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Did you know liberals aren’t as happy as conservatives? Of course, you did. How could you not know it after listening to them incessantly wail, gripe, whine, and complain about everything? But, let’s bring....drumroll, please — the science! First, here’s the Pew Research comparison between Republicans and Democrats:
The survey, released this week, points out several disparities based on lifestyle, beliefs and political persuasion:
* Republicans are happier than Democrats.
* People who worship frequently are happier than those who don’t.
* The rich are happier than the poor.
* Whites and Hispanics are happier than blacks.
* Married people are happier than the unmarried...
* About 45% of Republicans said they were very happy, compared with 30% of Democrats. Republicans have been happier in surveys going back to 1972, the Pew study notes.
Here’s more from Arthur Brooks:
In 2004, people who said they were conservative or very conservative were nearly twice as likely to say they were very happy as people who called themselves liberal or very liberal (44% versus 25%). Conservatives were only half as likely to say they were not too happy (9 versus 18%). Political conservatives were also far less likely than liberals to express maladjustment to their adult lives. For example, adults on the political right were only half as likely as those on the left to say, “at times, I think I am no good at all.” They were also less likely to say they were dissatisfied with themselves, that they were inclined to feel like a failure, or to be pessimistic about their futures. Further, a 2007 survey found that 58% of Republicans rated their mental health as “excellent,” versus 43% of political independents and just 38% of Democrats.
Want to be a miserable person? Be a liberal. Want to have a happy life? Be a conservative. Why is that the case? There are a number of reasons for it.
1) Conservatives believe in personal responsibility: One of the tragic facts of life is that nobody cares as much about you as you do. That’s why, if you want to have a good life and be a happy person, you’re going to have to take care of it yourself. Conservatives get this. Liberals? Not so much.
Liberals spend a lot of time playing the victim and trying to come up with ways to get someone else to fix their lives. “Well, if the government forced some rich guy to give me more of his money, then all my problems would be solved! If our society could just make this change, then we could all dance in the moonlight with faeries and unicorns! If the government just added one more program, then we could teach the world to sing in perfect harmony, hold it in our arms, and keep it company!”
One of the biggest keys to happiness is accepting that if you want to be happy, you need to take personal responsibility for everything in your life so you can do something about it. On the other hand, you want to be unhappy? Act like liberals and expect other people to show up and fix your problems.
2) Conservatives are more religious than liberals: There’s a school of thought, largely embraced by liberals, that says religion is an archaic, largely arbitrary set of rules that do little more than keep you from doing all the “fun stuff” in life. That view leads to not taking your religious views very seriously at best and atheism or agnosticism at worst.
On the other hand, here’s an alternate view, one that many conservatives hold. Religion, particularly Christianity, isn’t out-of-date or arbitrary at all. Moreover, religion doesn’t keep you from doing all the “fun stuff” so much as it keeps you from committing sins that may be fun for a season, but ultimately end in sorrow.
We’re right, they’re wrong and that’s another big reason why so many of us are happy and so many of them are not.
3) Conservatives are more likely than liberals to get married: Despite everything you hear about divorce and unhappy marriages, people who are married are much more likely to be happy than those who are single:
In 2004, 42% of married Americans said they were very happy. Only 23% of never-married people said this, as well as 20% of those who were widowed, 17% of divorced people, and 11% of those who were separated (but not divorced) from their spouses. Married people were six times more likely to say they were very happy than they were to say they were not too happy.
Conservatives tend to place a considerably higher value on marriage than liberals do. To conservatives, marriage is the bedrock of society, whereas to liberals, it’s not all that important. This is one of the reasons we have huge battles over gay marriage. Conservatives think it’s dangerous for society to tinker with such an important tradition while liberals don’t think marriage is all that valuable. It’s also why “conservatives are twice as likely to be married.”
Twice as likely? Why, it’s almost as if conservatives believe all that stuff they’re saying about marriage being the “bedrock of our society.” Too bad liberals don’t look at it the same way. They’d be happier people.
4) Liberalism just doesn’t work very well in the real world: If you spend your whole life advocating ideas that make people’s lives worse, that fall apart at the first touch of reality, and that rely on a government that’s inevitably slow, stupid, and ineffective, it’s not going to be conducive to your happiness. Liberal policies are candy-coated rat poison that may appear appealing at first, but inevitably do a lot of damage to everyone impacted by them. That’s what happens when you back political policies based on how they make you feel about yourself.
Conservatives don’t have that problem. We support policies based on what works. The better you understand the world and how it works, the easier life is going to be for you. On the other hand, if you spend your whole life trying to slam a square peg into a round hole, it’s not likely to lead to contentment.
5) Liberalism has turned into an extraordinarily harsh, divisive, angry ideology: As a political philosophy, liberalism is centered around hatred and divisiveness. Liberals don’t promote their ideas so much as they try to turn people against those who get in the way of their ideas.
Liberals lie to minorities and tell them that conservatives hate them, they tell women that men hate them, they tell the poor they should hate the rich. They try to pit the successful against the unsuccessful, the workers against the corporations — and they regularly talk about their own country like it is one of the most godawful places on earth. That means liberals are, at best, extraordinarily cynical people who’re willing to manipulate people for political gain — and at worst, it means that they believe all this nonsense, which would make the world seem to be a very unpleasant place indeed. If you spend your life seething over a litany of grievances you’ve created from scratch in your own head, then you’re probably going to be an Eeyore instead of floating on Cloud 9.
by Dennis Prager
Many Americans find it difficult to understand why Jews on the Left — including many who would call themselves “liberal” rather than “Left” — continued to enthusiastically support President Obama after the revelations about the anti-Israel and anti-Jewish views of the Rev. Jeremiah Wright, the religious mentor and close friend of Obama. This confusion is all the greater now that Obama has humiliated the prime minister of Israel and created the most tense moment in American-Israeli relations in memory.
Likewise, many Americans wonder how Democratic congressmen who claim to be faithful Catholics and are pro-life could vote for the health care bill that allows for federal funding of abortions — after opposing it up to the last day.
There is an explanation.
Leftism, though secular, must be understood as a religion (which is why I have begun capitalizing it). The Leftist value system’s hold on its adherents is as strong as the hold Christianity, Judaism and Islam have on their adherents. Nancy Pelosi’s belief in expanding the government’s role in American life, and therefore her passion for the health care bill, is as strong as a pro-life Christian’s belief in the sanctity of the life of the unborn.
Given the religious nature and the emotional power of Leftist values, Jews and Christians on the Left often derive their values from the Left more than from their religion.
Now, of course, most Leftist Jews and Christians will counter that Leftist values cannot trump their religion’s values because Leftist values are identical to their religion’s values. But this argument only reinforces my argument that Leftism has conquered the Christianity and the Judaism of Leftist Christians and Jews. If there is no difference between Leftist moral values and those of Judaism or Christianity, then Christianity is little more than Leftism with “Jesus” rhetoric added, and Judaism is Leftism with Jewish terms — such as “Tikkun Olam” (“repairing the world”) and “Prophetic values” — added.
But if Christianity is, morally speaking, really Leftism, why didn’t Catholics or Protestants assert these values prior to 19th-century European Leftism? And, if Judaism is essentially a set of Left-wing values, does that mean that the Torah and the Talmud are Leftist documents? Or are the two pillars of Judaism generally wrong?
Why are almost no Christians and Jews who believe that God is the author of the Bible (or, in the case of Jews, the Torah) on the Left?
Why are so few pro-life Catholic and Protestant Christians on the Left? Do they not care about “the poor”?
Of course, that is what people on the Left believe. As former head of the Democratic Party Howard Dean said, “Our moral values, in contradistinction to the Republicans, is, we don’t think kids ought to go to bed hungry at night.”
They believe such things despite the fact that traditional Protestants and Catholics have created more institutions to take care of the sick and needy than probably any other groups in the world. And despite the fact that religious Americans give more charity and volunteer more time than secular Americans do.
And why have the great majority of Orthodox Jews rejected the Left? For Jews on the Left, the explanation is simple: Orthodox Jews have primitive beliefs and therefore primitive values.
The obvious response is that for the Leftist, all opposition to the Left, secular or religious, is primitive and usually worse (Racist, Sexist, Homophobic, Xenophobic, Ignorant, Bigoted, Intolerant, Mean-Spirited, etc.). So this doesn’t tell us much. What might tell us much is this: With a handful of exceptions, Orthodox Jews know Judaism far better than non-Orthodox Jews do. Given how few of them are Leftist, this would suggest that Judaism and Leftism are indeed in conflict.
But that doesn’t matter to most Jews on the Left because to be a good person (and, to those for whom it matters, to be a good Jew), one need not know Judaism, let alone follow Judaism. One needs only to feel what is right (Leftism is overwhelmingly based on feeling); and, when in doubt, one can determine what is right from The New York Times, not from sacred Jewish texts.
One of the many fundamental differences between Leftism and Judaism concerns evil. Jews and others on the Left (everywhere, not just in America) have a real problem identifying, let alone confronting, evil. Yet, for Judaism, identifying and confronting evil is as basic a Jewish value as exists. That is why, for example, there is no pacifist tradition in Judaism.
Regarding evil, the Psalmist writes — and this is recited in synagogue every Sabbath — “Those who love God — hate evil.” And as regards pacifism, one of the Prophets, Joel (3:10), inverts what became the much more famous quotation of Isaiah and Micah: “Beat your plowshares into swords and your pruning hooks into spears.” And later, the Talmud, almost equivalent in importance to the Bible, teaches (Berakhot 58a): “The Torah has said: If a man comes to kill you, rise early and kill him first.”
In contrast, Leftists, including Leftist Jews and Christians:
— were the loudest in condemning President Ronald Reagan when he labeled the Soviet Union an “evil empire.”
— devoted much of their lives to opposing the war in Vietnam, which they labeled immoral even though it was a war against Stalinist tyranny.
— opposed deposing the mass murderer Saddam Hussein. Many even opposed the Gulf War.
— believe that the moral wasteland known as the United Nations is, or must be the greatest force for good on earth, not the United States.
— oppose allowing the American military to recruit on campuses.
And the further Left one goes, the more one demonizes free Israel and supports the dictatorships that wish to destroy Israel.
Indeed, Israel provides the clearest proof of how Leftism is stronger than the Jewishness of most Jews on the Left. Israel is threatened with a Holocaust by Iran and tens of millions of Islamic supporters outside of Iran, and Palestinian society is saturated with the most virulent Jew-hatred since the Nazis. Yet while today’s Jew- and Israel-haters call the Left home, Jews on the Left continue to be proud members of the Left. Such is the power of Leftism, the most dynamic religion in the world for the last 150 years.
And that explains Bart Stupak’s vote, too. In his inner conflict between Catholicism and Leftism, the more dynamic religion won.
by Dennis Prager
The following is a list of beliefs that I hold. Nearly every one of them was a liberal position until the late 1960s. Not one of them is now.
Such a list is vitally important in order to clarify exactly what positions divide left from right, blue from red, liberal from conservative.
I believe in American exceptionalism, meaning that (a) America has done more than any international organization or institution, and more than any other country, to improve this world; and (b) that American values (specifically, the unique American blending of Enlightenment and Judeo-Christian values) form the finest value system any society has ever devised and lived by.
I believe that the bigger government gets and the more powerful the state becomes, the greater the threat to individual liberty and the greater the likelihood that evil will ensue. In the 20th century, the powerful state, not religion, was the greatest purveyor of evil in the world.
I believe that the levels of taxation advocated by liberals render those taxes a veiled form of theft. “Give me more than half of your honestly earned money or you will be arrested” is legalized thievery.
I believe that government funding of those who can help themselves (e.g., the able-bodied who collect welfare) or who can be helped by non-governmental institutions (such as private charities, family, and friends) hurts them and hurts society.
I believe that the United States of America, from its inception, has been based on the Judeo-Christian value system, not secular Enlightenment values alone, and therefore the secularization of American society will lead to the collapse of America as a great country.
I believe that some murderers should be put death; that allowing all murderers to live does not elevate the value of human life, but mocks it, and that keeping all murderers alive trivializes the evil of murder.
I believe that the American military has done more to preserve and foster goodness and liberty on Earth than all the artists and professors in America put together.
I believe that lowering standards to admit minorities mocks the real achievements of members of those minorities.
I believe that when schools give teenagers condoms, it is understood by most teenagers as tacit approval of their engaging in sexual intercourse.
I believe that the assertions that manmade carbon emissions will lead to a global warming that will in turn bring on worldwide disaster are a function of hysteria, just as was the widespread liberal belief that heterosexual AIDS will ravage America.
I believe that marriage must remain what has been in every recorded civilization — between the two sexes.
I believe that, whatever the reasons for entering Iraq, the American-led removal of Saddam Hussein from power will decrease the sum total of cruelty on Earth.
I believe that the trial lawyers associations and teachers unions, the greatest donors to the Democratic Party, have done great harm to American life — far more than, let us say, oil companies and pharmaceutical companies, the targets of liberal opprobrium.
I believe that nuclear power, clean coal, and drilling in a tiny and remote frozen part of Alaska and offshore — along with exploration of other energy alternatives such as wind and solar power — are immediately necessary.
I believe that school vouchers are more effective than increased spending on public schools in enabling many poorer Americans to give their children better educations.
I believe that while there are racists in America, America is no longer a racist society, and that blaming disproportionate rates of black violence and out-of-wedlock births on white racism is a lie and the greatest single impediment to African-American progress.
I believe that America, which accepts and assimilates foreigners better than any other country in the world, is the least racist, least xenophobic country in the world.
I believe the leftist takeover of the liberal arts departments in nearly every American university has been an intellectual and moral calamity.
I believe that a good man and a good marriage are more important to most women’s happiness and personal fulfillment than a good career.
I believe that males and females are inherently different. For example, girls naturally prefer dolls and tea sets to trucks and toy guns — if you give a girl trucks, she is likely to give them names and take care of them, and if you give a boy trucks, he is likely to crash them into one another.
I believe that when it comes to combating the greatest evils on Earth, such as the genocide in Rwanda, the United Nations has either been useless or an obstacle.
I believe that, generally speaking, Western Europe provides social and moral models to be avoided, not emulated.
I believe that America’s children were positively affected by hearing a non-denominational prayer each morning in school, and adversely affected by the removal of all prayer from school.
I believe that liberal educators’ removal of school uniforms and/or dress codes has had a terrible impact on students and their education.
I believe that bilingual education does not work, that for the sake of immigrant children and for the sake of the larger society, immersion in the language of the country, meaning English in America, is mandatory.
I believe that English should be declared the national language, and that ballots should not be printed in any language other than English. If one cannot understand English, one is probably not sufficiently knowledgeable to vote intelligently in an English-speaking country.
Finally, I believe that there are millions of Americans who share most of these beliefs who still call themselves “liberal” or “progressive” and who therefore vote Democrat. They do so because they still identify liberalism with pre-1970 liberalism or because they are emotionally attached to the word “liberal.”
I share that emotion. But one should vote based on values, not emotions.
By Dennis Prager
There are conservatives who lie and there are liberals who lie. Neither blue nor red has a monopoly on truth-tellers.
However, unless one denies that there are distinctive values on the right and on the left — a proposition that no serious liberal or conservative would deny — how much truth is valued may be different for the right and the left.
In the hierarchy of leftist (as opposed to traditional liberal) values, truth is below other values, such as equality, opposition to war, the promotion of secularism and a number of other highly regarded values on the left.
This does not mean that the number of truth-tellers among individuals on the left is necessarily smaller than the number of individual truth-tellers on the right. It means that truth-telling is not high on the left’s list of values.
Since this is, obviously, a generalization, and a negative one at that, anyone who makes this generalization is obligated to provide arguments and examples.
The first example is what is known as political correctness. Leftist denial of what is true is so widespread that we have a term for it, political correctness. There is no comparable right-wing political correctness, i.e., denying truths so as not to offend right-wing values or certain groups.
For example, among many on the left, especially academics, it has been almost impossible for decades to tell the truth about the innate differences between men and women because of the leftist dogma of innate similarities between the sexes. So deep is the left’s hostility to truth regarding the sexes that a president of Harvard University was forced from office after suggesting that men’s and women’s brains process math and some science differently.
Similarly, many leftist professors at Duke University used the false rape charges against three white lacrosse players to reinforce the left-wing belief (itself not true) that America is racist. The truth was not nearly as important to them as proving how racist whites are.
Textbooks. A prime example of the left’s view of truth is its changing the goal of high school American history textbooks from telling truth to promoting self-esteem among minority and female students by depicting more women and more non-whites in American history textbooks.
“Bush is a liar.” Currently, the most widely repeated lie of the left is that President George W. Bush lied about Saddam Hussein having weapons of mass destruction. It is repeated so often (“Bush lied, people died”) that many Americans now believe this. But it is not true. There were valid reasons for anyone to believe that Saddam Hussein had WMD. Saddam had used them in the past; he refused to allow unfettered inspections; he was the major foreign sponsor of Palestinian terror; and most important, virtually all Western intelligence agencies believed Saddam had WMD.
Nor did President Bush lie, as the left frequently charges, about Saddam seeking uranium in the African nation of Niger. The president said in his 2003 State of the Union address that “The British Government has learned that Saddam Hussein recently sought significant quantities of uranium from Africa.” That was exactly what British intelligence reported, and the British intelligence is now widely believed to have been accurate. It is a left-wing lie that President Bush lied when he spoke those now famous 16 words.
Calling liberals “unpatriotic.” Another lie of the left is that Republicans and conservatives regularly label opponents of the war in Iraq “unpatriotic.” Thus, during the CNN/YouTube debate, Sen. Hillary Clinton claimed that “I asked the Pentagon a simple question: ‘Have you prepared for withdrawing our troops?’ In response, I got a letter accusing me of being unpatriotic.” That is — and this is not said easily — a lie. Anyone who reads the Defense Department response to Sen. Clinton will see that what she claims is entirely untrue. Her patriotism, or lack of it, was not even hinted at. Moreover, it is rare almost to the point of nonexistent for mainstream Republicans or conservatives to call any liberal critic of the Bush administration “unpatriotic.”
The homeless, heterosexual AIDS and rape. For years, mainstream liberal news media purveyed false information supplied by Mitch Snyder, the major liberal activist on behalf of the homeless. Likewise, we were told by gay and AIDS activist groups that AIDS “doesn’t discriminate,” meaning that heterosexuals in America were as likely to contract the HIV virus as homosexuals. It was never true in America (Africa may be another story for other reasons). Feminist groups have offered statistics on rape and sexual violence that are patently false.
Few liberal activist groups tell the truth. Not because their members are liars — in private life they may well be as honest as anyone else — but because whatever the left advocates it deems more important than truth.
This does not mean the right is always honest. For example, conservatives who say that “pornography causes rape” are doing what the left does — putting their agenda, in this case a loathing of pornography, above truth-telling. I have seen no credible statistics linking the proliferation of pornography with increased rape.
But when the left ceaselessly repeats the mantra “Bush lied,” it may simply be projecting onto George W. Bush what comes quite naturally to the left — when it offers false Iraqi death statistics, false homeless data, false rape statistics, false secondhand smoke statistics, false claims about the percentage of gays in the population, and false claims of just about everything else the left cares about.
In 2003 the American Psychological Association printed a study by a few academicians from Cal-Berkeley and the University of (the People’s Republic of) Maryland. The study, entitled “Political Conservatism as Motivated Social Cognition,” purported to have identified some determinants that are common to those holding a “conservative” worldview.
As one reads the report, it becomes readily apparent that their “norm” — that is, their control group — was somewhere to the left of SanFranNan Pelosi and her Ya Ya sisters, Babs Boxer and Di Feinstein — but then, what are we to expect from Cal-Berkeley and UM, or just about any of our nation’s “leading” academic institutions?
The authors received more than 1.2 million of your hard-earned tax dollars from the National Institutes of Health and the National Science Foundation in order to, by their own account, “consider evidence for and against the hypotheses that political conservatism is significantly associated with (1) mental rigidity and closed-mindedness; (2) lowered self-esteem; (3) fear, anger, and aggression; (4) pessimism, disgust, and contempt; (5) loss prevention; (6) fear of death; (7) threat arising from social and economic deprivation; and (8) threat to the stability of the social system.”
In other words, if you (1) have an opinion; and are (2) humble; (3) assertive; (4) a realist; (5) a conservationist; (6) not suicidal; (7) from modest means; and (8) a constitutional constructionist, or worse, a Christian, then you’re probably a wacky conservative.
Actually, what taxpayers got was a re-warmed 1950-vintage study of what the authors call “authoritarianism and the fascist potential in personality.” They assert that “one is justified in referring to Hitler, Mussolini, Reagan, and Limbaugh as right-wing conservatives...” (Is it just us, or is that a rather tendentious juxtaposition of murderous tyrants and conservative icons?) All in all, this research stands as a sterling example of academic twaddle, providing “an integrative, meta-analytic review of research on epistemic, existential, and ideological bases of conservatism.” The authors’ ultimate finding — for what it’s worth — is that conservatives tend to “arrive at premature conclusions and impose simplistic cliches and stereotypes,” which, ironically, is precisely what the authors have done.
For two long years, The Patriot’s editorial staff waited for conservative behaviorist academicians to respond to this farcical pseudo-scholarly diatribe with an article outlining the pathology of liberalism (contemporary, not classical). Alas, we can only conclude that the last conservative behaviorist left the academy a long time ago, but forgot to turn out the lights. That being the case, what follows is a rebuttal to this Leftist invective in the most general terms — sans the $1.2 million in confiscated wages and a forest of pulp for reprinting in “scholarly journals.”
Now then, what constitutes a contemporary liberal — and why?
Liberals are almost uniformly defined by their hypocrisy and dissociation from reality. For example, the wealthiest U.S. senators — among them Kerry, Kennedy, Corzine, Kohl, Rockefeller, Feinstein, and Rhode Island RINO Lincoln Chaffee — fancy themselves as defenders of the poor, but they have no idea of what it’s like to live without a bloated trust fund. Liberals speak of unity, but they appeal to the worst in human nature by dividing Americans into dependent constituencies. Just who are these liberal constituencies? They support freedom of thought, unless your thoughts don’t comport with theirs. They feign tolerance while practicing intolerance. They resist open discussion and debate of their views, yet seek to silence dissenters. They insist that they care more about protecting habitat than those who hunt and fish. They protest for nature conservation while advocating homosexuality. They denounce capital punishment for the most heinous of criminals, while ardently supporting the killing of the most innocent among us — children prior to birth. They hate private-gun ownership, but they wink and nod when it comes to WMD in the hands of tyrants. They advocate for big government but want to restrain free enterprise.
Liberals constantly assert their First Amendment rights, except, of course, when it comes to religion. Here, they firmly adhere to the doctrines of secular atheism. They believe that second-hand smoke is more dangerous than marijuana smoke. They believe that one nut accused of bombing an Alabama abortion clinic deserves far more law-enforcement attention than Jihadi cells planning the 9/11 attacks. They call 9/11 victims “Hitlerian” while calling their murderers “oppressed.” They hate SUVs, unless imported and driven by soccer moms. They believe trial lawyers save lives and doctors kill people. They believe the solution to racism is to treat people differently on the basis of their skin color. They deride moral clarity because they can’t survive its scrutiny. They promote peace but foment division and hate — ad infinitum.
Why do liberals believe what they believe — and act the way they act? Liberal pathology is very transparent and, thus, well defined.
Liberals tend to be mentally rigid and closed-minded because they are insecure, the result of low self-esteem associated, predominantly, with fatherless households or critically dysfunctional families. They exhibit fear, anger, and aggression — the behavioral consequences of arrested emotional development associated with childhood trauma (primarily rejection by a significant family member of origin as noted above). Liberals display pessimism, disgust, and contempt for much the same reason. They focus on loss prevention because they have suffered significant loss. They fear death because they have little or no meaningful connection with their Heavenly Father — often the result of the disconnect with their earthly fathers. They often come from socially and/or economically deprived homes. Liberals reject individual responsibility and social stability because these were not modeled for them as children.
