Thursday, April 06, 2006

The cowardice of modern liberalism

You know what I can't stand about liberals' arguments lately, or, perhaps, the arguments of assorted leftists and "progressives" who currently call themselves liberal? (Don't worry, I've got plenty of spit and bile for conservatives and libertarians, too) It's not just that liberals are constantly hunting for a message that will "resonate with the voters,"in the assumption that voters are a largely-inert mass. Nope, I'm used to ill-meaning folks who think that people are sheep to be sheared -- that's just how you define "politician."

No, what I really despise about liberalism, and the liberals I run into, is that now that the basic egalitarian issues have been examined -- successfully, I might add-- all that's left of liberal arguments is the abject cowardice, and the way that so many of their arguments are effectively nothing but trumped up excuses for same... like the girl who's irritated with herself for giving money to bums at the local burger joint, and vocally laments that she's too nice, rather than calling a spade a spade, and saying that the bum intimidated her -- in reality, she wasn't too nice, she was too goddamned scared to stick up for herself.
  • We have to have universal health care, because having insurance and using it wisely is too scary (for the little people).
  • We have to run a foreign policy that never uses force in our interests except when it's so late in the game that we've no other choice, because if we kicked the bad guy in the balls back at Step Two, then we might, gasp, become unpopular.
  • We have to have rent control, because otherwise rich people on the West Side might actually have to pay market rents, which would involve uncertain costs (don't even get me started on how the Beautiful People use rent control to keep working-class schlubs at arm's reach).
  • We have to have regulations at the anal-probe level, because otherwise, millions of people will be running around doing their thing with no controls on how they run their businesses and lives. Chaos! Madness!
  • We have to gut-shoot our economy, because fossil fuels are destroying the earth, and our best alternative, nuclear power, is a Godzilla-like radioactive monster that will destroy us all.
  • We have to create the "perverse incentives" of a halfway-welfare state, because if people are allowed to control their own pensions and the like, some of them might make bad choices.
Cowardice. Fear. A supposedly enlightened sense of concern for one's fellow man, masking outright statements of contempt for one's neighbor and a craven fear of consequences, let alone confrontation (in current duckspeak, "mean-spiritedness"). An abject inability to engage in plain speech, because simple speech doesn't let one duck the incoming missile of truth in a chaff-like cloud of pseudo-intellectual jargon and argument-by-dictionary. The resort to hyperbole and ad-hominem, as if each and every issue that arises is somehow understandable only in millenarian terms involving the Correct Position and various shades of moral troglodytism.

It's pathetic.

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