Con­ser­va­tives ‘de­con­struct’ hypocrisy, nar­cis­sism of Left

The Washington Times Weekly - - National - By Jen­nifer Kab­bany

SANTA BAR­BARA, Calif. — Left­ists are not con­tent merely to win elec­tions and pass leg­is­la­tion but in­sist on im­pugn­ing their op­po­nents as im­moral, au­thor Peter Sch­weizer told a gath­er­ing of stu­dents here.

“If you op­pose their eco­nomic agenda, you’re greedy; if you op­pose their en­vi­ron­men­tal agenda, you’re a pol­luter; if you op­pose la­bor unions, you’re heart­less; if you op­pose af­fir­ma­tive ac­tion, you’re a racist and a bigot,” Mr. Sch­weizer told an au­di­ence of about four dozen high school and col­lege stu­dents at­tend­ing a con­fer­ence ti­tled “De­con­struct­ing the Left” last month.

Mr. Sch­weizer joined other con­ser­va­tive speak­ers at the con­fer­ence, hosted by the Young Amer­ica’s Foun­da­tion, in de­scrib­ing left-wing pol­i­tics as char­ac­ter­ized by nar­cis­sism, self-r igh­teous­ness and hypocr isy, a move­ment that views it­self as oc­cu­py­ing the moral high ground while pre­sent­ing big gov­ern­ment as the so­lu­tion to all of this coun­try’s prob­lems.

Mr. Sch­weizer, au­thor of “Do as I Say, Not as I Do” and a fel­low at the Hoover In­sti­tu­tion at Stan­ford Univer­sity, added that many of the same peo­ple push­ing a left­ist agenda don’t live up to the ideals they pre­scribe “be­cause they know on a prac­ti­cal level they don’t work.”

He cited as ex­am­ples Sen. Ed­ward M. Kennedy, Mas­sachusetts Demo­crat, who op­poses gun con­trol and yet his own body­guard was caught with sev­eral firearms, and film­maker Michael Moore, who chides com­pa­nies for not hir­ing more blacks, yet of the 134 pro­duc­ers, edi­tors, cin­e­matog­ra­phers, com- posers and pro­duc­tion co­or­di­na­tors he has hired for his films, only three were black.

“They have a set of rules for most Amer­i­cans, and they have a set of rules for them­selves,” Mr. Sch­weizer said.

Sev­eral of the speak­ers at the con­fer­ence held at YAF’s Rea- gan Ranch Cen­ter ac­cused left­ists of hav­ing a self-righ­teous at­ti­tude. Steven Hay­ward called them “snobs,” say­ing they have this “we’re bet­ter than you, and we don’t have to ar­gue about it” at­ti­tude.

“Snob­bery has be­come a for­mal value to the left,” said Mr. Hay­ward, a res­i­dent scholar at the Amer­i­can En­ter­prise In­sti­tute and au­thor of books such as “Great­ness: Rea­gan, Churchill, and the Mak­ing of Ex­tra­or­di­nary Lead­ers” and “The Age of Rea­gan.”

About 250 years ago, lib­er­al­ism was the idea that in­di­vid­u­als should be free to pur­sue their own self-cho­sen pur­pose, but it now stands for very dif­fer­ent val­ues, Mr. Hay­ward said. Over the past cen­tury, mod­ern lib­er­al­ism has el­e­vated com­pas­sion above all other virtues and em­braced rel­a­tivism, evo­lu­tion and mul­ti­cul­tur­al­ism, he said.

To the left, “the idea of ob­jec­tiv­ity it­self is noth­ing more than par t of an op­pres­sive so­cial struc­ture,” Mr. Hay­ward said.

Lib­er­al­ism has also sac­ri­ficed in­di­vid­ual rights for the sake of so-called hu­man rights, such as the right to hous­ing, the right to a job and other gov­ern­ment­funded rights, he said.

He noted that the U.N. Uni­ver­sal Dec­la­ra­tion of Rights in­cludes an ar­ti­cle call­ing for the right to paid va­ca­tions. “Lib­er­al­ism, hav­ing abol­ished the idea of the divine right of kings, had now re­stored the idea of the ab­so­lute rule of the divine right of the state,” Mr. Hay­ward said.

Ward Con­nerly, chair­man of the Amer­i­can Civil Rights In­sti­tute, for­mer re­gent of the Univer­sity of Cal­i­for­nia and au­thor of “Cre­at­ing Equal: My Fight Against Race Pre­fer- ences,” un­der­scored Mr. Hay­ward’s com­ments as he talked about how left­ists ap­ply their be­liefs with re­gard to race.