Sound familiar — apparently the profs at Cal-Berkeley and Maryland attributed their own pathological traits to their opposition. It’s called projection — and hypocrisy.
Sure, there are many conservatives who were raised by a single parent or in critically dysfunctional homes. However, somewhere along the way, they were lifted out of their misery by the grace of God — often in the form of a significant mentor who modeled hope and responsibility for them. As a result, they have the courage to internalize their locus of responsibility, unlike liberals, who externalize responsibility for problems and solutions, holding others and society to blame for their ills, and making the state the arbiter of proper conduct — even proper thought.
On a final note, it’s no coincidence that conservative political bases tend to be suburban or rural, while liberal political bases tend to be urban (see http://FederalistPatriot.US/map.asp). The social, cultural and economic blight in many urban settings are the catalysts for producing generations of liberals. Many urbanites no longer have a connection with “the land” (self-sufficiency) and, thus, tend to be largely dependent on the state for all manner of their welfare, protection and sustenance — “It Takes a Village” after all.
Mark Alexander is Executive Editor and Publisher of The Federalist Patriot, a Townhall.com member group.
Martin Peretz is worried that liberalism has no future in America. Editor-in-Chief of The New Republic, Peretz writes of his concern in a major article published in the 90th anniversary issue of his magazine. “Not Much Left,” is a cry from the heart, offered by Peretz to what remains of a liberal movement in America.
Peretz begins by arguing that, in the 1960s, it was conservatism that was devoid of ideas and facing a dismal political future. In the words of economist John Kenneth Galbraith, conservatism was “bookless” and intellectually bankrupt. Now, Peretz argues it is liberalism “that is now bookless and dying.” Peretz has good reason for alarm. He—and the magazine for which he writes—represents a form of liberalism that is now largely without constituency in the Democratic Party and the political left. Peretz longs for the day when the progressivism of Theodore Roosevelt and the liberalism of Franklin Delano Roosevelt ruled the left and served as a fertile greenhouse for the incubation of potent political ideas.
The liberalism of the Roosevelts bears little resemblance to the ideological radicalism of today’s political left. Peretz’s hero is the Protestant theologian Reinhold R. Niebuhr, whose frank recognition of the structural realities of human sinfulness shaped liberalism’s view of both human nature and the political prospect. Now, Peretz laments that Niebuhr “is virtually unknown in the circles within which he once spoke and listened.” Peretz wonders if Niebuhr’s understanding of sin is the essential problem. “However gripping his illuminations, however much they may have been validated by history, liberals have no patience for such pessimism,” Peretz explains.
As he sees it, this dismissal of Niebuhr and the classical liberal legacy would be bad enough. Nevertheless, no one has come along to fill the vacuum left by Niebuhr’s absence. “Ask yourself: Who is a truly influential liberal mind in our culture? Whose ideas challenge and whose ideals inspire? Whose books and articles are read and passed around? There’s no one, really. What’s left is the laundry list: the catalog of programs (some dubious, some not) that Republicans aren’t funding, and the blogs, with their daily panic dose about how the Bush administration is ruining the country.”
The Democratic Party, once unified behind FDR and his liberal tradition, is now a collection of special interest groups. Liberalism finds itself in a defensive posture in the wider political culture, and the liberals fail because “they have not yet conducted an honest internal conversation that assumes from the start that the very nature of the country has changed since the great New Deal reckoning.”
This is an important argument, and liberals and conservatives alike should take Peretz seriously. Here is a liberal in the classic tradition who wonders what has happened to the movement he has loved and served so long. Looking back over the 20th century, he recognizes that liberalism once ruled the day and that the movement made significant gains, largely through the leadership of political leaders like FDR and Lyndon Baines Johnson. The think tanks of liberalism were once the fountains from which the dominant political ideas flowed.
In those days, liberalism was defined as a movement that intended to protect the powerless from the powerful. In this context, the liberal instinct favored the individual worker and consumer who, they reasoned, was in danger of being crushed by massive corporate enterprises. To many Americans, the New Deal made sense because government interventionism appeared to be the only root to recovery in the aftermath of the Great Depression and the Industrial Revolution.
As Peretz recognizes, the world has changed since FDR and LBJ. In one sense, liberalism fell victim to its own success. The concept of government interventionism won the day throughout most of the 20th century, leading to the development of the regulatory state and its twin, the welfare state. Liberals argued that government involvement in the economy—through regulation and control—would limit the oppressive growth of corporate structures at the expense of common Americans.
Nevertheless, the economic ideas of the New Deal make little sense in a world of multinational corporations and a decentralized economy. Entrepreneurship has been the leading edge of economic growth for the last thirty years or so, and big labor and big business have been virtually redefined in the age of the Internet, international competition, and the information age.
Peretz recognizes that liberalism has failed to keep up with these massive social transformations. Worse, liberals seem to have lost sight of their central ideals. “Liberals like to blame their political consultants,” Peretz asserts. “But then, if you depend on consultants for your motivating ideas, you are nowhere. So let’s admit it: the Liberals are themselves uninspired by a vision of a good society—a problem we didn’t have 30 years ago. For several years, the liberal agenda has looked and sounded like little more than a bookkeeping exercise. We want to spend more, they less. In the end, the numbers do not clarify; they confuse. Almost no one can explain any principle behind the cost differences. But these are grand matters that need to be addressed, and the grandest one is what we owe each other as Americans.”
Race has been one of the central issues of liberal thought for the last half-century. Yet even on this issue, Peretz sees the left beholden to outmoded ideas and unwilling to face new realities. “One of the legacies of the ‘60s is liberal idealism about race,” Peretz argues. “But that discussion has grown particularly outmoded in the Democratic Party. African Americans and Caribbean Americans (the differences between them another largely unspoken reality) have made tremendous strides in their education, in social mobility, in employment, in housing, and in politics as images and realities in the media.” So far, so good. Nevertheless, Peretz complains that the Democratic Party is now politically committed to “the usual hustlers.” As he explains, “Jesse Jackson is still paid off, mostly not to make trouble. The biggest insult to our black fellow citizens was the deference paid to Al Sharpton during the campaign. Early in the race, it was clear that he—like Carol Moseley Braun and Dennis Kucinich—was not a serious candidate. Yet he was treated as if he just might take the oath of office at the Capitol on January 20. In the end, he won only a handful of delegates. But he was there, speaking in near-prime time to the Democratic convention.” Peretz labels Al Sharpton as “an insider of racial conflict” and charges the Democratic Party with a combination of pandering and cowardice in giving Jackson and Sharpton roles as party statesmen.
“This patronizing attitude is proof positive that, as deep as the social and economic gains have been among African Americans, many liberals prefer to maintain their own time-honored patronizing position vis-a-vis ‘the other,’ the needy.” In an amazing passage, Peretz acknowledges that this Republican administration has done better than its Democratic predecessors on matters of race.
“This is, frankly, in sharp contrast to President Bush, who seems not to be impeded by race difference ‘and gender difference’ in his appointments and among his friends. Maybe it is just a generational thing, and, if it is that, it is also a good thing. But he may be the first president who apparently does not see individual people in racial categories or sex categories. White or black, woman or man, just as long as you’re a conservative. That is also an expression of liberation from bias.” That is an amazing claim, and a courageous argument to present in The New Republic. Beyond this, Peretz even argues that conservatives “have their ideas, and many of them are good.” As examples, Peretz lists charter schools and vouchers. “But give me a single liberal idea with some currency, even a structural notion, for transforming the elucidation of knowledge and thinking to the young. You can’t.”
The use of American power is another issue of Peretz’s concern. He accuses his fellow liberals of continuing a strange and inexcusable love affair with Fidel Castro and of refusing to acknowledge the evil of world Communism. Liberals, Peretz explains, argue that Communism “had an ideal of the good.” He dismisses this argument with a sneer, noting that Communist revolutions and regimes murdered many more millions of innocents than the Nazis “and transformed the yearning of many idealists for equality into the brutal assertion of evil, a boot stamping on the human face forever.”
Peretz ends his article by eulogizing liberalism as a movement that once offered ideas of transformational power that now is “peddling one disaster scenario after another.” In the end, Peretz offers hope that liberalism can be “liberated from many of its own illusions and delusions.” Time will tell.
What Peretz largely misses is the transformation of the political left from classical liberalism into radical ideologies of liberation—often packaged in ways that camouflage the truly radical nature of their ideas. The Democratic Party is no longer the party of FDR and LBJ. As a matter of fact, the Democratic Party ceased to be the party of LBJ even while Johnson was in office. By the end of the 1960s, the political left had fractured into a constellation of special interest groups committed to identity politics.
Furthermore, the worldview of classical liberalism—precisely that worldview understood and defended by intellectuals like Reinhold Niebuhr—understood the necessity of respect for social institutions like marriage and family. The hostility of the political left to such “bourgeois” notions owes more to the radical left of European and American intellectual life than to the reasoned political discourse of the classical liberals.
The 90th anniversary of The New Republic prompted Peretz—joined by a host of other writers—to consider the future of liberalism itself. The magazine takes pride in the fact that it, as a major journal of political opinion, helped popularize the term “liberal” in the 1940s. Like most periodicals, The New Republic has been through various transformations over its nine decades. In one sense, this special anniversary issue of the magazine indicates that it is coming home to its roots.
Writing in U.S. News & World Report, columnist John Leo suggests that Galbraith’s wrong-headed prediction of conservative collapse in the 1960s could serve as good news for American liberals. After all, if conservatives rebounded into intellectual vitality and political influence in the Reagan revolution, perhaps a new liberal standard bearer will appear on the horizon. That would be an interesting prospect, but conservatives should welcome a genuine debate with classical liberals over issues ranging across the political divide and the spectrum of ideological conflict. One of the greatest signs of sickness in our current political culture is that conservatives have virtually no one with whom to engage in a lively and substantial political conversation. The left has simply splintered into so many forms of ideological radicalism, that political discourse has become all but impossible.
Martin Peretz deserves credit for publishing a lively magazine and for publishing his own courageous article. Conservatives should take Peretz’s analysis seriously. It remains to be seen whether liberals will do the same.
by Dennis Prager
Opponents of the popular expression of conservative opposition to big government, the tea party, regularly note that tea partiers are overwhelmingly white. This is intended to disqualify the tea parties from serious moral consideration.
But there are two other facts that are far more troubling:
The first is the observation itself. The fact that the Left believes that the preponderance of whites among tea partiers invalidates the tea party movement tells us much more about the Left than it does about the tea partiers.
It confirms that the Left really does see the world through the prism of race, gender and class rather than through the moral prism of right and wrong.
One of the more dangerous features of the Left has been its replacement of moral categories of right and wrong, and good and evil with three other categories: black and white (race), male and female (gender) and rich and poor (class).
Therefore the Left pays attention to the skin color — and gender (not just “whites” but “white males”) — of the tea partiers rather than to their ideas.
One would hope that all people would assess ideas by their moral rightness or wrongness, not by the race, gender or class of those who hold them. But in the world of the Left, people are taught not to assess ideas but to identify the race, class and gender of those who espouse those ideas. This helps explain the widespread use of ad hominem attacks by the Left: Rather than argue against their opponents’ ideas, the Left usually dismisses those making the argument disagreed with as “racist,” “intolerant,” “bigoted,” “sexist,” “homophobic” and/or “xenophobic.”
You’re against race-based affirmative action? No need to argue the issue because you’re a racist. You’re a tea partier against ever-expanding government? No need to argue the issue because you’re a racist.
As a Leftist rule of thumb — once again rendering intellectual debate unnecessary and impossible — white is wrong or bad, and non-white is right and good; male is wrong and bad, and female is right and good; and the rich are wrong and bad, and the poor right and good. For the record, there is one additional division on the Left — strong and weak — to which the same rule applies: The strong are wrong and bad, and the weak are right and good. That is a major reason for Leftist support of the Palestinians (weak) against the Israelis (strong), for example.
This is why, to cite another example, men are dismissed when they oppose abortion. The idea is far less significant than the sex of the advocate. As for women who oppose abortion on demand, they are either not authentically female or simply traitors to their sex. Just as the Left depicts blacks who oppose race-based affirmative action as not authentic blacks or are traitors to their race.
In this morally inverted world, the virtual absence of blacks from tea party rallies cannot possibly reflect anything negative on the black and minority absence, only on the white tea partiers.
But in a more rational and morally clear world, where people judge ideas by their legitimacy rather than by the race of those who held them, people would be as likely to ask why blacks and ethnic minorities are virtually absent at tea parties just as they now ask why whites predominate. They would want to know if this racial imbalance said anything about black and minority views or necessarily reflected negatively on the whites attending those rallies.
And if they did ask such un-PC questions, they might draw rather different conclusions than the Left’s. First, they would know that the near-absence of blacks and Hispanics no more implied racism on the part of tea partiers than the near-absence of blacks and Hispanics in the New York Philharmonic implies racism on the art of that orchestra.
Second, they might even, Heaven forbid, conclude that it does not reflect well on the political outlook of blacks and Hispanics that they so overwhelmingly identify with ever-larger government. Leftist big-government policies have been disastrous for black America just as they were in the countries that most Hispanics emigrated from. But like the gambling addict who keeps gambling the more he loses, those addicted to government entitlements keep increasing the size of the government even as their situation worsens.
Finally, if one eschews the “racism” explanation and asks real questions, one might also conclude that America generally, and conservatives specifically, have failed to communicate America’s distinct values — E Pluribus Unum, In God We Trust, and Liberty (which includes small government) — to blacks and Hispanics.
Unfortunately, however, no real exploration of almost any important issue in American life is possible as long as the Left focuses on the race, gender and class of those who hold differing positions. And that will not happen. For when the Left stops attacking people and starts arguing positions, we will see what the Left most fears: blacks and Hispanics at tea parties.
One incontrovertible lesson to come from Ann Coulter’s aborted speech in Ottawa Tuesday night, and indeed from the national reaction to her Canadian speaking tour this week, is that the U.S. pundit didn’t even have to open her mouth to ignite a controversy about freedom of speech in Canada.
Warned by campus authorities to censor herself or face the full brunt of Canada’s speech laws before she even arrived; subjected to fairly intense on-campus protests with students calling her hateful and demanding she not be allowed to speak; the talk was cancelled, citing security concerns.
Ann Coulter had come to talk about political correctness and freedom of speech; about the double standard applied between conservatives and liberals. She made a most powerful statement without even showing up.
The entire spectacle could not have been better scripted to serve Ms. Coulter’s cause had she planned it herself. The University of Calgary, where she will speak tonight, announced on Wednesday it was relocating her talk to a larger venue, with attendance having doubled since Monday (it will beef up security, too, but insists she’s free to speak her mind).
In an interview with the National Post after the incident at the University of Ottawa, Ms. Coulter seemed every bit as convivial and unflappable as she does whenever she appears, as she does with considerable frequency, on American television political panels — the happy arch-conservative warrior who drives earnest left-wingers mad. She cracked jokes at every turn. Still, she insisted, she was serious about her promise to see University of Ottawa provost François Houle — whose name, sounding like “hole,” she had great fun modifying — charged by Canada’s Human Rights Commissions, for promoting hatred against her, a white, Christian, female, conservative, since she’s certain no left-wing speakers have been similarly threatened.
“All I thought about” after the cancellation, Ms. Coulter says, “was how much this helps my complaint with the human rights commission.”
Ms. Coulter says Human Rights Commissions are “horses—t,” because of their silencing of free speech, but at the very least her own case against Mr. Houle, she says, “drives the point home.”
It was Mr. Houle who wrote in advance of the planned speech, warning, “Canadian law puts reasonable limits on the freedom of expression. For example, promoting hatred against any identifiable group would not only be considered inappropriate, but could in fact lead to criminal charges.”
How much responsibility Mr. Houle bears for the absurdity that followed it — from book-burning protesters to Ms. Coulter’s HRC parody play — remains a matter of debate. The university issued a statement yesterday insisting it was Ms. Coulter’s side who called things off and the school has “always promoted and defended freedom of expression” — though they didn’t specify whether they shared Mr. Houle’s narrow interpretation of that term.
Organizers said there were threats made on Facebook; the website features a comment from some angry woman who “want[s] to throw rotten veggies and eggs at her evil barbie mask,” and another fellow asking “Can’t we just tar and feather her?”
Whether Mr. Houle ever had legitimate cause for concern is another matter of dispute. Ms. Coulter has said many offensive things, perhaps, says Barry Cooper, a University of Calgary political scientist, but she has hardly spread “hate” in any criminal sense (her regular TV appearances and 14 national bestsellers suggest as much). She pushes buttons, and raises hackles—baldly mocking Muslim extremists, say, rather than politely indulging in pro-multicultural banalities—but this, he says, is a noble patriotic tradition. Satirists like “Ann Coulter and Lenny Bruce, they’re reinforcing their first amendment rights, reinforcing the importance of the U.S. Constitution,” he says. When freedoms fall into disuse, they suffer neglect, as he suspects has happened in Canada. Ms. Coulter prefers comparing herself to Voltaire: her outrageous humour, she says, is potent; deliver the same message in prose, “and everyone falls asleep.”
“Liberals know I haven’t said anything hateful. They know I make satirical points to make a political point quickly, and they know it’s effective and that’s why they want to shut me down—and they’re probably right,” she says. “It’s very dangerous letting people hear Ann Coulter. They might change their minds and become conservatives.”
Burnishing the image of Ann Coulter as a teller of dangerous truths may not have been quite the goal of Mr. Houle and the U of O mob, but they have unquestionably done it. In the U.S. media, their school, and this country, have become in the last 48 hours an object of scorn and ridicule, on all sides of the political spectrum, while Ms. Coulter has been cast a free-speech hero. No wonder she seems so cheerful.
By P. David Hornik
This week the Jerusalem Post published a column by one of its editors, a British immigrant in Israel, lamenting her estrangement from friends back in Britain who keep seeing virtue in Palestinian terrorism. The next day, this letter appeared by an American immigrant:
The experience described so well...can happen in Israel with Israeli friends. How is it that someone who would never think of defending the KKK or Nazi ideology finds every possible way to excuse, diminish or explain the same disregard for human life when perpetrated by Palestinian terrorists?
Naivete or good intentions are no reason for closing one’s eyes and continuing to listen to a friend defending the indefensible. And being lazy to read up on Islam is not a valid reason for people to continue talking nonsense and still consider themselves my friends.
Unlike the letter-writer, I have Israeli friends who “defend the indefensible” and have kept them. I understand his attitude, though. These people are saying it’s somehow morally excusable to blow up themselves, me, their children, or my children. If I don’t break with them, it’s because I know they’re basically good folks and the perverse thing they say, while a failing, is not a decisive one.
In Israel, and probably also in the U.S. to a considerable extent, this softness toward terrorism is the sine qua non of the Left. Among the majority who recognize it as evil, the question becomes practical: what should we do about it? Withdraw from the terror enclaves and try to keep them surrounded and bottled up? Keep patrolling them while allowing them to exist? Fight them seriously and root out the terror? On such issues one can hold discussions without a sense of betraying one’s deepest values.
The Left, however, cannot cross the Rubicon of just condemning terror. I’ve seen the anguish and anger in leftist friends after an attack. But after a while, they always come out at the same place. It was we, our arrogance, our insensitivity, our one-sided narrative, that drove this desperate person to do this. You and I would do the same in his place — we would be mass murderers, child-murderers.
The question, then, is why the leftist persists in this view of things. Here are a few suggestions:
1. Maintaining an identity as a rebel and part of an elite. Terror attacks cause feelings of anger and of solidarity with one’s own. The attacks say that all of us deserve to die, any of us could have been the ones in the bus or the restaurant. The feeling that “we’re all in this together” is one of the supports for a group under siege.
Many leftists, however, have an ambivalent attitude toward their group. While affiliating with it and often (certainly in Israel) willing to fight for it, at the same time they need to keep a distance as superior critics who see through the vulgarities of the rest of us. I’ve seen leftists experience the “we-feeling” after a terror attack, but, eventually, shy away from it; they can’t allow themselves to melt into the masses.
2. Accepting the intractability of the conflict. The terror attack conveys a chilling message of total rejection and hatred. The repeated attacks of the last twelve years have convinced most Israelis, including many who were willing to give the “Oslo process” a chance, that peace is not in the cards; hence the popularity of the new unilateralism by which Israel supposedly “defines its own borders.”
Many on the Left, however — particularly, in my experience, female leftists — cannot accept this reality because it’s too distressing and grim. The terrorist must be a social protester who can be mollified; or, in another variant, he’s merely an extremist and we have to “talk to” the moderates. People with this mindset, while mostly willing to admit that Arafat was not, after all, a moderate, were eager to embrace Mahmoud Abbas as a new savior, and to this day are not interested in evidence of his lack of moderacy and total lack of power.
3. Subconscious identification with the aggressor. This is clearly the most problematic category. Many leftists, especially more radical ones, are known to be people who nurse anger at their parents, and at their society as an extension of their parents. Leftists who seem stuck on the idea that we would “do the same thing” if we were Palestinians, or Muslims, are the most suspect of harboring such feelings. The most virulent Israeli leftists have been known, indeed, to express such feelings openly when the victims of attacks are settlers, a group they hate. While not encountering such sentiments firsthand, in a couple of cases — the most socially problematic — I’ve sensed them lurking.
Wanting to shun people who could not just condemn the 9/11 attack, or the latest slaughter in an Israeli mall, is understandable and may even be right. Another approach is, given the difficulty of the reality and the moral complexity of individuals, to keep the doors open.
by Michelle Malkin
Janeane Garofalo, left-wing actress-turned-Air America radio host, is a miserable woman. Last week before the holidays, she turned up on cable TV. No, not to count her blessings — but to rant against conservative journalist Bob Novak, author Ann Coulter, and the Fox News Channel. She didn’t have anything better to do for Thanksgiving?
Accessorized by a permanent scowl (hard to believe she was once considered a comedienne), Ms. Garofalo accused conservatives of having “an anger management problem.” Without a trace of irony, the frowning Garofalo griped about “right-wing partisan hacks” who “are always on the verge of punching somebody or always behave as if they’ve just been cut off in traffic.”
This, dear readers, is a classic case of liberal projection. Like CNN executive Jonathan Klein, who derided Fox’s audience as full of “angry white men, and those men tend to be rabid,” and liberal comedian Bill Maher, who also railed that “Republicans need anger management” and are possessed with a “vein-popping, gut-churning rage that consumes the entire right wing,” Ms. Garofalo crossly blames the Right while denying the pathological wrath and fury that characterize the unhinged Left.
Who are you calling angry, Ms. Garofalo? You want political road rage? Let’s start with Al. Take your pick: Sharpton. Gore. Franken. Yearrghh!
Now, open your eyes:
It isn’t out-of-control conservatives tossing Molotov cocktails at police officers in San Francisco, burning American soldiers in effigy, and smearing pig’s blood and feces on the walls and windows of military recruitment centers across the country to protest on behalf of peace.
It isn’t rage-blinded conservative professors who embrace fragging (the murder of American soldiers by their fellow soldiers on the battlefield) as a legitimate anti-war tactic.
It isn’t vengeful conservatives torching SUVs, condo developments, and research facilities, and targeting biotech and pharmaceutical company employees and their families to protest on behalf of the environment.
It wasn’t mad conservatives sporting “F— Bush” license plates, punching cardboard cutouts of the president, and vowing to secede after losing the 2004 presidential election.
It wasn’t rabid conservatives who gloated over Ronald Reagan’s death or John Ashcroft’s pancreatitis.
It wasn’t a gut-busting conservative journalist who vowed to kill herself if Dick Cheney ran for president. (That would be the perpetually aggrieved Helen Thomas.)
It wasn’t hate-filled Republican officials who reportedly screamed “faggot” and “fruitcake” and “I’ll break your nose” at their political opponents. (Those were all Democrats: Pennsylvania state legislator Vincent Fumo, California Rep. Pete Stark, and Virginia Rep. Jim Moran, respectively.)
