The Rise of the Unprincipled Left By Stephan Helgesen for American Thinker
Those holding liberal views and the principles that go with them are very different from those of us who claim to be conservatives or libertarians. The contrast between the left and right that make up the halves of America has never been more pronounced — nor, I would argue, more hazardous to our country’s health. With midterm elections coming up in just about ten weeks’ time, this might be the right moment to reflect on just how different the two Americas are.
The overarching differences
Let’s start with traditional conservatives. By traditional, I am referring to a set of values that have transcended many generations. Some of them are love of country, respect for authority and the rule of law, trust in our institutions, belief in personal accountability, fidelity to our Constitution and Bill of Rights, trust in our courts (and juries) to fairly adjudicate the cases before them and mete out appropriate punishment to the guilty, confidence in our schools and teachers to educate our children passionately but objectively, respect for our military service members and law enforcement organizations for the dangerous jobs they do, and many more, not the least of which are found in the Christian Ten Commandments.
In the past, those core values have been the touchstone we would go to when we were wrestling with a thorny question. Would our opinion track with our basic values? In short, could we look at ourselves in the mirror and say, “Yes, that is my belief, and I will defend it because I am a principled person”?
Today, there are two Americas and two basic ideologies that make up those Americas. One is rooted in a steadfast adherence to the values I outlined above, and the other comprises people who believe that principles are situationally dependent.