Good Old Days: Liberal Version
by David Franke: See
'The Hunger Games'!
have their version of the good old days: the years graced by the
sainted Ronald Reagan. But liberals are no less nostalgic. They
long for the good old days when the American people were public-spirited
and their politicians were ever ready to compromise. You know, the
days before Rush Limbaugh and the Tea Party spoiled paradise.
A typical example
of such liberal hogwash is this
article, "What happened to America’s community spirit?"
by BBC News correspondent Justin Webb. It’s an especially delicious
piece of nostalgic irony since it comes from the land of soccer
hooliganism, race riots, and tabloid hackers.
I have no knowledge
of Justin Webb’s personal political beliefs, but that doesn’t matter
much since nostalgia syndrome affects individuals of all known ideologies.
And I’m not picking on him specifically, since in 2006 he had the
guts to accuse his own BBC of anti-Americanism and treating the
U.S. with "scorn and derision." (Maybe Webb liked George
W. Bush’s cowboy imperialism – I do not know – in which case I would
have been on the side of the "anti-American" BBC.) The
point is that the poppycock Webb presents in this September 21 article
is typical of what we’re hearing from every live liberal in the
land, from Republican former Sen. Alan Simpson to the denizens of
by recounting an auto trip in Florida where he hears, on the car
radio, a congressional candidate accusing his opponent of benefitting
personally from the bank bailout. "Basically he’s accusing
his opponent of being a thief."
this candidate’s opponent IS a thief. And if he is a thief, he needs
to be outed. The problem is how to get the facts, not to bemoan
the divisiveness. But to Webb this is "bile," whether
or not it is true, and "it has real consequences. It leads,
in Congress, to deadlock. A nation beset with urgent issues to confront
– of which the size
of the national debt is probably the most serious – cannot find
the cross-party consensus necessary to act."
Funny, I thought
our national debt was the result of a cross-party consensus to spend
money we don’t have.
Webb goes on
to interview people he deems authorities "from across the political
spectrum" on what went wrong. Of course all of those authorities
agree with Webb’s general thesis and assumptions, they just have
The first one
blames "the sheer number of sources of information on offer to the
average American in the digital age….A maelstrom of fact and opinion
and sheer nonsense. All mixed up."
Oh, boo hoo.
The liberals want to go back to the days where we got our news –
and our liberal "consensus" – from three establishment
TV networks. I agree there's a problem today with people choosing
to hear only their viewpoint, but that's less of a problem than
being offered only one viewpoint. And actually, most libertarians
and conservatives hear plenty of liberal viewpoints every day –
from their politicians, the networks (still with us), and most cable
channels; they just choose to get refuge among their own media,
where they can get "the rest of the story," as Paul Harvey used
to put it.
We are next
treated to groaning about the rise of "Americans [who] don't see
us as having basic obligations to our fellow citizens," versus those
who are "public-spirited."
This is the
core of the liberal crap. It's using semantics to load the deck
in your favor before the argument begins. If you don't agree with
my liberal agenda, you are mean-spirited, not public-spirited. We
need more "community spirit."
What is public-spirited
about forcing your neighbor to pay for YOUR political and social
agenda? What is public-spirited about loading our debt on our children
and grandchildren? Hey, while you're at it, what is public-spirited
about calling Tea Partiers "racists" and worse, with no evidence
to back it up, as liberals do at every opportunity?
If there is
more devisiveness in American politics today than in the past (a
debatable proposition in itself), it is because the government has
become so gigantic, both dollar-wise and in terms of intruding on
our lives. This BBC correspondent is complaining that Americans
aren't totally zombies yet, and are reacting against these intrusions.
My complaint, on the other hand, is that far too many Americans
ARE zombies. I agree with Thomas Jefferson that "A little rebellion
now and then is a good thing." It's been far too long since our
would warn Webb, you ain't seen nothin' yet. The math behind our
present contentiousness is that, as more and more of federal outlays
are consumed by entitlements and interest on the public debt, less
and less is available for the domestic programs that are the subject
of most of our political discourse. This becomes even more the case
when "defense" spending is treated as an entitlement (for the Military
Industrial Complex) and is taken off the table, as most conservatives
small slice of the pie allotted to domestic programs is only going
to get smaller and smaller each year, at least proportionately,
meaning that the competition for those dollars will become more
and more fierce from all the supplicants for taxpayer bailouts.
And there will be more and more resistance from the fleeced taxpayers.
That, in turn, ensures that our political discourse will only get
louder and meaner, and no amount of liberal nostalgia for the good
old days will change that. Only drastically smaller government will
Franke [send him mail]
was one of the founders of the conservative movement in the 1950s
and 1960s. He is the author of a dozen books, including Safe
Torture Doctor, and America's
© 2012 David Franke
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