It isn’t fanatical conservatives joking about the assassination of President Bush and the execution of his Republican aides. (That, Ms. Garofalo, would include your Air America colleagues. But I’ll forgive you if you weren’t tuned in to them. Few are.)
And it wasn’t ruthless conservatives who cheered last week when a liberal Bush-hater wrote on the popular DemocraticUnderground.com website last week:
I am an American, Born and Raised, but I am NOT a citizen of BUSH’S America. I want nothing to do with the country these people have created.
And for those who support them, Let’s get Something Nice And Sparkling CLEAR:
Stay The [F—] Away From Me. Stay OUT of my personal space. I want NOTHING from you. I want NOTHING to do with you. I want NOTHING to do with your “vision” of what the world should be.
What DO I want from you?
I will freely admit there are days, and they are becoming more than not, that the Alien at Area 51 in Independence Day and I share quite a common ground on the answer to that question.
And I am NOT apologizing for it.
In the words of the Late, Great Bill Hicks, about the most conciliatory thing I can say for those people at this point is simply this:
My Christmas wish for Ms. Garofalo and her ilk: a mirror and a clue to make the yuletide bright. In the meantime, when vein-popping liberals start seething about the rage of the Right, the wisest action for peaceful right-wingers I can recommend is this:
WHAT DOES MODERN HISTORY have to teach us about the age of American empire? The final chapters of the British Empire offer lessons and parallels aplenty. Empires don’t last forever, and the combination of martial victory, popular ennui, and liberal anti-patriotism is a dangerous mix for a superpower.
At the beginning of the 20th century, the British Empire was an unopposed hyperpower (much as the United States has been since 1989). As historian Colin Cross observes: “In terms of influence it was the only world power.” The British people and their leaders accepted this fact. In the early 1930s, Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin pronounced that “the British Empire stands firm, as a great force for good.” Historian William Manchester argues that “most of the crown’s subjects, abroad as well as at home, felt comfortable with imperialism.”
But after the conclusion of the first World War, Britain’s imperial psyche began to fracture. “After the survivors of the Western front came home,” Manchester writes, “Britons wanted nothing more to do with war; most of them hoped never again to lay their eyes on an Englishman in uniform, and they were losing their taste for Empire.” Winston Churchill despaired of this change. “The shadow of victory is disillusion,” he noted. “The reaction from extreme effort is prostration. The aftermath even of successful war is long and bitter.”
A deep desire to avoid conflict, even at the price of letting the Empire dissolve, permeated British society. In 1931, the House of Commons passed the Statute of Westminster, the first step toward independence for Britain’s dominions. In 1932, a poll found that 10.4 million Britons supported England’s unilateral disarmament, while only 870,000 opposed it. Historian Alistair Horne observes that, after World War I, it took just about 10 years for the “urge for national grandeur” to be replaced by “a deep longing simply to be left in peace.”
Why did it all crumble? Several interrelated reasons - among them the grisly fact that England had lost virtually an entire generation of future leaders in the trenches of Europe. But another important cause was the waning of confidence on the part of liberal British elites, whose pacifism evolved into anti-patriotism.
In 1933, the Oxford Union - a debating society and one of the strongholds of liberal elite opinion - held a debate on the resolution “this House will in no circumstances fight for king and country.” The resolution passed. Margot Asquith, one of England’s leading liberal lights, wrote that same year, quite sincerely: “There is only one way of preserving peace in the world, and getting rid of your enemy, and that is to come to some sort of agreement with him. . . . The greatest enemy of mankind today is hate.”
Churchill disdained the new liberalism, mocking one of his opponents as part of “that band of degenerate international intellectuals who regard the greatness of Britain and the stability and prosperity of the British Empire as a fatal obstacle. . . . “ So deep was this liberal loathing of empire that even as the first shots of World War II were being fired, Churchill’s private secretary, Jock Colville, witnessed at a theater “a group of bespectacled intellectuals” who, to his shock, “remain[ed] firmly seated while ‘God Save the King’ was played.”
These elites could see evil only at home. The French intellectual Simone de Beauvoir did not believe that Germany was a “threat to peace,” but instead worried that the “panic that the Right was spreading” would drag France, Britain, and the rest of Europe into war. Stafford Cripps, a liberal Labor member of Parliament, feared not Hitler, but Churchill. Cripps wrote that after Churchill became prime minister he would “then introduce fascist measures and there will be no more general elections.”
In an important sense, the British Empire’s strength failed because its elite liberal citizens stopped believing in it.
The parallels with 21st-century America are striking. In little more than 10 years, England went from victory in World War I to serious discussions about completely disarming herself. Talk of a “peace dividend” began with the fall of the Berlin Wall and culminated 10 years later with a major draw-down of forces and the abandonment of the two-war doctrine.
Where the Great War robbed England of a generation of its best and brightest, in America the baby boom generation was lost in Vietnam or, perhaps worse, in Canada, in the Air National Guard, and in the universities, where they learned to hide and not lead. This has taken its toll. Our two baby boom presidents have been exceedingly imperfect. (As Edmund Burke once cautioned, “A great empire and little minds go ill together.”)
The American left, too, eerily echoes its British counterparts. Consider the “Peace is Patriotic” bumper stickers; the howls of protest against the nomination of John Bolton to be ambassador to the United Nations, for fear that he might be too assertive of American values; the comparison - by Sen. Richard Durbin (D., Ill.) - of American soldiers at Guantanamo Bay to Nazis and Guantanamo Bay to the Soviet gulag; the protest cries of “No blood for oil” and the left-wing fringe speculation that the endgame of George W. Bush’s 9/11 fear-mongering would be to cancel elections and establish a fascist police state.
The liberal opponents of the British Empire were proved wrong, but their misplaced disillusionment was enough to sap the vitality of imperial confidence. After rising one last time to fight Nazism, the sun set on the British Empire.
Likewise, it is pleasant to believe that the crisis of confidence in today’s liberal elites won’t affect the outcome of our war with Islamist extremism. The greater worry concerns what happens next. Will protestations of liberal elites become mainstream diffidence about America’s place in the world? Will we, too, stop believing that America stands firm, as a great force for good - and then see our place in the world diminish?
History, it turns out, can be both a comfort and a caution.
Jonathan V. Last is online editor of The Weekly Standard and a contributor to the blog Galley Slaves. This piece originally appeared in the October 9, 2005 Philadelphia Inquirer.
If I didn’t know better, I would think liberal politicians and columnists were out to prove the thesis of my book — that there truly is a war being waged against Christianity and Christians in the United States.
Oh, yes, they deny it and attempt to turn the tables, saying it’s Christians who are the belligerent ones, trying to take over the country and establish a theocracy. If it’s not the New York Times’ Maureen Dowd, it’s her colleague Paul Krugman. It it’s not them, it’s John Kerry. They are all up in arms about Christianity and its influence in politics, governance and the public square.
What are these people so exercised about? Why must they insist on demonizing Christians? Why do they fear them so? Why are they so paranoid about them participating in politics and government? Why do they seem to think that only Christians must keep their views to themselves once they are elected to office?
Failed presidential candidate John Kerry said, “I am sick and tired of a bunch of people trying to tell me that God wants a bunch of conservative judges on the court.” Just for the record, Senator Kerry, conservatives and Christian conservatives aren’t saying they want conservative judges on the court, but originalists: judges who will interpret the Constitution according to the Framers’ original intent.
The war against Christians has intensified with the recent controversy over ending the Democrats’ (nearly) unprecedented filibustering of judicial nominees. Senate Democrats and their enablers apparently see the Christian right as the main bogeyman in the effort to restore majority rule to the judicial confirmation process.
They are especially upset with Senate majority leader Bill Frist for agreeing to participate in “Justice Sunday,” an event organized by Christian groups to rally Christians to support politicians trying to end the judicial filibuster. Frist’s opponents, from Ralph Neas, president of the People for the American Way, to junior Senator Mark Pryor, have registered disgust that Christian politicians and Christian groups would presume to approach this issue from the perspective of their Christian worldview.
Before the judicial filibuster flap, it was the Terri Schiavo case. During that acrimonious, national debate, Dowd accused Christian conservatives of trying to establish a theocracy. Actually, she said, “Oh, my God, we really are in a theocracy.” She also paid homage to the “credo” that “a person’s relationship with God should remain a private matter.” And, she compared Christian conservatives to Muslim “religious fundamentalists” in Iraq.
Krugman, similarly, compared Christian “extremists” in America to “religious extremists” in Israel who “have already killed one prime minister.” In fairness, Krugman said such assassinations aren’t occurring here yet, but “unless moderates take a stand against the growing power of domestic extremists, it can happen here.”
Dowd’s suggestion that we have a theocracy isn’t serious enough to warrant a rebuttal. Most Christians I know are radically opposed to theocracy, which is antithetical to religious freedom, a principle at the apex of their priorities.
But Dowd’s wrongheaded notion that “a person’s relationship with God should be a private matter,” needs to be vigorously challenged. [Kwing Hung: similar to the road to hell in Scandinavia.]
If Christians are to honor Christ’s Great Commission of spreading the Gospel to all nations, they must engage in the political arena and governance if for no other reason than that the Gospel cannot flourish as well in the absence of political and religious liberty. Christians have a duty to be involved to promote liberty.
Where did we get this crazy idea that Christians can’t base their support and opposition of candidates, issues and even laws on Christian morality? Dowd’s specious assertion ignores that the overwhelming majority of our Founding Fathers formed this government on Christian principles. Most of our laws, civil and criminal — from trespassing, to stealing, assault, rape and murder — are grounded in morality, and it is an astonishing deception to suggest otherwise.
This idea that Christians must keep their views to themselves, and that politicians must keep their Christian worldview in a lockbox has caught on even among many Christians. But a Christian inhibits his Christian walk if he places his religion on just one “shelf” of his life. His worldview must inform his politics, just as everyone else’s does.
What the secular Left wants to do is marginalize Christian conservatives by suggesting they are hell-bent on reserving religious liberty (and presumably other types of freedom) only for themselves.
But all we have to do to refute that lie is to point to the history of this great nation, which owes its freedom largely to the religious liberties enshrined in the Constitution by Christians. The Left will never tire of castigating Christians, so we might as well get used to that. But in the meantime, it is important that Christians be neither duped nor intimidated from participating aggressively in politics and governance, which is their sacred right and their unquestionable duty.
By Christopher Orlet
It is amusing to see the folks over at The Nation now promoting moral values. Sort of like the owners of the sunken Titanic promoting Iceberg Awareness Week. Yes, Virginia (and Mississippi, and Kansas), moral relativists have values too, it’s just that in the past they were called progressive ideals, or some such secular handle. But after the trouncing Democrats took in November, and exit polls that reported voters’ number one concern to be “moral values,” a bit of euphemism seemed definitely in order.
Why this change in strategy? Writing in the Dec. 6 issue of The Nation, George Lakoff has suggested that the only way to trump conservatives’ hold on moral values is “with our own more traditional and more patriotic moral values.” So just what are these so-called “progressive moral values?” Lakoff defines them as “car[ing] and responsibility, fairness and equality, freedom and courage, fulfillment in life, opportunity and community, cooperation and trust, honesty and openness.”
Sounds like many of the values we were taught in preschool, does it not? Perfect, because liberals often treat voters as if they were preschoolers. What strikes the careful reader is that many of these so-called “progressive moral values” are the antithesis of progressivism. Take “Responsibility.” If there is one thing the progressive abhors it is personal responsibility. Whether it involves crime, drug abuse, or poverty, progressives like to blame everyone but the responsible party, the usual objects of their censure being capitalism, the bourgeoisie, religion, or the military-industrial complex. Confronted with the case of an unmarried, illiterate 14-year-old girl with multiple children living in unspeakable squalor, the progressive will doubtless fault a greedy, misogynistic, racist society, and absolve the waif and her biological architects from all blame.
Or consider the soi-disant progressive moral value of “Caring.” Progressives claim to have a monopoly on caring, but “The Catalogue For Philanthropy’s Generosity Index” shows that when it comes to charitable giving the Red States leave the Blue States eating their red dust. More, a recent study by the Chronicle of Philanthropy showed that the blue New England states are home to the stingiest people in America. Compared to religious giving, corporate giving and Republican efforts to wean lifers from the dole and instill in them a sense of hope and pride with welfare-to-work programs, progressives look like tightwads.
Likewise, the other so-called “progressive moral values,” are equally distorted. In the progressive’s moral universe, “Fairness” isn’t a level playing field, but involves giving the underdog the ball on the one-yard line and a twenty-point lead. “Equality” means favoring one formerly oppressed race or sex over another. To the conservative, “Freedom” is symbolic of the Bill of Rights and other restraints on a bloated, grabby and sluggish bureaucracy. But Freedom to the progressive can only be obtained by bigger, more intrusive government, new laws, and additional oversight, which would seem to be a paradox — because it is. “Opportunity” is not about helping your own prospects through self-reliance, education and sweat, but rather involves waiting for government to offer you a leg up. The rest of the “progressive moral values” (courage, fulfillment in life, cooperation, trust, honesty, openness) are too generic and mundane to require comment.
Mr. Lakoff mocks conservative values that suggest “Taxes take away the rightful rewards of the prosperous,” that “wrongdoers should be punished severely,” and that “government should get out of the way of disciplined (hence good) people seeking their self-interest,” as if such values were morally akin to the Nuremberg laws. He then lauds “progressive moral values” that teach the opposite: successful Americans should be punitively taxed, wrongdoers should be coddled, and government should throw up economic barriers to ambitious folks. Fortunately most Americans find such progressive moral values absurd, which is doubtless why Republicans now control both houses of Congress and Pennsylvania Avenue.
In the progressive’s America, described so fancifully in Mr. Lakoff’s essay, children enter this world wholly and naturally good and must learn from society how to be naughty little boys and girls. Here there are no losers, and evil is but some hallucination in the sick mind of a tyrannical father. (Mr. Lakoff accuses conservatives’ “strict-father morality” for bigotry and intolerance, which seems odd considering how few strict fathers there are in contemporary America. It is a little like criticizing do-do birds for befouling your lawn.) And here there is no such thing as self-interest, only the communal good. A nanny government clamps down on anyone who becomes too successful, and, since there is no evil, no disciplining required, and everyone takes care of everyone else, fathers become superfluous. The progressive’s Utopia. The liberal’s Erehwon.
In the spirit of red-state generosity, I’m going to offer Mr. Lakoff and his readers a bit of unsolicited advice. Forget about trying to dress up failed progressive ideas as “moral values.” Americans aren’t buying it. Rather, progressives should play to their strengths. Many libertarian Republicans, I think, would support greater tolerance of alternative lifestyles, which they regard as no one else’s business. We would certainly support reasonable and sane protections of civil rights, workers rights and the environment. But then such reasonableness and sanity wouldn’t be very progressive, now would it?
Democratic strategists keep holding post-election powwows aired on C-SPAN, but their introspection never adds up to very much. They usually end up saying in one form or another: we need to fool people better. At some level they know that the problem the party faces is not that the American people don’t understand their positions but that they understand them too well. So what options are they left with? Since changing philosophy is out of the question in their minds they are left with changing their rhetoric: let’s make the American people think we’re revising our radical views without actually doing so.
During the presidential campaign, Democrats rejected the suggestion that they were out of touch with mainstream America even as their candidate bragged about non-American support. That Kerry had to cite endorsements from foreign leaders as a political prop was a tacit admission of the party’s estrangement from America: the less support the Democrats could find inside the country, the more they turned to support for their views from outside it.
In American political history, modern Democrats are an anomalous creature, a party that seeks to win elections by running on foreign endorsements while regarding many of their countrymen as anthropological curiosities foreign to them. Running against “conservatism” at some point turned into running against America for the Democrats, and as they grew more alienated from mainstream America the more they came to depend on foreign fashions and views to justify their agenda, whether it was Democratic activists citing Danish jurisprudence to dismantle marriage or Bill Clinton hiding behind the opinion of “the world” during his impeachment.
Listen closely enough to what the Democrats say and it becomes clear that their first problem is not with modern conservatism but with America itself. They simply don’t agree with America’s founding philosophy, which is why they find basic American customs like reciting the Pledge of Allegiance distasteful and why their judges are constantly trying to rewrite the founding documents of the country.
The movement to smuggle foreign jurisprudence into Supreme Court opinions, which picks up speed each year, is a de facto left-wing Constitutional Convention. That is, the Democrats wouldn’t dare call openly for a Constitutional Convention to write a new Constitution resting on liberal European foundations but they are in effect holding one anyways through the courts. Judicial activism is an ongoing Constitutional Convention, which has the additional advantage for Democrats of allowing them to subject the Constitution to foreign editing and revision without risking the wrath of the American people. (Justice Stephen Breyer let the cat out of the bag about what they are up to when he said, “Our Constitution and how it fits into the governing documents of other nations, I think, will be a challenge for the next generations.”)
When the Democrats say something is “un-American,” they usually mean something very American that they don’t want in America anymore. Very reasonable American expectations fortified by history and custom, such as placing crosses and creches in public places, are suddenly declared “un-American” when what the Democrats really mean is un-European.
Under this twisted thinking, even America’s founding documents are “un-American.” The Democrats will no doubt say that the California principal who has banned the teaching of the Declaration of Independence is violating their philosophy. No, she’s not. She’s enforcing it.
Principal Patricia Vidmar at Stevens Creek School in Cupertino, California, has told a fifth-grade teacher to stop exposing his students to the Declaration of Independence, some of George Washington’s writings, Samuel Adams’ “The Rights of the Colonists,” and William Penn’s “The Frame of Government of Pennsylvania.” Vidmar gets it: separating Church and State in the Democratic mind means separating Americans from America.
The Democrats’ America wasn’t started in 1776 but more like 1966. The policies of the Democratic Party amount to a declaration of independence from pre-radical America. They have suspicion, and often contempt, for anything historically American that doesn’t conform to their liberalism. Because the Declaration of Independence contains what the left regards as an embarrassing article of faith — that human rights come not from secular governments but from God — it is unfit matter for a public school. Vidmar is just carrying out an attitude — we don’t want young children learning about the religious boobs who founded this country — that dominates National Education Association meetings.
By banning the Pledge of Allegiance and the founding documents of the country, by relying more and more on foreign jurisprudence to rewrite a Constitution they don’t like, by boasting about foreign political support and cleaving to the U.N., the Democrats have become very foreign to Americans. Repeatedly during the presidential campaign the Democrats declared their independence from America — and then were surprised when ordinary Americans went to the polls to give it to them.
George Neumayr is executive editor of The American Spectator.
There is much talk of post-election reorganization and rethinking among demoralized liberals, especially in matters of foreign policy. They could start by accepting that the demise of many of their cherished beliefs and institutions was not the fault of others. More often, the problems are fundamental flaws in their own thinking — such as the ends of good intentions justifying the means of expediency and untruth, and forced equality being a higher moral good than individual liberty and freedom. Whether we call such notions “political correctness” or “progressivism,” the practice of privileging race, class, and gender over basic ethical considerations has earned the moralists of the Left not merely hypocrisy, but virtual incoherence.
Democratic leaders are never going to be trusted in matters of foreign policy unless they can convince Americans that they once more believe in American exceptionalism and are the proper co-custodians of values such as freedom and individual liberty. If in the 1950s rightists were criticized as cynical Cold Warriors who never met a right-wing thug they wouldn’t support, as long as he mouthed a few anti-Soviet platitudes, then in the last two decades almost any thug from Latin America to the Middle East who professed concern for “the people” — from Castro and the Noriega Brothers to Yasser Arafat and the Iranian mullahs — was likely to earn a pass from the American and European cultural elite and media. To regain credibility, the Left must start to apply the same standard of moral outrage to a number of its favorite causes that it does to the United States government, the corporations, and the Christian Right. Here are a few places to start.
1. There really isn’t a phenomenon like “Islamophobia” — at least no more than there was a “Germanophobia” in hating Hitler or “Russophobia” in detesting Stalinism. Any unfairness or rudeness that accrues from the “security profiling” of Middle Eastern young males is dwarfed by efforts of Islamic fascists themselves — here in the U.S., in the U.K., the Netherlands, France, Turkey, and Israel — to murder Westerners and blow up civilians. The real danger to thousands of innocents is not an occasional evangelical zealot or uncouth politician spouting off about Islam, but the deliberately orchestrated and very sick anti-Semitism and anti-Americanism that floods the airways worldwide, emanating from Iran, Lebanon, and Syria, to be sure, but also from our erstwhile “allies” in Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar.
So both here and abroad, the Western public believes that there is a double standard in the moral judgment of our left-leaning media, universities, and politicians — that we are not to supposed to ask how Christians are treated in Muslim societies, only how free Islamists in Western mosques are to damn their hosts; or that we are to think beheading, suicide murdering, and car bombing moral equivalents to the sexual humiliation and roguery of Abu Ghraib — apparently because the former involves post-colonial victims and the latter privileged, exploitive Americans. Most sane people, however, privately disagree, and distinguish between a civilian’s head rolling on the ground and a snap shot of an American guard pointing at the genitalia of her terrorist ward.
Moreover, few of any note in the Arab Middle East speak out against the racial hatred of Jews. Almost no major Islamic religious figure castigates extreme Muslim clerics for their Dark-age misogyny, anti-Semitism, and venom against the West; and no Arab government admonishes its citizenry to look to itself for solutions rather than falling prey to conspiracy theories and ago-old superstitions. It would be as if the a state-subsidized Ku Klux Klan or the American Nazi party were to be tolerated for purportedly voicing the frustrations of poor working-class whites who “suffered” under a number of supposed grievances.
What is preached in the madrassas on the West Bank, in Pakistan, and throughout the Gulf is no different from the Nazi doctrine of racial hatred. What has changed, of course, is that unlike our grandfathers, we have lost the courage to speak out against it. In one of the strangest political transformations of our age, the fascist Islamic Right has grafted its cause onto that of the Left’s boutique “multiculturalism,” hoping to earn a pass for its hate by posing as the “other” and reaping the benefits of liberal guilt due to purported victimization. By any empirical standard, what various Palestinian cliques have done on the West Bank — suicide murdering, lynching without trial of their own people, teaching small children to hate and kill Jews — should have earned them all Hitlerian sobriquets rather than U.N. praise.
2. “Imperialism” and “hegemony” explain nothing about recent American intervention abroad — not when dictators such as Noriega, Milosevic, the Taliban, and Saddam Hussein were taken out by the U.S. military. There are no shahs and Your Excellencies in their places, but rather consensual governments whose only sin was that they came on the heels of American arms rather than U.N. collective snoozing. There really was no secret Afghan pipeline behind toppling the Taliban, nor a French-like oil concession to be had for the United States from the new Iraqi interim government. Many of Michael Moore’s heroic “Minutemen” of the Sunni Triangle are hired killers — hooded fascists in the pay of ex-Baathists and Saddamites, along with Islamic terrorists and jihadists who hate the very idea of democracy in the heart of the Arab world. The collective cursus honorum of these Saddamite holdovers during the last two decades — gassing the Kurds, committing atrocities against the Iranians, looting and pillaging in Kuwait, launching missiles into Israel and Saudi Arabia, slaughtering Shiites and again Kurds, and assassinating Western and U.N. aid workers — rank right up there with the work of the SS and KGB.
Reformers like Allawi and Yawar of Iraq are not “puppets” but far better advocates of democratic reform than anyone else in the Arab world. Nor does “no blood for oil” mean anything when an increasingly small percentage of American-imported petroleum comes from the Gulf, and when an oil-hungry China — without much deference to liberal sensibilities — is driving up the world price, eyeing every well it can for future exploitation without regard for political or environmental niceties.
