“Be ye therefore perfect, even as your Father which is in heaven is perfect.” – Matthew 5:48 (KJV)
Anyone who has read any of my “Skeptic’s” columns, especially those published after the last disastrous presidential election, will know that one of my favorite targets is a group I refer to variously as “boutique progressives” or “liberal purists”, the latter term borrowed from Bill Maher, who has the same grievance against progressives. What (Bill and) I mean by that are liberals, left-wingers, progressives who insist that a political candidate, in order to be worthy of our support, absolutely must conform to every principle, every jot and tittle, of progressive ideology, without exception. They must, in other words, be ideologically perfect, i.e., the kind of perfection demanded of Chri
I recently engaged in a Facebook discussion with a couple of Facebook friends regarding the kerfuffle about some disparaging comments the chef / gourmet-show host Andrew Zimmern made here and here about Chinese food, and Asian food generally, in the US. Considering that the conversation about Zimmern’s critique occurred among three Facebook friends, my remarks were uncharacteristically sharp. (One Facebook friend said "abrasive".) What aroused my ire was that the Zimmern critique provoked yet another round of bend-over-backward-til-your-vertebrae-crack political correctness that evidently holds that all works on the part of people of color, particularly people of color who are recent immigrants, should be immune from open and honest criticism and replaced by approbation on the part of
Progressives need to grow the hell up.
What they need to outgrow is a certain prominent feature I have noticed in the political psychology of progressivism, especially – though certainly not exclusively – religiously grounded / motivated progressivism. Progressives, both religious and secular, entertain a certain, usually more or less implicit, nostalgia for perfection ... the perfect political candidate in particular. Sometimes they think they actually find such a candidate ... Barack Obama, Bernie Sanders, etc. ... and become over-the-top enthusiastic for the candidacy of that person. Sometimes that candidate ends up being elected. But then -- as is bound to happen -- the progressive favorite, once in office, fails in addressing some issue especially close to the hearts of progres