During my time in the collectivist #RegressiveLeft I fully bought into Democratic Socialism. I believed, like many do today, that the government shouldn't make my shoes, build my car, own farms and that kind of thing but was fully willing to accept government redistribution of wealth programs. For example, I supported authoritarian measures like limiting individual income as well as having some rather degenerate opinions on obscenity and other things that normal people might bristle at.
In 2008 I voted for Barack Obama. I did it again in 2012. Now I find the idea of voting for a Democrat repulsive because the party has been completely captured by the Regressive Left. The feminists and the Social Justice Warriors are in control of the Democratic party, despite all of the president's words about not coddling college students. If you need any further proof of this you need only to look at how Clinton and Sanders trip over themselves to be more in line with Black Lives Matter despite BLM being built on an insidious lie.
In those days I would've believed the BLM lie. I would've been a full-throated Sanders supporter. Many of my friends bristle when I compare Sanders to Trump. To be perfectly honest I am far more concerned about Sanders and his demagoguery than I am with Donald Trump and his brutish language and policy proposals. Sanders clearly represents the worst bullying tendencies of the Regressive Left, as is evident by his demonization of the wealthy and conservatives.
Democrats have been publicly opposed to the wealthy for a long time. Sanders takes a different approach, suggesting that a return to a 90% upper tax rate would be appropriate. Obviously this is a fantasy proposal but what most don't understand is that it is tyrannical. I still support a progressive tax rate to some degree though not nearly to the degree I had in the past. Placing full weight of the tax system on the wealthiest Americans is tyrannical when that rate becomes oppressive. I see little difference between this and the jizya that non-Muslims are forced to pay in Islamic societies. Both rely on a threat of real violence to enforce.
I had at one point in my life supported a functional limit on wealth. A 90% tax rate is a functional income limit. In effect, the state takes the wealth earned by individuals and seizes it to give to those who have nothing. To a degree government does this when there is some form of social safety net. The difference now is that Sanders justifies it through the use of a distorted concept of social justice that pits 'Americans' against the wealthy elite. Traditionally presidential candidates wax poetic about the American dream and the ability of any person to join the wealthy with hard work and smart decision making.
When I was a Social Justice Warrior I internalized the victim narrative that is required to believe that the wealthy elite are not Americans – that the wealthy elite are not human. I would relish stories from progressive outlets like US Uncut, Air America, MSNBC and the rest that showed the crimes of the Koch brothers or demonized Ronald Reagan or suggested that Dick Cheney was some demonic villain. Part of living in the world of the Regressive Left is to shut off the part of the brain responsible for critical thinking. Ideology shuts down the process of dialogue by destroying the ability of people to critically think.
If this political season requires anything it is the ability of voters and the media to think critically. When Donald Trump is smeared by the media using rhetoric that is eerily similar to that of Bernie Sanders you know that critical thinking is missing in the debate today. What is needed now is a return to critical thinking and an abandonment of ideology. The US and the West broadly is poised for a new kind of political realignment, one that pits authoritarians against libertarians. The old Left/Right dominance of politics may be dead for the foreseeable future. The politics of authoritarianism relies on the abandonment of critical thinking. It's how a figure like Trump can be turned into Hitler without actually examining his political positions. The best criticisms of Trump come from the political Right, which see him as a moderate. If you only listen to the mainstream media without investigating him you'll think he is an arch-conservative. Ideology preys on our inability or lack of desire to investigate the truth for ourselves. I know this from experience.