It’s Time to Stop Calling the Left Hypocrites | Adam Limb
In the clamour of politics, there exist a great many popular refrains on either side of the political divide. For the well-to-do leftist, there are the popular buzzwords of ‘equality’ (recently rebranded as ‘equity’, for when equality is not enough,) and ‘fairness’. For the right-winger, there is ‘freedom’, ‘responsibility’, and unfortunately, ‘hypocrisy’.
Accusations of hypocrisy are much beloved by both sides of the political aisle, but when one side is deploying the accusation more than the other, it becomes time to study the nature of the relationship between the two sides. After all, you can only be a hypocrite if you say one thing and do another. It is inevitable, then, that accusations of hypocrisy will fall more on the side of those who do.
This is the position the right-wing, in the UK especially, but all across the world finds itself in today. The left says it believes in racial equality yet the Tavistock does a seminar on the evils of ‘whiteness’. The left says it wants to start a conversation around gender, but the left does remove those with viewpoints that oppose theirs. The immediate gut response to such affairs is to return to the much-beloved accusation of hypocrisy. However, if exposing left-wing hypocrisy was enough to stop leftist ideas in their tracks – there wouldn’t be a Labour party.
Accusations of hypocrisy almost invariably fall upon deaf ears, and those who would otherwise be won over by such accusations already have been. Careful examination of the so-called ‘intellectual dark web’ in fact proves this to be the case. What do Jordan Peterson, Sam Harris, Steven Pinker, and the Weinstein brothers all have in common? With the exception of Peterson, they’re all leftists who were driven away from the left by open hypocrisy. Peterson describes himself as a left-leaning liberal. Harris is openly anti-Trump. Pinker literally danced when Trump lost to Biden, and the Weinstein brothers are both Bernie Sanders supporters.
These accusations have borne fruit and provided some of the best ripostes to left-wing ideas in recent memory, but there are, however, only a few Petersons and Pinkers in the world. Time invested in attempting to win over well-meaning people searching for moral consistency is time wasted in winning over people for whom consistency is less of a priority. It is all well and good to be right, but you can’t eat righteousness, and during these uncertain times, people are looking for practical ideas, not abstract ones.
This was proven over the Summer, when, in spite of mask mandates and controls over numbers of people meeting, a great many Black Lives Matter riots and protests took place across the Western world. These riots showed the height of leftist hypocrisy, demonstrating that those who were most vocal about keeping people safe would actively endanger people, should it be expedient for their political cause. In response, many right-wing figureheads took to social media to make the routine accusation of hypocrisy, and generally enjoy a sense of moral superiority. However, how many more businesses and lives would have been saved if instead of arguing against the inconsistencies, they encouraged their followers to appeal to their representatives to shut these protests down? How many riots would have been prevented, and how many statues would have been saved? Is what is wrong with leftism simply that it is morally inconsistent? Would we have accepted the riots and the protests, provided those in the crowd were aligned with an internally consistent ideology? Of course not, the problem is not that leftism could be right, but needs to reign in its contradictory elements, the problem is that leftism is wrong on these issues entirely.
Fundamentally, we have to understand that the problem here is what the left is doing. Even now, the pandemic has brought with it a narrative that it has ‘exposed’ racial inequality (or is it equity?). What narrative has the right identified from this pandemic, if any? If the right-wing is going to win the culture war, it needs to offer a serious, robust, and distinct alternative to the left and not mealy-mouthed accusations. Small businesses have been hardest hit by the pandemic, and large, multinational corporations have grown immensely.
Our narrative needs to be that the pandemic has exposed the true inequality between local community businesses and predatory globalist organisations such as Amazon. Families have been placed under immense strain, at times with tragic consequences. It is these people that we ultimately represent, and their stories are far too often overshadowed by large multinationals and NGOs in favour of flattering a left-wing voter base. We do them a disservice when we dedicate our time not to listening to their needs and desires, but to exposing the nefarious desires of our opponents. There must be a positive case made for the right-wing that stands on its own merits, and not on the easy and reliable boogieman of leftist hypocrisy.
Currently, there is a desert of leadership in politics, and trotting out observations that people have already made themselves is liable to demoralise them, not motivate them. It is one thing to tell people “I’m thinking what you’re thinking”, but the next statement needs to be “and here’s what we’re going to do about it.” The silence that exists in the space where that second part should be is deafening. It is the breeding ground of doubt and uncertainty, and repeating the accusation over and over again inevitably displays powerlessness, as you merely speak out against these actions again and again, but do nothing to stop them. Nigel Farage was thinking what we were thinking about the EU, Donald Trump was thinking what we were thinking about immigration, now it is time for the right to stop thinking about these issues, and start acting upon the conclusions of their thoughts. The first step in that process is to stop calling out leftist hypocrisy and start pulling it out of our lives, our schools, and our governments.