Progressive moral ambiguity I: A progressively disposable generation
By Michael Moriarty
web posted November 24, 2008
"Moral ambiguity" was a phrase that leapt indelibly into my memory from the pages of a review of United 93, the film about the tragic flight on 9/11 that never made its target in Washington D.C. Instead, the flight was bravely but tragically aborted in Pennsylvania by the intervention of several American passengers who chose to struggle with the hijackers rather than submit to them.
No, the Americans didn't attack the hijackers out of any suicidal impulse.
They certainly didn't ever consider the terrorists justified by some level of "moral ambiguity"!
However, the critic who came up with this singularly breathtaking point of view, his name must be carved somewhere secretly in Dante's Inferno … or he holds some obscure copy of Our Beliefs by Leopold and Loeb.
In short, the passengers' self-respect, unlike that of the film critic, would simply not allow them to be the passive victims of an evil plan. Nor would they, in contrast to the critic, be sold on the Progressive certainty that they were in a condition of "moral ambiguity".
"Evil" is obviously a word which this particular reviewer of United 93 would most certainly take exception to.
The name of the critic in question escapes me … thank God!
Furthermore, in light of the not-so-recent past, his name is almost inconsequential.
What his review projected was a Progressive morality that has increasingly infiltrated the entire American educational system, starting from the top of the Ivy League on down.
"Morally ambiguous" – this classically unforgettable, two-word exoneration of terrorism so encompasses an entire era of Progressive ethics and "Radical Chic", the kind so well recorded by the author Tom Wolfe. The wealthy denizens of this Olympian lair shared cocktails with the Black Panthers and bon mots with the likes of William Ayers.
Given this over-three-decade-long, growing conviction and faith in the end of morality per se, "moral ambiguity" is a theme that deserves the three-segment editorial I am giving it.
There are no longer, according to the Progressives, any … or at least fewer and fewer … moral absolutes.
Good and evil are now the irrelevant principal players in a pre-historic melodrama, an entertainment doomed to extinction with the long-awaited end of history as we know it.
This, in addition to being post-historic, is all very "post-modern" … and, if you're confused, just know that "post-modern" is a Progressive euphemism for "Post -Marxism".
Therefore, as Marxism waxes, the concept of good versus evil wanes.
You will need this insight into Progressive "moral ambiguity" to help you comprehend Barack Obama's foreign and domestic policies … not to mention his fully committed support for legalized abortion.
A recent, undeniably "post-modern" film … well, one I just saw recently on television, is Cheaters, starring Jeff Daniels as a high school teacher in Chicago who helps, or rather, trains his students to cheat … yes, inspires them to commit fraud in a highly prestigious, regional and state-wide high school competition.
Mr. Daniels' character and his students believe their school hasn't been picked as one of the "privileged" schools in the Chicago educational system and therefore their lack of entitlement … entitles them … to cheat.
The film's point of view, however, is all very post-modern … and, yes, post-Marxist … a kind of sister film to Bonnie And Clyde, Warren Beatty and Faye Dunawayas cheating cheerleaders. Jeff Daniels, of course, is a poor man's Warren Beatty – this is only television for Pete's sake - yet with the idea of Reds in the back of the teacher's mind and perhaps a photo of Eugene O'Neill on the wall of his bedroom … a possible photo we never see in Cheaters because the teacher's mother is too justifiably busy screaming at him in the living room for teaching teenagers how to cheat.
She's the mother out of an older … and now … or perhaps eventually … a progressively disposable generation.
That's Post-Modern Progress … and Hollywood Progressive Comedy … to Throw Momma From The Train … and do so with much moral ambiguity and emotional justification for committing matricide. Both patricide and matricide worked as morality plays for the ancient world in The Orestia and Oedipus Rex … but not as comedy.
That's how much Progress we've made since the ancient Greeks. What used to be material for a tragedy is now ground-breaking comedy!
If you see any of these films, what used to be crime is now justice itself. There's all this "moral ambiguity" … and there are all these post-modern, anti-heroes. Neither Mr. Daniels-as-teacher nor any of his students are the least bit remorseful about their … uh … experiment … and the real bad guy turns out to be the one who snitched on the cheaters.
Two wrongs can make a right?
At least in Chicago they do -- and Chicago is where both Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama have lived for extended periods of time.
Another Chicago celebrity, William Ayers, has been selling the Two Wrongs Code to America regarding his terrorism. His Weather Underground career was justified by the undeniable "moral ambiguity" of the War in Vietnam … so two supposed wrongs do make a right … since all is morally ambiguous.
Some Americans -- Joe The Plumber certainly -- think that the redistribution of wealth by the government, or "spreading it around", even as romantic a thing as Robin Hood made of it … is wrong!
However, if the Progressives are right and two wrongs do make a right, then the wrong of slavery justifies the wrong of abortion … particularly among the formerly enslaved. Therefore both Oprah Winfrey and Rev. Jesse Jackson are justified in being pro-abortion … because the Confederate Southerners were pro-slavery.
Rev. Martin Luther King, however, called abortion a form of "genocide".
Obviously Dr. King then was merely a Christian and not yet a Progressive Christian like the pro-abortion proselytizer, William Clinton. Obviously Dr. King hadn't made sufficient "Progress" before he died. I know his wife Coretta accepted abortion and was duly honored by Planned Parenthood for her support of it … but that doesn't necessarily mean her husband agreed. He was a man who rarely contradicted himself about words like "genocide".
Seeing the "moral ambiguity" in everything is what constitutes Progress within the intellect of a Progressive. In that respect, Dr. King was never a Progressive.
Those who can't or will not see such "complexity" in life … they're "as stupid as Sarah Palin". Or, as Fareed Zakaria of CNN described Gov. Palin, they don't even understand the questions, let alone know the answers.
"Go back to Alaska!" has been the culminating simplicity of all the Progressive complexity involved within the Progressive Democratic Party's pro-abortion rage, a fury that can barely contain itself.
Sarah Palin is not going away and the Progressives, gritting their teeth to hold back their own bile, know it!
Like a metaphysical atomic bomb, Sarah Palin reverberates repeatedly within the amoral assumptions of Progressives, those "moral ambiguities" swimming in the intellectual supremacy of a Harvard Law president's presidential victory.
If two wrongs do make a right, then thirty-nine years of legalized abortion under Roe v. Wade are a justifiable payback for eighty-five years of slavery.
However, if the Progressive Christians and Progressive Catholics, such as Jackson and Clinton and Obama and Biden and Pelosi, are at all interested, what might be God's payback for Roe v. Wade?
According to Bill Clinton's autobiography, "God has nothing against abortion".
The Supreme Court, with the Dredd Scott decision, said it had nothing against slavery either.
Who gets the final word?
The Clinton's, The Obama's, The Supreme Court … or God?
Michael Moriarty is a Golden Globe and Emmy Award-winning actor who starred in the landmark television series Law and Order from 1990 to 1994. His recent film and TV credits include The Yellow Wallpaper, 12 Hours to Live, Santa Baby and Deadly Skies. Contact Michael at firstname.lastname@example.org.