Conservatives need to better understand the psychology of the left if they want to confront it, Assistant Professor David Azerrad argued in a Jan. 26 talk titled “Narcissism, Wokeness, and The Mind of the Left.”
“The left today is the party of intellectuals and the marginalized,” Azerrad said. “It’s the identity groups that have the privilege of having their oppression be recognized by the regime.”
Azerrad, who is a research fellow at the Van Andel Graduate School of Government in Washington, DC, said describing the left as progressive is misleading.
“Progressives have to believe in progress,” Azerrad said. “But the left doesn’t believe in progress.”
Azerrad said leftists say the right things to promote their agenda, but fail to make sacrifices to implement these principles.
“Narcissism is the proper point for understanding the left today,” Azerrad said.
In order to push their agenda, Azerrad said the left claims victimhood to justify its discontent. By expressing solidarity, leftists can give up nothing and still feel virtuous.
“It is all performative,” Azerrad said.
According to Azerrad, the left believes in trusting science until the results offend a protected minority.
“What seems to always trump the Marxist commitment to the proletariat, the progressive trust in science, or the liberal commitment to openness, is diversity,” Azerrad said.
The left’s agenda aspires to ideals, but the practical application of these fails, according to Azerrad.
“Wokeness or the purported solidarity with the oppressed is the public face of the left,” Azerrad said. “It is the highest authority they recognize, but I don’t believe it is the fundamental underlying commitment of the average lefty.”
Everyone must financially and emotionally support their ideology, Azerrad said. This raises the question, “How do you live with yourself?”
Despite Republicans spending billions of dollars each year to win elections, there never seems to be any true conservative reforms, he said. Leftists ruthlessly “play to win” while the conservatives “play not to lose too badly,” according to Azerrad.
Students in attendance said Azerrad’s speech offered a unique and helpful perspective.
“It was something the conservative face today has not been hearing,” freshman Nathan Rastovac said.
Freshman Emma Verrigni said she better understands political thinking after hearing Azerrad’s explanation.
“I liked how Dr. Azerrad talked about the psychology of the American left, and why the leftists behave the way they do,” Verrigni said.