The left’s suicidal insistence on purity: Chapter II

Last month we published, “The left’s suicidal insistence on political purity.”

The post compared the right-wing’s easy acceptance of Donald Trump’s lies, criminality, hate-mongering, infidelity, nepotism, conspiracy theories, incompetence, bigotry, and ignorance, vs. the left’s demand for purity.

The right’s lust for power is prompted by its fear and loathing of the poor. It’s called  “Gap Psychology,” the psychological desire to distance oneself from those “below” on any status measure and to approach those above.

Because money is power, those of the right-wing ultimately care only about money — gaining it, keeping it, and preventing those “below” from having it.

Cutting healthcare for the poor is a money/power example. Right-wing bigotry against blacks, browns, immigrants is about money.  Anti-semitism is about money. Even the anti-abortion movement is about money; the rich always can get abortions.

For the right, whites don’t have enough power, i.e. money. Despite owning the Presidency and the Senate, it is not enough.

By contrast, the left’s lust for power has to do with purity. In an earlier text, I termed it “political purity,” but on reflection, I should have called it “moral purity.”

For the left, no one is moral enough. The left finds pleasure in digging for unpunished sinners, like paleontologists digging for undiscovered fossils.

Trump is a psychopath, so his immorality and amorality lie on the surface as the obvious foundations of his being — so obvious, in fact, that some on the left feel obligated to search for other, less apparent examples.

George Washington owned slaves. So did Thomas Jefferson. Despite their accomplishments for America, they are not pure enough for some liberals. Tear down their statues.

Ulysses S. Grant owned a slave, whom he later freed, and he was not opposed to slavery.  The same is true of Francis Scott Key, the lyricist for our national anthem. Tear down their statues and find a new national anthem written by someone pure of heart?

And as a Jew, I might remind you that several American Presidents were anti-Semites, even the sainted Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Shall we destroy his memory?

I once again was reminded of the left’s demand for purity, by this tweet from Colin Kaepernick:

Colin Kaepernick tweet.png

What? The 4th of July, the date of the Declaration of Independence, is a “celebration of white supremacy”? Is that a fair analysis? And what does he visualize as “liberation”?

I greatly respect Kaepernick. He talked the talk and he walked the walk — by taking a knee — when the monetary and emotional costs to him proved to be enormous.

He is correct to feel especially aggrieved when his protest against white bigotry was mischaracterized by many whites and even by the POTUS, to be a protest against America’s armed forces and the flag.

Even the cowardly and bigoted National Football League owners joined in by blacklisting this good man.

So, I get it. I really do. I agree, for instance, with Germany having no statues of Adolf Hitler.

But in addition to expressing well-deserved moral outrage, you must understand how to to make your point without turning your allies against you.

Fight the fight that matters. Winning a meaningful battle advances a cause more than heroically losing a symbolic battle. Or does it?

Yes, tear down any Hitler statues, Mussolini’s, too. But shall I also demand that every statue of every anti-Semitic politician in European history also be torn down, along with every American slave owner’s statue?

Shall we dishonor every imperfect human being?

What about the bigoted popes, who loved Jesus but murdered Jews? And what about history’s Jew-hating artists who created anti-Semetic pieces showing Jews with horns. Shall I set out to destroy all their artwork? The great impressionist, Edgar Degas, was a notorious anti-Semite. Should I demand that all his artworks be destroyed? Where do we draw the line?

Columbus statue taken down in Tower Grove Park in St. Louis | Law ...
Columbus’s statue comes down.

What is seen as extreme in one decade might very well be acceptable in another.

Giving women the right to vote once was unthinkable. Mixed-race marriages. Voting by Blacks. Legal marijuana. Online porn. Shooting an unarmed man if you feel “threatened.” A POTUS cheating on multiple wives.

All once were outrageous, now are acceptable by some, to varying degrees.

There are, to my knowledge, no statues of the notorious traitor, Benedict Arnold, but we countenance statues of an even greater traitor, Robert E. Lee.

Again, where do we draw the line?

Think of street names, town names, school names, and county names, all over America, so many of which honor politicians. Do you know of any perfectly moral politicians? Or perfectly moral people? Homebody Accents Columbus City Limit Metal Sign, Ohio ...

Shall we change all our street, town, school, and county names because they honor imperfect people? Yet again, where do we draw the line?

Today, the statue of Christopher Columbus? Tomorrow Columbus School? The next day Columbus, Ohio?

Shall we destroy any memory of those who voted against suffrage or against abolition?

Virtually all advances in the arts and sciences, including philosophy, are initiated by the extremists.

Bob Dylan wrote, “The times, they are a’changin’.” It’s true that times change, but someone has to change them. The times don’t change by themselves. And changes often seem extreme, especially to conservatives, whose fundamental belief is the conservation of the past.

Now, we have a psychopathic President, whose followers rant about “extreme liberals.” You know, those liberal “extremists” who kneel during the Star-Spangled Banner or who want the poor to have health care, or who created Social Security.

It all leaves me with many questions about Kaepernick, not the man, but the symbol for resistance against white bigotry:

  1. As a symbol, is Kaepernick so “extreme” that his efforts actually will aid the right-wing bigots, and lose independent voters for Biden?
  2. Or, will Biden not be extreme enough, causing the emergence of a 3rd party, even more liberal candidate, whose “extremism” will pave the way for a Trump win.
  3. Or, will “extremism” accustom us to thinking about bigotry in a new way, so that future bigotry will be less or more tolerated?
  4. Can any person be pure enough to satisfy the demands of anti-bigots?

To the left, one cannot be pure enough. That is the left’s voting weakness. To the right, one needs only to be anti-liberal. That is the right’s voting strength.

