On Gibbs' "professional left"
The term “professional left” denotes a growing industry that specializes in converting other people’s money into an ideological product, while making a good living out of it in the process.
It would seem that Robert Gibbs broke the first rule of the professional left, which is (of course): you do not talk about the professional left. The second rule? See the first rule. Now that Gibbs has recklessly uttered the monster’s true name, the professional left has collectively risen from the murky depth, roaring and raving, demanding a ritualistic sacrifice in the form of the press secretary’s political corpse.
The term “professional left” hasn’t been in open circulation before, but it deserves to stick. The casual way in which Gibbs dropped the phrase suggests that it is part of the inner circle’s jargon, and that the White House residents are fully aware of its meaning, function, and implication. There is a class of people with radical leftist views who have made it their job — with the help of abundant grants, foundations, and trusts — to carry out propaganda campaigns, indoctrinate, subvert, and plant the seeds of the leftist worldview in people’s minds through the arts, media, education, blogging, and street protests.
These creatures always give themselves benevolent, kind names. Common Dreams, for example, hatched in the good year of 1997, when the Republican majority in Congress was steering the country into prosperity. Among other things, the name “Common Dreams” adequately describes the professional left’s collective ambition to attach themselves to a “progressive” think tank, with the feeding tube connected directly to the deep pocket of George Soros or his equivalent.
In contrast, there’s no such class of people on the right. Those employed in the several right-leaning think tanks are too few to make up a class, or even a guild. The same applies to a handful of magazines and newspapers, one Fox News channel, and a few dozen local and national radio talk show hosts.
They are not living off public subsidies, leeching off charities, or smuggling in a fringe ideology wrapped in a mainstream format, which is what the professional left does. Unlike their ideological opponents, these people openly state their beliefs, make a living through legitimate advertising, and run honest, sustainable businesses. They may be a force, but there aren’t enough of them to fill a large auditorium.
As of this writing, the professional left is desperately trying to coin the term “professional right,” and to use it as broadly and as often as they can to counterbalance Gibbs’ statement. Notice how unanimously they are repeating it now, pretending it had always existed and wasn’t made up by them just a few days ago for damage control.
But in real life, no intellectually honest person can talk about a “professional right” with a straight face. If such a term existed, it would most likely refer to those who earn a living in the private sector, own businesses, and are indeed professionals.
The amateur right’s favorite pastime is listening to talk radio and fighting a battle of wits on political blogs and discussion forums. They are frequently accused of being corporate sellouts by their leftist opponents. A typical presumption is that no one would defend capitalist free markets unless they were paid to do so by a shady deep-pocketed entity. (That happened to me more than once and I’ve heard similar stories from others.) When the amateur right finally protested in the streets as tea partiers, the professional left and the Democrat leaders similarly accused them of being Astroturf laid down by insurance companies.
The accusations are telling. The astroturfing itself is a patented invention of the professional left — complete with union-sponsored buses full of uniformed “activists” with identical pre-printed signs. Many leftist bloggers are getting paid for building up the visibility of their causes on the Internet. Assigning these traits to the amateur right appears to be a projection, shaped by a narrative that measures success in dollars received from grants, charities, government funding, and salaries within the ranks of the professional left.
Even the wildly popular Tea Party Express must run its own independent fundraising to maintain the buses and the small staff of operatives. No money for them will be coming anytime soon from charitable foundations, whose fortunes were made through capitalist enterprise but whose programs invariably benefit opponents of capitalism.
The professional left’s appetites go far beyond government coffers. Even after you’ve paid your taxes and saved some cash for personal spending, part of it will still be sucked into the professional left’s omnipresent and hyperactive proboscis through movie tickets, cable and newspaper subscriptions, college, and other tuition fees. You can roughly measure how much by the amount of ideological hot air coming from the screens, news columns, and your school curricula.
Every time you buy a corporate product or service — a computer from Hewlett Packard, a cell phone from Verizon, cereal from Kellogg, jeans from Levi Strauss, cosmetics from Liz Claiborne, or medicines from Merck — you also feed the professional left. All of these, and most other big companies have donated to leftist groups and causes, as well as conducted “progressive” seminars with employees — paying professional left instructors. This money is included in the price of their products and services.
The same goes for your investments and saving deposits. JP Morgan, Chase, Wachovia, Bank of America, US Bank, Citibank, PNC Bank, Provident Bank, and others have been giving money — voluntarily or otherwise — to ACORN and other branches of the professional left’s ideological-industrial complex.
Guess who is best positioned today to appropriate billions of tax dollars in stimulus slush funds, and to process them into organic, locally made hot air? Even without ACORN there remains a well-trained, hungry army of looters and moochers collectively known as the professional left. No doubt each and every one of them has already been counted and added to the list of “three million jobs saved or created” by this administration. Their job description? To spend as much of your money as possible to strike at America’s foundations, demonize your values, indoctrinate your children, and destroy your way of life.
President Obama is proactively doing just that on a national scale, converting the American economy into a gigantic ball of ideologically sound hot air, while making a nice living for himself and for all those who assist him in that activity. If that does not describe him as the ultimate mover and shaker of the professional left, I don’t know what else does.
The professional left brought him up. They taught Obama everything he knows about politics, economy, culture, history, and international relations. Admittedly, most of his friends and associates in later life were also members of the professional left. Even when they were teaching in academia like Bill Ayers, preaching in church like Jeremiah Wright, or writing poetry books like Frank Marshall Davis, they still did the work of the professional left, since professional boundaries in those areas have long ago been severely and deliberately blurred.
Slowly but surely, the professional left’s complex has diversified and expanded its frontiers to include professional educators, filmmakers, entertainers, lawyers, writers, clergy, journalists, politicians, government workers, and now also members of the president’s cabinet and even the president himself. And given the proverbial revolving door in their membership, they can all move freely from one field to another without ever stepping outside the common hot air bubble, staying in touch with the others trough a common, members-only mailing list. One of such mailing lists, recently discovered and analyzed by the Daily Caller, was used by specialists in various sectors of the professional left to share thoughts on the many ways they can spend your money, shove their ideology down your throat, and bamboozle you into voting Obama into the White House.
To paraphrase Obama’s own words, instead of complaining about the professional left, his administration should be thanking them.
Longtime readers of this site won’t find any of this terribly new: the New Left’s takeover of the Democrat Party is nearly complete, after all, as is their refiguration of what it means to identify as “liberal” (or to support “tolerance,” &etc.); but what Atbashian does exceedingly well here is articulate, in concrete terms, just how wide-ranging is their strategy.
To my way of thinking, the seeds of leftism are planted in language — both how it is used and how we come to believe it works. And it’s no secret that I find the formalist project — which seeks to untether signs from the signer, or meaning from the person who meant what he meant, in an attempt to weaken individual autonomy by replacing it with the collectivism of a given “community” — profoundly troubling for a society ostensibly governed by classically liberal principles.
From the perversion of language flows all else. As I keep preaching, how we get there matters.
The left knows this; which is why they attack through a kind of re-working of our very epistemologies, favoring a paradigm in which all knowledge is contingent, and wherein rhetoric is elevated over the tyranny of logic.
The sooner the right learns how properly to combat this, the better chance it has of re-invigorating classical liberal principles. Until then, it’s all sound and fury, regardless of whether or not they take back power temporarily.