Quote of the Day: Leftists are Prisoners of Their Own Ideas

 

Men are qualified for civil liberty, in exact proportion to their disposition to put moral chains upon their own appetites. Society cannot exist, unless a controlling power upon will and appetite be placed somewhere, and the less of it there is within, the more there must be without. It is ordained in the eternal constitution of things, that men of intemperate minds cannot be free. Their passions forge their fetters. –Edmund Burke

Edmund Burke foretold the disaster that would become the radical political Left in the United States. The Left is disdainful of the morality to which many of us subscribe. They are weak and greedy and are therefore doomed to failure, because they don’t value the most honorable aspects of human nature: generosity, trust, respect and many other attributes that those on the Right have come to appreciate and venerate.

Our country has been based, however, on minimally limiting the controls and supporting the freedom of its citizens. But since the Left is demanding, compulsive and uncompromising in its expectations, they will do whatever they can to accomplish their agendas. To do so, they don’t realize that they have become prisoners of their own ideology. They have tossed the foundations of this country in the dustbin. They have created false narratives to substantiate their goals. They don’t care whether they alienate others; they are quite happy to try to force others to comply with their schemes.

But the day will come when they will want to put their final plans in place—until they realize that they have trapped themselves within their own ideological prisons. They have created barriers between themselves and the rest of society, and they will come to realize that there is almost no one who will release them or rescue them, because they have trapped themselves. They will have underrated the American spirit to resist them, and we will watch them protest and refuse to accept the reality they have created; they will be crushed under the weight of their own ignorance.

And we will work to restore the foundations of, and faith in, this country, in spite of their ignorant and selfish ambitions.

[photo by Hasan Almasi from unsplash.com]

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  1. Gossamer Cat Coolidge
    Gossamer Cat
    @GossamerCat

    Great quote and great post.  

    Susan Quinn: But the day will come when they will want to put their final plans in place—until they realize that they have trapped themselves within their own ideological prisons. They have created barriers between themselves and the rest of society, and they will come to realize that there is almost no one who will release them or rescue them, because they have trapped themselves. They will have underrated the American spirit to resist them, and we will watch them protest and refuse to accept the reality they have created; they will be crushed under the weight of their own ignorance.

    I believe this to be true, although up until recently, I had significant doubts.  Their revolution satisfies no one, not the 80% of America that don’t want it nor themselves.  They just become unhappier and unhappier the more their appetites are fed, because at its core is nothing but hatred for humans and longing for something their revolution does not deliver:  meaning.   I believe we have now identified the predominant acolytes of this revolution as overeducated, wealthy, mentally ill white women.  I cannot believe this group constitutes an invincible army.    

    • #1
  2. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Gossamer Cat (View Comment):

    Great quote and great post.

    Susan Quinn: But the day will come when they will want to put their final plans in place—until they realize that they have trapped themselves within their own ideological prisons. They have created barriers between themselves and the rest of society, and they will come to realize that there is almost no one who will release them or rescue them, because they have trapped themselves. They will have underrated the American spirit to resist them, and we will watch them protest and refuse to accept the reality they have created; they will be crushed under the weight of their own ignorance.

    I believe this to be true, although up until recently, I had significant doubts. Their revolution satisfies no one, not the 80% of America that don’t want it nor themselves. They just become unhappier and unhappier the more their appetites are fed, because at its core is nothing but hatred for humans and longing for something their revolution does not deliver: meaning. I believe we have now identified the predominant acolytes of this revolution as overeducated, wealthy, mentally ill white women. I cannot believe this group constitutes an invincible army.

    Thanks, GC! I think your comment is spot on! How long will they be able to go on an empty gas tank? There are so many cracks in their activities. I wasn’t feeling optimistic before, but lately I’ve noticed how they are struggling. My hope is that they burn themselves out sooner rather than later.

    • #2
  3. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio…
    @ArizonaPatriot

    Susan, good post.

    I don’t see much identification of the appetites which Burke says it is necessary to place in chains, moral or legal.  You did mention greed.  What are the others, in your view?

