On Sunday, alleged comedian Michael Ian Black tweeted out a bumper sticker that could easily be taken as the slogan for the modern Left:
Everything, you see, is political. There is no room for simply living; there is no room for family or sports or entertainment or church, no room for any individual or communal activity that would create room to breathe in our society. Family is political because the form of the family is itself political; sports is political because it promotes certain meritocratic values — or alternatively, underscores broader injustices in American society; theater is political because every show contains certain values.
In religious circles, there is a popular idea that all of life should be infused with Godly evanescence — that awareness of God’s presence should permeate our lives. This means that we should see each other as images of God, and treat each other accordingly. It also means that we should pay attention to God’s rules in our daily lives.
But politics isn’t religion. It’s just a manifestation of values in the societal arena — a smaller arena than “life.” But when distinctions between individual and community degrade, everything becomes political. And so the Left promotes the idea that the personal is the political.
That was a slogan of the New Left during the 1960s; the idea was that life itself was a mere lived political experience, and that you should make your choices based on how they would play into societal structures. That’s a recipe for the destruction of communal space, an argument for the rise of a homogeneous societal standard based on the values of the cultural Left. And it means that we can’t live together. Someone has to win, and someone has to lose.
The Left has been fighting this war for decades. They haven’t won yet. Trump is, in large measure, a backlash to the idea that everything must be political. But Ian Black’s agenda will be promulgated by the Left nonetheless. It’s a core notion for those who elevate the political at the expense of the interpersonal.