August 22, 2006


A Wrong Turn Led to the 'L-Word' (E. J. Dionne Jr., August 22, 2006, Washington Post)

Why are liberals the way liberals are? What is it about the L-word that has become so offensive to so many? It has become such a turnoff that countless liberals dare not admit to their own label.

At its best, liberalism is about the defense of the underdog, of minority rights, of social justice, of active but restrained government, of civil liberties, of openness and tolerance. [...]

But liberalism has also become associated with elitism, arrogance and disdain for the values of average Americans.

In a country that wasn't just necessarily Founded on Judeo-Christianity but remains overwhelmingly faithful, Left liberals insist that tolerance, which is the denial of morality, is the highest human value and then wonder why Americans reject them.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 22, 2006 8:37 AM

"of social justice"

They always have to add that word "social" to justice. They can't leave it at justice. Because justice is the last thing they want.

Posted by: h-man at August 22, 2006 8:50 AM

Actualy, what was known as "liberalism" was much worse than the aricle comprehends.

"Liberalism" became a grand coalition of the outsiders, the aggreived, the dissatisfied, seeking the change the way things were. In the course of things, the most extreme outsiders, the real misfits and malcontents, came to dominate the coalition of the aggreived.

Now it is sexual deviates and pagan fanatics, as well as committed enemies of the American folk, who call the shots for who call the shots for "liberalism."

Throw is the peace-creeps, the draft-dodgers and the intellectual progeny of draft-dodgers, and the tax-eaters making their living from socialism, and you have a formidable front.

There was a wrong turn in the downfall of "liberalism," but it was not exactly that described in the article. Their fall was due to their adoption of European, Marxist models of political organization, making a fundamental misunderstanding of the way Americam coalition politics works.

Each element if the "liberal" coalition of the aggreived dreamed that it could be the "vanguard," and that it could wield the apparatus of state coercion to strike down the civil society from which it was estranged. That's not how it works under the American constituion and American two-party system.

With us, the relavent coalition is of individual voters, assembled and re-assembled, election by election, and issue by issue.

Now let us look at the proximate cause of how they fell. Here too, they followed Marxist, European models. Their idea was to organize and mobilize, the "raise consciousnesses," among the aggreived. The problem with this was that every little push they made to mobilize provoked a greater reaction from the civil society against which they were pushing.

For instance, the "gay" marriage debate hurt then severely. Pushing the issue assuaged one of their outsider constituencies while provoking a much grester opposition. They keep doing this and they keep losing ground. The failure of "liberal" gun control folowed this pattern.

Their future is bleak. Just as we crippled their peace-creep wing by ending the draft, so we are undermining their tax-eater wing with economic reforms. Then too, demographic change and true social progress are weakening their racial patronage machine.

Posted by: Lou Gots at August 22, 2006 10:34 AM

The problem is that those who call themselves liberals do not support the liberal values that made America great and the conservatives are the ones who support the traditional liberal values. The writers in the media are trying to take the name from the one side and attribute the values to it of the other side but the people realize which side has the values worth keeping and votes conservative.

Posted by: dick at August 22, 2006 2:59 PM