One of the most misleading and dangerous words that all sane people need to use with caution — if not do away with altogether — is the “Left.”
Why? Because it bestows legitimacy on insanity and worse.
A Dangerous Paradigm
In current discourse, the Left and Right are seen as polar opposites on a continuum of political views. Imagine a horizontal line: the further right one goes, the more conservative, religious, traditional, one becomes; the further left, the more one becomes the opposite — liberal, secular, and progressive.
Meanwhile, and here’s arguably the most misleading aspect of this paradigm, the middle of the line — the “centrist” position — becomes the default “middle ground,” the area where supposedly non-ideologically charged people reside.
To a large extent, this paradigm is nonsense and increasingly being used to legitimize falsehoods and corruption. It is built atop an assumption — that there are no truths, or if there are, they are somewhere in the middle. Inasmuch as one veers to the right or left he becomes an “extremist.”
Choose “Moderate” Madness
As one example, consider the rise of gender confusion, if not hysteria, where “identifying” with either gender — or make believe genders — automatically makes one of that gender, and woe to whoever objects. Anyone who refers to this development as “Leftist” unwittingly legitimizes it. After all, and as seen in the current model, the Left, by its very nomenclature, is part of a legitimate spectrum of political views, no different than the right.
Based on this model, people on the “Right,” who staunchly believe there are two, and only two, genders, are merely the polar opposites of those who believe in an infinite number of genders. Thus both deserve equal respect — equal legitimacy in the so-called discourse of ideas — certainly from the supposedly “objective” fellow in the “middle.”
In reality, there are only two genders — “Left/Right” constructs be damned. Affirming this scientific fact is not a “Rightist” position. It is a factual position. Anything that diverges from it, by a little or by a lot, is wrong, unworthy of consideration or debate and deserving of zero legitimacy. In this context, the Right is right, pure and simple; and everything that moves left of it is wrong. That includes the squishy “Chamber of Commerce” Right and certainly the Center — to say nothing of the Left, where unadulterated madness reigns.
Anything that diverges even a little from truth should be seen for what it is — a falsehood, a lie from the father of lies, in a word, evil.
For people of faith, especially monotheists (Jews, Christians, and Muslims), understanding what is going on, and what words to use, should be especially simple. After all, religions presuppose truths; that is what they are all about — offering a worldview based on truisms.
That truism may be that God created Adam and Eve or that homosexuality of any kind is a sin, literally, a missing of the mark, an error. Whatever that religious truism is, going against it should not be seen by the faithful as an “alternate” position, one on a make-believe line stretching from right to left, with each extreme having its own “logic.”
Anything that diverges even a little from truth should be seen for what it is — a falsehood, a lie. In this more accurate context, those who spew gender nonsense can at last be seen for what they truly are: not “extreme Leftists,” but poor souls who suffer from insanity or possession. These adjectives may appear highly offensive — though no more offensive than the positions they describe — but at least they more accurately define what you’re really dealing with.
The Spirit of the Age — ‘Do What Thou Wilt’
What about atheists and agnostics? There was a time when, despite their personal beliefs (or lack thereof), their worldview was still permeated by a heritage of rational thinking and logic. (That word, not coincidentally, derives from Logos.) So they could deny God but also question the current madness of the age. As time “progresses,”and their connection to Logos becomes weaker and weaker, they, too, lose the ability to accept absolute truisms. The current spirit of the age — “do what thou wilt” — becomes their default position.
Words matter; and the war on words is not limited to manipulating the meaning of man or woman, but rather manipulating people — including Christians and conservatives — into seeing politics through a “Right/Left” prism.
So long as we continue to refer to madness or worse as “the Left,” so long will we continue to legitimize and give it a platform. More accurate words are needed. For people of faith who accept absolute truths in the realm of morality — or just people who accept scientific fact — finding more accurate words should not be difficult.
When it comes to a number of controversial topics, there is no Right or Left; there is only Right or Wrong. The sooner this is acknowledged, the sooner sanity will prevail.
Raymond Ibrahim, author of Defenders of the West and Sword and Scimitar is the Distinguished Senior Shillman Fellow at the Gatestone Institute and the Judith Rosen Friedman Fellow at the Middle East Forum.