3. It won’t do any longer to attribute American outrage over the U.N. to a vast right-wing conspiracy led by red-state senators and Fox News. All the standing ovations for Kofi Annan cannot hide the truth that the Oil-for-Food scandal exceeds Enron. Indeed, Ken Lay’s malfeasance never involved the deaths of thousands, while cronies siphoned off food and supplies from a starving populace. The U.S. military does not tolerate mass rape and plunder among its troops, as is true of the U.N. peacekeepers throughout Africa. There can be no serious U.N. moral sense as long as illiberal regimes — a Syria, Iran, or Cuba — vote in the General Assembly and the Security Council stymies solutions out of concern for an autocratic China that swallowed Tibet. Millions were slaughtered in Cambodia, Rwanda, and Darfur while New York bureaucrats either condemned Israel or damned anyone who censured their own inaction and corruption. Rather than faulting those who fault the U.N., leftists should lament the betrayal of the spirit of the liberal U.N. Charter by regimes that are neither democratic nor liberal but who seek legitimacy solely on their ability to win concessions and sympathy from guilt-ridden Westerners.
4. So it is also time to take a hard look at the heroes and villains of Hollywood, liberal Democrats, and the Euro elites. Many are as obsessed with damning the senile dictator of Chile as they are with excusing the unelected President for Life Fidel Castro. But let us be frank. A murderous Pinochet probably killed fewer of his own than did a mass-murdering Castro, and left Chile in better shape than contemporary Cuba is in. And the former is long gone, while the latter is still long in power.
Similarly, Nobel Prizes increasingly go to either unsavory or unhinged characters. Yasser Arafat was a known killer and terrorist, not a global peacemaker. Wangari Maathai’s public statements about AIDS are puerile and ipso facto would have eliminated any Westerner from consideration for anything. Rigoberta Menchu Tum herself was a half-truth, her story mostly a creation of a westernized academic publishing elite. Jimmy Carter’s 2002 award was not predicated on his past work on housing for the poor, but his critically timed and calculated opposition to George W. Bush’s effort to topple Saddam Hussein — as was confirmed by the receptive Nobel Committee itself. Recent winners Kofi Annan and Kim Dae-jung are now better known for having their own sons involved in influence-peddling and bribery while they oversaw bureaucrats who trafficked in millions with unsavory murderers like Kim Jong-Il and Saddam Hussein. In short, such an august prize has come a long way from Mother Teresa and Martin Luther King Jr. — and precisely because it has privileged leftist rhetoric over real morality.
If the moralizing Left wants to be taken seriously, it is going have to become serious about its own moral issues, since that is the professed currency of contemporary liberalism. Otherwise, the spiritual leaders who lecture us all on social justice, poverty, and truth will remain the money-speculator George Soros, the Reverend Jesse Jackson of dubious personal and professional ethics, and the mythographer Michael Moore. And we all know where that leads…
— Victor Davis Hanson is a military historian and a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution at Stanford University. His website is victorhanson.com.
In Part One of my new book — released this week! — “Demonic: How the Liberal Mob Is Endangering America,” I demonstrate that liberals have all the earmarks of mob psychology.
Their myths, slogans, demands for immediate action, messianic goals, demonization of opponents, creation of political idols and occasional resorts to violence — all this is classic herd behavior.
Because mobs are irrational, immature, subject to wild passions and infatuations, they cannot be reasoned with. And they are always dangerous.
The mob attributes of liberals we will review this week are a crowd’s inability to perceive contradictions and its tendency to form an infatuation for an individual.
Consider just one blinding contradiction recently embraced by liberals.
Immediately after Jared Loughner’s shooting spree in Tucson, Americans were lectured on civility by the likes of Keith “the leading terrorist group in this country right now is the Republican Party” Olbermann.
Two days after the shooting, The New York Times ran an op-ed by former Democratic congressman Paul Kanjorski (Pa.) calling for “an atmosphere of civility” to eliminate a “fear of violent confrontation.” Only months earlier, Kanjorski had said of the Republican candidate for governor in Florida (now governor), Rick Scott: “They ought to have him and shoot him. Put him against the wall and shoot him.”
But the media turned to one man more than any other to discuss how rhetoric can lead to violence: Al Sharpton — someone whose rhetoric actually had inspired violent mobs.
In addition to libeling innocent men in the Tawana Brawley hoax, ginning up angry mobs outside the Central Park jogger’s rapists’ trial, whipping up mobs after a car accident in Brooklyn’s Crown Heights neighborhood killed a black child and a rabbinical student was stabbed to death, Sharpton famously incited an anti-Semitic pogrom against a Jewish-owned clothing store in Harlem, saying, “We will not stand by and allow them to move this brother so that some white interloper can expand his business.”
Someone who was listening to Sharpton later decided to storm the store and start shooting, wounding several employees, and setting a fire that killed seven people.
Of course, after all this, Sharpton became a pariah — oh wait! In the opposite of being exiled, he became famous, ran for president as a Democrat and Al Gore kissed his ring, after these events.
In January of this year, Sharpton was repeatedly rolled out as the expert commentator on civil discourse — on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” NPR, CNN and MSNBC. As MSNBC’s Ed Schultz said in introducing him, “Al Sharpton is on a crusade against hate speech on talk radio.”
In light of Sharpton’s history, you’d think that, in the middle of the Arizona shooting being blamed on “rhetoric,” someone in his organization might have said: “Boss, I’d keep a low profile for the next couple of weeks. We just don’t want you to be on TV right now because someone is going to say — ‘Hey, how about Freddy’s? What about Gavin Cato’s funeral? Weren’t you the guy stirring up the violent rabble at the trial for the Central Park jogger’s rape?’”
They needn’t have worried. No one brought up any of the mayhem that had followed Sharpton’s speeches.
As Gustave Le Bon, the father of groupthink, explains: A crowd’s “complete lack of critical spirit does not allow of its perceiving these contradictions.”
Second and most obviously, liberals fanatically worship their leaders. FDR, JFK, Clinton, Obama — they’re all “rock stars” to Democrats. They’re the Beatles, Elvis, Abraham Lincoln or Jesus, depending on which cliche liberals are searching for.
Nearly seven decades after FDR was president and five decades after JFK was, we still have to listen to liberals drone on about their stupendousness. It’s as if Republicans demanded constant praise for Calvin Coolidge.
Even Republicans are forced to pretend to admire these profligate Democrats in order to court Democratic voters. Republicans don’t mention Reagan as much, and he was a better president.
In 1992, Time magazine quoted The Boomer Report editor Cheryl Russell, saying, “Every woman I know is having sex dreams about Bill Clinton.” (If you call nightmares about Bill Clinton dropping his pants “sex dreams,” I guess I was, too.)
When Obama came along, guess who liberals started having sex dreams about? Yes, the big-eared beanpole. The New York Times’ Judith Warner reported: “Many women — not too surprisingly — were dreaming about sex with the president.”
Meanwhile, during Reagan’s first year in office, conservatives didn’t even rank him as their favorite conservative. He was assailed from the right throughout his presidency.
Republicans certainly never had sex dreams about Reagan — nor Coolidge, Nixon or Bush. Most of the time, conservatives can barely stand their leaders. They aren’t a mob.
As Gustave Le Bon explains, the “convictions of crowds assume those characteristics of blind submission, fierce intolerance, and the need of violent propaganda which are inherent in the religious sentiment.”
Perhaps if they believed in a real God, liberals wouldn’t have to keep creating an endless stream of human gods.
Liberals never tire of discussing their own generosity, particularly when demanding that the government take your money by force to fund shiftless government employees overseeing counterproductive government programs.
They seem to have replaced “God” with “Government” in scriptural phrases such as “love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind.” (Matthew 22:37)
This week, we’ll take a peek at the charitable giving of these champions of the poor.
In 2009, the Obamas gave 5.9% of their income to charity, about the same as they gave in 2006 and 2007. In the eight years before he became president, Obama gave an average of 3.5% of his income to charity, upping that to 6.5% in 2008.
The Obamas’ charitable giving is equally divided between “hope” and “change.”
George W. Bush gave away more than 10% of his income each year he was president, as he did before becoming president.
Thus, in 2005, Obama gave about the same dollar amount to charity as President George Bush did, on an income of $1.7 million — more than twice as much as President Bush’s $735,180. Again in 2006, Bush gave more to charity than Obama on an income one-third smaller than Obama’s.
In the decade before Joe Biden became vice president, the Bidens gave a total — all 10 years combined — of $3,690 to charity, or 0.2% of their income. They gave in a decade what most Americans in their tax bracket give in an average year, or about one row of hair plugs.
Of course, even in Biden’s stingiest years, he gave more to charity than Sen. John Kerry did in 1995, which was a big fat goose egg. Kerry did, however, spend half a million dollars on a 17th-century Dutch seascape painting that year, as Peter Schweizer reports in his 2008 book, “Makers and Takers.”
To be fair, 1995 was an off-year for Kerry’s charitable giving. The year before, he gave $2,039 to charity, and the year before that a staggering $175.
He also dropped a $5 bill in the Salvation Army pail and almost didn’t ask for change.
In 1998, Al Gore gave $353 to charity — about a day’s take for a lemonade stand in his neighborhood. That was 10% of the national average for charitable giving by people in the $100,000-$200,000 income bracket. Gore was at the very top of that bracket, with an income of $197,729.
When Sen. Ted Kennedy released his tax returns to run for president in the ‘70s, they showed that Kennedy gave a bare 1% of his income to charity — or, as Schweizer says, “about as much as Kennedy claimed as a write-off on his 50-foot sailing sloop Curragh.” (Cash tips to bartenders and cocktail waitresses are not considered charitable donations.)
The Democratic base gives to charity as their betters do. At the same income, a single mother on welfare is seven times less likely to give to charity than a working poor family that attends religious services.
In 2006 and 2007, John McCain, who files separately from his rich wife, gave 27.3% and 28.6% of his income to charity.
In 2005, Vice President Cheney gave 77% of his income to charity. He also shot a lawyer in the face, which I think should count for something.
In a single year, Schweizer reports, Rush Limbaugh “gave $109,716 to ‘various individuals in need of assistance mainly due to family illnesses,’ $52,898 to ‘children’s case management organizations,’ including ‘various programs to benefit families in need,’ $35,100 for ‘Alzheimer’s community care — day care for families in need,’ and $40,951 for air conditioning units and heaters delivered to troops in Iraq.”
(Rush also once gave $50 to Maxine Waters after mistaking her for a homeless person.)
The only way to pry a liberal from his money is to hold tickertape parades for him, allowing him to boast about his charity in magazines and on TV.
Isn’t that what Jesus instructed in the Sermon on the Mount?
“So when you give to the needy, do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do ... But when you give to the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” (Matthew 6:2-4)
In my Bible, that passage is illustrated with a photo of Bill Gates and Warren Buffett.
At least the hypocrites in the Bible, Redmond, Wash., and Omaha, Neb., who incessantly brag about their charity actually do pony up the money.
Elected Democrats crow about how much they love the poor by demanding overburdened taxpayers fund government redistribution schemes, but can never seem to open their own wallets.
The only evidence we have that Democrats love the poor is that they consistently back policies that will create more of them.
“Perhaps Berkeley California needs a good old barn burning, complete with torches and pitchforks!”
These were my sentiments at the hearing of what the lunatics who run Liberalville USA have actually taken a vote on and passed in their most recent city council meetings.
In short, they want to subvert justice and accelerate the killing of American military and the sources who are helping them in Afghanistan and Iraq.
They also wish to honor a person who has committed more than 250,000 acts of treason (or at best espionage) against his nation, his strict military code and command, and the general welfare of even his own family.
Such was the case with PFC Bradley Manning, who now sits awaiting the day to go on trial for the crimes against his own. In what has become the-all-too-famous narrative, armed only with a Lady Gaga CD and a little bit of time, PFC Manning downloaded a few bucketfuls of documents that told many secrets of our operations against the terrorists. Once sold they were put on display by Julian Assange of Wikileaks and now those who seek to murder Americans in cold blood have reams of information they did not previously have.
There has never been a clearer act of treason in American history. And Manning deserves to be brought before Congress, tried for the charge, and executed upon a guilty verdict.
But he’s not the one that worries me now.
Sure he’s in military custody, he’s gonna face a tough go of it by every measure regardless of what happens, but there are two possible consolation prizes with him. Either he’s in prison for the rest of his life, or his neck gets stretched in Times Square before the watching public and we tell tales to the future generations that “actively assisting the enemy” is treason in the United States.
But like I said, he’s not the one I’m any too worried about presently.
The nutcase council members in Berkeley California on the other hand, leave me greatly disturbed. For they have proffered a hope that PFC Manning might be freed, and pending that, they hope to honor him with an award, a parade, maybe ice-cream and a cake, maybe ponies and rainbows... Who knows?
Manning is viewed by the city council as someone who has expressed behavior that is heroic. Some of them went so far as to imply that he was a great American:
“If he did what he’s accused of doing, he’s a patriot and should get a medal,” said Bob Meola, the Berkeley peace and justice commissioner who authored the resolution. “I think the war criminals should be the ones prosecuted, not the whistle-blowers.”
Now I don’t know what a “peace and justice commissioner” is and I likely would laugh out loud if I read the actual job description that was attached to it, but Bob Meola’s comment has to be one of the top three dumbest things to be uttered by a public official in 2010. Can anyone beat it?
I also have noticed that liberals like Meola keep using this word that they don’t know the definition of: patriot. Miriam Webster’s’ Dictionary tells us a patriot is one who vigorously supports their country and defends her against all enemies. Actually I’m beginning to doubt whether Meola would be able to identify a dictionary.
A majority vote moved the piece of legislation through the council. Unfortunately 70% of the council voted in favor of passage.
But please tell me that even in Berkeley there is at least one public official with something other than spun sugar sitting in their head where their brain is supposed to reside.
Okay there was at least one - Commissioner Thyme Seigel:
“We’re just sitting here in Berkeley - we don’t know that Afghani informants aren’t being murdered because of these leaks,” she said. “Bradley Manning sounds like a very sincere person, but I’m sorry, we really do have enemies, and it’s not clear at all what the effects of these WikiLeaks are.”
Other than that though, no real hope.
Code Pink got into the action as well when their co-founder Medea Benjamin went on cable news this week to attempt to defend the town’s actions. Benjamin attempted to decry the policies but was willing to give a pass to the traitor.
And let there be no doubt, a traitor he is.
He was motivated by sheer greed. What was it, all of $3,500 from the big spender Assange?
But here’s what Meola and Benjamin and the Berkeley city council fail to admit. If Bradley Manning’s ultimate goal was to reveal secrets in order to bring about reform, giving them to an investigative reporter in America would have been a more appropriate option.
The truth is he didn’t do it for altruistic purposes, but for some cash. Assange took the material and now our enemies have it.
The lessons we need to learn from the Bradley Manning episode are pretty serious. The damage he has done will be counted in lives lost, plans scrapped, networks destroyed, and those he knows being put in greater harm. What we could do without are these far-left lunatics that wish to bark at the moon, see boogeymen that aren’t there, and scream that the sky is anything other than blue.
Someone would think that people in Berkeley would know enough of the reality that the United States lives in today to not think his actions heroic. Perhaps they even do. For some of them I suspect Manning is being used as a pawn to vault themselves into the realms of celebrity-ridiculousness.
Then again that’s something a little crowd with some torches and pitchforks could easily care for there on the steps of the Berkeley City Hall.
All Americans, including conservatives, understand why any leftist would vote Democrat this year. The Democratic Party is now America’s version of a European Social Democratic or even Green Party. In domestic policy, there is no significant difference between the American and European parties.
So there is no question as to why those on the left would vote Democrat. There is, however, a legitimate question regarding non-leftist Americans — why would any of them vote for a Democrat this year?
The Democratic president and Democratic Party have expanded the American government to an unprecedented extent. Moreover, they have done so in unprecedented ways: Never before has such extensive society-changing legislation been passed without a single vote of the other political party; and unprecedentedly vast powers have been given to “czars” and their new federal agencies — with no congressional oversight. Add to this a level of national debt that is unsustainable — but meets the left’s great aim of redistributing wealth — and you have the most left-wing government in American history.
Why then would any of the vast majority of Americans who are not leftists vote Democratic this year?
The answer lies in emotion. For many non-leftist Democrats, it is emotionally impossible to vote Republican.
I can illustrate this best with a personal example that I often use in speeches to Jewish audiences.
I was raised both as an Orthodox Jew and a liberal Democrat. In my early 20s, not wanting to practice religious laws solely out of habit or fear, I experimented with religious non-observance.
I remember well the one time this yeshiva graduate ate ham. It was emotionally difficult.
I also well remember the first time this lifelong Democrat voted Republican. And it, too, was difficult. In fact, it was actually more emotionally difficult to vote Republican than to eat the ham.
Now, how could that be? How could it possibly have been more emotionally trying for a lifelong Democrat to vote Republican than for a lifelong observant Jew to eat ham? Isn’t religion a far deeper conviction than politics?
The question implies the answer.
Liberalism and leftism are religions. While I felt I would be sinning against God when I tasted ham, I was certain I was sinning against both God and man were I to vote Republican.
That is how liberals, not to mention leftists, think: It is a grievous sin to vote Republican (unless the Republican is a liberal). One is abandoning their faith, values, community and very identity.
But it is more than that. What keeps most non-leftists voting Democrat (and calling themselves liberal) has been the spectacularly effective saturation of virtually all media and all educational institutions with the message that the right is mean spirited and dangerous.
One of the first books I ever owned — in high school — was titled “Danger on the Right.” Throughout the world, people are fed the message “Danger on the Right” — and virtually never “Danger on the Left,” despite the left’s far bloodier and more totalitarian record.
The majority of people who vote Democratic do not have left-wing values. Only 20% of Americans even consider themselves liberal. But vast numbers of people with views that are not leftist have been effectively brainwashed (one cannot come up with a more accurate word) into fearing the right when the threats to their liberty, as well as to America’s standing in the world, its exceptionalism and its economic future all emanate from the left.
That is why nearly all Democratic and leftist reactions to conservatives and Republicans are to avoid argument (remember, on the issues the left has few supporters) and smear them as SIXHIRB, my acronym for “Sexist, Intolerant, Xenophobic, Homophobic, Islamophobic, Racist, Bigoted.” It is almost impossible to come up with the name of a leading conservative whom the dominant media have not dismissed as one or more of SIXHIRB — and usually as a buffoon as well. This obviously serves the left and the Democratic Party in many ways. But the most important is to keep non-leftists in fear of anyone who opposes the left. In effect, the left says, and has been saying for a hundred years, “You may not agree with us, but our opponents are evil.”
The Democratic appeal to black voters provides an excellent example. In nearly half a century, the left has done nothing for black America. Leftists have ruined the cities they govern and most of the public schools they control. But they have mastered one thing — the ability to paint their opponents as racist opponents of blacks. So, blacks, many of whom have conservative values — from opposing same-sex marriage to supporting school vouchers — vote almost universally for the left.
The same holds true of most American Jews. Most live profoundly conservative lives but vote left. Why? Overwhelmingly because they believe there is “Danger on the Right.” It doesn’t matter how anti-Israel the left is and how pro-Israel the right is, or that liberal Time magazine has a mendacious cover story on “Why Israel Doesn’t Care about Peace,” while every major conservative periodical is passionately protective of Israel. For most Jews, voting Republican is a far greater sin, emotionally, morally and socially than eating ham.
That is why virtually every liberal columnist at The New York Times has described political opposition to Barack Obama as racist. The left cannot win on arguments. It must demonize its opponents. From Stalin calling Trotsky a Fascist to Frank Rich labeling the tea parties as mimicking the Nazis’ Kristallnacht, this has been the favored leftist method of achieving power. And that is why it remains so hard for most Democrats to vote what they believe and vote Republican — a lifetime of demonization has worked.
[KH: liberals’ voting freud through ending recounts]
A new study by the Minnesota Majority found that at least 341 convicted felons in heavily Democratic Minneapolis-St. Paul who voted illegally in the 2008 Senate race. And it looks quite likely that felons gave Franken his narrow Senate victory.
The six month vote recount in the Senate race was a torturous process. The morning after November 4, 2008 election, Senator Norm Coleman lead Al Franken by 725 votes. Correcting for typos cut Coleman’s margin to 215, and a recount by all the counties reduced it further to 192.
Once the state canvassing board had looked into the intent of voters and counted 953 previously rejected absentee ballots, the final total had reversed that count and handed Franken a 312 vote victory.
This should not be a surprise, especially after the results of the Minnesota Majority study. By any measure, felons overwhelmingly vote for Democrats.
Academic work by Jeff Manza and Marcus Britton of Northwestern University and Christopher Uggen of the University of Minnesota estimated that Bill Clinton pulled 86% of the felon vote in 1992 and a whopping 93% in 1996.
Obviously, these are average numbers. More heavily Democratic areas such as Minneapolis-St. Paul would very likely have percentages of felons voting for Democrats that are above these rates. If heavily Democratic Minneapolis-St. Paul were just 3%age points above the average, than felon voting in just this one county gave Franken his win.
Other evidence suggests that Manza and Britton’s study underestimates the rate that felons vote for Democrats. In my own work, I examined a Public Opinion Strategies survey that interviewed 602 adults in Washington State in May 2005.
Of the respondents, 102 were felons who had their voting rights restored, while 500 were non-felons. Even after accounting for other differences that predict how people vote — race, gender, education level, religious habits, employment, age, and county of residence — felons were 36% more likely than non-felons, with the same characteristics, to have voted for John Kerry over George W. Bush and 37% more likely to be registered Democrats.
African-American and Asian felons in Washington reported that they voted exclusively for Kerry.
While not all felons may be as Democratic as those in Washington State, the survey indicates that the previous estimates understated how frequently felons vote for Democratic Party candidates.
In fact, it looks as if virtually all felons are Democrats. Felons are not just like everyone else. And the fact that felons are even more likely to vote Democratic than previously believed surely guarantees that some Democratic supporters will continue their efforts to get them to the polls.
Once one acknowledges that other felons illegally voted in Minnesota in 2008, it becomes even more certain that Mr. Franken obtained his Senate seat from felons voting for him.
by Mike Adams
Have you ever wondered why liberal professors spend class time characterizing conservative Christians as dangerous while describing Islam as a “religion of peace”? Ever wonder why these liberal professors compare conservative Christians to the Taliban while giving the real Taliban a pass? I think I finally figured it out a few weeks ago after I got a surprise visit from the campus police on the final day of the spring semester.
The reason for the visit, which was entirely professional and appropriate, related to my April 26th article “How to Offend Barbarians and Promote Diversity.” Just two days after the article was published the police chief came to visit me because another professor was concerned that those who wish me harm might come to our campus and injure others in their attempt to harm me. In other words, someone might shoot up the place and take an innocent life, which is a very bad thing according to liberals – unless, of course, we’re talking about abortion.
Let me pause and say that I have absolutely no doubt that the professor who called the police did so out of a genuine fear for her safety, rather than malice towards me. But that is where my sympathy for the un-named professor ends. Please allow me to explain.
I’ve written numerous articles referring to real threats I’ve received. I’ve even written articles talking about how I respond to such threats. Of course, when the threats have come from the left there has been no concern that a band of crazy liberals would come and shoot up the workplace. Liberals don’t have guns. They rely on Broadway Security, which is why all of those silly commercials have white burglars. Broadway knows its liberal audience would be offended by the suggestion that blacks commit burglary.
But the article I wrote on April 26th was different than most articles I write. I really got in the face of Revolution Muslim for threatening the producers of South Park with death. I even dared them to put me on their death list. The liberal professors on my campus, who are obsessed with my columns, certainly read my challenge to Revolution Muslim. And one of those liberal professors freaked out and called the police even though no specific threat had been issued against anyone.
The reason for the over-reaction was simple: Muslims were involved. Liberals do not hate Muslims like they hate conservative Christians. They fear Muslims and are so preoccupied with their fear of Muslims that they never get to the point of hating them.
This liberal fear of Muslims is to be found almost everywhere in academia. Take the case of Julio Pino, the radical Muslim Jihadist who teaches at Kent State University. Julio disseminates bomb-making instructions, encourages children to engage in suicide bombings, and generally displays his love of violence in a very public manner. But the liberals who work with Pino will not utter a word of criticism for the simple reason that they fear him.
