At the TownHall, Michael Medved asks “What constitutes the essence of modern liberalism?“.
The rhetoric of today’s left shows that they see society divided between the privileged and the powerless, the favored and the unfortunate, victors and victims.
Liberals feel an irresistible instinct to take sides with the less fortunate.
While the right wants to reward beneficial choices and discourage destructive directions, the left seeks to eliminate or reduce the impact of the disadvantages that result from bad decisions. In place of the conservative emphasis on accountability, the left proffers a gospel of indiscriminate compassion.
This leads directly, and inevitably, to the liberal passion to sanctify victimhood.
The best victim groups are those that reliably maintain their victim status. In this sense, the leftist world view effectively discourages empowerment or the pursuit of prosperity and pushes suffering subgroups to more or less permanent self pity.
It seems to me that Medved has made the point clearly: modern liberalism is about keeping ’em locked up on the plantation, not with chains and barbed wire but with unearned gifts and privileges.
Once there was an idealistic liberal agenda that had real purposes and objectives, however misguided they were. Where is this spirit of breaking new ground and shaking up the establishment? It seems to be utterly spent. In its place a new purpose of liberal politics has emerged: the perpetuation and extension of their own power.
As I’ve discussed in past articles, I truly don’t understand the liberal logic as applies to their political platform: pro-abortion, anti-death penalty, pro-gun control, anti-criminal justice – the contradictions are as stark as they are endless.
But what liberals are doing makes a twisted kind of sense if you consider the possibility that they are not even attempting to apply logic to the issues of the day. One would like to assume that liberal lawmakers are fulfilling their sworn duty to ensure the best possible future for Americans and that their politics, illogical as they are, are aligned with this objective.
Sadly, the modern liberal agenda is not about governing the country at all – it’s about getting and keeping power. Liberals have a natural advantage over conservatives when it comes to getting and keeping voters because of the very nature of their policies. They give their constituents free stuff that they confiscate from those who vote against them, whether or not their policy of wealth re-distribution is healthy for the country as a whole. Logical and philosophical contradictions are unimportant so long as their power base increases and, most importantly, their hands are on the purse strings.
As Medved says, this lack of interest in logical thinking is the key to understanding how liberals can justify their persistence in snuggling up to radical Islamo-nazis. They understand that their new cause is a cult of haters who, if they were to acquire power in the U.S., wouldn’t waste a moment before gunning down the very same pro-homosexual, pro-feminist, anti-Jewish, pseudo-intellectual free thinkers who have been defending them in America of late.
Liberals understand this. They simply don’t care. It’s all about short-term thinking and the necessity of finding and cultivating a new batch of downtrodden souls to add them to the give-me-free-stuff party’s voter base today – now – so that they can win another election.
What is so nauseating about the liberal left is that it’s not enough for them to live in a country in which they’re free to live according to whatever flawed belief system they dream up. They simply can’t be happy, can’t live, until they’ve forcibly foisted their fantasy island world view on the rest of us.
Liberal intellectuals claim the right to do define the rules of American life by repeatedly declaring themselves to be the country’s intellectual elite and the sole judges of right, wrong, good, bad, cool, and square. In short, they are the self-appointed arbiters of social justice.
However, this mantle of power has not not been earned on merit. Just as a no-talent artist might splash some paint on a canvas, roll around naked on the fabric with genitalia exposed, hang it on a wall, have his important, hip friends and patrons declare him the nest Picasso, and achieve fame and fortune, so do liberals build themselves up by buzzing about their genius until their message is the only one that gets heard.
Ideally there would be sufficient reality checks in the media to neutralize this blatant self-aggrandizement. Unfortunately, conservative thinkers’ opinions are not asked for and are summarily rejected when given anyway. The echo chamber of liberal self-congratulations allows only one ideological input. Dissonance, they recognize, would obliterate the straw men and women they’ve built into power brokers.
Liberals honestly believe that they deserve to decide how Americans should live because they’re the ones who know what’s best for all of us. That they don’t is evident to any observer interested in thinking. Liberals’ social experiments nominally designed to promote their constituents into better lives have done nothing but perpetuate the cycles of poverty they were supposed to fix. Their vision of social justice has failed for four decades. But still they persist in forcing it on us.
Of course there is such a thing as social justice. But it’s nothing like liberals imagine. Justice is blind, deaf, and insensitve to the needs and emotions of the moment. To achieve it, a nation must start with a playing field whose rules (laws, you understand) are well-known and permanent, line up the participants, say “go”, and get out of the way. The winners win, the losers lose, and social justice is served, over ice, in a highball glass at the country club. The best and brightest win, game over. What’s wrong with that?
Liberals say “plenty”, of course, not because they care about what happens to the losers but because there is no room for their kind in a competition without rules that can be bent to fit the feelings they have. Even if it is best for most Americans, liberals cannot stomach the harsh reality of a world in which people who are unable or unwilling to compete, like themselves, are left behind. Despite what logic and nature tell us about making progress, liberals would slow all of us to the pace and ability of the least common denominator.
The irony of their strategy is that, by championing the worst and dullest among us, liberals will end up making sure that the only environment in the world in which their kind can flourish is destroyed.