Saturday, April 16, 2005

Not Liberal

It's very odd how the political faction thatt calls itself liberal is most most definitely not liberal.

Found by way of Bernoulli Effect, a nicely-done article that sums it all up in a scathing indictment of contemporary "liberalism". It's worth reading it all, but here's an excerpt:
In the not-so-distant past, liberal FDR believed that the enemies of other democracies were, by extension, America's enemies--and liberals eagerly joined him in taking on the America Firsters here before fighting fascism over there. In his footsteps followed liberal Harry Truman, whose doctrine reflected the view that Soviet expansionism was insidiously anti-democratic and therefore innately illiberal.

BUT ALAS, somewhere over the last two decades or so, liberalism lost its root as the word liberal was perverted to the point of Orwellian inversion--and therefore rendered meaningless.

For example, rooting against the United States and for "insurgents" who delight in slaughtering innocents is many things (stupid, for one, also sad, evil, and short-sighted), but it is assuredly not liberal.

Decrying the American "religious right" for advocating a "culture of life" while simultaneously praising the neck-slicing Islamofascists is many things (start with pathetic), but it is not liberal.

Calling 3,000 workers who died when the buildings fell "little Eichmanns" is many things (vile, as well as repulsive and morally repugnant), but it is not liberal.
Marching against war every time the United States is involved--in fact only when the United States is involved--regardless of the war's purpose, is many things (reactionary for sure), but it is not liberal.
Crying that you're being persecuted for exercising your right of free speech, when what happened was that other people less famous than you reacted to your ill-considered and offensive comments by exercising their own First Amendment rights, is many things (solipsistic comes to mind), but it is not liberal.

Depicting Condoleezza Rice in editorial cartoons as a big-lipped mammy who speaks Ebonics to her massa is many things (offensive, sickening), but it is not liberal.

Marching if you're gay in support of "Palestine"--from which gay Palestinians try to escape to Israel before they're tortured and murdered for their sexual orientation--is many things (nuts, as well as hilariously ill-informed), but it is far from liberal.
Referring to illegals as "undocumented workers," and to those who'd like to enforce immigration laws as evil and racist, is many things (self-destructive, short-sighted), but it is not liberal.

Joking about Charlton Heston's Alzheimer's because you
don't abide his politics is many things (cold-hearted, intolerant, sophomoric), but it is far from liberal.
Calling the then-recently departed Yasser Arafat a "wily" and "enigmatic" "statesman", as the New York Times did, is many things (nauseatingly PC, for one), but it is not liberal.

Shouting down speakers in the name of free speech is many things (fascistic, tyrannical, churlish), but it is not liberal.
Sadly, the list goes on (and on and on and on). Which is why those of us who consider ourselves classical liberals--and believe that language has power--ought to take back the word "liberal" from those on the left who debase its meaning. Many of them, I suspect, are like the body surfer who's surprised to find that the ocean current has carried him half a mile from his towel on the beach. They would do well to get their bearings and gauge how far the political tide has removed them from their core beliefs.


Anonymous Housing Project Conservative said...

Excellent article. Great blog too!
The notion of resurrecting or going back to our roots apparently lacks a voice, a niche in today's political discourse among conservatives. Why?

4:45 AM, April 18, 2005  
Blogger RDS said...

You raise a good question -- and asking the right questions is the first step toward wisdom. The answer is not obvious to me.

Thanks for reading!

2:09 AM, April 19, 2005  

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