By Richard Kirk
I Know Best: How Moral Narcissism Is Destroying Our Republic, If It Hasn’t Already, by Roger L. Simon, New York: Encounter Books, June 14, 2016 (296 pages, $25.99, Hardback)
Why do few people change their political views “even in the face of literally earthshaking world events” like 9/11? Roger Simon’s answer to that question is “moral narcissism.” His book explains the nature and consequences of this malady that was largely spawned by members of the “Least Great Generation” – folks, including the author (1943), born during or shortly before World War Two. These are radical wannabes that include John Lennon (1940), Tom Hayden (1939), Abbie Hoffman (1936), and Gloria Steinem (1934).
An illustration of moral narcissism not employed by Simon is the Seinfeld character Elaine – a woman whose sense of moral worth is derived from opinions that coincide with fashionable progressivism (Greenpeace activism, contempt for pro-lifers, contempt for her boyfriend’s “Jesus fish,” contempt for Christian music radio presets, contempt for women wearing fur coats). Despite a largely self-centered, shallow, and promiscuous life, Elaine is convinced she’s a “good humanitarian” and proves it by self-consciously complimenting her waitress on “doing a great job.”
The examples provided by Simon, unfortunately, aren’t fictional and have had disastrous, perhaps fatal, consequences for the nation – fashionable anti-capitalist Marxism (espoused by thousands of well compensated professors as well as Pope Francis); a nostalgia for racism that stokes racial hatred by inventing micro-aggressions that supposedly explain and thus excuse black criminality; climate change ideologues who declare the issue settled (a ridiculously anti-scientific assertion) and who label anyone who dissents from the media-enforced consensus (even MIT’s premier climatologist, Richard Lindzen) a “denier.”
Radical environmentalism is another arena where moral narcissism flourishes – a movement whose DDT ban, spawned in 1962 by Rachel Carson’s Silent Spring, led to hundreds of thousands of malaria deaths in Africa. Then there is the non-judgmental, all-religions-are-equal view of Islam that blames Western imperialism for causing terrorism – a pat-oneself-on-the-back brand of “tolerance” that ignores or chooses to remain ignorant of Islam’s bloody, expansionist history prior to the era of Western imperialism.
Read more: American Thinker
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