    • #3
  4. DrewInWisconsin, Oaf Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Must we be prisoners of their ideas, too? : (

    • #4
  5. Rodin Member
    Rodin
    @Rodin

    Susan Quinn: And we will work to restore the foundations of, and faith in, this country, in spite of their ignorant and selfish ambitions.

    May it start today. 

    • #5
  6. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    Susan, good post.

    I don’t see much identification of the appetites which Burke says it is necessary to place in chains, moral or legal. You did mention greed. What are the others, in your view?

    I would look to the Christian tradition: lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy and pride, for starters. I think that each of them could be applied to the Leftist movements. What do you think?

    • #6
  7. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf (View Comment):

    Must we be prisoners of their ideas, too? : (

    I guess that’s rhetorical, Drew, but I say No! 

    • #7
  8. DrewInWisconsin, Oaf Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    I would look to the Christian tradition: lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy and pride, for starters. I think that each of them could be applied to the Leftist movements. What do you think?

    Well, they already dedicate a whole month to pride.

    • #8
  9. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio…
    @ArizonaPatriot

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):

    Susan, good post.

    I don’t see much identification of the appetites which Burke says it is necessary to place in chains, moral or legal. You did mention greed. What are the others, in your view?

    I would look to the Christian tradition: lust, gluttony, greed, sloth, wrath, envy and pride, for starters. I think that each of them could be applied to the Leftist movements. What do you think?

    That’s a good list, though I think that it does raise some additional questions.  Does the problem of “lust” apply to premarital sex, or adultery, or homosexuality?  Does “gluttony” include drug and alcohol abuse?  I think that the answer to these questions is “yes,” but others seem to disagree.

    My own view is that we should focus on the sort of life that we think that people ought to live, setting up a practical ideal.  It seems pretty straightforward:

    • Get married – traditional, heterosexual, monogamous marriage.
    • No sex outside of marriage
    • Have kids
    • Obtain an education appropriate to your talents
    • Work to support your family
    • Don’t be a criminal
    • Avoid all illegal drug use
    • Exercise moderation in alcohol use.
    • Manage your finances in a reasonably thrifty and frugal way
    • Be active in your faith
    • Be charitable, in a discerning way, if you have extra money

    I suspect that a narrow majority of conservatives will agree with this (maybe 55%), and that a minority of Leftists will agree (maybe 25-30%).

    The other challenge, though, is how to implement these ideas, even if we had agreement on their desirability.  These values would have to be taught.  This means that we need to teach our kids what to think, not just how to think.  Also, there would have to be some sanction for violation, either socially or legally (or both).  My impression is that only about 25-30% of conservatives would agree with these ideas about implementation.

    • #9
  10. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):
    I suspect that a narrow majority of conservatives will agree with this (maybe 55%), and that a minority of Leftists will agree (maybe 25-30%).

    I like your list, Jerry. I also agree with your descriptions of the “sins.” Finally I think that more conservatives than you think would agree with you, and maybe even more Lefties, but that’s hard to say.

    But you might get pushback on implementation. Formal sanctions for “violations” might be a step too far, at least for me. I think we do need to teach our children what to think, but then those darn kids grow up and they pretty much get to decide how to live their lives. And we can only hope for the best.

    • #10
  11. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio…
    @ArizonaPatriot

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):
    I suspect that a narrow majority of conservatives will agree with this (maybe 55%), and that a minority of Leftists will agree (maybe 25-30%).

    I like your list, Jerry. I also agree with your descriptions of the “sins.” Finally I think that more conservatives than you think would agree with you, and maybe even more Lefties, but that’s hard to say.

    But you might get pushback on implementation. Formal sanctions for “violations” might be a step too far, at least for me. I think we do need to teach our children what to think, but then those darn kids grow up and they pretty much get to decide how to live their lives. And we can only hope for the best.

    Yeah, for some reason, many people aren’t willing to enforce rules of behavior, even when they agree on the rules.  I’m not even talking about legal enforcement.  This seems to apply even to social enforcement.  It seems unlikely that we’ll get high levels of compliance with such rules, when there are no consequences for breaking the rules.

    On your last sentence, the conclusion that “we can only hope for the best” follows from the unwillingness to apply any sanction for misbehavior, I think.

