The Left’s Phantom Wars

On Monday, as Vladimir Putin waged an actual war in Ukraine, Bashar Assad waged an actual war in Syria, and a Nigerian terror group waged an actual war on underage girls, President Barack Obama announced his own war on “climate disruption.” White House adviser John Podesta explained on Monday afternoon that Obama would be acting alone to push new regulations under the Clean Air Act to combat climate change. That announcement came in the wake of an 840-page report from the federal government suggesting that the globe is on the verge of a meltdown: “Climate change, once considered an issue for a distant future, has moved firmly into the present.”

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That’s hardly the only war in which the left is currently engaged. The left is fighting a war on racism — a war in which the declared enemy is America, given that America is apparently plagued by “hidden bias.” That’s the newest term trotted out by MTV, which has launched its “look different” initiative, in coordination with shakedown groups like the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the NAACP, the National Council of La Raza and the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation. The goal: to convince young people that while they aren’t overtly racist, they hold secret racist beliefs that can only be cleansed by embracing the leftist agenda. The war must go on, after all, even if the enemy has been largely vanquished.

There’s the left’s phantom war on sexism, too, in which Democrats claim women are victimized by a male patriarchy. Women, leftists say, earn significantly less than men, despite studies showing that in most major cities, young women without children and with the same jobs as men earn significantly more. Women, leftists say, are victimized by a conservative religious minority that doesn’t want to pay for their birth control. Again, the enemies of women remain faceless — but we are told they lurk behind every corner. The winning strategy, once again: embrace leftism.

The war on poverty continues apace, as well. The latest incarnation: the war on income inequality — a war specifically geared toward endlessness. After all, sans Communist revolution, income inequality will always exist. And according to the left, it will always require rectification.

Today’s leftism tilts at windmills rather than fighting real opponents. It ignores actual conflict in favor of broader, amorphous battles with shapeless opponents and no clear measures of victory. After all, how will we know if we defeat climate change? There is no way to tell whether we did it, or whether the global temperature was set to drop anyway. How will we know if we defeat sexism? Clearly, the left believes that women in the workplace in record numbers and achievement of equal pay for equal work doesn’t do the trick. How will we know if we defeat racism? The left has already moved the goalposts from equal opportunity to equal result, an unachievable pipe dream in the absence of totalitarian control.

And so the wars go on — endless, expensive, draining. They sap America of our vitality, our strength and most importantly, our core values. But at least, the left tells us, we have gained heaven: an everlasting unearned moral superiority over our fellow nonracist, nonsexist, non-poverty-hating Americans.

Ben Shapiro, 30, is a graduate of UCLA and Harvard Law School, a radio host on KTTH 770 Seattle and KRLA 870 Los Angeles, Editor-in-Chief of, and Senior Editor-at-Large of Breitbart News. He is the New York Times bestselling author of “Bullies: How the Left’s Culture of Fear and Intimidation Silences America.” He lives with his wife and daughter in Los Angeles.

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