Douglas Andrews / July 22, 2020

For Leftists, Failure Is a Feature

As Ben Shapiro points out, the Left has no interest in making things work.

Ben Shapiro is a force of nature. He thinks like Newt Gingrich but at 78 rpm, and with a Millennial edge and a yarmulke to boot. So it was entertaining Sunday night watching Mark Levin try to get a word in edgewise while interviewing Shapiro on his “Life, Liberty, and Levin” show.

Shapiro, a conservative wunderkind, best-selling author, and editor emeritus of The Daily Wire, was there to hawk a prescient new book, How to Destroy America in Three Easy Steps, which, though he completed it in January, aptly describes the “Disintegrationism” movement currently sweeping Democrat-run cities and towns across the nation.

He starts by laying out the vision of our Founders — the vision that built upon the Declaration of Independence and created unprecedented freedom and prosperity for billions of people all around the world over the past two centuries.

“That was the original vision of America,” Shapiro says. “That’s what I call the ‘Unionist’ vision of America.”

He then switches to a competing ideology, Disintegrationism, which he says is now coursing through the veins of those on the Left. “It’s the idea,” he says, “that America has never had any ties that bind us and that American history is a story of one group clubbing another group over the head … and that our culture of rights is really a lie, and that those rights ought to be thrown out in favor of an orthodoxy that rules from above and tells you how you ought to think.”

Shapiro notes that three things are essential to any nation that holds itself together: a history, a culture, and a philosophy. Of these three, he considers a common culture to be the most important. He also notes that while the Right has become proficient at politics and winning elections, it has largely abandoned the culture wars, having ceded the educational arena and Hollywood to the Left, which has in turn thanked us and run roughshod over our universities, our media, and our major cultural institutions for years.

When Levin asked Shapiro why he thought the Disintegrationist movement had burst into the open so suddenly, his answer surprised no one: “I think a lot of it has to do with the fact that President Trump exists. I think that he provides a point of commonality in which no matter how radically left you go, you’re going to find allies … who will side with you just to get rid of Trump.”

Perhaps most instructive about the Left’s reaction to Donald Trump was its reaction to Trump’s campaign slogan: “Make America Great Again.” As Shapiro noted, rather than engaging in an argument about whether Trump and his policies could actually make America great, the Left instead claimed “that America was never great, because America’s systems are inherently shot through with evil; that it wasn’t founded in 1776 but in 1619, with the arrival of the first African slaves on American soil.”

And it’s this utter fixation with the sins of our past that distinguishes far leftists from the rest of us. According to them, every worldwide problem — slavery, for example — is the unique fault of America, but every virtue of America is dismissed as an exception to the rule of American evil.

He continues, “When America puts a man on the moon, it’s an achievement of humanity. … But when America participates in slavery historically, it’s not a cruelty and a savagery that’s universal across time and space. That’s instead a unique evil to America. And when people are that intellectually dishonest, you have to assume that they have another agenda. Which of course they do — and that is to tear down the system entirely.”

Time was when most Americans would’ve tripped over each other to denounce all this America-hating lunacy from the Left. But not today. Many folks have been cowed into silence by the cancel crowd, and for good reason: Saying the wrong thing could get you ostracized socially or even fired from your job.

“Cancellation isn’t about them coming after you or me,” Shapiro said to Levin, acknowledging their own particular job security. “It’s about them coming after people who don’t have the capacity to defend themselves. There are tens of millions of Americans … who live in fear of being canceled for expressing something as simple as, ‘Yeah, I voted for Trump’ or ‘I’m considering the possibility of voting for President Trump.’”

Cancellation fits within a larger framework of failure, and failure is precisely the goal of the Disintegrationist Left. Why? “Because,” as Shapiro explains, “any success is going to be attributed to the broader American system.” Thus, unemployment and inequality and crime and urban blight and rioting and statue toppling are desirable, since they make clear that the entire system is to blame and must therefore be taken down.

When seen in that light, the failure — and even the outright refusal — of Democrats to effectively govern our nation’s big cities starts to make a lot more sense.

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