We have seen some disturbing behavioral trends from the left in the last year: masked Antifa-members turning to violence, the gathering of protesters screaming at the sky to express their dismay at the election of President Donald Trump, and safe spaces in universities for hypersensitive students seeing racism, patriarchy and bigotry on every corner. The behavior seems almost cult-like. What’s going on?
As far as we know, there is no Cult of Hillary out there, but the left does embody a host of values and practices that are often observed in cults.
# 1: Isolation from family
A common practice is to isolate members from their families. Consciously or unconsciously, they know that family is the most reliable carrier of deep-rooted cultural values, and to re-program people, they need to sever those ties.
One of the major projects of the left has been to dismantle the nuclear family. In the last fifty years, the left has relentlessly attacked marriage, tried to sow the seed of discontent between husbands and wives, bullied women out of the homes and into the workforce and argued tirelessly for an ever-expanding public school. Children often spend more time with civil servants than with their parents.
This has not happened by coincidence. The left has openly argued their deep skepticism of the nuclear family, while at the same time praised the family of the state. It takes a village to raise a child – a state village.
# 2: Extreme polarization
Cults typically set up extreme us-them dichotomies. People outside the cult are demonized and dehumanized. The divide between good and evil goes between the members of the sect and those on the outside.
In the last decade or so, polarization has been increasing dramatically in American politics, and the left largely drives this division. The right has moved little, and people who traditionally have defined themselves as liberal increasingly find themselves vilified for being “far right.”
Today, the left sees the world as the left on the one side and the basket of deplorables on the other.
# 3: Self-elevation
Cults usually see themselves as chosen ones, morally elevated above everyone else, with exclusive rights and privileges. This pattern also manifests itself on the left, particularly in intersectionality, or what in popular culture has been called Oppression Olympics. The most prominent victim is hailed as the greatest hero and gets to dictate the rules for everyone else. There is one set of rules for the members of the privileged left and another entirely for the rest of us.
# 4: Extreme intolerance of dissent
Cults do not tolerate dissenters and independent thinking. Any member who questions any tenet of the cult is severely reprimanded and ultimately ostracized. It is a well-known public secret that being openly conservative in Hollywood is the same as never getting hired. When the famous gay editor Chadwick Moore came out of the closet as conservative, he received death threats and lost most of his friends overnight.
These are just the most public cases. The Cato 2017 Free Speech and Tolerance poll found that 71% of Americans believe political correctness has silenced important discussions in society, and 58% believe the political climate prevents them from sharing their political views.
The staggering amount of fear reflects a level of intolerance we usually associate with despotic regimes, not with a supposedly free society.
Is there hope for healing?
The good news is that America is waking up and realizing that something is disturbingly wrong with the left. If handled correctly, it could lead to the slow process of healing. The key is to understand that this did not happen overnight. It took fifty years of destroying the family and local communities to produce the fertile ground for this cult-like behavior.
Fortunately, it can be reversed, not by politics, but first and foremost by restoring the American nuclear family. Strong and healthy families protect the youth from the discombobulation of leftist ideologues.