Recently, I wrote an email to Pino’s Department Chairman at Kent State. In it, I challenged him to speak out against Pino for the misogynistic email he sent to me from his Kent State account. For those who don’t remember – or who have not read my past columns – Pino claimed he sodomized my mother in an obscene email, which used the “c-word,” the “f-word,” and the “a-word.”
But Pino’s Chairman was afraid to criticize his Jihadist subordinate. So I wrote the Kent State University Women’s Center with the following plea:
Dear WRC Director:
I wanted to write to give you a chance to respond to certain misogynistic statements recently made by one of your faculty members, Julio Pino. Professor Pino wrote the following to me from his Kent State University email account: “I (expletive) your mother up her greasy (expletive) and (expletive) while you’re not looking.”
For quite some time, I’ve been concerned that women’s centers focus on issues of little importance while ignoring the horrid treatment of women in the name of Islam. There are countless human rights abuses occurring in Iran and in other parts of the Muslim world. But there are also radical Muslims in this country who hate women with a passion. One of those radically misogynistic Muslims is Julio Pino, who teaches not far from where your women’s center is located.
I’ve heard reports for some time that Pino has a tendency to attack women with a level of profanity that makes The Vagina Monologues sound like a Disney Movie. I’ve even had emails forwarded to me showing hard evidence to support these accusations. And, now that he’s sent these statements to me, I’ve got conclusive proof.
Would you please show the courage that is lacking in Pino’s own department and condemn, in writing, his virulently sexist remarks? Your silence on this issue would send one of two bad messages - that you are too afraid of Muslims to confront their bigotry or, perhaps worse, that you lack the courage to stand up for your convictions.
Sincerely, Mike S. Adams
It should go without saying that the Women’s Center was also afraid to condemn Pino. To date, no one at his university is willing to do so publicly.
I would love to see just one liberal professor take a break from criticizing conservative Christians and go after radical Muslims who are, by far, our most intolerant citizens. Of course, that would entail growing a pair, which would immediately place the professor’s status as a liberal in jeopardy.
In the meantime, maybe we could develop sensitivity training sessions to combat rampant Islamophobia on our campuses. Maybe deep beneath their over-blown fear of Muslims there is a reservoir of liberal commitment to principle and indifference to identity politics.
Democrats are trying to impose a “secular-socialist machine” rejected by most Americans, an unapologetic Newt Gingrich said Sunday.
The former House speaker described Democrats as “secular” because those in power in government are beset by a “relentless anti-religious bias”; “socialist” because the Obama administration wants to determine salaries, own corporations and provide health care; and a “machine” because the agenda is being pushed robotically without concern for people standing in the way.
“When you have a pay czar in the White House who thinks that they have enough power and knowledge to set the salaries for hundreds of people in dozens of companies, in an industry they’ve never been in — I mean, if that’s not socialist — if the government is the largest owner of General Motors and Chrysler, the largest funder of AIG — they just nationalized student loans so they’re now all 100% government program,” Gingrich told “Fox News Sunday.”
“If you can get $757 billion out of the Congress and no elected official has even read the bill, that’s the behavior of a Chicago-style machine,” Gingrich added.
Gingrich, who just published the explosive book “To Save America,” cited polls showing greater than 50% of Americans want to repeal the health care law.
He also noted that a federal judge has declared the National Day of Prayer unconstitutional, “which if it weren’t so serious it would be laughable.”
Gingrich described the case of two Connecticut lawmakers who have introduced legislation that would keep Catholics from working in emergency rooms because of their objections to performing certain procedures.
Gingrich said that he stands by his argument that the “secular-socialist machine” represents as great a threat to America as Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union, not in the sense of the immorality of those deadly regimes, but as a “threat to our way of life.”
“The degree to which the secular-socialist left represents a fundamental replacement of America, a very different world view, a very different outcome, I think is a very serious threat to our way of life.
Echoing Republican arguments of the 1980s, Gingrich also is calling for the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Education to be abolished and replaced. He said it’s impossible to reform an agency that has spent two generations recruiting antibusiness, anticommercial bureaucrats.
On Social Security, Gingrich said he wants people to be able to manage their own accounts based on their personal contributions to the fund. Returning to the question of whether the stock market is a safe enough place to house retirement investments given recent volatility,
Gingrich said someone retiring today who has been investing for 30 years is ahead of the current “transfer system.”
“When Social Security paid its first check, there were 42 taxpayers for every recipient. When my grandchildren, who are eight and 10, get to be Social Security recipients, there may well be two taxpayers for every recipient. You can’t sustain that,” he said.
by Dennis Prager
While it cannot be proven, there is little reason to doubt that many on the Left are disappointed that the Times Square bomber didn’t turn out to be the “white male” he was originally identified as.
This allegation may be wrong, but it is made on the basis of compelling evidence.
There is a perfectly clear pattern on the Left — the normative Left, not just the “far” Left — that denies the obvious when it comes to Islamic terrorism. Take, for example, Maj. Nidal Hasan, who murdered 13 fellow soldiers and tried to murder the 32 others whom he wounded at Fort Hood, Texas.
For days after the murders, liberal-Left commentators and mainstream media reports attributed Hasan’s mass murders to everything but his Islamic beliefs — even though it was known that he yelled out “Allahu Akbar” (“Allah is the Greatest”) just as he began his shooting.
As “Hardball’s” Chris Matthews announced, “It’s unclear if religion was a factor in this shooting,” and then added, “He makes a phone call or whatever, according to Reuters right now. Apparently he tried to contact al-Qaida ... That’s not a crime, to call up al-Qaida, is it?”
The New York Times “Week in Review” article on the shootings was titled “When Soldiers Snap.” As I wrote at the time, “The gist of the article was that Maj. Hasan had snapped — even though he had never been in combat. He snapped in advance. Just two sentences in the article were devoted to the possibility that his motives were in any way relatable to his Muslim faith.”
NPR’S Tom Gjelten offered the novel explanation that Hasan, who had never been in combat, may have suffered from “pre-traumatic stress disorder.” Again, psychology, not religion.
On Fox News, Geraldo Rivera said, “I don’t know what motivates him ... He could have had a toothache and gone off because of that.”
And this time, the same thing happened, with one exception: For two days, it was assumed a “white male,” shorthand for non-Muslim, non-minority American, tried to blow up passersby near Times Square in Manhattan.
New York city Mayor Michael Bloomberg said this to Katie Couric on CBS News on May 3: “If I had to guess 25 cents, this would be exactly that, somebody who’s homegrown, maybe a mentally deranged person or someone with a political agenda that doesn’t like the health care bill or something, it could be anything.”
It’s OK for liberals to speculate that a terrorist might be a Right-wing white American opposed to ObamaCare (aka a tea partier). It is the rather more likely scenario of an Islamic terrorist that liberals not consider, let alone publicly express.
Moreover, only an individual whose politics forces him to deny the obvious can deny that people like Bloomberg hoped that the culprit not be a Muslim, but rather a conservative white American.
Even after the terrorist, Faisal Shahzad, was apprehended, and after he confessed, the liberal-Left world almost never mentioned his religion, and many tried to blame it on factors unrelated to his religious beliefs. As with Nidal Hasan, the culprit in Shahzad’s case was the terrorist’s psychological state. This time, it was the stress he experienced over his house going into foreclosure.
Thus the Washington Post’s Ezra Klein wrote on May 4:
“You of course don’t want to speculate on why someone ‘really’ did something. The hearts of men are opaque, and motives are complex. But it’s a reminder that foreclosures generate an enormous amount of misery and anxiety and depression that can tip people into all sorts of dangerous behaviors ...”
Widely ridiculed — in the comments section of the Washington Post itself — for what he wrote, the next day, Klein tried to do undo the damage to his credibility: “In case there’s actual confusion ... I do not believe that foreclosure leads to terrorism.”
I think that most honest observers would argue that all the confusion was on Klein’s part, not the readers’. But, in any event, even in his explanatory column, he made no reference to Shahzad’s religious beliefs as the terrorist’s motivation.
Instead, he re-emphasized that it was impossible to even speculate what Shahzad’s motive might be: “Speculating about why a terrorist commits a terrorist act is a mug’s game ... People who desire the murder of innocents qualify, I think, as pretty disturbed.”
Klein was not alone on the Left associating home foreclosure with Shahzad’s attempted mass murder. Annie Lowrey, an editor of Foreign Policy, wrote: “I think it’s a bit above my pay grade to speculate on the broader sociological meaning of this. But for what it is worth, the arrested subject of this past weekend’s Times Square bomb plot is a homeowner in the midst of foreclosure.”
And a long background piece on Shahzad by the Associated Press — the most widely reprinted news source in America — had the title, “Times Square bombing suspect’s life had unraveled.” Not one of the article’s 1,076 words mentioned Shahzad’s Islamist beliefs as even a contributory factor. It was all about his economic misfortune and his walking around depressed.
This is but one more example of how Leftism permeates the upper echelons of American (and Western) society and has people mouthing sentiments that those not on the Left regard as morally absurd.
The best chance America has in retaining its greatness, let alone its exceptionalism, is to understand the Left. And the Left’s explanations for what makes a Faisal Shahzad or a Maj. Hasan seek to slaughter Americans are key to understanding the Left.
A defining characteristic of the Left is its inability to identify — and therefore confront — evil: from Jesse Jackson and Dennis Kucinich’s expressions of support to Venezuela’s Hugo Chavez, to decades of Leftists around the world praising Cuba’s Fidel Castro, to the mainstream media’s denial of moral culpability to the arsonists, murderers and rioters in Los Angeles over the Rodney King verdict (“Understanding the Rage” was the title of the daily Los Angeles Times special section devoted to the riots), to the universal liberal outrage at President Ronald Reagan’s characterization of the Soviet Union as an “evil empire,” to the Left’s virtually unanimous hostility to Israel.
The Left’s inability to identify the religious beliefs of Islamic terrorists and instead ascribe their murders of Americans to the terrorists’ psychological tensions and economic problems — while at the same time utterly certain that conservative white Americans have only the most vile motives — is an expression of the Left’s failure to recognize and confront real evil.
Just remember this: If Shahzad had not been identified as the would-be bomber, the mainstream (i.e., liberal) news media and leading Democrats would have told us repeatedly that a white male — surely a conservative white male — was the Times Square terrorist, and that we should therefore be looking suspiciously at our fellow Americans on the Right, especially those attending tea parties. For while liberals claim not to know the motives of Muslim terrorists, they are always certain of conservatives’ motives: racism, sexism, homophobia and xenophobia.
When, one day, the Left exits from history’s stage, its epitaph will read: “Those who do not understand evil will not understand good.”
by David Limbaugh
The left habitually distorts and exaggerates to demonize and discredit its opponents but squeals like a stuck pig when conservatives use colorful language to call the left out. Unfortunately, some on the right encourage the left’s squealing.
As for the liberals, it’s hard to take them seriously when they register their indignation at, say, Sarah Palin for her “death panels” comment, other conservatives for describing Obama as a socialist or liberals as “liberals,” or, most recently, Liz Cheney for calling seven Justice Department appointees the “al-Qaida Seven.”
Liberals are the ones who knowingly lied in saying that “Bush lied; people died,” that supply-side tax cuts are “just for the rich” and that Bush left people on the rooftops in New Orleans after Katrina because they were black. These weren’t just harmless rhetorical barbs; they had and continue to have serious, substantively damaging consequences.
Nor are the above descriptions by Palin, Cheney and other conservatives a matter of tit for tat or a case of the left’s wrong mitigating the right’s. The conservatives’ statements above are different because they have a strong ring of truth, and they are not just gratuitous; they serve the purpose of calling attention to what is truly going on.
I’m not advocating that we be uncivil or mean-spirited, but that we have the guts to tell the truth, using difficult-to-hear language when necessary. I dare say our failure to speak frankly and boldly has a lot to do with the horrible predicament we’re in in this country. Speaking a little more truth to political correctness would be helpful. But the left’s tactic of whining and crying foul at anything it chooses to be offended by, echoed by genteel enablers on the right, intimidates many from expressing truth for fear of public condemnation.
Many believe, after reading versions of Democratic health care plans, that powerful bureaucracies would be created that would have authority over the types of treatment health care providers would give, especially end-of-life decisions. Those bills also would grant wide rule-making authority to those and other bureaucracies, which, if this nation’s past and current practice of administrative law is any indication, would be given wide berth and have little accountability to Congress, much less the people. Add to that the mindset of those Obama has surrounded himself with and who have had or will have their fingerprints on the drafting of these health care bills or on the regulations to be promulgated under Obamacare, such as Tom Daschle and Ezekiel Emanuel. They are known for ghoulish advocacy of government-administered rationing of care, especially to the elderly, driven by their creepy values regarding human life. Tell me, then, how it’s unfair or inaccurate for Sarah Palin to have called attention to that with “death panels”?
The same is true for graphic photos of abortions, decried as grotesque by the left. They’re grotesque, all right, because what they depict is abominably grotesque. We have not only the right to force ourselves to face this grim, unconscionable reality by viewing grotesque pictures, if necessary, but also the duty. By shielding ourselves from these pictures showing what actually goes on in abortions, we make it easier on ourselves to do the wrong thing.
The upshot is that hard-hitting conservatives are condemned for telling the truth, which serves the best interests of people and the nation, while liberals are given a pass for telling outright lies that damage the national interest. This is a great deal for liberals and a terrible deal for the nation and the people: Heads liberals win (and the nation loses), tails the nation loses.
The same holds true for describing Obama as a socialist. What’s wrong with telling the truth, especially when candy-coating it enables Obama to operate under the radar? Are those on the right who condemned their fellow conservatives for calling attention to his radicalism early on, when it might have mattered, ever willing to hold themselves accountable for their error?
So when Liz Cheney dubs new additions to the Obama-Holder Justice Department the “al-Qaida Seven,” I’m just not too exercised. As a lawyer who believes strongly in the adversarial system, I will defend the right of lawyers to represent whomever they want in our system.
But this isn’t about the right of lawyers to defend unsympathetic clients. It’s about placing lawyers in our Justice Department who might well be sympathetic to or soft on the enemy. And that’s anything but far-fetched, given what we now know about Obama, his attitude about America’s past and its alleged culpability in causing terrorism, the America-hating radicals he has appointed, and Eric Holder himself. Scrutiny is warranted.
Kudos to courageous conservatives for calling attention to unpleasant realities.
By Lyle H. Rossiter, Jr., M.D.
For more than 40 years, Rossiter has diagnosed and treated over 1,500 patients as a board-certified clinical psychiatrist and examined more than 2,700 civil and criminal cases, both state and federal, as a board-certified forensic psychiatrist retained by numerous public offices, courts and private attorneys. He received his medical and psychiatric training at the University of Chicago.
Rossiter explains with great clarity why the kind of liberalism being displayed by Barack Obama can only be understood as a psychological disorder.
“Based on strikingly irrational beliefs and emotions, modern liberals relentlessly undermine the most important principles on which our freedoms were founded,” says Rossiter. “Like spoiled, angry children, they rebel against the normal responsibilities of adulthood and demand that a parental government meet their needs from cradle to grave.”
“A social scientist who understands human nature will not dismiss the vital roles of free choice, voluntary cooperation and moral integrity - as liberals do,” he says. “A political leader who understands human nature will not ignore individual differences in talent, drive, personal appeal and work ethic, and then try to impose economic and social equality on the population - as liberals do. And a legislator who understands human nature will not create an environment of rules which overregulates and overtaxes the nation’s citizens, corrupts their character and reduces them to wards of the state - as liberals do.”
Dr. Rossiter says the liberal agenda preys on weakness and feelings of inferiority in the population by:
* creating and reinforcing perceptions of victimization;
* satisfying infantile claims to entitlement, indulgence and compensation;
* augmenting primitive feelings of envy;
* rejecting the sovereignty of the individual, subordinating him to the will of the government.
“The roots of liberalism - and its associated madness - can be clearly identified by understanding how children develop from infancy to adulthood and how distorted development produces the irrational beliefs of the liberal mind,” he says. “When the modern liberal mind whines about imaginary victims, rages against imaginary villains and seeks above all else to run the lives of persons competent to run their own lives, the neurosis of the liberal mind becomes painfully obvious.”
by Burt Prelutsky
If at times, it is not easy to determine what a liberal is, it’s because during presidential election campaigns, politicians who have been voting like liberals, talking like liberals and boasting about their liberal credentials, suddenly insist that they’re really centrists as they go about trying to garner the votes of gullible Republicans and Independents. It’s rather like Michelle Obama trying to convince us that she’s just another stay-at-home mom who loves America and her kids, and in exactly that order.
Most of us on the right can spot a liberal a mile away, just as easily as experienced bird watchers can identify cuckoos, parrots and pigeons. But just in case you’re not as proficient at recognizing the odd ducks that populate the left, allow me to be your guide through the wilderness.
In America, more than 80% of African-American and Jewish voters can be safely assumed to favor liberals in any and all elections. The reason that poor blacks vote overwhelmingly for Democrats is because they have been told over and over again by plantation owners like Ted Kennedy, John Kerry and Hillary Clinton, that it’s only through the federal government’s largesse that they can manage to survive at all. I suppose even if an able-bodied person is told from childhood on that he lacks the ability to walk, let alone run, he will come to believe he needs a wheelchair or at least a pair of crutches.
Middle-class, church-attending, blacks often owe their unnatural allegiance to the party of George Wallace, Strom Thurmond and Robert Byrd, because they listen to their ministers. Political bribes are usually frowned upon, except when the Democrats act as bagmen for the black clergy. There is a reason, you know, why white politicians get to spend so much time in black churches at election time, in spite of their insistence that “separation of church and state” is writ large somewhere in the Constitution.
When it comes to Jews, the great majority of us are secular when it comes to religion, but religious when it comes to leftist politics. It isn’t a coincidence that Karl Marx, Leon Trotsky started out as Jews, and that 39 of 42 Jews currently serving in the House and Senate are left-wingers who, while disparaging Christian belief in Jesus as the messiah, have no problem whatsoever accepting Barack Obama in that role.
I happen to know a Jewish professor who lives in the Pacific Northwest. While he may not be typical, his mindset isn’t all that different from many of my fellow Jews. When George Bush was running for re-election in 2004, Professor Sandy sent me an e-mail in which he claimed that if Bush won, America would immediately begin building concentration camps for Jews, and he was glad he lived close to Canada and would be able to escape across the border.
Most liberals will tell you that they don’t hate America, they merely hate George Bush. But when you ask them why they hate him so much, they start yammering about the invasion of Iraq, even though all the Democratic bigwigs spent the 1990s calling for regime change, and later voted for the invasion. The left also hates Bush because of the Patriot Act. They insist it’s cost us many of our basic freedoms. But I have yet to ask a liberal to name a single freedom he had under Clinton that he doesn’t have today and received a coherent answer. Yet, even I can come up with one. Thanks to Jimmy Carter, who allowed the Islamic crazies to get a foothold in Iran by turning his back on the Shah, and Bill Clinton, who spared Osama bin Laden’s life on more than one occasion, I no longer have the freedom to arrive at an airport half an hour before boarding and expect to make my flight.
There is a good reason, though, that liberals are liberals. By and large, they are people who never fully mature and who go through life, like sullen teenagers, resenting figures of authority — be they police officers, members of the military, teachers who believe in discipline and academic standards in the classroom – people, in short, who have rules and values. These folks started out by resenting their parents, assuming their parents were responsible adults and not aging hippies, the sort of parents who set curfews and expected good grades, parents who objected to their offspring boozing, shacking up and using drugs.
For years, we have all heard Hollywood’s most prominent left-wingers vow to leave America if we assorted racists, fascists and evil yokels, managed to elect a Republican president. And although Republicans have won five of the last seven presidential elections, and in spite of my standing offer to drive any and all of them to the airport, in all that time the only movie star who has left America except to make a movie or work on his tan is Johnny Depp, who moved to France. Sean Penn and Robin Williams did the next best thing. They moved to San Francisco.
One of the most annoying things about liberals is that when nightmarish events don’t take place as they predicted — be they concentration camps for Jews, cataclysmic hurricanes or rising sea levels — they never admit they were mistaken. They can’t even bring themselves to acknowledge that global warming was a hoax concocted by Al Gore; instead, they merely start squawking like a barnyard full of Chicken Littles about the intentionally vague phenomenon known as climate change.
In the meantime, Nancy Pelosi turns off the lights in the House so that Congress can’t vote for increased oil drilling. Then, to compound matters, she takes time off from her book tour to go on “Meet the Press” with liberal shill Tom Brokaw and explain that her personal financial investment in natural gas exploration was simply a means by which to wean Americans away from our dependence on hydrocarbons. Brokaw, either because he didn’t know or, more likely, had no intention of embarrassing Madame Speaker, neglected to point out that natural gas is a hydrocarbon!
By the way, in keeping with the times, I’m Burt Prelutsky and I approve this message.
By Dennis Prager
It is with no pleasure that I put in writing what I have long believed: Though many individual liberals have only goodwill toward black Americans, the liberal world since the late 1960s (i.e., after the major civil rights legislation of the mid-1960s) has done incalculable damage to black America and to race relations in this country. Whether out of guilt or because of its own racist views (i.e., the unspoken but regularly implied belief in the inferiority of African-Americans), the left-of-center’s general attitude toward black Americans has been that they cannot be judged by the same standards as others.
From lowering standards of admission to universities to blaming the high number of black men in prison for violent crimes on white racism to decades of cultivating black victimhood and the subsequent Wright-like rage against America, liberals and their party, the Democrats, have immeasurably hurt African-Americans and America.
Should a non-black oppose race-based lowered standards or blame black criminals rather than white racism for their criminality, the liberal world dismisses that individual as a racist; and should a black express these views, he is dismissed as an “Uncle Tom,” a “traitor to his race.”
In just the past week, two prominent men of the left provided examples.
Appearing on “Larry King Live,” Michael Moore, the adored hero of the 2004 Democratic Convention, explained the Rev. Wright’s anger and racism this way:
“I’m a white guy. And I think I’ve got to tell you something. If you were black in this country, especially if you are of his age, of his era or even times before that or even kids today, when you look at the situation in our inner city schools, I mean, you have to ask yourself, Larry, what’s it like to be black in America? And what kind of rage would you feel? And if you did feel that rage, what kind of things would you say that, at times, would be outrageous, crazy even, because you’ve had to live through this for so long?
“And I do not believe, as a white guy, that I am in any position to judge a black man who has had to live through that” (italics added).
To the liberal world, the black American is so oppressed that his rage against whites specifically and America generally is completely understandable, and therefore no white has the right to judge black outrage and its subsequent expressions. Blacks are not to be judged by the moral standards one judges others.
In more sophisticated language, The New York Times columnist Frank Rich also sought to dismiss the general outrage at Wright’s racist and anti-American diatribes. In Rich’s view, American society’s outrage at Wright is but one more example of American racism. His proof? America is not as angry at a white pastor, the Rev. John Hagee, who has endorsed Sen. John McCain, as it is at Wright and his 20-year bond with Sen. Barack Obama.
In Rich’s words, “Mr. Hagee’s videos have never had the same circulation on television as Mr. Wright’s. A sonorous white preacher spouting venom just doesn’t have the telegenic zing of a theatrical black man. It is disingenuous to pretend that there isn’t a double standard operating here. If we’re to judge black candidates on their most controversial associates — and how quickly, sternly and completely they disown them — we must judge white politicians by the same yardstick.”
Thus, according to Rich, Hagee is just as worthy of censure as Wright; and McCain’s relationship to Hagee is equivalent to Obama’s relationship to Wright.
Yet nothing Hagee has said is comparable to what Wright has said. For example, in Wright’s Detroit NAACP address, he said that African brains differ from white brains, that black English is no more different from standard English than John Kennedy’s New England English was, and that America’s repeated acts of terrorism are what brought 9-11’s terrorism to America. And, at his own church he was recorded saying, “God damn America” and asserting that we cannot believe government denials that America started AIDS and infected African-Americans with the disease.
