The Mask of Conformity

For the last fifty years, as the counterculture has turned tolerance of their norms into acceptance, the majority of Americans have been told by their supposed betters that they are racist, sexist, and homophobic. The last one has always puzzled me. There are those I assume who are unfairly bigoted against gays because of their sexual preference. But afraid of them, as in “phobic”? Not quite sure that holds up.

Obama’s line about clinging to guns and the bible and, of course, Hillary’s branding of those who disagree with her “deplorables” are cases in point. They are installments in the hard left plan to move the cultural goalposts so far to port that what used to be considered liberal is offensive and what used to be moderate or conservative should be, as in their Orwellian construct, a thought crime.

It’s not just a matter of right versus left. The campaign, to use Bill Bennett’s phrase, to dumb down deviancy proceeds apace. People who can’t think critically are easier to guide down whatever road the shepherd deems necessary. In film, self-destructive vices have been applauded as points of pride. Television strives every new season to break whatever boundary of taste it broke last season. Many kinds of popular music, rap is a good example; celebrate brutality, real misogyny, and exceedingly bad grammar. The last indictment being the worst. The way it’s going, ten years from now snuff flicks from HBO may be the new thing to titillate the limp biscuits of the cosmopolitan pseudoelite.

All this in an attempt to be edgy, adolescent, and avant-garde. When in reality, as they won this phase of the culture war decades ago, what they are is tremendously conformist. They wear the mask they must to tell themselves they are sticking it to the man, speaking truth to power, and ad nauseum in their clumsy phrasing. But it’s hard to be a rebel when all in your circle and the powers that be agree with most everything you’re saying. This is what happens when the counterculture becomes the culture.

The left demands intellectual and cultural conformity or you will pay a price. No, we’re not at the point of no return yet, as some on the right exaggerate to say we are. But the path is there for all to see. That’s why it’s so amusing to see the left talk about the repressive conformist 50s or McCarthyism. They have since erected a system so narrow-minded and punishing of intellectual diversity that it would put June Cleaver, Roy Cohn, or any book-banning librarian of 1904 to shame. They play at rebellion all the while gaining points from their sponsors over their make- believe Che routine.

But there was a time when the status quo, like today, was leftist and many, including youth, consigned it to the dustbin and went their own way. The last time that happened was the late 1970s.

Now, yes, true, I am a product of that era and so my bias tells. However, as a product of that era I can use myself, and my many contemporaries who I know, not to mention election results and cultural markers, to prove my point.

The late 70s saw the first light of the 60s counterculture victory. But there were still large pockets of resistance, as the ruling culture of traditional values remained in many positions of decisive influence. One beachhead the 60s crew did hold though, by 1977, was the presidency by the election of Jimmy Carter.

Bob Dylan-quoting, détente-buying, lamb to slaughter liberal darling Carter was now the ultimate face of the establishment. However, since there hadn’t been enough time to thoroughly indoctrinate the young, many kids decided, with punk and prep as vanguards, to actually rebel against his example and fight the ideology and culture that brought him to power.

For the need of adolescents to rebel is strong and the establishment, as a substitute sometimes for mom and dad, is a fine place to start. So we, class of 79 myself, started listening to music and wearing clothes, both in anarchist and anachronistic rebellion, that did not at all comport with the polyester cardigan-wearing flower power motif of the Carter administration. The Sex Pistols and Animal House were two sides of that same coin. Poles apart, but both rejected the bland bleating of the metropolitan liberal consensus and also that of the new but growing hard left. It was music and a movie, as in days before the schmaltzy Bolshie-lite 70s, that your parents didn’t like.

As such, when we had a chance to vote for president many of us voted GOP and Reagan, as our adolescent rebellion turned into adult principles. As the 80s progressed into what is now considered a conservative decade, in fact the age of the heroic conservatism of Reagan, Thatcher, and JPII, we saw the leftist hive gaining strength and still rebelled against it. We do to this day.

But a funny thing happened to teenage rebellion under Clinton then Obama, as the left took firmer control of the culture. The straw men of rampant and intrinsic (despite all evidence to the contrary) sexism, racism, and homophobia became the targets of, much planned by the left, kiddie rebellion. The status quo, the real powers that be, the once derided older generation, was left to rule as long as they bowed to the same leftist idols as indoctrinated teenagers did. The dictatorship of petulant and bogus-victimized perpetual adolescence became the norm. Christine Blasey Ford is our latest example of that norm incarnate.

As we saw at that confirmation circus, God help anyone who tried to behave as an adult and accept fact, not emotion. Empirical evidence, not weepy sanctimony. Try that and the Bolshie Borg descends upon you.

The fight the power mask these automatons wear is easily ripped off by their own need to please their masters. How many of them would wear a MAGA hat to a sociology course at an Ivy League school? Now, that would be rebellion.

But, real rebellion takes a certain courage because you might pay a price. However, when you’re lauded by a leftist media outlet for a leftist stance on, say, gun control, it’s not courage. It’s sycophancy.

And while it’s not true of all young people or even all liberals —some still are only misguided, not treacherous— the fake hippies and ersatz revolutionaries will screech and bellow loud enough to be heard in DC, NYC, and LA. Those elderly and middle-aged leftists who manipulate the strings on these toddler puppets will hear them and grin, have another glass of pinot, and comfort themselves in the present day conformist naiveté of youth and the consistent cultural guile of the hard left.

The opinions expressed here by contributors are their own and are not the view of OpsLens which seeks to provide a platform for experience-driven commentary on today's trending headlines in the U.S. and around the world. Have a different opinion or something more to add on this topic? Contact us for guidelines on submitting your own experience-driven commentary.
David Kamioner

David Kamioner is a veteran of US Army Intelligence, serving with the Pershing Nuclear Brigade and the First Infantry Division. Subsequent to that he worked as a political consultant for over fifteen years and ran a homeless shelter for veterans in Philadelphia for four years. He currently is a Public Relations consultant in Washington, DC and lives in Annapolis, MD.

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