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Liberal Coercion Brits Melt Down Over Naughty MPs

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Witness to Liberals as they Really Are

by Christopher Chantrill
June 21, 2009 at 11:37 pm


PEOPLE ARE wondering what to do about the Sotomayor nomination. Should conservatives robustly oppose this Affirmative Action baby to the utmost? Or should conservative senators witness to her identity liberalism, asking her questions that allow her to expand, as a wise Latina, on her philosophy of jurisprudence?

There is a lot of satisfaction to be had from an all-out battle. But all-out battles don’t seem to serve conservatives very well. The search for communist traitors in government after World War II certainly uncovered some liberal spies, but liberals managed to turn the whole thing around and make Senator McCarthy, rather than the high-born liberal spies, the issue for half a century.

It may have been appropriate—and delicious poetic justice—to call out the leader of the feminist party, President Clinton, for lying about sexual harassment. But again, the long-term result was an Angry Left and eight years of Bush Derangement Syndrome.

The witness style of conservatism concentrates on the facts rather than the political combat. You could say that it starts with Edmund Burke and his Reflections on the Revolution in France in which he predicted, in 1790, the bloodbath to come.

Then there’s Britain’s Herbert Spencer. In Man Versus the State he railed—in the 1880s—against the flood of legislation in Parliament that, even then, was bringing everything under the knout of government compulsion. Said he:

The Liberal... more than any other in these latter days seems under the impression that so long as he has a good end in view he is warranted in exercising over men all the coercion he is able[.]

Spencer, born in 1820, was educated almost entirely by his Nonconformist father and uncles. In 1837 at age 17, he “joined the engineering staff of the London and Birmingham Railway.’ But he soon veered towards a literary career and became one of Britain’s great public intellectuals.

In the 20th century there was no better witness than Whittaker Chambers. He was another oddball, and hated school from the moment that he observed in the school-yard three boys urinating on a lollypop and then offering it to a classmate. It was a long way from that day to the day that he would testify that Alger Hiss, president of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace and liberal icon, had spied for the Soviets.

Liberals, Rush Limbaugh never tires of telling us, cannot admit who they really are. If that is so, then conservatives should never cease from witness, giving liberals every opportunity to tell the American people who they are, and then amplifying the message for everyone to hear.

Judge Sotomayor, nominee for Associate Justice on the United States Supreme Court, seems to be an unreflecting advocate of the jurisprudence of identity politics and speaks the lingua franca of the liberals who mentored her through an Ivy League education and law school. Let senators respectfully ask, and let Judge Sotomayor tell the American people who she really is.

Conservatives are old-fashioned enough to believe that, if the issues are honestly debated, the American people will agree, in broad outlines, with our ideas and programs. The truth is that if the American people really want unrestricted abortion and government “single-payer” health care, they will get it. If Americans want the business sector locked down under the political control of government “czars” there is no way to stop them.

But if Americans want responsibility for their lives, if they want a limit to government compulsion, if they recoil from the liberals’ Peculiar Institution, then they must know that conservatives proudly wave a banner under which they can rally—a beacon, “a magnet for all who must have freedom.”

It is intriguing, according to Eamon Javers in The Politico, that President Obama, like President Clinton before him, talks about God and Jesus more than George W. Bush did. Perhaps he is trying to resurrect “the largely dormant Christian Left.”

Or perhaps Rush is right, and the president feels the need to camouflage the strongly secularist content of his politics. After all, the young Obama joined Reverend Wright’s church only after he discovered that young activists were expected in Chicago to have a church home.

Also, the “great awakenings” theory developed by William G. McLoughlin in Revivals, Awakenings, and Reform reckons that it is faith that drives politics, and not the other way around.

Let the American people find out who President Obama really is, secular or Christian. Let them find out who Sonia Sotomayor is, empathetic or identity racialist. Let them find out who liberals really are, and what liberal government means to their lives and to their families.

Then let’s talk, America.

Christopher Chantrill blogs at www.roadtothemiddleclass.com.

Buy his Road to the Middle Class.

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The incentive that impels a man to act is always some uneasiness... But to make a man act [he must have] the expectation that purposeful behavior has the power to remove or at least to alleviate the felt uneasiness.
Ludwig von Mises, Human Action


“But I saw a man yesterday who knows a fellow who had it from a chappie that said that Urquhart had been dipping himself a bit recklessly off the deep end.”  —Freddy Arbuthnot
Dorothy L. Sayers, Strong Poison

China and Christianity

At first, we thought [the power of the West] was because you had more powerful guns than we had. Then we thought it was because you had the best political system. Next we focused on your economic system. But in the past twenty years, we have realized that the heart of your culture is your religion: Christianity.
David Aikman, Jesus in Beijing


[In the] higher Christian churches... they saunter through the liturgy like Mohawks along a string of scaffolding who have long since forgotten their danger. If God were to blast such a service to bits, the congregation would be, I believe, genuinely shocked. But in the low churches you expect it every minute.
Annie Dillard, Holy the Firm

Civil Society

“Civil Society”—a complex welter of intermediate institutions, including businesses, voluntary associations, educational institutions, clubs, unions, media, charities, and churches—builds, in turn, on the family, the primary instrument by which people are socialized into their culture and given the skills that allow them to live in broader society and through which the values and knowledge of that society are transmitted across the generations.
Francis Fukuyama, Trust

Class War

In England there were always two sharply opposed middle classes, the academic middle class and the commercial middle class. In the nineteenth century, the academic middle class won the battle for power and status... Then came the triumph of Margaret Thatcher... The academics lost their power and prestige and... have been gloomy ever since.
Freeman Dyson, “The Scientist as Rebel”


Conservatism is the philosophy of society. Its ethic is fraternity and its characteristic is authority — the non-coercive social persuasion which operates in a family or a community. It says ‘we should...’.
Danny Kruger, On Fraternity

Conservatism's Holy Grail

What distinguishes true Conservatism from the rest, and from the Blair project, is the belief in more personal freedom and more market freedom, along with less state intervention... The true Third Way is the Holy Grail of Tory politics today - compassion and community without compulsion.
Minette Marrin, The Daily Telegraph


“When we received Christ,” Phil added, “all of a sudden we now had a rule book to go by, and when we had problems the preacher was right there to give us the answers.”
James M. Ault, Jr., Spirit and Flesh

Democratic Capitalism

I mean three systems in one: a predominantly market economy; a polity respectful of the rights of the individual to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; and a system of cultural institutions moved by ideals of liberty and justice for all. In short, three dynamic and converging systems functioning as one: a democratic polity, an economy based on markets and incentives, and a moral-cultural system which is plural and, in the largest sense, liberal.
Michael Novak, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism

Drang nach Osten

There was nothing new about the Frankish drive to the east... [let] us recall that the continuance of their rule depended upon regular, successful, predatory warfare.
Richard Fletcher, The Barbarian Conversion


“We have met with families in which for weeks together, not an article of sustenance but potatoes had been used; yet for every child the hard-earned sum was provided to send them to school.”
E. G. West, Education and the State

presented by Christopher Chantrill

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