In Defense of Niceness in Politics
“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ No other commandment is greater than these.” Mark 12:30,31 (ESV)
I have studied this passage in multiple English translations. I have read it in the original Greek from the Alexandrian-type codex, the Byzantine Textus Receptus, and others. I cannot find footnotes, caveats, provisos, carve outs, or exceptions to the rule. We are supposed to love our neighbors whether they are black, white, gay, straight, transgendered, conservative, or progressive.
Essentially, this means that the way some on the right want to fight the left these days is incompatible with Christianity. I have lost count of the conservatives screaming “No more Mr. Nice Guy.” Nice guys finish last has rapidly become the conventional wisdom of a Republican base that just saw its mean-tweeter-in-chief lose along with a bunch of angry progressives. The GOP very nearly took back the House of Representatives unexpectedly because American rejected the politicians who defended burning down America and defunding the police and also rejected the guy whose constant nastiness wore them out.
We have reached an unfortunate point where people who are nice are mocked as losers. Again, however, the results of the November election showed the nice guys were largely the winners. Say what you will about Joe Biden, but a strange coalition of voters voted for him because they were just exhausted by the prior four years’ drama.
There is also another reason to be a nice person and a happy warrior instead of a scowling scold. The truth is that most Americans are opposed to Woke-o Haram, the social justice Karens who would cancel Mr. Potato and ruin a life for a misspoken pronoun. But the left has cultural clout with the Fortune 500. The progressive social justice warriors leading a slow rolling cultural revolution have taken over the cultural institutions of Hollywood and corporate America.
Even in the Trump Administration, the Trump controlled Centers for Disease Control and Prevention expressed its initial intention to vaccinate “underprivileged communities” prior to vaccinating those people most vulnerable to COVID-19.
The CDC, despite conservative outrage, set about administering its plan to vaccinate young minority groups ahead of the elderly. Only when progressives opposed to Woke-o Haram’s threats and demands vocally spoke up did the CDC back down. When Disney fired Gina Carano for an Instagram post, conservatives pointed out the truly awful things other Disney affiliated actors and directors had tweeted. One had even posted about dropping Trump supporters into a wood chipper. But Disney, now fully invested in social justice nonsense, is predisposed against cultural conservatism. It will stand with the left every time. Nike, which turns a blind eye to China’s totalitarian brutality while lecturing Americans on social justice, is similarly situated. Apple, Twitter, Google, Amazon, and other tech giants are predisposed to address the complaints of Woke-o Haram and ignore the non-woke.
Amazon just stopped selling When Harry Became Sally, a book by scholar Ryan T. Anderson, the president of the Ethics and Public Policy Center. His book on transgenderism is highly regarded, but opposed to the transgender agenda. Amazon not only stopped selling it, but is prohibiting anyone from selling the book through Amazon, from which 80% of all book purchases are made. Should you wish to buy Adolph Hitler’s Mein Kampf, Amzon will gladly sell it to you.
The social justice warriors of the left are angry. Their corporate and academic allies have fed the rage. The woke have cultural, institutional clout that conservatives do not have. To match anger with anger is not the smart play for conservatives. Instead, match anger with a smile and a closed fist with an outstretched hand. Rightwing activists who misinterpreted both Trump’s win and his loss might be surprised to learn being nice and loving your neighbor is not only Christ like, but gets more votes than Woke-O Haram’s censoriousness and riots.