The Left’s Big Obsession

Muffinby Jon N. Hall10/12/14
In the movie Casino (1995), Ace Rothstein is dining in the restaurant of the casino he manages and discovers that his blueberry muffin doesn’t have as many blueberries as his dinner companion’s blueberry muffin. Being the boss of the joint, he marches back to the kitchen for a chat with his baker:

ROTHSTEIN: From now on, I want you to put an equal amount of blueberries in each muffin — an equal amount of blueberries in each muffin.

BAKER: Do you know how long that’s going to take?

ROTHSTEIN: I don’t care how long it takes. Put an equal amount in each muffin.

My diagnosis is that Ace suffers from OCD, obsessive compulsive disorder. But if that’s not the case, then I’d hazard that Mr. Rothstein is a hardcore leftist, as he’s exhibiting the classic leftwing fixation — equality. A lefty is like a child at a birthday party complaining that another kid got a bigger piece of cake than he did.

In a conversation about equal treatment of the sexes — I forget whether we were talking about the military draft, unisex bathrooms, or what — a young woman actually told me that “equal” doesn’t mean “the same.” Uh, yes it does. Equal means the same in all respects; identical; no differences whatsoever. Indeed, “equal” equals equal.

If “equal” doesn’t mean equal, then all thought is for naught. Mathematics and logic are out the door. Without the ability to conceptualize absolute equality, Homo sapiens would be Homo sappy ones. We wouldn’t have gone to the Moon, invented computers, nor done any of the things that have set us apart from the lesser primates, like leftists.

In his majority opinion in Rostker v. Goldberg (1981), Justice Rehnquist wrote: “The Constitution requires that Congress treat similarly situated persons similarly, not that it engage in gestures of superficial equality.”

What an unfortunate formulation — what the devil is “superficial equality”? Imagine how mathematicians would receive: 2 + 2 superficially equals 4. Also, the words “similarly situated” and “superficial” don’t appear in the Constitution. “Equal,” however, does.

What Rehnquist should have written in Kostker is something more like this: “The Constitution requires that Congress [make a good faith effort to treat everyone equally].” That would be a “gesture” even I could sign onto.

In the “real world” we operate in, equality is nonexistent. Even so, equality is the big obsession of the Left. Despite the impossibility of achieving equality, the Left worships at its altar, and like the Pharisee, they do so very publicly. For instance, the Democratic National Committee tried to honor Nancy Pelosi for her time as Speaker, but she rejected the honor, wanting the DNC to add mention of her “accomplishments for equality.”

What America should embrace is Compassionate Social Darwinism™. Under CSD™, government would make a good faith effort to see that no one starves nor freezes to death. Rather than worrying about whether everyone has an equal slice of the pie, government would give the indigent just enough gruel to sustain life, and they would sleep on concrete floors in heated warehouses.

As for health care, under CSD™ the uninsured poor would get compassionate pain relief, such as free aspirin. But there’d be no liver transplants for destitute alcoholics. And if the poor can’t pay for their Viagra, they’ll just have to do without.

The “leftist mind” has been undone by its allegiance to bad ideas, ideas like their version of equality. The Left, a.k.a. progressives, would do better by pushing other ideas, ideas that have a chance of being realized. How about the idea of “niceness”?

If the Left’s obsession were niceness, then they could harangue everyone about whether everyone’s lot in life were nice (not equally nice, mind you, just nice). Then Al Sharpton could orate: “The dream was to make everything [nice] in everybody’s house.”

Niceness, however, doesn’t have the same advantages as equality. The Left, you see, uses equality to divide America, and they’re not very nice about it. Outcomes must be equal, even though people aren’t.

The Left has tried to make conservatism out to be some psychological abnormality. But the Left is the faction whose highest commitment is to something that can’t be realized on this earth. That doesn’t speak well for their mental health. If government could create equality, we’d all be wretched. But hey, at least we’d all be equal.

(Here’s a video of the scene from Casino, and here’s a jazzy version.)

Jon N. Hall is a programmer/analyst from Kansas City. • (950 views)

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One Response to The Left’s Big Obsession

  1. Timothy Lane says:

    Dennis Prager has argued that the problem with liberals is that they place equality above freedom, which thus gets badly slighted since equality (as conceived by liberals) is impossible to achieve. In reality, however, I think leftists (which isn’t precisely the same thing as liberals, at least in theory) use equality as the excuse to deny freedom (which they oppose, at least for others). Certainly they never concern themselves with making others equal to the Nomenklatura (aka the clerisy). Equality is simply a principle that can be convenient to use on occasion.

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