by Mitch Kokai
Senior Political Analyst, John Locke Foundation
John Daniel Davidson of the Federalist blames the political Left for the increased role of moralizing in public life.
Being moral is about changing the way you act and actually helping others. It requires humility and tolerance because it arises from an awareness of one’s own moral failings.
Moralizing, by contrast, is about changing the way other people act—by force if necessary. Moralizing breeds intolerance and even tyranny because it springs from a belief that … not only do you know the truth but you also have a solemn duty to impose it on others.
In America today, being moral is out and moralizing is in. Just witness the nonstop spectacle of moralizing everywhere you turn—from The New Yorker’s panicked denunciation of Chick-fil-A’s “infiltration” of New York, to gun control activist David Hogg’s boycotts, to the protestor with a megaphone shouting in a Starbucks clerk’s face.
Davidson’s conclusion is worth highlighting as well.
Imagine being so possessed of your own self-righteousness that you think you should propose “a practical scheme” to carry out the aims of Jesus Christ.
That, in a nutshell, is progressivism. It is hubris and conceit mixed with a tyrannical impulse, and it is one of the reasons we have so much moralizing in America today, yet so little morality.