Thursday, October 12, 2006

What Does It Mean To Be A Liberal

What does it mean to be a liberal? Other than armpit hair, multiple bumper stickers and Birkenstocks, there are supposedly ten characteristics of liberalism according to Geoffrey R. Stone, a law professor at the University of Chicago. Let’s see what he has to say shall we?


1. Liberals believe individuals should doubt their own truths and consider fairly and open-mindedly the truths of others. This is at the very heart of liberalism. Liberals understand, as Justice Oliver Wendell Holmes once observed, that "time has upset many fighting faiths." Liberals are skeptical of censorship and celebrate free and open debate.
Bullshit. Sure liberals are more than happy to use your tax dollars to pay for crucifixes in mayonnaise jars filled with urine, how else will their ne'er do well art major children move out of the basement? But when Benjamin Netanyahu or Robert Bork speaks at your local university watch who “engages in direct action” to prevent them from speaking. Hint: it won’t be conservatives, we all have jobs.

2. Liberals believe individuals should be tolerant and respectful of difference. It is liberals who have supported and continue to support the civil rights movement, affirmative action, the Equal Rights Amendment and the rights of gays and lesbians. (Note that a conflict between propositions 1 and 2 leads to divisions among liberals on issues like pornography and hate speech.)

Again bullshit. Dexter, Doolittle and I were all RAs at UCONN the bastion of all things diverse and PC. Try saying you oppose gay marriage because of your religious convictions and bask in all the toleration and respect, you would do well to keep your job. It was the GOP not the dems who overwhelming supported civil rights legislation back in the 60s. Affirmative action despite all intentions is just another form of prejudice based on things other than merit.

3. Liberals believe individuals have a right and a responsibility to participate in public debate. It is liberals who have championed and continue to champion
expansion of the franchise; the elimination of obstacles to voting; "one person, one vote;" limits on partisan gerrymandering; campaign-finance reform; and a more vibrant freedom of speech. They believe, with Justice Louis Brandeis, that "the greatest menace to freedom is an inert people."

True enough and complete and utter bullshit. Liberals want everyone to vote early and vote often. According to them asking for a picture ID is far too onerous a burden for a citizen to bear while attempting to exercise his or her franchise. More harm has been done to free speech under the guise of campaign finance reform than any other legislation in our life time. Liberals are all for gerrymandering, just like conservatives, when it works to their advantage. Check out this bit on ACORN.

4. Liberals believe "we the people" are the governors and not the subjects of government and that government must treat each person with that in mind. It is liberals who have defended and continue to defend the freedom of the press to investigate and challenge the government, the protection of individual privacy from overbearing government monitoring, and the right of individuals to reproductive freedom. (Note that libertarians, often thought of as "conservatives," share this value with liberals.)

Who knew? This is the first time I’ve heard liberals coop this conservative meme. Liberals are all for investigating and challenging the government as long as it is a GOP administration, political expediency posing as moral virtue. What he doesn’t say here directly is that liberals are also great at inventing rights. Like the right to privacy, or the right to an education or health care. While these may be good things, it takes a bit of an imagination to see them in the bill of rights.

5. Liberals believe government must respect and affirmatively safeguard the liberty, equality and dignity of each individual. It is liberals who have championed and continue to champion the rights of racial, religious and ethnic minorities, political dissidents, persons accused of crime and the outcasts of society. It is liberals who have insisted on the right to counsel, a broad application of the right to due process of law and the principle of equal protection for all people.

True. Ask any pedophile who he wants for a judge a liberal or a conservative? As for religious minorities if you refer to tree worshipping Wiccans who want to frolic naked in a public oak copse, yes. If you refer to the Sisters of Mercy who seek to place orphaned children exclusively with married heterosexual couples, no.

6. Liberals believe government has a fundamental responsibility to help those who are less fortunate. It is liberals who have supported and continue to support government programs to improve health care, education, social security, job training and welfare for the neediest members of society. It is liberals who maintain that a national community is like a family and that government exists in part to "promote the general welfare."

True. H. L. Mencken said: "Whenever A annoys or injures B on the pretense of saving or improving X, A is a scoundrel." He was speaking of liberals. They love to help others with your money and believe you should pay more, yet they don’t like to pay taxes much themselves – don’t take my word for it, just look at John Edwards tax returns. This would be a good thing if government was capable of either quality service or efficient use of tax dollars. Time and again they have proven otherwise. DMV, the multimillion dollar Alaskan bridge to nowhere, the infamous $700 toilet seat.