Moreover, the totality of Wright’s views is virtually entirely race-based, including his continuing praise for Louis Farrakhan, his church’s advocacy of “Black values” rather than Christian values, and his teaching that Christianity is rooted in black Africa and that Jesus himself was black.
Most Americans find such views racist. But to Rich, this reaction is “hypocrisy,” since a white pastor, Hagee, whose endorsement McCain has accepted, has said equally immoral and bigoted things. Rich provided two examples — Hagee’s criticisms of the historical anti-Semitism of the Catholic Church in Europe and Hagee’s statement that Hurricane Katrina may have been God’s will as a result of the New Orleans gay parade that had been scheduled for the Monday after the storm.
As it happens, Hagee has completely retracted his objectionable comments on Katrina. Wright, on the other hand, has not only not retracted any of his anti-American and racist comments, he has reaffirmed them. Does this matter to Frank Rich? Of course not. What matters is indicting America for racist double standards.
As for Rich’s attack on Hagee for the pastor’s “anti-Catholicism,” the Times columnist got his facts wrong. Hagee was not calling the Catholic Church “the Great Whore.” That is an eschatological New Testament term in the Book of Revelation. Hagee teaches that the “Great Whore” will be an “apostate church” and a “false cult system” made up of all those who claim Christianity yet reject the gospel, whether Catholic or Protestant. He has stated explicitly and publicly — and should continue to reassure Catholics — that he does not believe that the “Great Whore” of Revelation is the Catholic Church. For Hagee, the sure sign that a Christian has rejected the gospel is an embrace of anti-Semitism. In the video referenced by Rich, Hagee chooses his examples of “apostate” behavior — the Crusades, the Inquisition and a Hitler quote referencing the Catholic Church — not because they are Catholic, but because they are anti-Semitic.
But while Rich and others could have honestly, if mistakenly, believed that Hagee was referring to the Catholic Church in that video, it borders on slander to compare John Hagee with Jeremiah Wright. Hagee has been preoccupied with the suffering of the Jews at the hands of Christians. One would think that the preoccupation of a major Christian leader with Jewish suffering at the hands of Catholics and Protestants — Hagee has been just as critical of Martin Luther’s anti-Semitism as with that of the Church — would be welcomed by a liberal Jew such as Frank Rich. After all, liberal Jews and liberal non-Jews have been unsparing in their criticism of Christian, especially the European Catholic Church’s, oppression of Jews. But for Rich, pointing out historical anti-Semitism is apparently less important than exaggerating contemporary American racism.
The sad irony of all the liberal attacks on white racism and subsequent justification of black rage against America is that it only increases black rage and sometimes even black racism. But it does keep ‘em voting Democrat.
Are you sitting down? Obama plans to pay for his $3.6 trillion-dollar spending bill by raising taxes on “the rich.” I know, I know ... I was pretty shocked, too.
The bad news is, by hiking taxes in a recession, Obama will turn a disaster into a catastrophe. But there’s good news, too. The “rich” include most of Obama’s biggest supporters!
While liberals love being praised for their looks, their style, their brilliance and their courage, the one quality they don’t want talked about is their money. To the contrary, Democrats are constantly boasting about how poor they are — as if that’s a virtue in a capitalist society with no class barriers.
No matter how much money they have, liberals will be damned if they’re giving up the poor’s mantle of angry self-righteousness. This is especially true if their wealth came by inheritance, marriage or the taxpayer, the preferred sources of income for Liberalus Americanus.
Democrats’ claims of poverty merely serve to show how out of touch elected Democrats are with actual incomes in America.
At the Democratic National Convention, for example, there were heartfelt tributes to the daunting self-sacrifice of both Barack and Michelle Obama for passing up lucrative jobs to work in “public service” — which apparently is now defined, such as in Michelle Obama’s case, as “working as a ‘diversity coordinator’ at a big city hospital for $300,000 a year.”
Seriously, even with a company car, full medical benefits and six weeks’ paid vacation thrown in, how do people live on that?
Meanwhile, the average salary for a lawyer with 20 years or more experience in the U.S. is a little more than $100,000. If Michelle Obama doesn’t lay off all this “giving back” stuff pretty soon, she’s going to find herself in Warren Buffett’s tax bracket.
During the campaign, Joe Biden was also praised by the Democrats for being the poorest U.S. senator — as if that were a major accomplishment.
Howard Dean, chairman of the Democratic National Committee, touted Biden as “a good example of a working-class kid,” adding that, to this day, Biden was “one of the least wealthy members of the U.S. Senate.” Only a Democrat would list “never really made anything of myself” on his resume.
On the Huffington Post, operated by a woman who acquired her wealth by marrying a rich gay guy connected to Big Oil, liberal blogger Steven Clemons gloated that, unlike John McCain, Biden wouldn’t “forget the number of houses he owns,” adding that, in 2006, Biden was ranked the poorest U.S. senator.
And at his high school reunion Biden was voted “most likely to try to bum a ride off of somebody.” Vote Biden!
According to tax returns for Biden and his public schoolteacher wife, in 2006, their total income was $248,459; in 2007, it was $319,853 — putting the couple in the top 1 percent of all earners in the U..S.
This, my friends, is the face of poverty in America. At least in the Democratic Party. It’s located just below that row of hair plugs. The Bidens are yet another heart-rending example of America’s “hidden poor” — desperately needy families hidden behind annual incomes of a quarter million dollars or more paid by the taxpayer. My fellow Americans, we can do better.
The national median household income was $48,201 in 2006 and $50,233 in 2007. Working for the government pays well.
If liberals are going to show how in touch they are with normal Americans by demanding a Marxist revolution against the rich every time they control the government, how about taking a peek at the charitable giving of these champions of the little guy?
According to their tax returns, in 2006 and 2007, the Obamas gave 5.8 percent and 6.1 percent of their income to charity. I guess Michelle Obama has to draw the line someplace with all this “giving back” stuff. The Bidens gave 0.15 percent and 0.31 percent of the income to charity.
No wonder Obama doesn’t see what the big fuss is over his decision to limit tax deductions for charitable giving. At least that part of Obama’s tax plan won’t affect his supporters.
Meanwhile, in 1991, 1992 and 1993, George W. Bush had incomes of $179,591, $212,313 and $610,772. His charitable contributions those years were $28,236, $31,914 and $31,292. During his presidency, Bush gave away more than 10 percent of his income each year.
For purposes of comparison, in 2005, Barack Obama made $1.7 million — more than twice President Bush’s 2005 income of $735,180 — but they both gave about the same amount to charity.
That same year, the heartless Halliburton employee Vice President Dick Cheney gave 77 percent of his income to charity. The following year, in 2006, Bush gave more to charity than Obama on an income one-third smaller than Obama’s. Maybe when Obama talks about “change” he’s referring to his charitable contributions.
Liberals have no intention of actually parting with any of their own wealth or lifting a finger to help the poor. That’s for other people to do with what’s left of their incomes after the government has taken its increasingly large cut.
As the great liberal intellectual Bertrand Russell explained while scoffing at the idea that he would give his money to charity: “I’m afraid you’ve got it wrong. (We) are socialists. We don’t pretend to be Christians.”
Eminent psychiatrist makes case that leftist thinking is a mental disorder
WASHINGTON – Just when liberals thought it was safe to start identifying themselves as such, an acclaimed, veteran psychiatrist is making the case that the ideology motivating them is actually a mental disorder.
“Based on strikingly irrational beliefs and emotions, modern liberals relentlessly undermine the most important principles on which our freedoms were founded,” says Dr. Lyle Rossiter, author of the new book, “The Liberal Mind: The Psychological Causes of Political Madness.” “Like spoiled, angry children, they rebel against the normal responsibilities of adulthood and demand that a parental government meet their needs from cradle to grave.”
While political activists on the other side of the spectrum have made similar observations, Rossiter boasts professional credentials and a life virtually free of activism and links to “the vast right-wing conspiracy.”
For more than 35 years he has diagnosed and treated more than 1,500 patients as a board-certified clinical psychiatrist and examined more than 2,700 civil and criminal cases as a board-certified forensic psychiatrist. He received his medical and psychiatric training at the University of Chicago.
Rossiter says the kind of liberalism being displayed by both Barack Obama and his Democratic primary opponent Hillary Clinton can only be understood as a psychological disorder.
“A social scientist who understands human nature will not dismiss the vital roles of free choice, voluntary cooperation and moral integrity – as liberals do,” he says. “A political leader who understands human nature will not ignore individual differences in talent, drive, personal appeal and work ethic, and then try to impose economic and social equality on the population – as liberals do. And a legislator who understands human nature will not create an environment of rules which over-regulates and over-taxes the nation’s citizens, corrupts their character and reduces them to wards of the state – as liberals do.”
Dr. Rossiter says the liberal agenda preys on weakness and feelings of inferiority in the population by:
* creating and reinforcing perceptions of victimization;
* satisfying infantile claims to entitlement, indulgence and compensation;
* augmenting primitive feelings of envy;
* rejecting the sovereignty of the individual, subordinating him to the will of the government.
“The roots of liberalism – and its associated madness – can be clearly identified by understanding how children develop from infancy to adulthood and how distorted development produces the irrational beliefs of the liberal mind,” he says. “When the modern liberal mind whines about imaginary victims, rages against imaginary villains and seeks above all else to run the lives of persons competent to run their own lives, the neurosis of the liberal mind becomes painfully obvious.”
[KH: how liberals cheat, cheat, cheat!]
It’s bad enough that the Republican Party can’t prevent Democrats from voting in its primaries and saddling us with The New York Times’ favorite Republican as our presidential nominee. If the Republican Party can’t protect an election won by the incumbent U.S. senator in Minnesota, there is no point in donating to the Republican Party.
The day after the November election, Republican Sen. Norm Coleman had won his re-election to the U.S. Senate, beating challenger Al Franken by 725 votes.
Then one heavily Democratic town miraculously discovered 100 missing ballots. And, in another marvel, they were all for Al Franken! It was like a completely evil version of a Christmas miracle.
As strange as it was that all 100 post-election, “discovered” ballots would be for one candidate, it was even stranger that the official time stamp for the miracle ballots printed out by the voting machine on the miracle ballots showed that the votes had been cast on Nov. 2 — two days before the election.
Democratic election officials in the miracle-ballot county simply announced that their voting machine must have been broken. Don’t worry about it — they were sure those 100 votes for Franken were legit.
Then another 400-odd statistically improbable “corrections” were made in other Democratic strongholds until — by the end of election week — Coleman’s lead had been whittled down to a mere 215 votes.
Since then, highly irregular counting methods have added to Franken’s total bit by bit, to the point that Coleman is now ahead by only 188 votes.
As long as Coleman maintains any lead at all, Republicans don’t seem to care that Coleman’s advantage is being shrunk by laughable ballot “discoveries” and disreputable standard-switching from precinct to precinct — depending on which method of counting ballots is most advantageous to Franken.
Consider a few other chilling examples of Democrats thieving their way to victory over the years.
In 1974, Republican Louis Wyman won his race for U.S. Senate in New Hampshire, beating Democrat John Durkin by 355 votes. Durkin demanded a recount — which went back and forth by a handful of votes until the state’s Ballot Law Commission concluded that Wyman had indeed won by (at least) two votes.
Wyman was certified the winner by the New Hampshire secretary of state and was on his way to Washington when ... the overwhelmingly Democratic U.S. Senate refused to seat Wyman.
Despite New Hampshire’s certification of Wyman as the winner of the election, this was the post-Watergate Senate, when Democrats could get away with anything — up to and including a prank known as “President Jimmy Carter.”
The U.S. Senate spent months examining disputed ballots from the New Hampshire election. Unable to come up with a method to declare the Democrat the winner that didn’t require a guillotine, the Senate forced New Hampshire to hold another election.
It was a breathtaking abuse of power. New Hampshire had certified a winner of its Senate election, but it was a Republican, so the Democratic Senate simply ordered a new election.
Demoralized Republicans stayed away from the race and, this time, the Democrat won the re-vote.
Even more egregious was the Indiana House race in 1984. On election night, the incumbent Democrat Frank McCloskey appeared to have won a narrow victory of 72 votes. But after a correction was made in one county, it turned out his Republican opponent, Richard McIntyre, had won by 34 votes.
McIntyre was certified the winner — which is when the trouble usually starts for a Republican.
Again, a majority Democrat House refused to seat the certified winner in a close election. I’m sure it was just a coincidence that the winner was a Republican.
Consequently, Indiana performed yet another recount of the entire district, which again showed that Republican McIntyre was the winner — this time by 418 votes. Now he was really asking for it. The nerve of this guy! Hey, buddy, do you mind? We’re trying to throw an election over here!
As The Washington Post reported at the time: There were “no allegations of fraud” in the recount and 90% of ballot disqualifications had been agreed to “by election commissions dominated by Democrats.”
So naturally the House refused to seat the Republican even though he had received the most votes (hereinafter referred to as “the winner”). The House proceeded to conduct its own recount. (If you haven’t detected a pattern by this point, please ask your doctor if Prilosec is right for you.)
This time, instead of ordering the district to hold another election, the Democratic House saved all concerned a lot of time and money by simply declaring Democrat Frank McCloskey the winner by four votes.
The vote-theft most like Minnesota this year was the infamous 2004 gubernatorial election in Washington State. The Republican won the race on election night, but ballots favoring the Democrat kept being “discovered” until the Democrat finally eked out a majority. At that point, the recount was immediately halted and the Democrat declared the victor.
You would have to go back to Reconstruction to find an election that was stolen by the Republicans this way, but it’s all in a day’s work for the Democrats.
That’s why they were so testy about the 2000 Florida election. It was the one time in the last century Republicans wouldn’t let Democrats steal an election they lost by less than a thousand votes.
No matter how many times Democrats steal elections, Republicans keep thinking the next time will be different. Minnesota is famously clean, isn’t it? It must be different. It’s not different. It’s still the Democrats.
By John Hawkins
The biggest problem with liberalism is that much of it is based on incorrect assumptions about human nature, the government, and how the world works. That’s why liberal policies that seem so well-intentioned often have such disastrous results over the long-term. Until liberals start to understand these truths, their ideas will continue to be damaging to their country and the world.
Human beings are born selfish and badly behaved: You, me, your father, Mother Theresa, the Pope — we were all savage, self-centered little animals when we were born and it was only through the socialization process that we became fit for other humans to live with. That’s why people do need religion, rules, and social pressure to be convinced to behave. It’s also why projects like communism, which assume that people can be brainwashed to completely disregard their own nature and love their fellow citizens every bit as much as they love themselves, are always doomed to fail.
Change is often a bad thing: It goes without saying that sometimes laws, traditions, and moral practices should be changed, but it shouldn’t need to be said that change for its own sake is not a plus either.
Unfortunately, there are far too many people who treat massive changes, changes that have the potential to permanently impact our society in a negative way, very cavalierly. Sure, we’ll change the definition of marriage, legalize drugs, weaken the Christian church, allow countless numbers of illegal aliens from a neighboring country to become citizens, etc., etc., etc. — what could go wrong? A lot, actually.
In fact, if you look back through our history, for every positive change on a large scale, getting rid of slavery for example, you can find multiple significant changes for the worse: like killing children by the millions via abortion and massive increases in illegitimate births because of welfare. That doesn’t mean we should avoid change. Let me repeat that: that doesn’t mean we should avoid change. However, we should take great care before making massive changes to the way our society works.
People are different: This would seem to be a rather obvious point, but it’s one liberals seem to have a great deal of difficulty digesting. In their mind, women and men should be treated as if they have exactly the same predilections and abilities. Different races should perform identically well, in precisely equal percentages, in every activity, and any difference between people must be explained by some sort of unfair societal constraint placed upon the less successful.
However, you must take the uniqueness of the person and the group he’s a part of into account. People don’t have the same backgrounds, interests, talents, or cultural experiences. Because of that, nothing could be more foolish than to treat every person as if he’s an interchangeable widget that should fall into some statistical category to make a bunch of bean counters in D.C. happy.
Most nations are interested in what’s good for them: The only thing liberals love better than big government is even bigger government. So, yes, they love using the power of the federal government, but they’re even more in love with the idea of building up the United Nations or some other form of world government.
Setting aside the fact that the bigger government gets, the less efficient it becomes, there’s another huge problem with the United Nations: it’s comprised of individual nations that view the organization as little more than a way to further their own interests, which may oftentimes be in conflict with those of other nations.
The truth is that most people and most nations are primarily interested in taking care of Number One. Moreover, those that don’t think that way and feel strongly enough about it to take action beyond a few platitudes or token contributions are few and far between. So since that is the case, any nation that doesn’t have strong safeguards for its own national interests in any sort of deal it enters into with other nations or groups of nations, is extremely foolish indeed.
Most of the world operates by the law of the jungle except when they fear the consequences of doing so: Ann Coulter once said that, “the natural state of the world is Darfur. The freakish aberration is America and the rest of the Anglo-Saxon world.” Throughout much of history, the idea that most of the world operated by the law of the jungle was so self-evident, that few people doubted it.
However, because the world’s only Super Power is a benevolent force that has worked very hard to keep global conflicts to a minimum despite getting very little credit for its actions, many people allow themselves to believe that the world is a relatively ordered and civilized place. That’s not so. The prosperous and democratic nations of the world may not have any designs upon their neighbors, but most nations are neither prosperous nor democratic, and the only thing stopping them from taking what they want by force is their inability to do so.
The federal government is by its very nature, slow, stupid, expensive, and inefficient: There are always politicians promising to “reform government” or “make government work,” but the federal government always has been and always will be a poor, misshapen tool compared to the free market.
That’s because their money isn’t on the line and they don’t go out of business when they fail. So, the more we keep the functions handled by the federal government at an absolute minimum, the better off we will tend to be as a nation.
Every problem is not fixable: The poor? They are always going to be with us. War? It’s always going to exist. Inconveniences and annoyances? We’re never going to live in Utopia — not on this earth anyway.
That’s not to say government should never try to help the poor, avoid war, or make a more perfect society. Again, let me repeat that: that’s not to say government should never try to help the poor, avoid war, or make a more perfect society. However, there is also something to be said for letting sleeping dogs lie and just accepting that the government cannot and should not try to fix every problem.
That’s because not only is it impossible to fix every problem, but because the government’s efforts are usually ineffective and often as not, over time, it simply ends up creating a new set of problems to be solved.
By Burt Prelutsky
Most 12-step programs start out by requiring that people have to understand that they’re powerless over their addiction and that only by turning their lives over to a Power greater than themselves can they be restored to sanity. Far be it from me to suggest that I am that Power, but clearly someone has to step in and try to rescue these poor liberal souls. Even the most harebrained among them deserves that much.
First, though, they have to acknowledge that Ted Kennedy, Nancy Pelosi, John Murtha, Dick Durbin, Charles Rangel, Harry Reid and Charles Schumer, are not moderates, but, rather, leftists with a Socialist agenda. Furthermore, they must recognize that the New York Times, the Washington Post, the L.A. Times, CNN, the three major networks, the news magazines and the New Yorker, are not objective in their reporting of political events, and neither are Chris Matthews, Keith Olbermann and Bill Maher, in their commentary. If these entities and individuals are not on the payroll of the DNC, they certainly should be. They certainly put in longer hours than Howard Dean.
Step #1: It is high time that every American be guaranteed the right to speak freely. It is not reserved solely for left-wing college students who wish to take advantage of the first amendment to shout down conservatives. At the same time, they must not construe the conservative’s right to dismiss them as arrogant idiots as censorship.
Step #2: Affirmative action argues that African Americans and Latinos are intellectually inferior and are unable to compete academically unless other students are handicapped because of their race. Interestingly enough, when blacks and Hispanic students are given these unfair advantages, it’s rarely at any cost to white students, whose rate of college admissions remains constant; instead, it’s nearly always another minority group, Asians, who pay the price. This is what left-wingers refer to as leveling the playing field.
Step #3: Liberals always claim to be in favor of higher taxes, agreeing with Bill Clinton that the government invariably spends money more wisely than those who actually earn it. However, such prominent proponents of higher taxes as George Soros, Ted Kennedy and Mr. and Mrs. John Kerry, protect their own otherwise taxable income through trusts and offshore accounts. Obviously, any American who believes higher taxes are a good thing can do the honorable thing by spurning all deductions and paying Uncle Sam everything up to 100% of his income.
Step #4: Even the most secular of liberals seems to believe that Jimmy Carter is a saint. The evidence for this seems to be that he has on occasion posed with a hammer in his hand at Habitant for Humanity building sites and is constantly walking around with a expression on his face that suggests he has just forgiven Pontius Pilate for betraying him. This is the same fellow, let us never forget, who called Yasser Arafat his good friend and who has accepted untold millions of dollars from Arab cut-throats, who ask nothing in return except that he go on insisting that there would be peace in the Middle East if only those darn Israelis would disappear from the face of the earth.
Step #5: Stop insisting that all wars are bad. It only makes you sound daft. Carrying signs that equate a U.S. president, any U.S. president, with Adolph Hitler is not only rude, but suggests you’re certifiably nuts. Every president has left office right on schedule. Aside from FDR, who just happened to get elected four times, not one of them has remained in office beyond eight years. On the other hand, Hitler ran Germany for 12 years and only death and the allied forces brought that to an end; Stalin ran the Soviet show for 31 years; while that hero of the left, Fidel Castro, held the reins, not to mention the whip, for about 50 years.
Step #6: Repeat after me, “Separation of church and state” exists nowhere in the Constitution. The second amendment does not require the removal of Christmas trees from the village green, the 10 Commandments from court house walls or “under God” from the Pledge of Allegiance. All it does is forbid Congress from establishing a state religion, such as the Church of England, and anybody who tells you otherwise is a liar and, most likely, a card-carrying member of the ACLU.
Step #7: Stop using the word “big” as a pejorative. There is nothing intrinsically bad about big oil, big agriculture or big pharmaceuticals. Overall, they do a very good job of keeping our cars on the road, food on our tables and most of us over 50 alive and functioning. On the other hand, big government, which so many liberals simply adore, represents a usurpation of the allegedly inalienable rights of individuals. A quick perusal of the Constitution should convince you that beyond declaring war, forging treaties, overseeing patents, printing money, running the post office, collecting taxes and protecting our borders — and a few other things that Washington doesn’t do at all well these days — the federal government has very limited responsibilities.
Step #8: Acknowledge that the United Nations is, in the main, an aggregation of venal diplomats who live high off the hog in New York City while representing the most corrupt and vicious regimes in the history of the world. Only a fool or a diplomat would continue to suggest that this gang of well-dressed thugs possesses anything resembling moral authority.
Step #9: Do not keep insisting that at a time when nearly all the large scale evil in the world is being perpetrated by Muslims that racial profiling is anything but a sensible approach to airport security. During WWII, Swedish Americans were not suspected of performing espionage for the Axis powers and for a very good reason; namely, because they weren’t performing espionage for the Axis powers. These days, their Swedish American children and grandchildren are not suspected of trying to blow up airlines, but the smarmy bureaucrats insist on pretending that they’re every bit as likely to be up to mischief as a bunch of 25-year-old Osama bin Laden look-alikes from Yemen and Saudi Arabia.
Step #10: Stop trying to pretend that illegal aliens are the same as legal immigrants just so you can claim the moral high ground and accuse those of us who are opposed to open borders of being racists.
Step #11: Once and for all, stop forgiving murderers. Whether or not you’re in favor of capital punishment, only the victim of a crime has the right to grant forgiveness. And inasmuch as the killer has deprived his victim of that ability, don’t take it upon yourself. It doesn’t prove how compassionate you are, only that you’re as sanctimonious and as self-aggrandizing as, say, Jimmy Carter.
