FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
Straight Into Darkness
2010 became the year many Americans realized that the emperor stood shivering in the nude. Liberalism was dead, the Liberals had killed it; what now would the Liberals do? The impact of this Nietzsche-like revelation has awakened the American conscience to the existence of a major crisis. Namely, America is run, lock, stock, and barrel by a set of governments designed by Franklin Delano Roosevelt. They are designed to execute an antiquated vision of the Liberal ideology that will lead our people nowhere except to cataclysmic failure.
Conrad Black explicitly describes why the great system set up by Franklin Roosevelt became a casualty of The Great Society of Lyndon Baines Johnson.
Under Kennedy and Johnson and their inept Democratic successors, liberalism ceased to be perceived as helping the deserving and instead became taking money from those who had earned it and giving it to those who hadn’t in exchange for their votes.
At this juncture, Liberalism was philosophically dead but, like a runaway truck on a downhill, icy road, it ran forward on inertia. Vote-bribing interest groups with the promise of a Visigoth Holiday at the Gold Man’s expense may be immoral, but nobody parsing the 2008 Election returns would argue with its potential to bring victories. Thus, as long as it worked for the Liberals, Liberalism would be defended to the hilt. This natural human reaction to potentially adverse change betrayed the core values of the Liberal experiment. Walter Russell Mead describes the morphing of Liberalism’s philosophical crisis into a moral problem as well.
…most of what passes for liberal and progressive politics is a conservative reaction against economic and social changes that the left doesn’t like. The people who call themselves liberal in the United States today are fighting desperate rearguard actions to save policies and institutions that are old and established, that once served a noble purpose, but that now need fundamental reform (and perhaps in some cases abolition) lest they thwart the very purposes for which they were once made.
This juxtaposition forced the Modern Left to behave in much the same way they succeeded in condemning former generations of Conservatives for behaving. Perhaps having inhaled too deeply of the founding beliefs of LBJ’s Great Society; the Liberals came to believe they could build a more perfect world. To create this perfect world, they fell under the spell of an age-old messianic urge. Ernest Steinberg of SUNY Buffalo describes this new strain of Leftist thought as Purificationism. In a 2009 paper, entitled “Purifying The World. What the New Radical Ideology Stands For,” he makes the following, dare I say radical, claims about the Left.
The past decade has seen the coalescence of a new ideology that envisions social movements in a cataclysmic struggle against global capitalist Empire. Controlled by U.S. militarism and multinational corporations, in cahoots with Zionism, Empire contaminates environments and destroys cultures. Its defeat will bring about a new era of social justice and sustainable development, in which the diverse cultures harmoniously share the earth. Is this a totalitarian ideology? From fascist and communist precedents, we learn that lovers of renewed humanity are not sufficiently motivated by abstract ideals. They must also identify humanity’s enemy, the cause of all suffering. Equipped with a scapegoat, diverse communities can achieve solidarity through shared execration.
So we’ve established the following regarding the Left. The quest for political power has tainted the Left. Thus Social Justice has degenerated into vote buying. This vacuum where their moral principals should reside has resulted in a Consequentialist pushback from the people constantly getting squeezed for all of the vote-buying bribes. But, rather than realizing this path was in error, the Modern Left has doubled down on the corruption and adopted an ideology that dehumanizes all who disagree. It casts the modern political debate as a Liberal Crusade to thwart, once and for all, the unrighteous Capitalist, Imperialist, Phallo-Centric Pigs of Western Society.
So how come is it that Barack Obama didn’t lose Election 2008 by about 25%?
Here the Hegelian Dialectic is instructive. Like The Newtonian Laws of Motion, Hegel expostulates that a system in power will remain enthroned until a major crisis knocks it flat off of its perch. As Conrad Black describes it, the vast dislocations of The Great Depression resulted in America settling on Rooseveltian Liberalism as its governing social model. Walter Russell Mead calls this the Blue Social Model, Mead describes this stability below.
In the old system, both blue collar and white collar workers hold stable jobs, a professional career civil service administers a growing state, with living standards for all social classes steadily rising while the gaps between the classes remain fairly stable, and with an increasing ‘social dividend’ being paid out in various forms…
As long as Barack Obama claimed he could guarantee us all of that, he was golden. As long as he could argue that he represented the party of government, and that government would fix all that the careless capitalists had broken, he was untouchable. Until that illusion broke apart, Liberalism would win regardless of how corrupt and non-functional it had become.
Yet now that entire contract Liberalism made with America has been utterly breached. Two entire generations have now grown up well aware that they will probably never have things as good as their parents did. They now are being mined by the generations that came before so that our current government can maintain the impossible promises it made to those who came of age after WWII. Social Security and Medicare are untenable and eventually will fail to pay the beneficiaries unless radically reformed.
The stability and security of government employment has grown to increasingly drain the dwindling resources of the private sector taxpayers. What has gone shamefully unmentioned is the tenure commensurate with government employment. As a Civil Servant, I have significant job security; when I worked as a salesman, in the big, bad, real world, I was always day-to-day.
As a Federal Employee, I gripe that I pay a whole lot more of my pension plan and health coverage than the school teachers do in Wisconsin. Back when I worked on commission, retirement planning involved selling my nuts off and health insurance consisted of looking both ways before I crossed the street. With that in mind, I remain stunned and amazed at exactly how civil the Tea Party Movement has thus far remained. The 1773 Crowd has to feel that the ladder they were promised out of the Abyss of social poverty has been pulled up by an evil malefactor that looks down upon them and insultingly laughs.
Thus I look at men like Governor Walker in Wisconsin and Governor Christie in New Jersey as America’s heroes; standing on the wall at a vital juncture in our history. The unions and other Liberal interest groups have to have their power reduced. We can no longer afford the injustice that Liberalism has become. The American people appreciate public school teachers, but they will not continue to pay for their pensions when their retirement plan is to go sell their nuts off.
Thus the American Conservative must support our stalwart governors. They are the peaceful resolution of the crisis triggered by the philosophical, moral and ethical failures of modern American Liberalism. The only pathways other than what Gov. Walker and Gov Christie propose will only lead America straight into darkness.
(HT: Faye Kellerman) for an awesome idea for a title.