7. Liberals believe government should never act on the basis of sectarian faith. It is liberals who have opposed and continue to oppose school prayer and the teaching of creationism in public schools and who support government funding for stem-cell research, the rights of gays and lesbians and the freedom of choice for women.

True. Liberals have taken the separation of church and state to such extremes that they react to a crèche on the town green like Mrs. Smails to the Baby Ruth in the pool. I’ll not defend creationism or intelligent design in this blog, but going back to liberal point one, liberals don’t seem to doubt their own truth when it comes to abortion, affirmative action or all things Darwin except, of course, social Darwinism.

8. Liberals believe courts have a special responsibility to protect individual liberties. It is principally liberal judges and justices who have preserved and continue to preserve freedom of expression, individual privacy, freedom of religion and due process of law. (Conservative judges and justices more often wield judicial authority to protect property rights and the interests of corporations, commercial advertisers and the wealthy.)

True. What liberals, who purport to be democratic, can’t win in the ballot box they seek to impose by judicial fiat, i.e. gay marriage, unrestricted abortion on demand.

9. Liberals believe government must protect the safety and security of the people, for without such protection liberalism is impossible. This, of course, is less a tenet of liberalism than a reply to those who attack liberalism. The accusation that liberals are unwilling to protect the nation from internal and external dangers is false. Because liberals respect competing values, such as procedural fairness and individual dignity, they weigh more carefully particular exercises of government power (such as the use of secret evidence, hearsay and torture), but they are no less willing to use government authority in other forms (such as expanded police forces and international diplomacy) to protect the nation and its citizens.

Reeking, stinking pile of festering bilious herpes infected bullshit. Liberals aren't unwilling to defend hearth and homeland, just unable. Jimmy Carter gutted the military and is the poster boy for ineffectual liberal hand wringers. Ronald Reagan restored the military and brought down the iron curtain. G.H.W. Bush led the world successfully against Iraqi aggression. Bill Clinton "abhorred the military" and lady MacRodham-Clinton wouldn't tolerate men in uniform in the White House, unless of course he was fetching her a bevy. Ask a liberal what he would do to the man who raped his wife and he’ll say he’d appoint one committee to investigate it and another to try to understand the root causes of the aggression. John Kerry the war hero liberal candidate for president was nominated because it was felt that his 3 months in Vietnam inoculated him against charges that the dems are weak on national security. Unfortunately, after Vietnam Kerry came back to U.S. where he bad mouthed his fellow servicemen and voted against every military expenditure he could and did all that he could to damage the efficacy of our intelligence gathering agencies. International diplomacy! Liberals view the U.N. as answer to the world’s problems. Let’s ask the Tutsis or the Christians in Darfur how that worked out for them.

10. Liberals believe government must protect the safety and security of the people, without unnecessarily sacrificing constitutional values. It is liberals who have demanded and continue to demand legal protections to avoid the conviction of innocent people in the criminal justice system, reasonable restraints on government surveillance of American citizens, and fair procedures to ensure that alleged enemy combatants are in fact enemy combatants. Liberals adhere to the view expressed by Brandeis some 80 years ago: "Those who won our independence ... did not exalt order at the cost of liberty."

Again bullshit. Liberals oppose the government monitoring electronic communication. Conservative view it as reasonable to know who is calling Dar Al Salaam with any frequency or if the terms “container ship”, “nuclear” and “Newark” come up in that communique. Getting back to number nine, who do you want minding the shop?

5 comments:

Anonymous said...

For a list of generalizations this is not half-bad. I picture you sitting at your desk like HST with your Glock by your side while typing this up.

I would say that these are generally the tenets of Liberalism they are not those of all Democrats although it is easy to conflate philosphies with partry doctrinaire.

dolittle said...

Of course I do not agree with all that you've said (cause I'm a pinko-commie) but I must admit that in my experience I agree that most who define themselves as conservative/republican are actually more open-minded than most liberal/democrat.

CultMan said...

Whatever, 'cause you've made your case (I agree, parenthetically)-- but is there actually a link about all of these things?

El Duderino said...

yeah the first sentence is a hyperlink to http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/chi-0610100318oct10,0,1779585.story?coll=chi-newsopinioncommentary-hed

Anonymous said...

One of the major problems of the left is the co-opting of party by special interests (for example the Kuchiniks,Sharpton, etc...) to the detriment of the party as a whole (too many examples to cite here). Republicans do a a far better job keeping their eyes on the prize and the troops in line.