A Blunt Open Letter from a Conservative to His Friends on the Left


Dear friends on the left,

Even though we disagree on an enormous number of issues, if you’re reading this I think fondly of you. And that fondness, combined with my love of freedom and America and my horror at what’s happening in our streets, leads me to write this blunt piece. Hopefully at least a few of you will read this.

If you’re actively on the left right now, please leave. I beg you.

The left is the mortal enemy of America, bent on its destruction. What’s happening in America’s streets should be enough to show you that.

Maybe you say, “I don’t support them, but I sympathize with their goals.” Please remember that the leftists of yesterday — Marxist Communists — knew if they could get just 1 percent of any population to convert and 9 percent of that same population to sympathize, they could take the population over.

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If you sympathize with the left but don’t act on its behalf, you’re still one of the 9 percent helping that 1 percent bent on destroying America.

What we’re seeing in the streets isn’t about race; otherwise, minority neighborhoods wouldn’t be the ones being looted and burned to the ground.

A picture that will remain seared in my memory for years is the one showing a church’s sign with large magnetic letters underneath the logo declaring, “Black Lives Matter.”

The sign was on fire as the rest of the area blazed from riots supposedly done to show black lives matter.

What we’re seeing isn’t rioting over police brutality. In Minneapolis, riots broke out after a homicide suspect committed suicide while police were nearby.

He killed himself and the result was rioting. That’s not about race. That’s about an excuse, an excuse to take peace from Americans and instill fear in its place — fear that defiance of the left will result in similar riots in your neighborhood.

What we’re seeing are anarchists being used by very shrewd, very devout leftists. None of this, so far, is new, and none of this sounds like you (at least the you I once knew).

Look at every other leftist or communist revolution in history. They all look eerily similar. Civil society and innocent lives destroyed by marauding bands declaring themselves justice seekers for the rest of society — or social justice warriors, if you will.

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One thing, however, is new. This nascent leftist revolution is happening in the oldest living republic on the planet, and that, ironically, makes America more vulnerable to this revolution in a particular and unexpected way.

The American Constitution enshrines protections for protests, speech, association and economic self-determination. As Victor Davis Hanson recently pointed out, those protections have created a world in which rioters can

1) Count on the same due process they defy in dealing with others, since it will keep them from being beaten to death en masse by cops in the streets.

2) Count on the same First Amendment they decry, since it allows them to raise their bullhorns and shout obscenities and spread anti-American rhetoric without fear of reprisal from the government or other citizens.

3) Count on the unfathomably powerful free-enterprise American economy they call exploitative, since it lets them leave civil society, sow chaos, produce nothing of value and still have food on the table when they come home from a hard night’s looting.

4) Count on the technology crafted by post-war technology the U.S. made possible, since it allows them to spread a message of hate for the U.S., free-market economies and the post-war world.

5) Count on being allowed to scream “microaggression” when someone mispronounces a name but also think it’s perfectly fine to scream in perfect strangers’ faces in an attempt to intimidate them into capitulating to the left’s moral, political and social superiority. (Consider how these same screamers would respond if they saw someone screaming at an animal the way they scream at human beings — they would almost certainly call for jail time).

Friends, I just can’t believe most of you, in your heart of hearts, support this. Most of you are goodhearted and feel driven to correct inequities you see all over your worlds. That’s usually good.

But when you throw in with the left, you’re not throwing in to correct these inequities. You instead are actively working to transform the world’s oldest living republic into the world’s newest dystopia, because dystopia is unfailingly the end product of leftism.

The left killed 100 million innocent men, women and children in the 20th century. And the only thing that has changed is that humans have gotten much better at killing each other. If we allow leftism to begin spreading again, how many more millions will die of malnutrition, in re-education camps (as is happening in China with the Muslim minority as you read this) and from territorial squabbles?

Yes, you’re right: There is inequality in the U.S. and in free-market economies. But those free-market economies, led by the U.S., have lifted more people out of poverty around the globe in the last 50 years than the last 500 combined. No leftist nation did that or even helped do that in any significant way.