The right will stay consistently anti-poor and anti-middle class. It has no competing ideology. Trump will continue to promulgate hatred to his bigoted followers, and the GOP leaders will follow. There will be few compromises of doctrine among the faithful.

Will the left find common ground within itself, or will it eat upon itself, like an auto-immune disease, for lack of perceived ideological purity?

The coming election will be a moral and philosophical test for the American left. Today they lead the polls. But will their demands for moral purity manage to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory as they did in 2016?

Rodger Malcolm Mitchell

Monetary Sovereignty Twitter: @rodgermitchell Search #monetarysovereignty Facebook: Rodger Malcolm Mitchell …………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..


The most important problems in economics involve:

  1. Monetary Sovereignty describes money creation and destruction.
  2. Gap Psychology describes the common desire to distance oneself from those “below” in any socio-economic ranking, and to come nearer those “above.” The socio-economic distance is referred to as “The Gap.”

Wide Gaps negatively affect poverty, health and longevity, education, housing, law and crime, war, leadership, ownership, bigotry, supply and demand, taxation, GDP, international relations, scientific advancement, the environment, human motivation and well-being, and virtually every other issue in economics. Implementation of Monetary Sovereignty and The Ten Steps To Prosperity can grow the economy and narrow the Gaps:

Ten Steps To Prosperity:

1. Eliminate FICA

2. Federally funded Medicare — parts A, B & D, plus long-term care — for everyone

3. Social Security for all or a reverse income tax

4. Free education (including post-grad) for everyone

5. Salary for attending school

6. Eliminate federal taxes on business

7. Increase the standard income tax deduction, annually. 

8. Tax the very rich (the “.1%”) more, with higher progressive tax rates on all forms of income.

9. Federal ownership of all banks

10.Increase federal spending on the myriad initiatives that benefit America’s 99.9% 

The Ten Steps will grow the economy and narrow the income/wealth/power Gap between the rich and the rest.


9 thoughts on “The left’s suicidal insistence on purity: Chapter II

  1. Seriously, Rodger, “Bob Dillon”? Must have been a glitch in the ether, or auto-correct gone rogue, because I know you know it’s Dylan.


  2. All that effort marching and tearing down stuff, burning and looting. Talk about inefficiency= Lots of time and energy expended and little in return. Cutting down a mighty Oak with a butter knife.

    We have the techno-mechanical means for complete success, just not the purchasing power, currently being Held Up in probate.


    1. Marching is effective. Politicians fear marching, especially by big groups. Those are believers who are voters. Marchers ended the Vietnam war.

      The looting is by different individuals altogether. Those are criminals trying to take advantage of the situation. They are not believers and probably not voters.


      1. How about marchers w/ signs that say “Monetary Sovereignty NOW.” Is such a mass demonstration of enlightenment even possible?


  3. And as a Jew, I might remind you that several American Presidents were anti-Semites, even the sainted Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Shall we destroy his memory?

    Roosevelt was not an anti-semite by any sane measure and did more than anyone else in the world against Hitler’s genocide, as was plain to all back then. There is a whole industry of books making dishonest, absurd and malicious accusations against FDR & the Jewish leaders of his day with only slightly higher scholarly standards than the holocaust revisionists. But the Roosevelt-haters have met with far more success in convincing people of nonsense. The link provided is a typical gross distortion.

    There are only two books that really fight these crazies.
    Robert Rosen- Saving the Jews: Franklin D. Roosevelt and the Holocaust. (he has a website that could give you a sketch of his books theses)
    William Rubinstein- The Myth of Rescue

    IIRC Richard Breitman is OK, but not as incisive and forthright as these two books. But I think those two books had a real effect – at least for a decade or so; the crazy FDR was anti-semitic / did nothing against the holocaust accusations seemed to quiet down.

    Haven’t checked your blog for a long time. Glad to see you are still fighting the good fight!


    1. Yes, you understand the point. There are no pure saints. We all have dark closets. Roosevelt did some anti-Semitic things and had many anti-Semites in his administration, but on balance he was a good President.

      Back in the day, being anti-Semitic was de rigueur for the white American aristocracy, (akin to owning slaves in Revolutionary times). But we must recognize that there are degrees of evil, which is the meaning of the post.


      1. We are saying different things. I’m saying Roosevelt DID NOT do anti-semitic things. Of course he made mistakes, mistakes that resulted in many deaths- how could he not? – he was a human being not an infallible deity. He did not hide the holocaust – e.g. “FDR knew what was going on and pretended not to”, which I just read this morning at Counterpunch, is nonsense.

        He denounced it and publicized it with a formal international agreement, a New York Times front-page news denunciation. Everybody – in particular everybody Jewish – knew what was going on. That’s why there Jews served in the military at double their proportion of population. The crazy fairy tale that people didn’t know it was happening or that it was hidden by the governments is an insult to their memory especially that of those who died fighting.

        The people who accuse him grossly distort history, berate him for not performing tasks often beyond his or anyone else’s power. I personally wrote most of the Wikipedia article on the MS Saint Louis which that link cites. The actual history shows Roosevelt and Hull, his Secretary of State, whose wife happened to be Jewish, worked hard to save the refugees, a story which is turned on its head.

        Yes, there was plenty of anti-semitism around – but Franklin Roosevelt was conspicuously anti-anti-semitic. He convinced Eleanor Roosevelt to be less prejudiced, not the other way around. Roosevelt brought many of Jewish background into his administration, more than ever before, and was criticized for that by racists.

        I agree wholeheartedly on your Leftist purity theme. The atmosphere can be toxic with ridiculous accusations and posturing. So getting history straight and not making up slanderous fairy tales is very important. Those books I cited are very important reading if one wants to know what actually happened. But it’s easy to distort things – while it takes far more writing as in those books to demonstrate and refute the distortions.


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