The Leftist Two-Step is a bit of rhetorical tap-dancing I have noticed come, innumerable times, out of the mouths, or fingers, of Leftists (I will define Leftist in a later post).
This tap-dancing is usually a reflex response to politically incorrect assertions and/or challenges.
The following would be an example:
Politically incorrect assertion: “Muslims are acting violently all over the world.”
(Before I get to the first step of the Leftist Two-Step, I would note a typical tactic of obfuscation or distraction on the part of the Leftist interlocutor—not always, to be fair, perpetrated deceptively, but often simply a semi-conscious spasm of ignorance or sloppy thinking—: to wit, the Leftist would retort to the above politically incorrect assertion that, “Hey, you idiot, not all Muslims are acting violently.” The assertion to which they retort thusly, however, never claimed that all Muslims are acting violently, only that, with perfectly factual consistency, Muslims are acting violently. The indefinite nuance of the lack of qualifier is appropriate; though it would perhaps be better to use a locution like “Too many Muslims are acting violently all over the world”—and thereby leave open for further discussion what reasonably constitutes “too many”.)
Now, back to the first step of the Leftist’s tap dance—which the reader will recall is the typical reflex response to the politically incorrect assertion presented above.
Leftist Step #1: “No they’re not, you stupid Islamophobe!”
The politically incorrect person then, if he takes a deep breath and maintains patience, will proceed to provide ample documentation from the mountain of data out there of Muslims acting violently around the world, going back several years (and not even needing to reach further back into history for the veritable mountain ranges of data of Islamic violence throughout its 1350-odd years of existence).
At this point, the Leftist moves on to his second step, and he or she has three different types of second step to choose from, often tapping out all three:
Leftist Step #2:
a) “Well, all those Muslims are acting violently because of the terrible situation of corruption and tyranny in their lands which is the fault of Western Colonialism and Neo- or Crypto-Neo-Colonialism!”
b) “Well, all those Muslims are acting violently because of many different reasons that cannot be unified as an ‘Islamic’ problem, but which reflect a wide range of diverse political and cultural and social problems!”
c) “Well, what about the West, what about Christians, they’ve done some bad things too—I mean, look at the Crusades, the Inquisition, the Witch Burnings, the genocide against the Native Americans, Slavery, Hiroshima and Nagasaki, abortion clinic bombings. . .!”
Dance move (c) is, of course, the trusty Tu Quoque—or, since the Leftist is pointing a finger at his own culture and history, more aptly termed the Ego Quoque.
Notice how the Leftist’s second step contradicts his first step. Some Leftists are just plain sloppy thinkers and obtusely belligerent interlocutors. However, this cannot explain the prevalent recourse among Leftists to the Two-Step. Something else is afoot, and that is the Gnostic substratum of Leftism: just as the ancient Gnostic convinced himself to be an enemy of the Cosmos, so the modern Leftist Gnostic convinces himself to be an enemy of the modern Cosmos, which is, in terms of the mythopoesis of the modern world, none other than the West.
Now, what causes the Gnostic Leftist to respond with a two-step tap dance? If he were a candid and fully conscious Gnostic, he would not tap-dance. He would baldly declare his affinity for the Revolution against the West and his desire to replace the West with the immanentized eschaton of one form of Utopia or another. No, the Leftist tap-dances because he is either a Crypto-Gnostic (consciously deceiving, or obfuscating the challenges of, his interlocutor), or a semi-conscious Gnostic (his semi-conscious confusion manifesting itself in the transparent backpedaling of the tap dance).
The consciously deceptive tactic of the Crypto-Gnostic Leftist is often more sophisticated than the above example of the Two-Step makes it appear, since it usually involves more rhetorical complications around the essential backpedaling that is at the heart of it. The essence that the above example reveals is the transparently incoherent position—or lack of position—central to any Gnostic Leftist who is not the bold, bald Revolutionary of the type of Lenin, Mao, Castro, etc.