The paladins of political correctness continue to enforce prohibitions on taboo ideas on campus, in the workplace and in the national conversation. Thankfully, many brave and vocal conservatives remain willing to question conventional wisdom. For the remainder, a little hypocrisy can work wonders as they seek to reconcile radical liberal orthodoxy with their own observations and experiences. These conservatives, looking to survive, increasingly opt to “talk left” and “live right.”
Liberals rail against supposedly rampant structural inequalities, and cite disparate impacts as proof of inherent racism and sexism. Women and minorities are broadly disadvantaged, according to this perspective, due to the evils of “white privilege.” Structural bias counts more than individual effort, so that neither success nor failure is truly earned.
Yet, in red and blue states, parents warn their children not to blame their teacher for a bad grade, coaches counsel players not to blame the referee for a loss, and employees know that a bad boss is no excuse for shoddy work. There’s a reason Americans continue to flock to rags-to-riches stories and the ideal of the American dream in popular culture. Personal responsibility and effort aren’t substitutes for rigorous enforcement of anti-discrimination statutes, but the claim that economic outcomes are socially predetermined contradicts most people’s real-world experience and can sometimes become self-fulfilling.
Liberals embrace multiculturalism, claiming all cultures are at least morally and practically equivalent, while they also denigrate Western culture as intrinsically tied to a history of slavery and colonialism. College campuses are filled with students and professors arguing that America is the greatest threat to world peace and development. Yet despite the West’s imperfections, modern liberal democracy still offers the best governing system on earth to promote freedom and human dignity. Few women would willingly trade its equality for the female genital mutilations, child marriage, sex-selective abortions and other gender-based injustices found in other societies. Even a Churchillian acknowledgment from the left that American culture is the least-bad choice would be progress.