A Forum for Opinions on News, Politics, and Life
November 11th, 2010
By Dan Miller
Classical liberalism needs resuscitation.
Following the recent elections, Roger L. Simon recently opined that Liberalism is Dead. He referred, of course, to modern liberalism rather than to classical liberalism. He is more confident than I am about the demise; the death of modern liberalism may be approaching and I hope it will come. However senile and ineffective it may appear or we may wish it to be, it and its proponents remain forces about which to be concerned. Unfortunately, modern liberalism a.k.a. Librulism may even now be more alive than classical liberalism.
Words have transitory meanings. The word “gentleman” once meant a man privy to the person of the king. It eventually came to mean a person of sufficient inherited wealth to live well without “hard earned” money; mere tradespeople were not “gentlemen,” no matter how sophisticated and polite they might have been. The word “gentlemen” now adorns the entrance to the restroom (another interesting word, that; I have never seen one with furniture really appropriate for a rest) used by males. Over time, “liberal” has morphed in similar fashion:
Thomas Jefferson considered himself a liberal but would, most likely, find little in common with those who appropriate the term today. Lock Mr. Jefferson (of Virginia) in a room with any one of the many so called liberals of today, and they would possibly come to blows, the event being at least forestalled because Mr. Jefferson was a “gentleman” in the eighteenth century sense of the word. Query, how many people who nowadays call themselves liberals believe that their views on life, the universe and everything reflect those of Mr. Jefferson. After all, he was a “liberal,” and so are they. …
I elect to use the word “liberal” to connote an open but not empty mind, a tendency to encourage the expression of opposing views, to listen attentively to them, and to desire to become familiar with them regardless of whether they are agreeable. It suggests a rational rather than a dogmatic approach to reality. A “liberal” in this sense can also be conservative; a conservative can, by the same token, be a “liberal;” there is no contradiction in terms.
Librul is the antithesis of liberal yet we persistently confuse the two. John Morton Blum, a very popular teacher of American history, was a liberal and a Democrat (he campaigned for George McGovern in 1972) but not a Librul. He is among those who made the difference live. His class was one of the largest and therefore had to be held in the law school auditorium. He spoke and wrote with enthusiasm about FDR and also about The Republican Roosevelt, Theodore. Mr. Blum was very happy to reminiscence extemporaneously the day after Eleanor Roosevelt died in November of 1962 about his conversations with her at Hyde Park concerning FDR; he had spent much time there going over President Roosevelt’s papers and talking with her as he wrote a book (The Morgenthau Diaries) about the FDR years; we were captivated. Mr. Blum was no less pleased to introduce Senator Barry Goldwater, considered a leader of the conservative Republicans, to the class during the lead up to the presidential nominating campaign preceding the 1964 presidential elections; the senator got lots of applause and no boos as he and Mr. Blum entered the auditorium.
Mr. Blum made no attempt to indoctrinate, he merely told us about history factually, knowledgeably and as impartially but interestingly as anyone could have. I understand that the Librul disease has now infected many institutions of higher learning and find that extremely unfortunate; thus is the disease spread. I do not think that was generally the case nearly half a century ago.
Libruls do and say strange things which liberals generally do not. Libruls are fond of the word “racist” and conflate it with opposition to Librul positions. In Librulspeak, it is “racist” not to consider race in hiring and promoting employees and for other purposes; some but not all consideration of race is called “affirmative action” and “affirmative” presumably connotes something good. Republicans, unlike Democrats, are racist. So are those fool conservative T.E.A. groups which supported LTC Allen West who, due to a clear victory in a heavily White district, will in January become the first Black Republican congressman from Florida since Reconstruction; they just gotta be racist. So must Republican Hispanics Marco Rubio and David Rivera in Florida as well as Susana Martinez in New Mexico and Brian Sandoval in Nevada; ditto their supporters. There is no depth of depravity to which those Uncle Tom racists and their enablers will not descend.
