Thomas Sowell has written three articles on the Left and the masses at Town Hall. In the first article he writes
…Surely the intelligentsia of the left have access to empirical evidence and the wit to understand such evidence. But the real question is whether they have the stomach to face the prospect that their crusades have hurt the very people they claim to be helping.
…Examining hard evidence would mean gambling a whole vision of the world — and of their own role in that world — on a single throw of the dice, which is what looking at hard evidence amounts to. The path of least resistance is to continue going through life feeling good about themselves, while leaving havoc in their wake.
Read more here.
In the second article he wrote
…the left in general, and Hispanic activists in particular, have fought against leaving Hispanic parents with that choice. At the heart of the left's vision of the world — and of themselves — is that they know better what is good for other people. This means that the left sees itself as having both a right and a duty to take away other people's options.
This issue was fought out 18 years ago, in a California referendum on so-called “bilingual education,” which in practice meant largely teaching Hispanic school children in Spanish. All the forces of political correctness, including the media and the educational establishment, argued in favor of teaching those children in Spanish, even when their parents wanted them taught in English.
Despite a barrage of propaganda from the media and other organs of the left, a majority of California voters sided with Hispanic parents, and passed a law forbidding schools from imposing Spanish on children whose parents wanted them taught in English.
But the left never gives up on their pet notions. This year there is a new proposition on the California ballot — Proposition 58, very misleadingly phrased — that would take that choice away from parents, and let schools impose teaching in Spanish to Hispanic children, whether the parents want it or not.
…There is the same dogged resistance on the left to allowing black parents to choose to have their children educated in charter schools that are part of the public school system, but are not subject to all the bureaucratic rules that lead to such bad results in other public schools.
…When it comes to crime and violence, the political left, including much of the media, are having a great time demonizing the police. Blacks are the biggest victims of the sharp upturn in murders that has followed. But, yet again, hard evidence carries very little weight when the left is feeling good about themselves, while leaving havoc in their wake.
The absurdity to which this kind of media frenzy about the police can lead is shown by the fact that a black policeman in Charlotte, North Carolina, shooting a black suspect who had a gun, has been blown up into a racial issue across the nation. Have we become so gullible that we are so easily manipulated and stampeded?
Read more here.
In part three Sowell explains where the term “the Left” came from.
Claiming the role of champions of the masses is something the political left has been doing ever since there has been a political left — which is to say, ever since the late 18th century, when people with such views sat on the left side of the French National Assembly.
…What role is there for the masses in the vision of the left?
One role is to provide a moral basis for the left to claim power, as defenders of the downtrodden. No secular doctrine has so swept across the world so swiftly, and with such widespread political impact as Marxism in the 20th century. Its central premise is that the workers are poor because their employers have exploited them.
…The political left in general has been able to claim that they have more compassion for the less fortunate, and to depict their opponents as lacking in compassion for others. For none of these assertions have they felt a need to offer hard evidence.
Such evidence as exists contradicts those assertions. An empirical study titled “Who Really Cares” by Arthur C. Brooks found that conservatives donate a higher percentage of their incomes to philanthropic causes, as well as more hours of their time as volunteers, and they donate far more blood.
Another study showed that President Ronald Reagan donated a higher percentage of his income to philanthropic causes than such liberal icons as President Franklin D. Roosevelt and Senator Ted Kennedy.
What may be more remarkable than these findings is that the left was able to get away with asserting the opposite for years, without evidence being asked for or given.
Read more here.