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The Liberal Christmas from Hell I Want a President That Loves America. Again

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Stop Sucking Your Thumbs, Liberals, and Get a Clue!

by Christopher Chantrill
December 29, 2015 at 12:00 am

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IT MUST BE the holidays, because a lot of liberal media types are publishing end-of-year thumbsuckers on democracy. In The Atlantic, Peter Beinart writes that Americans are becoming more liberal; in The New Republic, David Dayen says no, they are not. And over at Vox, Roberto Foa and Yascha Mounk show with the World Values Survey that democracy is in trouble as Americans, and people all over the world, are losing faith in it.

What’s a conservative to think? Are liberals throwing in the towel, and ready to hand the keys of the kingdom over to conservatives? Hardly. The tone is more about how ungrateful the plebs are, after all liberals have done for them.

Peter Beinart is all excited by the activism of Black Lives Matter and Occupy as markers of a leftward move, as if these regime supporters represented anything other than regime-sponsored activism theater. But Dayen points to the Big Problem: we’ll need more taxes just to deliver on the entitlement promises. And Foa and Mounk report that more and more people across the world are leaning towards the idea of “have the army rule.” So what is really going on?

Probably it is nothing more than this: After seven years of the Worst President Ever, even ruling-class liberals sense that something is wrong. Things just ain’t what they used to be. The good old order, in which the voters sensibly voted for liberals that sensibly passed sensible legislation providing health care, pensions, welfare, education, and environmental programs for the people, and everything got better every day in every way… Yes, liberals, what did go wrong?

We know what went wrong. Liberals started believing in their own catchphrases about democracy, inequality, and compassion instead of reading, learning, and inwardly digesting the age-old wisdom about humans and government. Now that the wheels are falling off the liberal ruling-class machine after a century without a tune-up, liberals don’t know what to do, because they all took political activism in college instead of learning some political wisdom.

If African Americans are taking to the streets, what does that say about half a century of liberal race politics? If we just suffered a huge financial meltdown what does that say about the Federal Reserve Board and the SEC’s financial regulation? If racism and financial instability are still a problem what does that say about the whole philosophy of government by liberals?

If current programs can’t be maintained without a tax increase, maybe that’s because the entitlement programs were never anything but bubba bait for the rubes. Maybe the welfare state is not a wondrous creation of rational experts, but a ramshackle slum thrown together by political slumlords rack-renting the workers with unjust payroll taxes.

Even a nominal conservative like Ross Douthat mourns the innocence of the liberal consensus. “[I]t’s been hard to imagine the basic liberal democratic capitalist order cracking up”, but now, who knows?

Get a clue, liberals. We are in the current mess because of you. Let me count the ways.

First of all, there’s the “capitalism is doomed” meme. It wasn’t just rich kids Marx and Engels predicting the immiseration of the workers. In the 1930s the rulers and their tame economists decided that depression would go on forever unless the government primed the pump. In the 1970s the world was ending because of pollution, the energy crisis and the Limits to Growth. Now we have prophecies of doom unless we stop growth and replace efficient fossil fuels with useless windmills. How many times can you be wrong about capitalism, dudes?

Second, we have the liberal faith in politics. Just put the “best men” or the “educated” or the “evolved” in charge and they will administer a compassionate and just society. But this ignores the fact that politics is division; liberals win elections by riling up the bubbas or the brothers. In the century from 1880 to 1980 they did it by stirring up class hatred of the rich. Now they win elections with identity politics, by stirring up race against race, gender against gender, and religion against religion. Gosh, I wonder where that will end up?

Third, we have the elite faith in bureaucratic trans-nationalism, the idea that a global governance is just one more peace process away. In fact, every government in the world was created in war. Do any of you brilliant transnationals think that the creation of your global superstate will be any different?

Think about this, liberals. Imagine, if you can, that there is some reincarnation of Bismarck at work right now plotting a series of wars to create a global superstate forging a great coalition of nation states against Islam.

Lee Iacocca famously advised Americans to lead, follow, or get out of the way. I think, where liberals are concerned, the only option left now is Option Three.

Christopher Chantrill blogs at www.roadtothemiddleclass.com.

Buy his Road to the Middle Class.

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Faith & Purpose

“When we began first to preach these things, the people appeared as awakened from the sleep of ages—they seemed to see for the first time that they were responsible beings, and that a refusal to use the means appointed was a damning sin.”
Finke, Stark, The Churching of America, 1776-1990


Mutual Aid

In 1911... at least nine million of the 12 million covered by national insurance were already members of voluntary sick pay schemes. A similar proportion were also eligible for medical care.
Green, Reinventing Civil Society


Education

“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


Living Under Law

Law being too tenuous to rely upon in [Ulster and the Scottish borderlands], people developed patterns of settling differences by personal fighting and family feuds.
Thomas Sowell, Conquests and Cultures


German Philosophy

The primary thing to keep in mind about German and Russian thought since 1800 is that it takes for granted that the Cartesian, Lockean or Humean scientific and philosophical conception of man and nature... has been shown by indisputable evidence to be inadequate. 
F.S.C. Northrop, The Meeting of East and West


Knowledge

Inquiry does not start unless there is a problem... It is the problem and its characteristics revealed by analysis which guides one first to the relevant facts and then, once the relevant facts are known, to the relevant hypotheses.
F.S.C. Northrop, The Logic of the Sciences and the Humanities


Chappies

“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


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


Action

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


Churches

[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


Conversion

“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


Living Law

The recognition and integration of extralegal property rights [in the Homestead Act] was a key element in the United States becoming the most important market economy and producer of capital in the world.
Hernando de Soto, The Mystery of Capital


presented by Christopher Chantrill

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