Through some odd mutation, “race” has come to encompass both sex and ethnicity, although neither has any necessary connection to race. “Hispanic” has come to suggest a race, even though it legitimately refers to ethnic ancestry or surname. Mr. Gonzalez is Hispanic, even though he may be a Caucasian. I seem to recall reading many years ago that a Mr. Jones had secured a judicial name change to Mr. Gonzalez so that he could qualify for governmental Hispanic preferences. The federal Office of Personnel Management is holding its Third Annual Federal Hispanic Career Advancement Summit on November 29 and 30 of this year. I suppose that Sally Ortega, née Jones, would be among those whose careers are to be advanced.
Much of Europe is in the midst of a Librul crisis; Greece, France, anyone? To a lesser but still growing and festering extent so is the United States; yet President Obama apparently wants to emulate them; we must become more Librul and thwart the Party of No.
I suggest that the crisis has been propelled in no small way by the politically correct misuse of language. Political correctness is a symbiotic encrustation on Librulism; I don’t know which is a cause and which is an effect, but neither could probably exist without the other. Global Warming Climate Change Species Endangerment? It’s getting worse by the minute and it’s all our fault. Praise Gaia, it is a crisis an opportunity not to be wasted; deniers are wicked. Charity? What’s that; we have entitlements. Poverty? Even some folks living in the United States who own a couple of cars, a house, a couple of television sets and spend lots of their time getting fat at McDonald’s live in poverty; they learn that they need and therefore demand our help because they are entitled to it; it ain’t charity which would make them lose any vestiges of self respect. Besides, slaves the poor can be made continuously dependent on the system — for many generations; that is good, rich is bad. Government spending? That’s cool; it’s just ObamaMoney government money. Inflation? That’s just what happens to tires and balloons. Illegal Aliens Undocumented immigrants? What’s illegal about not having some idiotic scrap of paper? Racism? That’s something white folks do; just ask the Reverend Messrs Jackson and Sharpton, and don’t forget the Honorable Mr. Rangel. Sexism? That’s something people who don’t disparage politically active females principally because they are attractive do. Helen Thomas, the recent runner up in a Ms. Congeniality contest (meh), would probably be a great president. Hate crimes? Don’t yap about what the term means. Voter disenfranchisement? The Department of Justice is doing a bang up job. The Constitution? Don’t worry about it; it’s just a silly old document reciting irrelevant and out of date notions held long ago by some dead white males. Dead is good.
It is politically incorrect to refer to an “Afro American” — presumably even one living in Africa who has never been to any part of the American continent — as Colored (the NAACP still uses that quaint adjective), as a Negro or probably even as Black (the Congressional Black Caucus does and only admits Afro Americans, but that’s not racist; a Congressional Caucasian Caucus would obviously be). Should I refer to a Caucasian citizen of South Africa as a “Dutch, English (or whatever) African?” Islamic terrorist? That shows an abysmal ignorance of the Religion of Peace. Conservative Christians? Stupid people who don’t know any better than to cling to their guns and bibles. Jews in Israel — they should properly be referred to as Hebrew Palestinians. Unions = good; corporations = bad. Community organizers? They become miraculously good Presidents and receive anticipatory Nobel Peace Prizes. Attractive female governors? Don’t be silly; elections are not beauty contests and we need experienced people.
Once upon a time, joyful people were referred to as “gay.” Somehow, the meaning of “gay” has changed and no longer has much to do with a state of current happiness. A conservative liberal (I do at least try), I am not gay about the way the United States had been heading at least until recently. Negroes, poor people, women, foreigners living in the United States legally, the involuntarily unemployed and underemployed and others have been getting the shaft to a far greater extent under the rule of Libruls than they would with liberals. On November 2nd the country made some progress away from Librulism toward liberalism. Such progress is good, but it needs to continue and not be wiped away by apathy now that the elections have been held. One thing to do would be to refrain from political correctism. Saying No to it would be a good start to restoring a bit of pride in our country.
(This article was also posted at Dan Miller’s Blog.)
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