From the eminent Jack Niewold.
Many of my friends try to make the political world more complex than it really is, and they invariably end up with views that are, to my way of thinking, a kind of penitential, hand-wringing equivocation. Some of them never met a fence they couldn’t straddle.
Look, ask a typical liberal what his two or three central principles are. What will you learn? That most liberals don’t know what they believe. Yes, they come up with the usual bottled pieties about world peace, feeding the hungry, saving the planet, free health care, gays and lesbians, and—just to prove their pedigree—they’ll almost always throw something in about Russian “collusion” and fascism. You know, really deep stuff that except for them none of the rest of us have ever thought of.
Platitudes masquerading as cognition.
My answer to this is that none of these are principles. They are incantations—or, as in the case of collusion, fetishes. Demotic liberalism is, for all practical purposes, a preconscious mindset inherited from, among many others, family, peer group, abusive husbands, pop culture or public education. That is, it’s an unexamined worldview.
Now, you probably expect me to talk about conservatives and their principles. Well, I think you’d do better with them as a group, but there are still way too many conservatives who are clueless about what their bedrock beliefs are (Hint: smaller government is not a principle). That’s a shame, because conservatism is actually intellectually defensible, whereas modern liberalism, well, really isn’t.
Need we rehearse the social pathologies that can be directly traced to liberal hegemony?
I’m almost sorry that Republicans won last November. They’ve arrived just in time to save Democrats’ derrieres from their own statism, just as the Republican class of ’94 saved Clinton’s derriere.
Liberals always turn around and blame Republicans when their own policy excreta hit the fan. The death spiral of Obamacare is a good example. In a just world, liberalism would be allowed to run its full course, as it has in Greece. But that would be a ruination of life as we know it, to which no conservative would agree.
So, as usual, the traditionalists will go on saving the world from the utopians, all the while bearing the slings and arrows of those for whom an unachievable perfection is always to be preferred to the good at hand.