The Rise and Fall of Liberalism – A Study in Deviousness

Posted by PITHOCRATES - December 5th, 2010

The Young and Ignorant are a Key Liberal Demographic

America is a center-right country.  In fact, the liberal left is a minority of the population.  They sound bigger than they are because their minority are in very strategic parts of the population. 

Liberals include college professors (who hide from reality on college campuses where they teach the young and ignorant).  College students (the young and ignorant).  The mainstream media (who spread the liberal propaganda, giving it legitimacy).  Celebrities (who laugh at and belittle conservatives).  The poor and government-dependent (who live in fear of losing their Big Government benefits).  The blue-blood rich (who feel guilty for inheriting their money).  Unions (who seek government protection to get better wage and benefit packages than the majority of American workers).  Government workers (high-pay and benefit-heavy work for the unemployable). 

Taken together you’re looking at about 20% of the population.  But thanks to college professors, the media and celebrities, they seem like they’re everywhere.  Especially to the young and ignorant.  Who typically vote Democrat until they get a real job.

From FDR to JFK to LBJ

The key to liberal success has been the ability to deceive.  They have to lie about who they are.  Because their numbers have been dwindling since the New Deal (see Liberalism: An Autopsy by R. Emmett Tyrrell Jr. posted 12/4/2010 on The Wall Street Journal).

In the tumultuous history of postwar American liberalism, there has been a slow but steady decline of which liberals have been steadfastly oblivious. The heirs of the New Deal are down to around 20% of the electorate, according to recent Gallup polls. Conservatives account for 42% of the vote, and in the recent election the independents, the second most numerous group at 29% of the electorate, broke the conservatives’ way. They were alarmed by the deficit. They will be alarmed for a long time.

The key to winning elections, then, is lying to independents.  For if the independents didn’t vote, Conservatives would never lose an election.  And if there is one thing liberals are good at, it’s lying.  Which is how they win elections.

Liberalism’s decline might appear, at first glance, to have begun with the 1961 inauguration of President John F. Kennedy—when historians noted the first glimmerings of what was to become liberalism’s distinctive trait, overreach. Kennedy’s soaring oratory was infectious and admirable and even impressed a later generation of conservatives. But it was a bit dishonest. There never was a missile gap with the Soviet Union, as he claimed, or any other cause for histrionics. On the domestic side, the oratory set in motion President Lyndon Johnson’s catastrophic War on Poverty.

The Big Government of FDR had failed.  The necessity of war stopped most of the New Deal nonsense.  Big Government released their oppressive hold on business to let them do what they do best.  Pure, unfettered capitalism.  And the Arsenal of Democracy won World War II.

After the Great Depression, World War II, and a couple of standoffs in the new Cold War, Ike wanted to let America be normal again.  To enjoy life a little.  Instead of facing Armageddon time and time again.  Ike had no illusions of grandeur.  Nothing to prove.  No ego to stroke.  America paid a hefty price to win World War II.  It was time to enjoy a peace dividend.

JFK’s stirring language represented a break with the Burkean understanding of President Dwight Eisenhower. Ike, whether he articulated it or not, wanted to put the Great Depression and the dangerous confrontations of the early Cold War period behind us. He wanted to return to normalcy. Yet Kennedy’s inaugural put America on a different path, one that led to the Cuban missile crisis and ultimately to Vietnam. It fixed America’s stance in the world, and with that stance we were on the road to Iraq and Afghanistan. Domestically it set us on the path to a behemoth big government.

The Ike years were good years.  Prosperous years.  Happy years.  Everything a liberal hates.  Because there’s nothing for government to fix.  So to trick people into thinking things are bad and need to improve, you need to do 2 things.  You need to lie.  And you need good oratory.  And JFK did both well.

Never let a Good Crisis go to Waste

The country changed in the 1960s.  And liberals reached far.  Too far.  Conservatives pushed back.

LBJ’s Great Society caused even some liberals to warn against the “unintended consequences” of government programs. These were to be the first new recruits to modern conservatism. Jeane Kirkpatrick, Irving Kristol and, for a time, Daniel Patrick Moynihan, were in Kristol’s words liberals “who were mugged by reality.” The radicals were seeking refuge from reality in a self-regarding fantasy. Only a crisis in the leadership of President Richard Nixon, Watergate, allowed them to hide from the American electorate their fantastic delusions.

