When I was in graduate school, I learned a lot about the Left. One lesson was that while most liberals and conservatives abide by society’s rules of order and decency, most leftists do not feel bound to live by these same rules.
I watched the way leftist Vietnam War protesters treated fellow students and professors. I watched left-wing students make “nonnegotiable demands” of college administrations. I saw the Black Panthers engage in violence — including torture and murder — and be financially rewarded by leftists.
Today, we watch leftist mobs scream profanities at professors and deans and shut down conservative and pro-Israel speakers at colleges. We routinely witness left-wing protesters as they block highways and bridges; scream in front of the homes of conservative business and political leaders; and surround conservatives’ tables at restaurants while shouting and chanting at them.
Conservatives don’t do these things. They don’t close highways, yell obscenities at left-wing politicians, work to ban left-wing speakers at colleges, smash the windows of businesses, etc.
Why do leftists feel entitled do all these things? Because they have thoroughly rejected middle-class, bourgeois, and Judeo-Christian religious values. Leftists are the only source of their values. Leftists not only believe they know what is right — conservatives, too, believe they are right — but they also believe they are morally superior to all others. Leftists are Übermenschen — people on such a high moral plane that they do not consider themselves bound by the normal conventions of civics and decency. Leftists don’t need such guidelines; only the non-Left — the “deplorables” — need them.
In August 2017, University of Pennsylvania law professor Amy Wax wrote a column for the Philadelphia Inquirer in defense of middle-class values. She and her co-author cited a list of behavioral norms that, as Wax, put it, “was almost universally endorsed between the end of World War II and the mid-1960s.”
Get married before you have children and strive to stay married for their sake. Get the education you need for gainful employment, work hard, and avoid idleness. Go the extra mile for your employer or client. Be a patriot, ready to serve the country. Be neighborly, civic-minded, and charitable. Avoid coarse language in public. Be respectful of authority. Eschew substance abuse and crime.
She later wrote in the Wall Street Journal:
The fact that the “bourgeois culture” these norms embodied has broken down since the 1960s largely explains today’s social pathologies — and re-embracing that culture would go a long way toward addressing those pathologies.