Left­ists are in­clined to think peo­ple are evil and that gov­ern­ment is needed to cor­rect or bal­ance the prob­lem, he said.

“Those on the left re­ally be- lieve that Amer­i­can life is con­trolled by white males, and that women and [. . . ] mi­nori­ties can’t get an equal share in Amer­i­can life be­cause of that evil na­ture,” Mr. Con­nerly said. “That’s the par­a­digm that ex­ists.”

Left­ists are ul­ti­mately mo­ti­vated by nar­cis­sism, said Tammy Bruce, a na­tion­ally syn­di­cated ra­dio talk-show host and au­thor of books such as “The New Thought Po­lice” and “The Death of Right and Wrong.”

“A left­ist is op­er­at­ing out of a very dif­fer­ent frame­work so­cially, emo­tion­ally and struc- tu­rally,” Ms. Bruce said, cit­ing such ex­am­ples as an­ti­war ac­tivist Cindy Shee­han and for­mer CIA em­ployee Va­lerie Plame. “You are look­ing at [. . . ] ma­lig­nant nar­cis­sist.”

Ms. Bruce, a for­mer mem­ber of the Na­tional Or­ga­ni­za­tion for Women board of direc­tors, en­cour­aged the stu­dents to stand firm when con­fronted with pres­sure from left­ists on cam­puses and to never give up the moral high ground.

“This ar­gu­ment that you should sac­ri­fice your­self, com­pletely elim­i­nate your­self for some greater root good, is an ef­fort by the pow­er­ful who don’t want you to ex­er­cise that per- sonal free­dom or that per­sonal power,” Ms. Bruce said.

The stu­dents also re­ceived a warn­ing about cam­pus left­ists from Andrew Bre­it­bart, co-au­thor of “Hol­ly­wood, In­ter­rupted” and founder of the news site Bre­it­bar t.com, who said there is con­spir­acy among aca­demics to not teach con­ser­va­tive ideas.

Many left­ists choose ca­reer paths — in­clud­ing academia, jour­nal­ism and en­ter­tain­ment — that al­low them to pro­mul­gate their be­liefs, he said. But he also cr iti­cized conser va­tives fo r be­ing too closed-minded in who they sup­port, cit­ing a movie pro­ducer who wanted to por­tray Marines as he­roes, but who was shunned by many con­ser­va­tives af­ter they learned about his past drug ad­dic­tion.

“The only way we are go­ing to change jour­nal­ism and Hol­ly­wood is if we al­low more peo­ple into this fight,” Mr. Bre­it­bart said. “We have to ef­fect change on a much larger scale.”

Sev­eral stu­dents said the con­fer­ence in­spired them.

“It’s been re­ally help­ful,” said Ash­ley Her­zog, a 21-year-old ju­nior at­tend­ing Ohio Univer­sity and a con­tribut­ing colum­nist for Town­hall.com. “You never hear this per­spec­tive at my school. Th­ese speak­ers would never be in­vited.”

Andrew Cof­fin, act­ing di­rec­tor of the Rea­gan Ranch Cen­ter, YAF’s West Coast head­quar­ters, said the con­fer­ence is one of many ef­forts meant to help con­ser­va­tive stu­dents be­come em­bold­ened and have a bet­ter un­der­stand­ing of their be­liefs.

About 300,000 stu­dents go through one at least one of the foun­da­tion’s pro­grams each year, in­clud­ing its con­fer­ences, sem­i­nars, cam­pus lec­tures and in­tern­ships, he said.

“They be­come the type of ac­tivist cit­i­zen that’s made this coun­try great,” Mr. Cof­fin said of the foun­da­tion’s alumni.

Ward Con­nerly

Pho­to­graphs by Jen­nifer Kab­bany / Spe­cial to The Wash­ing­ton Times

Talk-ra­dio host Tammy Bruce told stu­dents at the Young Amer­ica’s Foun­da­tion’s “De­con­struct­ing the Left” con­fer­ence that left­ists are mo­ti­vated by nar­cis­sism, and she cited an­ti­war ac­tivist Cindy Shee­han and for­mer CIA em­ployee Va­lerie Plame as ex­am­ples of a “ma­lig­nant nar­cis­sist.”

Andrew Bre­it­bart

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