    As I get older and crankier, I’m more willing to apply sanctions for bad behavior.  It does seem that I am in a small minority in this regard.  What do you think is the source of the reluctance of others?

    • #11
  12. DrewInWisconsin, Oaf Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf
    @DrewInWisconsin

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):
    As I get older and crankier, I’m more willing to apply sanctions for bad behavior.  It does seem that I am in a small minority in this regard.  What do you think is the source of the reluctance of others?

    Recognition that we are a country founded on liberty? And that free will implies freedom to make bad choices?

    • #12
  13. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):
    As I get older and crankier, I’m more willing to apply sanctions for bad behavior.  It does seem that I am in a small minority in this regard.  What do you think is the source of the reluctance of others?

    I think it depends on who’s applying the sanctions. (Originally you did include legal sanctions.) And what the sanctions actually are. Without that information, it’s pretty hard to take a position. Do you have some sanctions in mind?

    • #13
  14. Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… Member
    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio…
    @ArizonaPatriot

    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf (View Comment):

    Jerry Giordano (Arizona Patrio… (View Comment):
    As I get older and crankier, I’m more willing to apply sanctions for bad behavior. It does seem that I am in a small minority in this regard. What do you think is the source of the reluctance of others?

    Recognition that we are a country founded on liberty? And that free will implies freedom to make bad choices?

    Well, in early America, there were plenty of laws against the sort of misbehavior that I listed.  There were laws against adultery, and fornication, and homosexuality, and illegitimacy.  I also know of laws about habitual drunkenness, though I’m not sure whether they stretched back to the founding period.

    Drew, I think that the question gets back to Susan’s quote from Burke.  Liberty only works with strong individual morality and self-control.  I think that this was recognized by the Founders, specifically Adams, with his quote about our system of government requiring “a moral and religious people.” 

    Thomas Jefferson actually worked on a legal code for Virginia, shortly after independence, that would have continued the criminal prohibition on homosexuality, and would have made it punishable by castration (for a man — for a woman, the punishment would be boring a hole through the nose).  

    This proposal did not pass, however.  Not because it was too harsh, but because it was considered too lenient.  The statute adopted by Virginia in 1792 imposed the death penalty.  Technically, the prohibited conduct was called “the detestable and abominable vice of Buggery.”  The sentence was reduced shortly thereafter, in 1800, to imprisonment of 1-10 years for free persons, though it retained the death penalty for slaves.  (Here is an interesting article on the issue.)

    My home state of Arizona still has a criminal statute prohibiting adultery.  Until 2001, Arizona had statutes prohibiting sodomy and cohabitation. 

    • #14
  15. CACrabtree Coolidge
    CACrabtree
    @CACrabtree

    They may be prisoners but they’re willing prisoners and this makes them even more idiotic…and dangerous.

    • #15
  16. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    CACrabtree (View Comment):

    They may be prisoners but they’re willing prisoners and this makes them even more idiotic…and dangerous.

    But do they know they’re prisoners? I doubt it. Theirs is a mental and emotional trap, not a physical one. They are certainly willing to be whatever they think they are–heroes, saviors to mankind, rescuers. the elites–but “prisoners”–I don’t think so.

    • #16
  17. Rōnin Coolidge
    Rōnin
    @Ronin

    Susan Quinn:

    “But the day will come when they will want to put their final plans in place—until they realize that they have trapped themselves within their own ideological prisons. They have created barriers between themselves and the rest of society, and they will come to realize that there is almost no one who will release them or rescue them, because they have trapped themselves. They will have underrated the American spirit to resist them, and we will watch them protest and refuse to accept the reality they have created; they will be crushed under the weight of their own ignorance.

    And we will work to restore the foundations of, and faith in, this country, in spite of their ignorant and selfish ambitions.”

