Senior Fellow, London Center for Policy Research
Published in BPR Business & Politics
Some rising stars in the Democrat party have been delivering self-righteously indignant calls to action and the resulting soundbites and tweets have spread virally on social media.
Politicians on both sides of the aisle are guilty of using snarky soundbites and one-liners to stump for their agendas, but only the Democrat party really has forsaken the ability to do so from the moral high ground.
The party of moral relativism can never take the moral high ground. It has been ceded to the whims of the social conscience of the day. A changing moral standard can never be the North Star for proper conduct. It is merely guidance built on shifting sands.
Consistently, elected Democrats have been on a campaign to remove the mention of God from American life and public buildings.
Giving them the benefit of the doubt, they misunderstand the concept of “separation of church and state.” This tenet (not found in the text of the Constitution, but offered in a letter by Thomas Jefferson) is the principle that prompted the first amendment. The Establishment and Free Exercise clause of our Bill of Rights prevents the government from involving itself in the religious affairs of the citizens by prohibiting the state from endorsing a religion or establishing one of its own. It speaks nothing of erasing nods to the Judeo-Christian tradition that forms the ethical basis of American public life.
However, one could suspect that there is more intentionality behind the push than a mere misunderstanding. The elite left sees the secularization of society as the necessary vehicle to mold social outrage to fit whatever current agenda item amasses them power or lets them lead the narrative on a given issue.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez said it outright: “I think that what we really need to realize is that social movements are the moral compass and should be the moral compass for our politics.”
Sure, she doesn’t speak for the majority of elected Democrats… but their own actions do.
The recent defeat of the Born-Alive Abortion Survivors Protection Act by Democrats in the Senate is an exercise in moral relativism. The bill was designed to ensure babies that were born despite an abortion attempt were given the same medical treatment as other infants. Forty-four Democrats defeated it, with the help of the votes of every major declared 2020 Democratic presidential candidate in the Senate. (Bernie Sanders of Vermont, Kamala Harris of California, Cory Booker of New Jersey, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts.)
So, in summation, those voting against the legislation would deny the rights of personhood to an already living baby because of what was intended to happen to it before it was born. The value of a child’s life is relative to the status it held in the womb.
Consider the escalating calls for socialism in America by several prominent elected Democrats in Congress. How can these “Democratic socialist” stars make moral high ground arguments about providing for the poor or needy against the backdrop of the horrors in avowedly socialist Venezuela?
The fact that Venezuela is erupting in chaos concurrent with this movement on the American left is more than comically ironic. It’s insulting and morally blind. The Venezuelan misery is the actualization of the romanticized ideology that Sanders, Ocasio-Cortez, and others are calling for. People in Venezuela are selling their bodies for basic necessities and the Venezuelan government is turning away humanitarian assistance by force to maintain its control of power.
Don’t believe the lines about visions of socialism “as in the Scandinavian model.” History has firmly taught us that power is never consolidated to later be relinquished.
And what of the double standards on issues even as simple as racism? The Democratic party mobilizes in a second to condemn statements against Blacks, Hispanics, Women, LGBTQ, other minority groups … but Democrat Ilan Omar’s use of three highly-offensive anti-Semitic tropes in the last month?
“I don’t think that the congresswoman is perhaps appreciate [sic] the full weight of how this was heard by other people, although I don’t believe it was intended in an anti-Semitic way,” said Nancy Pelosi.
Governor Ralph Northam, a Democrat, remains in office despite appearing in a yearbook photo either in full Klan attire, or jovially standing next to someone wearing it.
Are the harms of racism relative to the party of the offender? It appears so under the Democrat standard.
Yet still, in every push for socialism, every call for universal healthcare, and every battle-cry for the redistribution of wealth, Democrats willfully assert their superior morality in their efforts.
This cannot be so.
The party of moral relativism can never again claim the moral high-ground.