Swimming Right

Last week, we found that politics is moving left, a conclusion which should be obvious just from government spending numbers. So why do leftists think that politics is somehow moving rightward? I have a guess.

When we say politics are moving left we look at real, existing political laws, outputs, and outcomes. We see that laws for higher spending have been put in place, that government spending has increased, and that government spending as a percentage of GDP has increased. We see that gay “marriage” has been enforced by courts, that gays are “marrying”, and that Christians are losing their businesses anti-Christian laws.

When the left say politics is moving right, they look at only at actual outcomes as compared to intended outcomes. They look at what they expect should happen if politics moves left, see that that is not occurring and declare politics are moving right, whatever the actual laws and outputs may be.

For example, the leftist believes all men are equal and have equal abilities, if they do show these, then (right-wing) discrimination must be holding people back, so if proper left-wing policies are put in place people would demonstrate equal abilities. So, if education policy were moving left, the achievement gap would be disappearing and all students would be moving towards equally high performance. The achievement gap is not disappearing. Because of this, the leftist thinks education policy is not moving left, so, it must be moving right.

The leftist ignores that he is getting the actual laws and political outputs he wants; public education spending has been ballooning and the the staff:student ratio has been increasing. He ignores the fact that actual public policy is increasingly left because he’s only looking at outcomes and he’s not getting the outcomes he thinks should happen.

The leftist is religiously egalitarian and blank-slatist, so if government programs are not producing the desired outcomes, they must not be the desired programs, hence if the outcomes are not the expected left-wing outcomes, the programs and policies must not be left wing. He can not countenance that the achievement gap is probably genetic in origin, so failures to achieve his expected outcomes must be due to the wrong (ie: right-wing) policies being implemented.

We can see this elsewhere as well. The leftist believes that left-wing policies will reduce poverty and reduce income inequality. He looks at the charts and it’s obvious that for the last half-century poverty rates have stayed level and income inequality has risen. Therefore, policies must not be left-wing, and therefore must be right-wing.

Never mind that most of the federal budget goes to income transfer/poverty alleviation programs, never mind that spending on poverty-alleviation has been increasing at a rapid rate, never mind that we spend enough on poverty alleviation programs to simply pay every person enough to not be poor, never mind graduated tax rates, the spending and laws don’t matter. It can not be that poor people are poor because they are the kind of people whose choices, abilities, and (lack of) virtues lead to being poor, because all people are equal. Therefore, the policies must be right-wing because left-wing policies would result in equality. (In reality though, left-wing schemes usually backfire).

The reason the leftist think politics is moving rightward, is because the leftist is utopian and egalitarian. He believes that left-wing policies will necessarily bring about left-wing utopian goals. When the expected egalitarian utopia does not arrive, the leftist can not believe that this is due to the impossibility of an egalitarian utopia or because left-wing policies don’t work, so he believes the absence of utopia must be because politics is moving right-ward.


  1. Maybe it’s just that the leftist, ever impatient to move things further leftward, is convinced things are going to the right the same way you or I might be compelled to believe that a stop light is conspiring against us to stay red for eternity whenever we’re late for work.
    Or that the inertia in getting the cars in front of us to start moving once the light turns green is also somehow part of the plot.

  2. Interesting argument! I think there is a lot of truth behind what you say but I think the Leftists would just counterargue that after all since Sweden maneged to create a more egalitarian society it can be done and the fact that for some reason the US government isnt implementing the policies that “miracolous” made Sweden into an egalitarian paradise and that this reasons reveal it as a right wing entity.

  3. Great insight. Of course this is convenient for the left since it means the revolution is never finished. Many people have noted that rightists are usually happy when they get the policies they want, but leftists only get angrier and more agitated, and the reason you name, that their policies literally can’t achieve their goals, is probably a key part of it.

    It’s painfully obvious that callow Millennials and oblivious Boomers marching in #BLM rallies or pride parades are trying to appropriate the cultural prestige of 60’s civil rights protests, for the benefit of their social media accounts. The main difference is that they are now 100% the establishment, with the full backing of the NYT, Harvard, most of the Fortune 500, and of course good old USG. If there’s one upside it’s that this clueless status-whoring makes them very easy to mock.

  4. When liberal policies fail to produce the free and equal new man – the superman, self-created through reason and will, emancipated from the chains of backward history and arbitrary claims of “nature” – a person who is committed to liberalism has two choices.

    One road, rarely taken, is to abandon liberalism entirely and unequivocally: the road of repentance.

    The other road, wide and well worn, is to blame the failure of liberalism on an oppressor-untermensch.


  5. My red pill moment was when I realized: if people are not really born equal, every single thing in the world suddenly makes sense.
    Intergenerational poverty. Aids. Robust institutions.
    If you only consider environmental factors you’ll be spinning absurd rationalizations in order to explain the other half of the picture which doesn’t seem to fit.

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