     

     

    I believe you @susanquinn but we suffer from the same terrible curse which the Princess, priestess, and prophetess Cassandra of Troy lived under.  She could see the future and had to speak the truth, but no one would ever believe her.  Right now the post-modern progressive Marxist Neo-Fascist tyrannical radicals oligarch corporatist globalist (feel free to fill in the blank here) are now realizing what Lenin, Stalin and Mao always knew – you got to be willing to kill to gain and hold power.  And it’s not that these ideological prisoners and want-to-be tyrants are opposed to killing, they just don’t want to have to do it, but that will change too as they are forced further into their ideological corner.  Yes, the violence we see in cities now will move into the suburbs as the novelty of burning downtown business wears off, we have already seen glimpse of this.  This may not, in the end, lead to a full civil war, but there will be fighting and deaths as  people are forced to protect their property and lives.  Trust in God – and keep your powder dry.

    Cassandra of Troy

    • #17
  18. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Rōnin (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn:

    “But the day will come when they will want to put their final plans in place—until they realize that they have trapped themselves within their own ideological prisons. They have created barriers between themselves and the rest of society, and they will come to realize that there is almost no one who will release them or rescue them, because they have trapped themselves. They will have underrated the American spirit to resist them, and we will watch them protest and refuse to accept the reality they have created; they will be crushed under the weight of their own ignorance.

    And we will work to restore the foundations of, and faith in, this country, in spite of their ignorant and selfish ambitions.”

     

     

    I believe you @ susanquinn but we suffer from the same terrible curse which the Princess, priestess, and prophetess Cassandra of Troy lived under. She could see the future and had to speak the truth, but no one would ever believe her. Right now the post-modern progressive Marxist Neo-Fascist tyrannical radicals oligarch corporatist globalist (feel free to fill in the blank here) are now realizing what Lenin, Stalin and Mao always knew – you got to be willing to kill to gain and hold power. And it’s not that these ideological prisoners and want-to-be tyrants are opposed to killing, they just don’t want to have to do it, but that will change too as they are forced further into their ideological corner. Yes, the violence we see in cities now will move into the suburbs as the novelty of burning downtown business wears off, we have already seen glimpse of this. This may not, in the end, lead to a full civil war, but there will be fighting and deaths as people are forced to protect their property and lives. Trust in God – and keep your powder dry.

     

    Cassandra of Troy

    An apt metaphor @ronin. I can only pray you’re wrong.

    • #18
  19. Rōnin Coolidge
    Rōnin
    @Ronin

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Rōnin (View Comment):

    Susan Quinn:

    “But the day will come when they will want to put their final plans in place—until they realize that they have trapped themselves within their own ideological prisons. They have created barriers between themselves and the rest of society, and they will come to realize that there is almost no one who will release them or rescue them, because they have trapped themselves. They will have underrated the American spirit to resist them, and we will watch them protest and refuse to accept the reality they have created; they will be crushed under the weight of their own ignorance.

    And we will work to restore the foundations of, and faith in, this country, in spite of their ignorant and selfish ambitions.”

     

     

    I believe you @ susanquinn but we suffer from the same terrible curse which the Princess, priestess, and prophetess Cassandra of Troy lived under. She could see the future and had to speak the truth, but no one would ever believe her. Right now the post-modern progressive Marxist Neo-Fascist tyrannical radicals oligarch corporatist globalist (feel free to fill in the blank here) are now realizing what Lenin, Stalin and Mao always knew – you got to be willing to kill to gain and hold power. And it’s not that these ideological prisoners and want-to-be tyrants are opposed to killing, they just don’t want to have to do it, but that will change too as they are forced further into their ideological corner. Yes, the violence we see in cities now will move into the suburbs as the novelty of burning downtown business wears off, we have already seen glimpse of this. This may not, in the end, lead to a full civil war, but there will be fighting and deaths as people are forced to protect their property and lives. Trust in God – and keep your powder dry.

     

    Cassandra of Troy

    An apt metaphor @ ronin. I can only pray you’re wrong.

    Me too.

