Monday, July 17, 2006

Where Are The Honest Liberal Leaders?

When I was growing up, I learned from discussion and debate about the differences between Conservatives and Liberals. It seemed to me when I was young, that there was something to be said for either side, the weight falling on the present need. Liberals generally wanted to make social corrections and to protect rights for minorities, which was good. Conservatives wanted to hold true to the Constitution’s directions and limits, and to protect America’s interests in the world, especially from subversion and insurrection. This too, was good. Naturally, people usually took some things they liked from both sides, because for a very long time people could and did vote on the basis of the individual candidate, and both Republicans and Democrats had a range of political thought in their numbers.

For a number of reasons, I found myself increasingly Conservative, especially as the Democrats (representing the Liberal perspective) became shrill and unreasonable. By the time I was thirty years old, quite a while ago, it was already apparent that Liberals were as a rule bitter and hostile. And it occurred to me that this is happening because as a rule, their leaders are bitter and hostile.

So, what happened?


Jimbo said...

Heck, you answered the question just four days ago in your brief history of politics since WW II. That was spot on, and it's the reason for today's shrillness. The Dems have a bunch of people who are on the losing side of most issues and are unable to recognize it or change their thinking. All they can do is strike out -- even at one of their own like Lieberman -- at anyone who dares think differently.

Harold C. Hutchison said...

Sadly, looking at the Harriet Miers nomination, the DPW controversy, and the immigration debate, the right is also starting to develop its own versions.

Mark L said...

A large part of the problem is that the liberal agenda (the true liberal agenda) has been achieved. We have secret ballots. We have equality before the law, regardless of race, religion or gender. We have the right to property. We have representative government and no preferance based on birth (abolition of aristocracy).

These were all the big goals sought by liberals in the 18th and 19th Century. By the middle of the 20th century even de jure racial equality had been achieved.

So what do you do then? When you have won and you belong to a party whose raison d'etre is change?

You either abandon change or you abandon liberal principles in order to pursue further change. So that's what the liberals did, abandoning the goal of individual rights and liberties for collectivist, statist goals. And the conservatives, always defending the status quo, find themselves the champions of the individual.

It is as if two armies of pikemen meet on a field of battle. Each side pushes back the enemy line on their right flank until the two armies have found that they have pivoted 180 degrees.

Anna said...

I don't understand the shrillness either. Why would anyone want to be a part of or work with a group that is constantly angry and nasty? Life is too short for that!

The Macker said...

Some of the Democrat leaders and their ideas are a residue of the cultural revolution of the '60s when they were not held accountable and had a compliant media.They have not grown up and can't understand when they don't get their way.