Pretty simple really:
— requires that you adhere robotically and in detail to their ideology.
— asks (1) that you adhere at least loosely to their ideology and (2) requires that you be a good person. At least according to the changing standards of the day.
Let’s call these the Two Great Requirements of American Politics. 2GRoAP? #1: Adhere to an ideology, and #2: be a good person.
The real differences are, of course, in the details.
If you don’t adhere to the ideology of the Left, in all its details, you’re out. However, you can be the biggest rotter in the world and still be a member in good standing of the Left (as long as you don’t get caught, that is, and sometimes even when you do get caught. Ex.: Bill and Hillary Clinton, Barney Frank, Ted Kennedy…). There are no pro-lifers considered to be “of the Left.” Even though there are plenty of pro-life people of largely left-wing beliefs — Bob Casey, Sr. and Jr., for example. Nat Hentoff (RIP) for another example.
You can, though, be against important parts of the Right’s general ideology and still be “of the Right.” Just ask the pro-abortion Koch Brothers, long called “extreme right-wingers” by even respected leftist pundits of all kinds.
In this way, even though it functions also as an ideology, Leftism is really more a religion than a political belief system. You can see this religious aspect to it in environmentalism, in which no dissent against environmentalist Holy Writ is permitted.
The same is true of the pro-death movement. You’ll see it manifest itself also in the growing pro-euthanasia movement, as leftists move to control both when you enter the world and when you depart. Talk about “Population Control!”
As a result of this religious nature of American Leftism, leftists allow all manner of scoundrels, perverts, thugs, frauds, mountebanks, pedophiles, jerks, scumbags and criminals in their midst without a second thought. For an example of those last three types of Leftist — jerks, scumbags and criminals — you have Bill Clinton, Al Franken and Ted Kennedy, respectively. All three of these low-lifes were highly respected members of the Left literally up until a couple of weeks ago, when the “sexual harassment” hysteria tsunami came along to sweep them off their pedestals.
Now, mind you, everyone has known all along what these last three jerks were like, and what they had done, but no one knew that the hysteria would be upon them.
You can add the names of nearly all of Hollywood and Academia to the list of Leftist deviants — two vast bastions of Leftism and all its perversions, nitwitteries and neuroses.
You see, the Left wants also to be able to say that they too, all their frauds, scoundrels, crooks and con men and women, are good people too, that they like 2GRoAP too; just as the Right has long required of its adherents. The Left, however, understood that very differently when they were learning about it all.(1)
For the longest time, Leftists relentlessly pounded the message that Leftists are good people simply because they’re Leftists, but in the Great Sexual Harrassment Hunts of 2017, that doesn’t wash anymore, and the Left has to get rid of its deadwood.
This is not a real problem for them, since there’s no price in it; these people — except for Franken — are really of no great use to the Left anymore. And when Franken goes, even though it would be difficult to find someone less sane than he, there’s no danger of his being replaced by someone more sane(2).
Another interesting fact is that with all the stains on current big names in the Democrat Party, the only one left untainted by either sexual harassment, or massive corruption is the lamentable Jimmy Carter, the near-perfect example of the term: “mediocrity.” Carter was, or so it seemed, a good person. His late in life anti-semitic nastiness has tarnished his reputation as a good guy, but he’s all the Dems have left in terms of people who are good Leftists and, apparently, good people.(3)
(1) Okay, okay, that’s it for that cheap pun. When I first formulated the “Two Great Requirements of American Politics,” I didn’t realize that I’d also strung together a fortuitous acronym. However, when I noticed it, I then knew that I had to use it somewhere in the rest of this piece. Mark Steyn is the Grand Master of this kind of linguistic legerdemain. Others, like me, are mere Steyn wannabes.
(2) Interestingly, the name being floated around in this regard — the racist, hard-left doofus Keith Ellison — actually might be less sane than Franken. The person who will name Franken’s replacement, Minnesota governor Mark Dayton, is a member of the Minnesota Democratic–Farmer–Labor Party, not a Conservative party. However, don’t worry… Leftists can sometimes get away with abusing women, because the press — where such abuses are rampant as well — will defend Franken as much as possible.
(3) People will protest, ” But what about Barack Obama?” If America remains a sane country, then Obama’s reputation will do nothing but sink in the future. The reasons are many, but here are some prominent ones: (1) his massive collusion in the Clinton corruption cesspool, (2) the IRS scandal, which will be seen (again, only in a sane America) as one of the greatest abuses of power in the history of the country, his efforts to pit American against American in terms of race, class, and other differences. If there is a second American Civil War, Barack Obama will be seen to have played the President Buchanan role in it.
If America does not remain sane — and the indications are not favorable — then all that we write in these times will be meaningless anyway.