It’s worth lingering over the closing paragraph of Monique’s post in this space, yesterday, regarding the Harvey Weinstein revelations as an antidote to a false cliché associating abusive behavior with conservative men:
On Twitter, someone cautioned me to “tread lightly” on this subject as “there’s plenty of hypocrisy on both side of the aisle”. I am grateful that he did so as it allows me to clarify that this has nothing whatever to do with hypocrisy. It has to do with the wholesale, baseless, obviously absurd defamation of a certain large demographic solely because they hold views on the “wrong” side of the spectrum. The terrible revelations about Harvey Weinstein firmly rebut this absurd attitude and remind us to judge the behavior of individuals, rather than blanket defame entire swaths of the population simply because one disagrees with their views.
An important point here is that, as I’ve said, the devil can switch sides. Sure we could have a tit-for-tat spat raising names of conservatives and progressives whose behavior has been depraved, but that would be a distraction.
The bottom line is that people disposed to bad behavior will gravitate toward roles that allow them to indulge in it. Where holding a particular worldview or supporting a particular cause will offer them cover and social absolution, they’ll take that up, too. Thus, we get Harvey Weinstein’s move into the entertainment world (to gain access to victims) and extravagant Leftism (for the cloak of moral goodness).
As things currently stand, if you want to be a cad who’s in politics or the public eye, you’re better off on the Left because if you’re on the Right:
- The news and entertainment media will be against you and looking for vulnerabilities.
- Charges of hypocrisy will be more corrosive to your underlying beliefs.
- Your traditionally minded allies will be more likely to be genuinely disgusted by your behavior.
At bottom though, the underlying political philosophies of each side are what’s important. Conservatives understand that people are flawed, and our prescriptions for government and society are built around that insight. Progressives believe, in some degree at least, in the perfectibility of humankind.
But if shifting cultural power to progressives doesn’t cure our selfishness and animal natures, at which step in the revolution will it be cured? Will it happen before we’ve centralized dangerous amounts of power in the hands of people who make politically correct noises about their beliefs while transforming themselves to the very image of the tyrannical mogul?