Step #12: Stop bashing the U.S. military and the Boy Scouts. The only reason you have the ability to shoot your mouth off is because men and women braver and better than you sacrificed life and limb for your right to do so. As for the Boy Scouts, they are absolutely right to keep homosexuals from taking youngsters on camping trips. While it’s true that many gays are perfectly fine people and that very few homosexuals are pedophiles, there’s no reason on earth to take unnecessary risks just so we can all prove how broadminded we are. For what it’s worth, as decent as most Catholic priests are, I wouldn’t let them take youngsters into the woods, either. It’s fine to be compassionate and understanding, but let the gays among us be understanding for a change and acknowledge that, every so often, commonsense should trump political correctness.
And, finally, making this a baker’s dozen, Step #13: Let us all agree that while being a woman, a black, a Jew, a Catholic, a Mormon or even a gay, for that matter, should in no way preclude anyone from being elected president of the United States, none of those things constitutes a very good reason to vote for someone.
By Dennis Prager
For four years, a list of alleged Republican positions — “What You Have To Believe To Be a Republican Today” — has been circulating on the Internet and forwarded in countless e-mails. In this presidential election year, it is important to respond to these charges. If people want to vote for a Democratic president, they should not do so based on falsehoods about Republicans.
Given space limitations, I cannot respond to all of them. I have decided to respond to the 13 most significant.
“What you have to believe to be a Republican today”:
1. “Saddam was a good guy when Reagan armed him, a bad guy when Bush’s daddy made war on him, a good guy when Cheney did business with him and a bad guy when Bush needed a ‘we can’t find Bin Laden.’”
Response: Saddam Hussein was always considered a bad guy by anyone with a working moral compass, and that included Democratic President Bill Clinton and his administration. The main reason that President Ronald Reagan armed Saddam Hussein was so as to enable Saddam to fight against Iran so that Iran would not be the dominant power in the Muslim Middle East. Arming an evil man to fight another evil man does not make the former less of an evil man. America aided Stalin’s genocidal Communist Soviet Union in order for him to better fight against Hitler. And after World War II , America aided some former Nazis in order to be able to fight Stalin. That is moral wisdom, not hypocrisy.
2. “Trade with Cuba is wrong because the country is communist, but trade with China and Vietnam is vital to a spirit of international harmony.”
Response: For the left, the desire to normalize relations with Communist regimes has been a constant. Liberals who were not on the far left and conservatives alike fought some Communist regimes — militarily as in Vietnam and Korea, and economically as in Cuba — and normalized relations with some others. Mature people know that they have to pick and choose which evils can be fought and which cannot. Having said that, there are good arguments on both sides about whether to lift the embargo on Cuba since the fall of the Soviet Union.
3. “The United States should get out of the United Nations...”
Response: Very few Republicans advocate America getting out of the United Nations, but Republicans do regularly point out the UN’s dismal record on human rights — as when Sudan, a regime regarded even by most of the left as engaged in genocide, was made vice-chair (with Cuba) of the UN Human Rights Commission. The UN has failed virtually all victims of mass murder since its inception — including most recently those in the Rwanda genocide. The UN has done commendable work on some health matters, but otherwise it has been worse than morally worthless. The UN has become a haven for the cruelest regimes on earth. The left’s adulation of the UN is but one more example of its preference for institutions over fighting evil.
4. “A woman can’t be trusted with decisions about her own body, but multinational corporations can make decisions affecting all mankind without regulation.”
Response: Unlike those on the left, many Republicans, not to mention medical science, view a human fetus as having its own body and not being a mere extension of a woman’s body. People can differ on the legality of early abortions — not every immoral action is necessarily illegal — but to belittle the killing of a human fetus for no medical reason as “a woman doing what she wants with her own body” is only one more example of the left’s broken moral compass.
5. “Jesus loves you, and shares your hatred of homosexuals and Hillary Clinton.”
Response: No mainstream Republican or conservative has ever said that he or she, let alone Jesus, hates homosexuals. But because there is so much hatred on the left for Republicans and for religious conservatives, many on the left, like the writer of this list, constantly accuse Republicans and conservatives of being haters. It is usually projection.
6. “The best way to improve military morale is to praise the troops in speeches, while slashing veterans’ benefits and combat pay.”
Response: There are many ways to improve military morale. One is to increase the military budget, not to slash it as the Clinton administration did; to honor military heroes during wartime, not to feature front page article after front page article about troops who murder when they come home, as The New York Times has been doing for weeks, or publish fraudulent articles, as the New Republic recently did, about our troops committing atrocities; and to allow the military to recruit on college campuses, something many liberal colleges ban.
7. “If condoms are kept out of schools, adolescents won’t have sex.”
Response: While many Republicans believe that teenage sexual standards should be left to parents and not to schools, no mainstream Republican has ever argued, “If condoms are kept out of schools, adolescents won’t have sex.” But many people, not just Republicans, think that teaching “safe sex” to middle schoolers sends a message to young minds that society assumes they will have sexual intercourse. And what society assumes usually happens. When society assumed teenagers should not have sex, they rarely had it. For generations before schools put condoms on bananas, there was far less teenage sex because society has a profound impact on teenage sexual behavior. The message in schools since then has often been that the only reason not to have sex at age 16 (or 15 or 14) is that you might get pregnant or contract a sexually transmitted disease. The portrayal of sex as almost exclusively a biological act has been one of contemporary liberalism’s greatest sins against young people.
8. “HMOs and insurance companies have the best interests of the public at heart.”
Response: Who ever said that? HMOs and insurance companies have the best interests of their owners or stockholders at heart. The question is not whether companies want to make profits, it’s whether individuals will have a choice about how to obtain health care, and whether the state should massively expand to create Canada-like socialist medicine with its triage and long waiting periods.
9. “Global warming and tobacco’s link to cancer are junk science, but creationism should be taught in schools.”
Response: Many conservatives and more than a few liberals argue that climate change has occurred throughout the earth’s history, that carbon emission is therefore not the primary cause of the minimal warming that is taking place, and that the manmade-global warming-will-lead-to-worldwide-destruction scenario is therefore a form of hysteria — as were the left’s cries about heterosexual AIDS in America, the threat to mankind’s future if people have more than one child, and breast implants, among many others. As for tobacco and cancer, no mainstream Republican argues that tobacco’s link to cancer is junk science. The charge is deceitful. But many conservatives do believe that banning all outdoor smoking, for example, is both scientifically and morally indefensible. And few Republicans argue for Creationism in schools, but many do argue that, in addition to whatever science is taught, the idea that the universe was designed and all of existence is therefore not a random purposeless event might be both scientific and beneficial to students.
10. “A president lying about an extramarital affair is an impeachable offense. A president lying to enlist support for a war in which thousands die is solid defense policy.”
Response: Had President Clinton simply said to the American people, “I lied to save myself and my family public humiliation,” the whole Monica Lewinsky matter would have died in a few weeks. It was his lying under oath while president that brought on the impeachment trial. Many decent people thought that was impeachable; many decent people thought it was not an impeachable offense. It was a tragic farce that America was preoccupied with semen stains for so long. Much of the blame goes to the news media, which a generation ago would never have reported the affair to begin with. As for President George W. Bush, he did not “lie” us into war, but used the best assessments that nearly all Western intelligence agencies provided concerning Saddam Hussein building weapons of mass destruction. When he was president, President Clinton warned of the exact same WMD threat from Saddam.
11. “Government should limit itself to the powers named in the Constitution, which include banning gay marriages and censoring the Internet.”
Response: No Republican argues that the Constitution now defines marriage. Many, however, want the American people, not judges, to decide how America defines marriage. And since some liberal judges will force states to redefine marriage to include marriage to a person of the same sex, a Constitutional amendment defining marriage as between one man and one woman may be necessary. The charge that Republicans want to censor the Internet is a lie. It is, in any case, impossible. Moreover, it is the left that far more frequently advocates censorship, as it does, for example, on campuses where leftist students stifle conservative speakers’ freedom of speech.
12. “Being a drug addict is a moral failing and a crime, unless you’re a conservative radio host. Then it’s an illness, and you need our prayers for your recovery.”
Response: Most conservatives and liberals believe that legalizing drugs would result in large numbers of young people using life-destroying drugs. As for Rush Limbaugh, he illegally acquired prescription painkillers for chronic back pain. Only people with hatred in their hearts can liken that to using heroin and other nonprescription drugs that crush lives.
13. “That Bush, who doesn’t read newspapers, and who can’t speak an intelligible paragraph on his own (not written for him), is intelligent enough to rid the planet Earth of all evil.”
Response: George W. Bush is a voracious reader and is almost certainly far better read than the author of these points. The widespread belief that Bush cannot speak well is ad hominem nonsense. And one need not be particularly intelligent to have regarded the North Korean, Iranian and Saddam Hussein regimes as evil. One only had to be a Republican. It is to the left’s everlasting shame that it reviled President Ronald Reagan for labeling the Soviet Union an “evil empire” and reviles George W. Bush for labeling North Korea, Iran and Saddam’s Iraq an “Axis of Evil.”
By Daniel Pipes
Liberal fascism sounds like an oxymoron – or a term for conservatives to insult liberals. Actually, it was coined by a socialist writer, none other than the respected and influential left-winger H.G. Wells, who in 1931 called on fellow progressives to become “liberal fascists” and “enlightened Nazis.” Really.
His words, indeed, fit a much larger pattern of fusing socialism with fascism: Mussolini was a leading socialist figure who, during World War I, turned away from internationalism in favor of Italian nationalism and called the blend Fascism. Likewise, Hitler headed the National Socialist German Workers Party.
These facts jar because they contradict the political spectrum that has shaped our worldview since the late 1930s, which places communism at the far left, followed by socialism, liberalism in the center, conservatism, and then fascism on the far right. But this spectrum, Jonah Goldberg points out in his brilliant, profound, and original new book, Liberal Fascism: The Secret History of the American Left from Mussolini to the Politics of Meaning (Doubleday), reflects Stalin’s use of fascist as an epithet to discredit anyone he wished – Trotsky, Churchill, Russian peasants – and distorts reality. Already in 1946, George Orwell noted that fascism had degenerated to signify “something not desirable.”
To understand fascism in its full expression requires putting aside Stalin’s misrepresentation of the term and also look beyond the Holocaust, and instead return to the period Goldberg terms the “fascist moment,” roughly 1910-35. A statist ideology, fascism uses politics as the tool to transform society from atomized individuals into an organic whole. It does so by exalting the state over the individual, expert knowledge over democracy, enforced consensus over debate, and socialism over capitalism. It is totalitarian in Mussolini’s original meaning of the term, of “Everything in the State, nothing outside the State, nothing against the State.” Fascism’s message boils down to “Enough talk, more action!” Its lasting appeal is getting things done.
In contrast, conservatism calls for limited government, individualism, democratic debate, and capitalism. Its appeal is liberty and leaving citizens alone.
Goldberg’s triumph is establishing the kinship between communism, fascism, and liberalism. All derive from the same tradition that goes back to the Jacobins of the French Revolution. His revised political spectrum would focus on the role of the state and go from libertarianism to conservatism to fascism in its many guises – American, Italian, German, Russian, Chinese, Cuban, and so on.
As this listing suggests, fascism is flexible; different iterations differ in specifics but they share “emotional or instinctual impulses.” Mussolini tweaked the socialist agenda to emphasize the state; Lenin made workers the vanguard party; Hitler added race. If the German version was militaristic, the American one (which Goldberg calls liberal fascism) is nearly pacifist. Goldberg quotes historian Richard Pipes on this point: “Bolshevism and Fascism were heresies of socialism.” He proves this confluence in two ways.
First, he offers a “secret history of the American left”:
* Woodrow Wilson’s Progressivism featured a “militaristic, fanatically nationalist, imperialist, racist” program, enabled by the exigencies of World War I.
* Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “fascist New Deal” built on and extended Wilson’s government.
* Lyndon B. Johnson’s Great Society established the modern welfare state, “the ultimate fruition” (so far) of this statist tradition.
* The youthful New Left revolutionaries of the 1960s brought about “an Americanized updating” of the European Old Right.
* Hillary Clinton hopes “to insert the state deep into family life,” an essential step of the totalitarian project.
To sum up a near-century of history, if the American political system traditionally encouraged the pursuit of happiness, “more and more of us want to stop chasing it and have it delivered.”
Second, Goldberg dissects American liberal programs – racial, economic, environmental, even the “cult of the organic” – and shows their affinities to those of Mussolini and Hitler.
If this summary sounds mind-numbingly implausible, read Liberal Fascism in full for its colorful quotes and convincing documentation. The author, hitherto known as a smart, sharp-elbowed polemicist, has proven himself a major political thinker.
Beyond offering a radically different way to understand modern politics, in which fascist is no more a slander than socialist, Goldberg’s extraordinary book provides conservatives with the tools to reply to their liberal tormentors and eventually go on the offensive. If liberals can eternally raise the specter of Joseph McCarthy, conservatives can counter with that of Benito Mussolini.
[KH: smearing tactics of liberals]
By David Horowitz
I guess it’s noteworthy when George Soros singles you out for attack. On the other hand, when you have been targeted by as many leftists as I have, one more billionaire doesn’t make much difference. These assaults have been inspired by my efforts to organize an “Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week,” whose goal was to identify America’s enemies as more than just “terrorists,” and specifically to link them to a radical movement within Islam, which has declared war on the West. One salutary aspect of the Week is to have exposed the breadth of the coalition that now functions as a frontier guard for our enemies. Members of this coalition are apparently determined to run interference for America’s enemies, because, in their view, a greater danger to America is posed by conservatives such as myself and George Bush.
According to Soros, Bush has made up the war on terror, and thereby created the terrorist threat. In a notable article titled “A Self-Defeating War,” Soros wrote: “A misleading figure of speech applied literally has unleashed a real war fought on several fronts — Iraq, Gaza, Lebanon, Afghanistan, Somalia — a war that has killed thousands of innocent civilians and enraged millions around the world…. We can escape it only if we Americans repudiate the war on terror as a false metaphor.” As a principal funder of the Democratic Party, Soros is probably the inspiration for Nancy Pelosi’s claim that the terrorists are only in Iraq because we are there and will leave when we do, and is certainly behind John Edwards’ suggestion that the war on terror is a “political bumper sticker” and the way to fight the terrorists is to treat them as individual criminals rather than members of a fanatical religious movement with tens of millions of adherents.
Even as leftists project onto America responsibility for the war against us, so they seek to blame conservatives for the scorched earth politics they have adopted at home. Thus Soros describes me as a political manipulator who is unwilling to argue issues with my opponents, and instead focuses on destroying them: “Another technique [of conservatives] is transference: accusing opponents of having motives or using methods that characterize the accuser himself. For example, David Horowitz, who accuses me of being ‘the Lenin of the anti-American conspiracy,’ is a former Trotskyite for whom opponents are never adversaries to be debated, but rather enemies to be crushed.”
For the record, I was never a Trotskyite, nor have I ever accused Soros of being the Lenin of a “conspiracy.” More to the point, Soros’ claim that I never debate my adversaries on the issues is refuted by my writings and actions in the twenty-five years I have been a conservative. Few public figures have answered the arguments of their critics more copiously than I have. I have written hundreds of thousands of words of specific argument, which can be found in my articles archives titled “Replies to (Leftwing) Critics” and “Debates With (and About) the Left,” at Frontpagemag.com, and in published works such as Radical Son, The Politics of Bad Faith, Left Illusions, Hating Whitey, Uncivil Wars, Indoctrination U, and Unholy Alliance. Contrary to Soros, my entire intellectual work can be seen as an extended argument with the left, not an attempt to dismiss it with labels.
The basis for Soros’ claim is a passage in my work, which has been frequently mis-quoted by leftists, and which is actually a description of how the left itself deals with political opponents. A recent reference to this passage by one of my critics, Michael Berube, illustrates the point. “Here’s Horowitz in his 2000 book The Art of Political War and Other Radical Pursuits: “you cannot cripple an opponent by outwitting him in a political debate. You can only do so by following Lenin’s injunction: ‘In political conflicts, the goal is not to refute your opponent’s argument, but to wipe him from the face of the earth.’”
People who have actually read The Art of Political War, which was written as advice to Republicans, will recognize that that this is a description of how I believe Democrats (and leftists like Berube) fight their political wars. It was not my recommendation of how conservatives and Republicans should fight them. Moreover, I said so, in so many words, and in the very next sentence, which Berube deliberately omitted: “Well, we needn’t go as far as Lenin. After all, we’re not Bolsheviks. But destroying an opponent’s effectiveness is a fairly common Democratic practice. Personal smears accomplish this. And Democrats are very good at it.”
My thirty-year effort to engage an argument with the left has not been reciprocated. Except on occasions when I have invited leftists into the pages of Frontpage or onto my public platforms for the specific purpose of debate, few on the left have considered it necessary to engage my work except to ridicule and slander me, as a way of warning others not to take the issues I raise seriously – in short, to “crush” me (as Soros puts it), and eliminate me from the discussion. In a typical encounter, during a debate at Reed University, the Dean of the Faculty opened his remarks by describing me thus: “So, I hypothesize, engaging in political warfare, doing and saying whatever it takes to win, this is what Mr. Horowitz does for a living. It’s his job, it’s his way of life. And, of course, if this is true, then clearly what it means is that it’s simply impossible to take anything he says or does seriously, including anything he says today.” The Dean was hypothesizing from the same mis-represented Lenin quote used by Soros and Berube.
In discussing my book The Professors on the blog Crooked Timbers, Berube recommended the crush-them-and-dismiss-them strategy to other leftists. “My job is to contest [Horowitz’s] legitimacy,” he wrote. To implement such a strategy, progressives should resort to “mockery and dismissal.” Cary Nelson, president of the American Association of University Professors, was more direct. In a review that appeared in Academe he advised: “Please ignore this book. Don’t buy it. Don’t read it. Try not to mention it in idle conversation.” I am not the only conservative to be treated this way in “liberal” venues.
In academic circles, Berube’s strategy of mockery and dismissal might be an effective tool for crushing an opponent, but in the political arena rougher methods are the order of the day. These will also be familiar to most conservatives, but here is a sample of some recent attacks directed at me, which are taken from the Google index: “Fat-assed,” “faux-intellectual,” “a quintessential slobbering lackey,” “neo-con,” “insane,” “Trotskyist turned neo-con scumbag,” “Stalinist,” “Maoist,” “former communist,” “brimming with self-hate,” “hyperventilating about commies,” “traitor,”“anti-education fanatic,” “witch-hunter,” “far-right fanatic,” “far-right wacko,” “Ahmadinejad’s double,” “little Fuehrer,” “right-wing nut,” “Grand Wizard,” “anti-Muslim,” “religious bigot,” “arch- racist,” “Zionist neo-conservative,” “racist Zionist Jew,” “extremist racist Zionist Jew,” “a Nazi mind with a Zionist face,” “a notorious icon of Zionist Islamophobia,” “a blatant Judeo-fascist crusader of Zionism and social regressivism,” “Zionist poof.”
Some of these sobriquets have appeared on widely trafficked “liberal” sites such as HuffingtonPost. Others can be found on Islamist websites and venues of the radical left. Here is how I am described in a broadside by the Revolutionary Communist Party, which appeared on Indymedia.org: “[Horowitz] is a vitriolic defender of everything from the extermination of the Native Americans and the enslavement of Black people, to the savage and criminal wars against Iraq and Afghanistan and the torture of those whom this regime deems to be terrorists. He has set up a website that clamors for the arrest and imprisonment of revolutionaries, radicals, dissenters and liberals and reports every slander, rumor, lie and innuendo that comes his way….In short, Horowitz defends every crime that this system has ever committed and is now preparing to justify even more, and to intimidate and silence any who would question or resist this.” In my speech at Columbia University, during Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week, I observed that malicious lies like this were a form of hate speech — the equivalent of nooses, or targets painted on one’s back.
In fact, such attacks are entirely representative of the wall of hate that greeted students on a hundred campuses who invited speakers to address the issue of Islamo-Fascism in the last week of October. Yet, when I described this as a hate campaign, Time magazine blogger Andrew Sullivan was inspired to add another epithet to my list, as he accused me of “turning [the event] into polarizing McCarthyism.”
Nor did any “liberals” step forward to defend the students or the speakers, whose only crime was attempting to start a discussion about an issue that affects us all. When liberals did come forward, it was to attack us and run interference for the left. As political sophisticates, they naturally gravitated to Berube’s strategy of “mockery and dismissal,” rather than the slash and burn tactics of the radical street. But their commitments were unmistakeable all the same.
A case in point was two videos that appeared on TalkingPointsMemo. They were created and narrated by its editor, Joshua Micah Marshall, who is a contributor to publications such as Salon, The New Yorker and the Atlantic Monthly. The two fairly elaborate videos were designed with the clear intent of denigrating our efforts, thus lending tacit support to our campus enemies. The first was about my appearance at Columbia and was billed as “the search for the true meaning of Islamo Fascism Awareness Week.” As dramatized by the video, this turned out to be the claim that the Week was concocted as a fund-raising stunt built around the spurious, even ridiculous notion that there might be any threat to the participants. The “bogeyman” of this threat (the term actually used in the film) was the pretext for bilking donors out of funds earmarked for security.
This theory was spelled out in a series of interviews with Max Blumenthal, whom Marshall failed to identify as a young man with a personal axe to grind and an obsessive interest in my comings and goings. Blumenthal’s father was a White House official who stalked female critics of Bill Clinton. The son has made a small career out of stalking me at events and then fabricating preposterous fictions about what transpired. These fantasies are then given wide circulation on Huffington Post.com, Alternet.org, the Nation.com and Blumenthal’s own blog. Among many other gross misrepresentations, Blumenthal has “reported” in his columns that I was the “godfather” behind the ABC miniseries “Path to 9/11,” a film I was unaware of until it was completed and didn’t see until it was aired.
In honor of my Columbia appearance, Blumenthal created his own video and wrote his own column — “The Demons of David Horowitz.” The flavor of his reporting is suggested in this description: “Pacing the stage like a drunken circus clown impersonating some bygone demagogue, and standing beneath a massive image of a woman being shot in the head, Horowitz launched into a long, frenetic rant about his own persecution at the hands of a shadowy liberal conspiracy.” (The woman being shot in the head was a Muslim victim of the Taliban, and the image of my “frenetic rant” is even belied by the clips — albeit maliciously edited — shown in Marshall’s video.)
As it happens, I don’t enjoy having to go to campuses under armed guard any more than anyone else would. I first became fully aware of the dimensions of the campus security problem in 2001, when I was invited to speak at the University of California, Berkeley. The chancellor (no fan of mine) assigned thirty armed guards to watch over the speech. Thirty armed guards represented the university’s judgment as to the scope of the threat posed by the Berkeley left, not mine. But I soon learned the utility of having them. Since then, I have been physically assaulted on a number of occasions — at Bradley University, Ball State, MIT and Princeton — to the point where security officers had to step in between me and the attackers or, in the case of Bradley, where radicals smashed a pie in my face (it was not merely “thrown” as some reports have it). I have been rushed on the stage in such unlikely locations as the Pacific Design Center and the Regent Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Los Angeles – both times by members of the Revolutionary Communist Party who were out in force during Islamo-Fascism Awareness week. In both these cases, I had failed to hire security and would have been beaten if members of the audience had not tackled the would-be assailants and wrestled them to the ground.
By contrast, the Islamo-Fascism event at Columbia was peaceful, a fact which is deceptively used by Marshall in his video to insinuate that I am a charlatan, and that the threat of violence was fabricated as a fund-raising tool. But the Columbia event was peaceful because of the heavy security not in spite of it. The previous year, when such precautions were not taken at Columbia, violent leftist thugs over-ran the stage and shut down an event at which Minuteman founder Jim Gilchrist was scheduled to speak. Gilchrist had been slandered in advance as a “racist” and “fascist,” which made the attack perfectly justifiable to the “progressives” who staged it. Would they have returned to attack our event if security had not been present? Would any rational person on the receiving end of verbal attacks such as those I have enumerated risk holding a public event without arranging protection? Would any Jew, knowing that there are fanatics in our midst who are incited by their religion to regard us as apes and monkeys, and who see violence as a ticket to heaven, wish to test their forbearance? What can Joshua Marshall be thinking when he portrays me as an alarmist who fantasizes these dangers?
