guest column by Tom McCaffrey, the Morality of Corruption. This is a
superb essay on the key connections between corruption, political
correctness, and censorship, and how our most cherished Western values can be appropriated and corrupted by the Left to mean the opposite of their original intentions, or to mean nothing at all. It first appeared on Family Security Matters on November 18th. Mr. McCaffrey is the author of Radical
by Nature: The Green Assault on Liberty, Property, and Prosperity.
Morality of Corruption
MCCAFFREY November 18, 2016
are going to have to rebuild within this wild-wild-west-of-information flow
some sort of curating function that people agree to,” said President Obama
recently in Pittsburgh. “There has to be, I think, some sort of way in
which we can sort through information that passes some basic truthiness tests
and those that we have to discard, because they just don’t have any basis in
anything that’s actually happening in the world,” he continued. “The
answer is obviously not censorship, but it’s creating places where people can
say ‘this is reliable’ and I’m still able to argue safely about facts and what
we should do about it.”
vintage Obama in its dishonesty. If we call it “curating,” suggests
Mr. Obama, then it is not censorship.
dishonest in a way that has characterized Mr. Obama’s utterances since the
first days of his presidency. It is dishonesty that no honest, halfway intelligent
person would be fooled by. It is so transparent as to be almost childish. But
it is not intended to persuade the honest, intelligent person. Mr. Obama is the
first president who was able to dispense with appealing to the honest,
Obama’s, and Mrs. Clinton’s, contempt for the truth, and the degree to which
their constituents are indifferent to their dishonesty-and to their many other
transgressions against morality and the rule of law-suggests a degree of public
and private corruption that we could not have imagined a generation ago.
Remember “Bush lied, people died.” The reason that refrain was as
effective as it was-even though it was itself a lie-was that Mr. Bush’s
constituents took morality in their leaders seriously.
only one lie that Mr. Bush’s opponents alleged. One would be
hard-pressed to count the number of lies Mr. Obama has told since he took
office. But the Bush incident exemplifies the reality that in the hands of the
Left today, morality is nothing more than a weapon to be used against their
opponents, precisely because their opponents take it seriously.
have never had much use for what most of us consider morality. Rationality,
honesty, industriousness, self-reliance, thrift, reliability, sobriety, sexual
restraint, good manners, an ability to defer gratification and to engage in
long-range planning, reverence for those who merit it-these are all values
objectively necessary to making the most of life on this earth. But they are
also what are commonly called “bourgeois,” or middle class values,
values long disparaged and sneered at by the Left, for whom the middle class
represents the height of narrow-minded conventionality. It now appears that
Democratic voters no longer require such moral virtues of their leaders.
the Left are largely relativists when it comes to morality. Live and let live.
Whatever floats your boat. But there are a couple of moral values about which
they are not indifferent. One of these is the idea that one man’s need is
another man’s moral obligation. This is the premise that underlies the welfare
state, and the Left do not treat is as a relative moral principle but as one to
which everyone must subscribe. This is because it is tailor made for
collectivists and totalitarians, as Stalin and Mao would attest.
the moral deterioration of the Left today is due to the metastasizing of the
welfare state. A government with the authority to expropriate the wealth of one
person and give it to another is corrupt ipso facto. Left untreated,
such corruption will spread like a cancer. The party that champions the welfare
state will attract the most corrupt office seekers and supporters. Barack Obama
and Hillary Clinton are the inevitable product of the welfare state.
their manifest corruption, the Democrats are able to pose as the moral
alternative to the Republicans. Why? Because they “care” about the
needy and the underprivileged, in contrast to the cold and heartless
Republicans. And the Republicans cannot oppose them in principle because they
concede the Left’s moral premise, that one man’s need is another’s moral
obligation. Today the Republican establishment is as committed to continuing
the welfare state, for political and moral reasons, as the Democrats are.