Few shared the liberals’ vision for America.  Even in the 1960s.  Other than the hippies on college campuses, the ‘silent majority’ was still conservative.  But liberals are devious.  And they never let a good crisis go to waste.  They had two big ones during the Nixon administration.  Vietnam.  And Watergate.

Liberals and Ronald Reagan both Campaigned as Ronald Reagan to win Elections

The problem with liberalism?  It’s sort of like that question ‘why climb Mt. Everest?’  Because it’s there.  Liberals want to amass power and control things.  To tax and spend.  And when you get right down to it, it’s not a popular political platform.  We want to tax and spend because we want to tax and spend.  There are no lofty philosophical ideals.  No charismatic liberal leaders advancing the cause of tax and spend.  Instead, liberalism is a vacuous abyss hidden by lies and doublespeak.

The conservatives, on the other hand, have a philosophical basis.  They are proud to quote previous conservatives.  And try to continue their work.  The best liberals can do are to point to Karl Marx’s socialism (i.e., Marxism) or the Soviet Union’s communism.  And being that this ideology (Marxism/communism) has killed more people than any other ideology in history, they offer little political capital for someone wanting to expand government power.

Conservatives have had Edmund Burke and the Founding Fathers as their cynosures. Sometimes they have provided discipline; sometimes conservatives have followed their own star. The problem for liberals is they have been denied a cynosure. Some had looked to the British Fabian Socialists and some to Karl Marx, but since the late 1940s liberals became coy about their intellectual mentors.

And because liberals have no political philosophy people want, they lie about who they are.  They run as conservatives during elections.  Bill Clinton.  Barack Obama.  They campaigned on a center-right platform.  Sometimes even quoting Ronald Reagan.  But once they won the election, they swung hard to the left.  They governed as liberals.  The electorate felt betrayed.  And at the first opportunity (i.e., the first midterm election in their administrations) their parties lost power in Congress.  Rejecting, once again, their Big Government tax and spend policies.

In 1992, after 12 years of conservatives in the White House, Bill Clinton beat George Herbert Walker Bush. Yet he too ran as a moderate. Once in office he tried to push a big government agenda and was trounced in the midterm election.

The rest of Clinton’s presidency was defined by his pronouncement that “The era of big government is over.” The Reagan revolution was secured. In 2000, Clinton’s vice president lost to the governor of Texas despite prosperity and peace. George W. Bush won the midterms in 2002. Then came the Republicans’ wilderness years in 2006 and 2008—but not conservatism’s. Conservatives remained more popular than liberals by about a 2-1 margin.

A Crisis and a Moderate Republican Candidate help Liberals win Elections

George W. Bush served two terms.  His popularity soared after 9/11.  So the liberals went to work.  All through his second term, they hammered away at the economy.  They said it was worse since the Great Depression.  (Of course, unemployment now under Obama is about twice the rate it was under Bush.  But things are better now.  Remember that lying thing about liberalism?)

And then they had a crisis.  A great big, beautiful crisis.  The Left was just ecstatic.  Their policy of putting people into houses they couldn’t afford triggered the subprime mortgage crisis.  When a Republican was in office.  It just didn’t get better than this.

The media went into overdrive by endorsing the moderate McCain for the Republican candidate.  It leveled the playing field.  Instead of choosing between conservatism and liberalism, the choice was between two moderates.  And the Left was able to hide Obama’s liberal past and radical associations to fool the moderate and Independent voters.  Obama won.  He swung hard to the left.  And loss the midterm election.  Because America is a center-right country.

Conservatism has steadily spread through the country since its larval days in the 1950s, and the reason is that the vast majority of Americans favor free enterprise and personal liberty. Note the tea party movement. The Republicans just took the House of Representatives by over 60 seats and gained six seats in the Senate. The social democrat in the White House has been routed.

Over the past two years the Democrats showed their true colors. Faced with an entitlement crisis, they rang up trillion dollar deficits. We now face an entitlement crisis and a budget crisis—and liberals have no answer for it beyond tax and spend. They still have support in the media, but even here they are faced with opposition from Fox News, talk radio and the Internet.

America is a Center-Right Country

The only way a liberal wins an election in a center-right country is by deception.  That’s why they pray on the young and ignorant.  It starts in the public school system.  And continues in our colleges.  The young are seduced.  By our educational system.  The mainstream media.  And the celebrity left.

It’s a tenuous coalition.  At best 20% of the population.  But that 20% is sometimes enough to fool the moderates and the independents who haven’t been lied to yet.  And this is nothing against the moderates and independents.  The Left are just good liars.

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