Thursday, June 14, 2007

Liberal absurdity

Hat tip to the NR on this one.

90% of this article is mindless bullshit, but the rest is pretty interesting.

The author recognizes the absurdity of the American Left, but then lapses into the same old class warfare tripe that motivates the whole thing.

He praises the New Deal, which was an unmitigated failure that left millions in poverty to this day. He blames free trade for the ills of American society, but in attacking Big Business, why do we never question the input of Big Labor? Why doesn't he discuss the depression of wages caused by illegal immigrants.

This is one problem I have with the Left and people like this. They worry about all the people working at Wal-Mart, decry the loss of manufacturing jobs, and basically make it sound like the vast majority of Americans are just blue collar rednecks working substandard jobs. This is not ever remotely true. Just thirty years ago people like him were decrying the fact that so many of us worked in factories that polluted the air, discriminated against women, and pushed consumerism. You cannot decry the loss of factory jobs without demanding a rise in consumerism.

He does correctly identify part of the problem, that most of the liberals do not understand the middle class, middle America electorate, but he does not offer a plausible solution. I think that people like him would be very disappointed if they followed their own advice and talked to these people.

They would not find young waiters and house cleaners waiting for the "Progressive" in shining armor to ride in, raise their pay, vanquish their bosses, and give them free health care. They would find people who distrust the idea that the government can help them at all. They look around and see crime in the streets, illegal immigrants slowly taking their jobs, and bureaucrats that care more about protecting their jobs than helping the people they are tasked to assist. All they can deduce from this is that the government is at best ineffective, and at the worst indifferent. How are these people going to have faith that the new spending programs and welfare benefits will get to them effectively?

Additionally, he credits the New Deal with creating the industrial middle class. The industrial middle class existed before Roosevelt's horrid New Deal. All Roosevelt did was set the grounds for a welfare state that has failed to provide what it promised.

Most Liberals misunderstand Conservatives. They think that they are indifferent to the poor and all for business. Let me met some of these objections: (These are all things actual libs have said to me, I am not constructing strawmen here.)

A Lib might say:

1. Conservatives are either hostile to the poor or indifferent to their suffering.
Answer: Conservatives are neither of these things. Conservatives tend to come from middle America which is poorer than the rest of the country. I would put money on the fact that more Conservatives grew up poor than liberals or "Progressives." Conservatives understand that lots of people have it hard in America, but also understand that there is little the government can do about it. Poverty can not be legislated away. We are human beings, there will be winners and losers in every economic system. Demanding "more equal distribution of wealth" is just positing an unfounded value judgment onto the economic system. There is only so much you can do for people.

2. Conservatives use social issues like gay marriage to drive voters away from voting for their economic interests.
Answer: This argument is founded on the idea that there are distinct classes that have a common undivided economic interest. The idea of classes is an abstraction. Just because two people have the same or similar incomes does not mean that they have the same interests. Helping steel workers in Pittsburgh does nothing for the autoworker in Detroit. The fact that the farmer in Texas gets government subsidies does not mean that the construction worker in Seattle will be better off tomorrow. This view also operates under the assumption that some how economic issues should always trump social.

Libs do not give credence to the idea that social issue and economic issues are intertwined. They also do not account for the fact that social issues are often more important to the average person than economic. I will explain. You can not address economic issues and give a free pass to social issues.

Libs complain about poverty, but they never ask about the real issues underlying poverty in America: teen pregnancy and single parenthood. They can not touch these issues in a real way. It would undermine the sexual revolution and the women's liberation movement. Culture plays a bigger hand in poverty than all the greedy business men on the planet. A woman who has a baby before she is 18 is almost certain to fall into poverty. If you give her government help, you are just exacerbating the problem by subsidizing it. In situations like this the libs never ask several important questions: "Why did the woman even get pregnant in the first place? What pushed her to have sex at this young age before she was married? Why is she not marrying the father?" All of these questions are social questions. Society has a wink wink policy toward underage sex these days. The loosing of moral and social standards has led us here.

The libs also do not understand that many people hold social views because of deep seated religious or ethical conviction. People in America really do live by the "Teach a man to fish..." mentality. They want people to succeed without the help of the government.

In a nutshell I can sum up a lot of what Conservatives think on issues like these with this:
"Yes there are many poor people in America, but there are also a lot of people who succeed every day and pull themselves out of poverty through industriousness and hard work. Yes there are people suffering in America, but that is true of all nations everywhere at all times. Suffering is part of the human condition. Just because someone is richer or more prosperous than someone else does not mean that their life is better or more worthwhile. Giving people subsidies and programs does not make them happier or more secure. They are still dependant on charity and the largess of others. They have not been liberated or helped in anyway. They are jsut like slaves who change masters. There is only so much that we as flawed creatures can do for our fellow man. We can not perfect the world, we must learn to make improvements where we can, and accept our limitations. No political ideology can fix the problems of man. There are those that can do more to alleviate some, but there must always be trade offs and a final solution is impossible. Be happy with what you have, because someone is always worse off than you. In this world it is better to be content with your blessings and failures and not worry about what others have."