welfare state is metastasizing in a new direction, which we call political
correctness. Instead of expropriating the wealth of some and redistributing it
to others, political correctness perverts the law to afford special privileges
to its clients. Blacks, women, homosexuals, and immigrants, legal and illegal,
number among the beneficiaries of politically correct legislation and
enactments. “Homosexual marriage” and forcing the Catholic Little
Sisters of the Poor to provide contraception and abortion services to their lay
employees exemplify this kind of legal enactment.
the welfare state rests on the moral foundation of selflessness, so political
correctness rests on a few moral principles that the Left treat as universally
valid. One of these is the idea of “inclusiveness.” Inclusiveness
requires that we admit members of previously excluded groups, such as blacks
and homosexuals, to all our social and other endeavors. Inclusiveness fosters
“diversity,” which, for the Left, is the great desideratum of
related moral principle of the Left is tolerance. If we are to include persons
with unusual sexual proclivities or with alien cultural practices and values in
our endeavors, then clearly we must learn to tolerate their practices and
current jihad against Donald Trump illustrates, the “tolerant” Left
enforce the few moral principles they subscribe to-including moral relativism,
paradoxical as it may seem-with all the fervor of a Cotton Mather. Indeed, one
of the great lies of our time is that the Left represent the forces of
enlightenment against a religious Right determined to shove their morals down
others’ throats. Everything the Left believe in they try to impose on
the rest of us by means of government force. If making girls accommodate
sexually confused boys in their bath and locker rooms is not forcing the Left’s
values upon others, then I don’t know what is.
correctness simply expands the corruption of the welfare state into new areas.
So why are the Democrats, despite their immorality and political corruption,
able to continue to pose as the only moral choice for American voters? Again,
because they “care,” about blacks and women and homosexuals and all
the rest, enough to twist the Constitution in knots to purchase the votes of
their constituents. It’s the same game as the welfare state, only played with
different currency, and the Republicans cannot play that game without fatally
compromising their principles.
political correctness is especially insidious, because it uses our most
cherished classical liberal principles as weapons against us.
believe in racial equality, say the Left? Then remain silent as we disrespect
your national anthem in support of our comrades who are ginning up a war on
your “racist” police.
believe in equality between the sexes? Then send your women into combat. And
while you’re at it, why not erase any remaining differences between the sexes.
Let’s start by inventing new “genders,” until the concepts of male
and female are obliterated altogether. Beyond the differences in reproductive
hardware, they’re just social constructs anyway.
believe in tolerance and equality? Then tolerate homosexual marriage. Who cares
if we have to re-define-by government force, as usual- a social and cultural
institution that goes back to the dawn of civilization, and that remained
utterly uncontroversial until ten minutes ago?
to be a nation of immigrants? Then allow us to flood the United States with a
deluge of immigrants from cultures with little or no experience of your free
political institutions, this at a time when Leftist orthodoxy argues against
assimilation. So what if a great many of these immigrants will become
recruits to the ranks of Democrats seeking to extend the political corruption
and cultural derangement of the Obama years?
believe in religious tolerance? Then tolerate these thousands of Muslim
refugees, at time when a great many of their co-religionists are at war with
us. So what if there is precious little in the cultures from which these
Muslims come that would prepare them to support our free political
institutions, and a great deal that would make them hostile to those
institutions and traditions?
way to fight back against political correctness. But the Republican
establishment will not avail themselves of it, because they believe that to do
so would make them racists and sexists and omni-phobes. Recall that during the
election campaign many Republicans were as horrified by Mr. Trump’s lack of
political correctness as the Democrats were. As in the case of the welfare
state, the Republican establishment has conceded the moral validity of
Trump has shown how to defeat it. Don’t give an inch, concede nothing, and,
above all, refuse to sanction their moral pretensions. Political correctness
can defeat us only if we participate in their moral charade. Refuse it our
sanction, and it crumbles into incoherent street violence. Mr. McCaffrey is the
author of Radical
by Nature: The Green Assault on Liberty, Property, and Prosperity.