to wipe away all the
humiliations of the past as well as the privileges of the “ruling class” (or simply “The Rich”).
FP: Norman Berdichevsky, thank you for joining Frontpage Interview.
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