But, in the end, this is not really about me. It is about the state of our country, and about students at our universities who are forced to face down a hostile and sometimes violent mob in order to put on these events. It is about the fact that a movement with fascist overtones has developed within the American left. It is about the emergence of a fanatical movement in Islam, really a death cult, which has declared war on the West, and whose anti-American agendas have been adopted by elements of the progressive left, as the attacks on Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week demonstrate all too clearly.
As for liberals who should properly be appalled at these developments in the left, Joshua Micah Marshall’s videos are instructive. Instead, of being alarmed by the clear and present danger posed by these radicals, they focus on mocking and dismissing those who are addressing the threat. To explain our agendas in organizing Islamo-Fascism Awareness Week, Robert Spencer and I wrote a statement called “Why Islamo-Fascism?”which is available on our websites. Marshall ignores it. Instead, in yet another gesture of derision and contempt, he posts the following from one of his fans: “In honor of Islamofascism Awareness Week I am busy rewriting all of my old history books in order to properly show that the danger of some men in caves, along with one moderate regional power are in fact a greater threat to the United States than were the Soviet Union, Nazi Germany, the secessionist Confederacy, and even the Redcoats from our founding days.” Well, who would have regarded Hitler as a threat when he was writing tracts in Bavarian beer halls? And, of course, the Islamo-fascists are way ahead of him already.
There have been more than 9,000 terrorist attacks since 9/11, including the murders of Western infidels such as Theo Van Gogh, whose crime was attempting to warn others. A petition is currently being circulated by leftist professors, like Eric Foner, at Columbia, which among other things condemns its president for criticizing the Islamo-fascist, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, when he was a guest at the school. There have been (and will be) no such petitions to condemn the campus radicals who mounted a hate campaign against conservative students and the speakers they invited to discuss the threat from Islamo-fascists like Ahmadinejad. And therein lies the problem for our country.
By Phil Harris
What exactly is a Liberal anyway? He is the bleeding heart; the champion for the underdog, who is ever concerned about “the man” having too much authority over individuals. That definition must then contrast with the fat cat, money grubbing, and (nose always in my business) definition for the Conservative… right?
Nature has been the unwitting recipient of liberal, smothering-mother instincts. Global warming may be the equivalent of a child who is running a fever of 98.9 degrees. Doctor Gore’s advice to all of the fretting mother hens is that an ambulance must be called immediately.
In other cases, the mother hen analogy is insufficient. Munchausen syndrome by proxy more closely describes the effect when good intentions run amok. A great example was the hysterical effort to stop managed logging. Soon, previously healthy forests became diseased, and choked with overgrowth. Fire is nature’s way of pruning forests, but now we cannot allow the fires to burn. They become far too intense and out of control, threatening populated areas if allowed to burn unchecked.
Another case in point is provided by terrorist animal rescuers. They raided mink farms, setting thousands of the little monsters free. The slick-furred critters wasted no time, killing native species and each other as well.
Liberal busybodies might learn from such mistakes, but I suppose the lessons learned have more to do with handling bad PR, rather than rethinking misguided attitudes. Al Gore provides an example here again. Numerous rebukes have been directed his way from “real” scientists, yet these criticisms just ricochet off his thick skull and he continues to flap his yap unabated.
Then we come to a Liberal’s view of reproductive healthcare. Liberals weep, gnash their teeth, and tear their clothing while recounting the days when blood ran deep. You know… from all of those back-alley abortions that used to be performed, which resulted in a gushing tsunami of blood. This was caused by all of those hemorrhaging uteruses.
It is remarkable that we have been allowed to keep our wire coat hangers. After all, guns must be banned, because guns kill people. Since wire coat hangers are not protected under the second amendment, one would think that these surgical instruments should be kept out of the hands of amateurs. Of course, there are cases today of emergency trauma, caused by safe surgical abortions performed in safe abortion clinics. I certainly do not want to make light of such tragedies; although, choice in reproductive healthcare advocates try very hard to do just that.
In my own town, an (unnamed) woman is suing after she lost 80% of her blood volume due to a botched abortion at Planned Parenthood. She said that the procedure was causing her excruciating pain, and that she begged the doctor to stop the abortion. They proceeded anyway, holding her down and telling her that they could not stop now. She later collapsed in the clinic’s recover room, and nearly died. An emergency hysterectomy was required to save her life. When we argue for an absolute end to abortion, liberal advocates often counter that the world is already filled with unwanted, uncared-for, starving and abused children. They ask me… if abortions are taken away, who will have to care and pay for these children. Will I personally adopt a couple hundred of them, and if not then I should just shut up because I am a hypocrite. Yikes! This is a real conversation, which occurs all too often.
Then we must discuss the population explosion in starving, third world countries. Liberals applaud Liberservatives such as Bill Gates and Warren Buffett. The two wealthiest men in the world are very generous, and they are trying to solve third world problems.
Along with their laudable efforts to feed hungry people, educate the uneducated, and vaccinate against disease, they also are concerned with reproductive healthcare. Such efforts go beyond contraceptives and pre-natal care; however, in that the availability of abortion services is considered a critical component. Critical, that is, to controlling an out of control birth rate, which further strains the meager resources of these poor nations. Due to the elimination of certain predator species, populations of prey animals, such as deer can literally explode. When this happens, food supplies are strained and unnecessary suffering occurs. Wildlife management services will sometimes announce a special culling, to reduce the population of those animals.
Wow… I guess, sometimes Liberals and Liberservatives do learn from real science. They are taking care of our human species by culling the burdensome and the unwanted. Maybe abortion industry leaders would do well, by simply changing the word from abortion to culling.
The dictionary says… Culling is the removal or rejection of members or parts from (a herd for example). A culling is also a noun, meaning something that is picked out from others, especially something rejected because of inferior quality.
I just cannot get my arms around the culling of unwanted human babies. It bothers my sensibilities to no end, but then… the Liberal’s conscience works somewhat differently than mine. How about yours?
By John Hawkins
Liberals love to think of themselves as intellectual and nuanced, but liberalism is incredibly simplistic. It’s nothing more than “childlike emotionalism applied to adult issues.” Very seldom does any issue that doesn’t involve pandering to their supporters boil down at its core level to more than feeling “nice” or “mean” to liberals. This makes liberals ill equipped to deal with complex issues.
Since liberals tend to support or oppose policies based on how those policies make them feel about themselves, they do very little intellectual examination of whether the policies they advocate work or not. That’s because it doesn’t matter to them whether the policy is effective or not; it matters whether advocating the policy makes them feel “good” or “bad,” “compassionate” or “stingy,” “nice” or “mean.”
Because of this, liberalism has more in common with religion than it does with other political ideologies like conservatism or libertarianism. Moreover, liberal beliefs are more like religious doctrine than any sort of battle-tested policies that bear up under logic or examination. Although the interpretation of the doctrine that the Left supports may change a bit over time, just as religious doctrine does, it’s essentially taken on faith, like scripture.
That’s why, for example, you may see ferocious debates on the right side of the blogosphere about the war, illegal immigration, or spending. But, with the netroots, the debates almost always revolve around the best strategy to get more liberals elected. The issues are not really up for debate, other than debate over how to get them enacted.
This same thinking leads to very little criticism of liberals by other liberals. Liberals will ferociously defend and even happily echo the lies of other liberals. Liberal feminists will defend Bill Clinton and Ted Kennedy. Liberals who pride themselves on being tolerant of other races will support Robert Byrd. Why? Because even if they’re wrong, they’re still fellow liberals — which must mean they’re nice people. What this leads to is an attitude that can be summed up like so: “The only things that a liberal can do wrong is to be insufficiently liberal, to question an important plank of the liberal agenda, or to do something politically that aids conservatives.”
Conservatives, on the other hand, just by virtue of being conservatives, are mean at best and evil at worst. Is it wrong to lie about an evil person? Technically, “yes,” but there’s a reason “two wrongs don’t make a right” is said so often — it’s because so many people do believe “two wrongs do make a right.” Moreover, what about defending the indefensible? Well, is it wrong to defend a good (liberal) person who is being attacked by an evil (conservative) person, even if it’s justifiable? At the gut level, most liberals don’t think so.
Once you understand what I’ve written so far, you can understand everything that liberals do.
* Why are so many liberals hostile to religion? Because religion sets rules and tells people that if they break those rules, they’re sinning! That keeps people from doing things that make them feel good and telling people that they’re sinning makes them feel bad.
* Why are so many liberals hostile to the troops? Because the troops tend to be conservative (evil) and because they’re out killing people and breaking things (which would make most liberals feel like bad people).
* Why are so many liberals unpatriotic? It makes liberals feel morally superior to rant about what’s wrong with their own country. Plus, as an added bonus, people from other nations agree with them and that makes them feel good as well.
* Why do so many liberals have so much confidence in the government? With liberals, it’s not about whether something works or not, it’s about how it makes them feel.
So, they can look at the IRS, post office, airport security, FEMA, and ICE and then say, “These are the same people we want handling our health care” — because it’s about making themselves feel good that they got people insured, not about getting the best system of health care for everyone.
* Why do so many liberals have so much confidence in the UN? See the previous answer and apply it on a global scale. The UN may be corrupt, anti-American, and utterly incompetent, but it makes liberals feel good to think that they’re sending money to the poor in some godforsaken country (sure, it’s not their money and almost all the money may be wasted or stolen, but it’s the thought that counts).
* Why are liberals so hostile to successful people who don’t happen to be celebrities, trial lawyers, or big donors to the Democratic Party? Again, this is another great opportunity for them to feel morally superior. They can feel like good people because they want to give money to the poor — granted, not their money, but rich people’s money. The rich have so much and the poor have so little, so why shouldn’t liberals take it from them and then pat themselves on the back for their compassion?
Once you understand the basics of how liberals think, you can understand everything that they do. Granted, there will be a few exceptions, but if the vast herd of liberals is doing something that doesn’t seem to fit the template, it’s either because there’s money or sex involved, they’re doing what they have to do to win politically, they’re taking that position because they refuse to be on the same side as conservatives, or there’s something going on you don’t know about and it’s not really an exception.
You’ve heard of the Dog Whisperer, right? Well, congrats, because after reading this column, you are now a “liberal whisperer” and you understand everything you need to know about the way that liberals think.
By Star Parker
Coverage by the mainstream media of the Larry Craig scandal confirms again that liberals love the sin and hate the sinner. They’ve got both the Idaho senator and the conservative values that he has supported in their crosshairs.
Perhaps it’s relevant to take a moment and recall that the need for biblical guidance comes from the proclivity to sin. You don’t need a map if you’re hardwired to know where you’re going.
But, for those on the left, a map isn’t necessary because it doesn’t matter where we are going. For them, a man going astray is proof that having a destination, and rules for getting there, is hypocrisy. The problem is not the fallen man but having rules to begin with.
Typical is Newsweek’s Jonathan Alter, who writes with ironic sanctimony about GOP claims to moral superiority. Alter can hardly contain his glee at the prospect that the Craig scandal will undermine the family-values agenda of conservative Republicans. He goes on, with great haste, to write its obituary.
“In the long term, though, the end of the family-values agenda may be a blessing in disguise for the GOP. It has tied its fortunes too closely to evangelical Christians ...”
But what does Craig’s personal behavior have to do with the validity and relevance of traditional values?
Might we recall a basic rule of logic that points to the fallacy of the ad hominem argument? The issue is the substance and truth of the argument and not the person making it.
Let’s consider the relevance of traditional values as a practical matter and see where the most damaging hypocrisy lies.
Democratic politicians, who now are quietly luxuriating in the Craig scandal and Republican Party woes, will tell us that what they’re about is fairness, income gaps, two Americas and the poor.
Now suppose that the family values that they are so anxious to usher out the door are key to addressing these very issues that Democrats claim to be their concern.
In fact, they are.
The Census Bureau has just released its latest data on poverty in America. The intimate connection between family structure and poverty is undeniable.
Five percent of homes headed by married couples are poor. Over 35% of homes, seven times as many, headed by single mothers are poor.
Data, as reported by Douglas Besharov of the American Enterprise Institute, show that, in 2005, the average income for all American families with children under age 18 was $56,793. For those households headed by a married couple, the average income was $71,010. For those households headed by single women, the average income was $26,705.
The most healthy and prosperous American families are those in which traditional values are intact.
In an article in the latest issue of Commentary Magazine, Lawrence Mead, a professor of politics at New York University and author of seven books on poverty and welfare reform, surveys thinking over the last 50 years about the causes of poverty and concludes:
“Although impediments to working may still affect some people, poverty is overwhelmingly a result of dysfunctional patterns of life. Families are poor in America in 2007 typically because unmarried parents have children and then do not work regularly to support them. ... It has become difficult to avoid the conclusion that serious poverty in America is rooted in the culture of the poor.”
It’s not news that poverty is disproportionately high among blacks. At 25%, the incidence of black poverty is double the national average.
Corresponding with this are disproportionately high black out-of-wedlock births and homes headed by single women.
When Daniel Moynihan wrote his famous report in 1965 identifying the warning signs of the breakdown of the black family, black out-of-wedlock births were a third of what they are today.
Do family values matter? You bet they do.
They may be a matter of principle for conservative Republicans. But they are a matter of life and death to America’s poor and particularly to America’s poor blacks.
Whatever Larry Craig was doing in a men’s room in the Minneapolis airport has little to do with the relevance of these truths and their importance in our country today.
Democrats and the left may enjoy exploiting Craig’s misfortunes and using this incident to try and undermine the traditional-values agenda that he supported for 20 years in the U.S. Senate.
But by so doing, they hurt this country and the very communities that they claim to want to help. So, then, where does the most damaging hypocrisy really lie?
By David Limbaugh
The American left exhibits ambivalence toward Christians and Christianity. On the one hand it routinely demonizes them and their values, and on the other, identifies with them. This sometimes looks like an insulting charade.
Liberals often mock the perceived backwardness of Christianity, yet their prominent politicians jump at the chance to appear at megachurches to rub elbows with their robust congregations.
They conspicuously wear their Bibles for photo-ops and cite Scripture in campaign speeches, yet deride Christian conservatives and condemn Republican politicians for allowing their Christian beliefs to inform their policies.
Their pastors write books upbraiding Republicans and conservatives for claiming the mantle of Christianity, then proceed to claim it themselves, asserting that liberalism, not conservatism, represents true Christianity.
Some Democrats indignantly deny that liberalism is at war with Christianity or that fundamental liberal principles contradict the Judeo-Christian worldview, insisting that many Democrats are Christians.
I agree that many Democrats are Christians, but that doesn’t change the fact that the Democrats’ guiding ideology (liberalism) fervently promotes secular values, even at the behest of government, whose endorsement of “religion” it unpersuasively purports to oppose. Nor does it negate the political left’s commitment to reducing Christianity’s influence, not just in government, as it claims, but in our culture and on our moral principles.
The left’s aversion to Christianity can be seen in several current books urging Christians to keep their noses out of politics or arguing that Christianity has been a destructive force in history and that diminishing its influence will benefit society.
New stories abound chronicling efforts of atheists and secularists to denigrate Christianity and its values. These aren’t just appeals to Christians to be more tolerant of nonbelievers. They are manifestations of the profound intolerance of secularists toward Christians.
Many liberals deny any antipathy toward Christianity, hiding behind the convenient pretext of vindicating First Amendment principles. But their selective opposition to the government’s “establishment” of the Christian religion and their hypocritical support for the government’s endorsement of secularism betrays their true mindset.
They also deny that conservatism reflects Christian values and maintain that liberalism is truer to the teachings of Jesus Christ, especially in its alleged heart for the poor — a point about which liberals, in my opinion, are most misguided, confusing the role of the individual with that of the government.
While I don’t doubt that many liberals sincerely believe liberalism is “more Christian” than conservatism, they can’t explain away the left’s abiding discomfort with Christianity. That’s because liberalism — no matter how you sugar coat it — is fundamentally incompatible with the Christian worldview.
Without preparing a flow sheet to compare the respective compatibility of liberal and conservative beliefs and policies — such as abortion — with Christianity, I refer instead to first principles.
I believe the main animating difference between conservatism and liberalism is that the former believes in the Biblically revealed sinful condition of mankind. Our Constitution’s framers established a system of government around their belief that man-operated government had to be limited and held in check in order for freedom to flourish. Liberalism generally embraces a secular humanist (or enlightenment) faith in the general goodness, perhaps even perfectibility of man.
Conservatives accept that government exists as a necessary evil, to prevent anarchy, establish order and maximize but not absolutize freedom. Human beings within this context will be freer to minimize, but never completely solve society’s problems.
By contrast, liberals place their secular faith in government to wholly eradicate societal problems (John Edwards will eliminate poverty in 30 years, following LBJ’s 40-year, multi-trillion dollar failure to do just that).
The writings of the father of modern conservative thought, Russell Kirk, affirm these essential differences between liberals and conservatives. In his work, Kirk sets forth certain conservative “articles of belief.” At the core of these, is an adherence to a Biblical worldview.
Conservatives believe in “an enduring moral order” and that “revelation, reason, and an assurance beyond the senses tell us that the Author of our being exists, and that He is omniscient; and man and the state are creations of God’s beneficence. This Christian orthodoxy is the kernel of [Edmond] Burke’s philosophy.”
Also, “conservatives are chastened by their principle of imperfectability. Human nature suffers irremediably from certain grave faults, the conservatives know. Man being imperfect, no perfect social order ever can be created. … The ideologues who promise the perfection of man and society have converted a great part of the Twentieth Century into a terrestrial hell.”
If you won’t take my word for it, listen to Kirk: The differences between conservatism and liberalism flow from their competing worldviews.
People often ask me when I stopped being a liberal and, depending on their own political persuasion, either saw the light or sold my soul to the devil.
The truth is, it was a fairly gradual process. I grew up in a typical middle-class Jewish home, the son of immigrants. In other words, Franklin Roosevelt was our patron saint. In our house, the feeling was that Mr. Roosevelt could walk — or at least roll — on water. When, after FDR’s death, Harry Truman recognized the state of Israel, that clinched it. After 1948, if the Republicans had run God, the Prelutskys wouldn’t have voted for Him.
So, by the time I got to cast my first vote in the presidential election of 1964, naturally I cast it for LBJ. Then, in ‘68, I voted for Hubert Humphrey. After that, things only got worse. Over the course of the next two decades, I actually voted for George McGovern, Jimmy Carter, Carter again, Walter Mondale and Michael Dukakis. I would say that that sounds like the name of a sleazy law firm, but that would be unfair to sleazy law firms. The thing is, even back then, I’d wake up the morning after election day hating myself.
Back in the 1980s, I was still one of those shmoes who laughed at jokes about Ronald Reagan nodding off during cabinet meetings. Somewhere along the line, though, it slowly began to sink in that the sleepy head had not only managed to turn around an economy that had unemployment and inflation rates of 10% and 21%, respectively, under his predecessor, but, for good measure, managed to win the Cold War. Even a dope like me, who had voted for a sanctimonious phony like Jimmy Carter, had to admit that was a pretty sensational performance. The actor, it seems, had finally found the perfect role. Then two things happened that convinced me that I could no longer vote Democratic or identify myself as a liberal, even if it meant that my relatives were going to start spinning in their graves.
From 1987 to 1991, I served on the Board of Directors of the Writers Guild of America. It was my first hands-on experience in the political arena. I think it’s safe to say that of the three officers and 16 board members, not one was a Republican. In fact, a handful had been blacklisted 40 years earlier because they’d been Communists.
I’d venture to say that the Democratic National Committee wasn’t as left-wing as our little group was.
Because we tended to agree about most guild issues, it wasn’t until one of my last days in office that I realized how far apart I had grown from the others. The way the bylaws of the WGA were written, the board could elect to bestow sums up to $5,000 without putting it to a vote of the membership. On this occasion, the defense attorneys for photographer Robert Mapplethorpe had contacted us, requesting that the guild not only send money, but sign on as amicus curiae in the pornography case that had just been filed against their client.
Mr. Mapplethorpe, in case you’ve forgotten, had received a grant from the National Endowment of the Arts over the strong objections of North Carolina’s Senator Jesse Helms. The senator argued that the government had no business subsidizing a man who devoted his career to photographing naked children. Naturally, in elite circles, that made Sen. Helms a southern rube who couldn’t tell the difference between a pedophile and an artiste.
When the issue was finally brought up late that evening, I was the only person who spoke out against supporting Mr. Mapplethorpe legally or financially. In the first place, I never thought the federal government had any business supporting the arts. In a country as large as America, I figured if an artist couldn’t appeal to a sufficient number of people to earn an honest living, it wasn’t a federal subsidy he required, but vocational guidance.
In the second place, I didn’t think the WGA should be wasting the hard-earned dues of its members supporting some creep who could only have his creative vision satisfied by having an eight year old-child stripped down and posed for his camera.
That night, when I was out-voted 18-1, I realized the enormous gulf that separated me from the liberals in the room. It wasn’t simply that we disagreed about Mr. Mapplethorpe. Their very clear message was that there was no real need to consider what I was saying. It was enough that the ACLU was on Mr. Mapplethorpe’s side, and a southern conservative was opposed. Like brand-name shoppers, it was enough for them to read the labels. That was really all they needed to know.
The second thing that turned me into a raging Republican? That’s easy. After naturally assuming that the Democrats couldn’t possibly do any worse after selecting Michael Dukakis to be their standard-bearer in 1988, they somehow managed to pull off the impossible, in 1992, by nominating Hillary Rodham Clinton’s husband.
Burt Prelutsky, author of “Conservatives Are From Mars, Liberals Are From San Francisco,” is an award-winning TV writer.
By Chuck Colson
What do you get when you hold a conference with 1,200 people who are all afraid of offending one another? I’ll tell you what you don’t get. You don’t get unity, and you don’t get agreement on anything.
That’s what happened when the Spiritual Activism Conference took place recently in Washington, D.C. According to the New York Times, this group of religious liberals came together to discuss “taking back religion from the conservative Christians.” But the conference members had trouble getting anything specific done.
The Times hit it right on the nose when it explained, “Turnout at the Spiritual Activism Conference was high, but if the gathering is any indication, the biggest barrier for liberals may be their regard for pluralism: for letting people say what they want, how they want to, and for trying to include everyone’s priorities rather than choosing two or three issues that could inspire a movement.” Never mind even setting policy goals; some conference members were afraid that singing hymns might be enough to upset some members. Instead of coming away with a clear set of objectives, the conference members mostly came away frustrated.
Ironically for a group that prides itself on tolerance, it seems the only thing the conference could agree on was its opposition to the “religious right.” But frustrating as it was for them, the group had to concede that the “religious right” is a lot better at getting things done. Beliefnet suggests this was because “religious conservatives are willing to argue there is one correct view on policy issues.”
You see, that’s the crux of the liberals’ problem. This conflict is not about political or social divisions. It’s about authority—specifically, whether or not Christians are willing to acknowledge that the Bible is our authority.
Tony Campolo certainly recognized this. Though Tony and I disagree on lots of things, I really like Tony. He’s honest, and he loves the Bible. He tried to explain at this conference the necessity of following Scripture. But one participant retorted, “I thought this was a spiritual progressives’ conference. I don’t want to play the game of ‘the Bible says this or that,’ or that we get validation from something other than ourselves.”
There you have it. Validation from ourselves simply means you make up your own god. We Christians may interpret the Bible differently; we may apply it to life differently; we may have arguments over exegesis. But the Bible has to be the ultimate authority. Otherwise we end up worshiping the goddess of tolerance and believing that tolerance takes precedence over truth.
Dorothy Sayers, the great English writer, said it best: “In the world it is called Tolerance, but in hell it is called Despair, the sin that believes in nothing, cares for nothing, seeks to know nothing, interferes with nothing, enjoys nothing, hates nothing, finds purpose in nothing, lives for nothing, and remains alive because there is nothing for which it will die.”
This kind of so-called “tolerance” can never bring people together, but only as we saw in Washington, pull them farther apart.
Supplemental Articles in a separate file (click here to read)