    • #19
  20. She Reagan
    She
    @She

    Not so long ago, and not-so-very-far-away, it was standard practice for college freshman composition students to read portions of the works of great writers and great minds, both to give them examples of excellent writing, and to open their own minds to challenging thoughts.  One of the selections which frequently appeared on the syllabus was Edmund Burke’s Letter to a Member of the National Assembly.  Mr. She’s standard exercise, after his student had read this or selected writings of a similar kind, was to tell his students to take out a piece of paper and write the word “Freedom” at the top on one side.  And then to turn it over and write the word “Responsibility” at the top on the other side.  Then he’d instruct them to hand in “freedom” without “responsibility.”  And then the class would talk about how the two are opposite sides of the same coin, are inextricably linked and how you can’t have one without the other.

    I don’t think that sort of thing happens in college classrooms anymore.  Pity.

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    • #20
  21. JennaStocker Member
    JennaStocker
    @JennaStocker

    Outstanding and clarifying post, @susanquinn Aptly stated.

    • #21
  22. Al Sparks Thatcher
    Al Sparks
    @AlSparks

    I’m not arguing against the content of the original post.  But the subject line sort of implies that we (the right) aren’t prisoners of our own ideas.

    I can be pretty certain in my beliefs.  Yet, I always remember that I can be wrong, and approach them with some humility.

    • #22
  23. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Al Sparks (View Comment):

    I’m not arguing against the content of the original post. But the subject line sort of implies that we (the right) aren’t prisoners of our own ideas.

    I can be pretty certain in my beliefs. Yet, I always remember that I can be wrong, and approach them with some humility.

    Precisely, @alsparks. We on the Right can be prisoners of our ideas, but I know more of us who are willing to consider other points of view. Humility is not part of the vocabulary of the Left. Thanks.

    • #23
  24. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    JennaStocker (View Comment):

    Outstanding and clarifying post, @ susanquinn Aptly stated.

    Thanks so much,@jennastocker. High praise from you.

    • #24
  25. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Andrew Klavan suggested in one of his books that the reason many liberals go insane is because once they become vested in their ideas, they cannot admit they were wrong, even though deep down inside they know they are.  Instead of admitting one’s mistake (which takes guts), they double down on how right they are and come up with something even loonier.  Eventually, they spiral down into the most insane of ideas, my favorite example being the hormonal teenage boy who gains access to the girls’ shower just by saying he identifies as a girl.

    • #25
  26. Susan Quinn Contributor
    Susan Quinn
    @SusanQuinn

    Stad (View Comment):

    Andrew Klavan suggested in one of his books that the reason many liberals go insane is because once they become vested in their ideas, they cannot admit they were wrong, even though deep down inside they know they are. Instead of admitting one’s mistake (which takes guts), they double down on how right they are and come up with something even loonier. Eventually, they spiral down into the most insane of ideas, my favorite example being the hormonal teenage boy who gains access to the girls’ shower just by saying he identifies as a girl.

    I just wish I knew what was at the root of their even becoming invested in these ideas. Is it the attractiveness of the ideal? It just baffles me. I think Klavan is right, but I still don’t understand their resistance to admitting their mistakes. I do it all the time!

    • #26
  27. Stad Coolidge
    Stad
    @Stad

    Susan Quinn (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    Andrew Klavan suggested in one of his books that the reason many liberals go insane is because once they become vested in their ideas, they cannot admit they were wrong, even though deep down inside they know they are. Instead of admitting one’s mistake (which takes guts), they double down on how right they are and come up with something even loonier. Eventually, they spiral down into the most insane of ideas, my favorite example being the hormonal teenage boy who gains access to the girls’ shower just by saying he identifies as a girl.

    I just wish I knew what was at the root of their even becoming invested in these ideas. Is it the attractiveness of the ideal? It just baffles me. I think Klavan is right, but I still don’t understand their resistance to admitting their mistakes. I do it all the time!

    I make so many mistakes, I’m too numb to feel ashamed . . .

    I believe many of the footsoldier lefties get enamored with crazy ideas because they want to fit in, to belong to something.  It’s easier to sit around and nod heads in agreement with like-minded people than to engage in honest debate, where one has the possibility of losing.

    I can also couple this with @drbastiat‘s post about smartphones.  Young people these days tend to be less social in person, hence less face-to-face period.  Even carrying on in an online debate is too close to being a face-to-face encounter, so it’s easier to call someone a ____phobe and log off.

    • #27