We have doubled life expectancy worldwide since 1913 thanks to technology that has come from free-market economies, not leftist revolutionary states.

Thanks to free-enterprise technology and U.S. Navy-protected shipping lanes, between the years 1990 and 2013, over a billion people were lifted out of extreme poverty. That’s roughly 119,000 human beings per day, every day, for 23 solid years. Leftist states can make no claim that comes within light-years of that.

No leftist experiment has ever accomplished these things. Additionally, no two free-market, liberal (as in Jeffersonian, not leftist) nations have ever fought a war. Communist nations have no problem annexing each other with the use of tanks, planes and bombs.

My friends, I can’t believe that you think a world where we’re all closer to equal but all radically more miserable and poorer is a good one. But that’s the world we face when we consider turning power over to the left. It has never, ever ended otherwise.

Venezuela is just the latest in a long line of horrible, failed leftist experiments, where, yes, the majority of people have been equalized, but they are now equally less well-off than the poor before the leftists took over. That’s not progress. It’s just equality of misery and deprivation.

Conservatives and traditional Americans don’t eye the left suspiciously because we want inequality. We distrust the left because we know that the equality leftism brings is horrific and far worse than even the most horrible conditions under free-market economies in nations that follow Judeo-Christian values.

Do you think a leftist vision for America would lead our country down a dystopian path?

Friends, if you care for the poor, the unfortunate, the forgotten and the marginalized, you’re not alone. Believe it or not, we conservatives also want to help those cast away and forgotten. And to help them, as we see it, is not to swell their ranks through leftist policies.

The most reliable way to help them is to embrace classical liberalism (again, Jefferson) and work to create a world where government is small (to keep us free), virtue is enshrined (to provide help for the underclass) and the left is kept as distant as possible to prevent decent people from being manipulated by those who crave power, the attainment of which will invariably lead to the very things you, my dear friends, and I both hate.

A final thought: The entire world flirted with authoritarian leftism for a time. As authoritarian powers rampaged across the world in the 1940s, Winston Churchill famously said that the lights were going out all across Europe, meaning that free societies were falling to authoritarian regimes. Nazi, communist, Japanese imperialist, leftist, fascist. The name matters little when repression and socialist policies are the end goal.

The end of that flirtation was the death of 100 million innocent civilians at the hands of communism.

BLM, antifa, Democratic Socialists of America, American communists, race rioters. Again, the name matters little when the end result is the overthrow of freedom and the lights going out. The freedom we enjoy today is a very rare exception to the vast majority of human history, steeped in grinding poverty, horrible disease, starvation and morbidity. And this exceptionally free state we live in is fragile.

Please, friends, leave the authoritarian left. Before history begins to repeat itself, this fragile respite from history breaks and the lights start going out again.

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Josh Manning is deputy managing editor for assignment at The Western Journal. He holds a masters in public policy from Harvard University and has a background in higher education.
Josh Manning grew up outside of Memphis, TN and developed a love of history, politics, and government studies thanks to a life-changing history and civics teacher named Mr. McBride.

He holds an MPP from Harvard University and a BA from Lyon College, a small but distinguished liberal arts college where later in his career he served as an interim vice president.

While in school he did everything possible to confront, discomfit, and drive ivy league liberals to their knees.

After a number of years working in academe, he moved to digital journalism and opinion. Since that point, he has held various leadership positions at The Western Journal.

He's married to a gorgeous blonde who played in the 1998 NCAA women's basketball championship game, and he has two teens who hate doing dishes more than poison. He makes life possible for two boxers -- "Hank" Rearden Manning and "Tucker" Carlson Manning -- and a pitbull named Nikki Haley "Gracie" Manning.
MPP from Harvard University, BA from Lyon College
Phoenix, Arizona
Languages Spoken
English, tiny fragments of college French
Topics of Expertise
Writing, politics, Christianity, social media curation, higher education, firearms