January 19, 2010
Liberalism Is DeadBy James Lewis
The name "liberalism" has now drifted so far from its moorings that it has turned into a lie. Anybody who uses "liberal" these days is trying to put one over on you. It's like Florida swampland peddlers talking about their "beautiful lakeshore." You can stop listening at that point, because nothing you're going to hear is true. Liberalism used to mean something. Today, it's pure Florida swampland, complete with snapping alligators.
Consider: Martha Coakley, the Democrat candidate for U.S. Senate for "Teddy Kennedy's seat" in Massachusetts, as Middlesex County D.A., kept in prison a victim of one of the worst miscarriages of justice during the witch-hunts of the 1990s against supposed Satanic child abusers based on pressured testimony by very young (and therefore unreliable) children. The case against the Admiraults was admirably exposed by the Wall Street Journal, who made it overwhelmingly clear that they were the innocent victims of a radical feminist delusional assault. But thanks to Martha Coakley's efforts, Gerald Amirault was left to rot in jail long after it was clear that he was innocent.
Coakley is not a liberal in any honest sense of that world. She is a radical, prosecutorial Leftist. That is how she made her bones in the Mass. Democrat Machine.
The l-word still has a positive flavor from the old days, when it meant tolerance, open-mindedness, and the active defense of freedom. That's how JFK used it. Barack Obama is not a liberal; he is a third-world Socialist of the really angry kind. Obama has been surrounded by enraged Leftists from childhood on, including those crucial four years of living in Indonesia right after the whole Communist Party was wiped out by the Indonesian military under General Sukarno. That's Obama's real experience of the world outside of Hawaii. Ever since then, Obama has chosen to be surrounded by anti-Western, anti-liberal Leftists. Jeremiah Wright is perfectly typical of Obama's crowd. Obama is mentally the most fixated president we've had for a century, because he has never bothered to look outside of his Hard Leftist circle. He doesn't know any normal people...sort of like the New York Times Editorial Board or the Faculty of Harvard.
A big chunk of the Left has always despised liberalism anyway. Marx and Lenin made a big thing out of sneering at soppy liberals. Those are the kinds of folks who raised and befriended Barry Soetoro. Bill Ayers and Bernardine Dohrn were never liberals. They're maybe New Left Mao Zedong-worshipers, or some such thing.
Obama showed the world how far he is from JFK's liberalism when he ostentatiously bowed down to two monarchs --- the Saudi King, whose tribal kingdom confines women to the home, protects African slavery, and executes homosexuals; and the Emperor of Japan, in whose father's name Japanese soldiers massacred racially "inferior" Asians throughout the "Greater Asian Co-Prosperity Sphere." Naturally, the Chinese, who still hate the Japanese for what they did, simply went ballistic when Obama bowed to the Japanese Emperor. A month later, China torpedoed the Copenhagen summit with exquisite timing, right after Obama invested his personal prestige in rescuing the Great Green Fraud of Eurosocialism. You can bet that the Chinese did that deliberately. It was payback, and it also protected their own economic development and their investment in U.S. Treasuries.
On the other side of the world, Obama likes to show public contempt for the Brits, who are the source of American ideals of liberty. It was the Royal Navy that halted the African slave trade, albeit belatedly, and it's Muslim Africans who still own black slaves today, two hundred years after the Brits swept slavery from the oceans. And it was Abe Lincoln, an American Republican, who ended slavery in America.
But mere facts don't mean diddly to the Left. Facts and scholarship used to be important for liberals -- Lionel Trilling, Walter Lippmann, and Patrick Moynihan were academic liberals. Traditional liberals would be scandalized by the P.C. reign of intimidation in the academic world today, just as they would be shocked by the massive scientific corruption of the Global Climate Fraud. Not anymore. If the Left still uses the l-word, it's pure Florida Everglades they're selling.
Take Cass Sunstein (please!). Mr. Sunstein is a star of Harvard Law School, and he may well be nominated to the Supremes. But Mr. Sunstein wants to stamp out free speech, at least for "conspiracy theorists." Last year Mr. S wrote a thirty-page legal article with Adrian Vermeule called "Conspiracy Theories."
Yes, indeed, we could imagine such a thing, but the history of American constitutionalism is dead-set against such ventures in abusive government censorship. What does Mr. Sunstein think the First and Fourth Amendments are about? If Mr. Sunstein gets to the Supreme Court, he will try to reverse three centuries of legal scholarship, starting before even the U.S. Constitution. Now think for a second: Obama gets elected in 2008, and Sunstein is now prominently mentioned as a Supreme Court nominee. Is this the time to publish an article on stamping out free speech? Not unless you know Obama is in sympathy with that way of thinking.
Since Marxism-Leninism is nothing but a gigantic conspiracy theory (capitalism being an international conspiracy against the workers of the world), it's obvious that Mr Sunstain is not thinking about his good buds on the Left. No, Cass Sunstein is proposing a conspiracy to sic the FBI on those who would accuse him of proposing a conspiracy against their constitutional rights. Their prosecutable sin? They are "conspiracy theorists." This legalistic gobbledegook would surely earn the applause of such as Stalin and Goebbels, but real liberals would cringe. Mr. Sunstein is a Leftist, but he's far from a liberal.
Even Massachusetts may be catching on that so-called liberals don't deserve that name anymore. Barney Frank is not a liberal, but a demagogue and corruptocrat with truly awesome, dictatorial arrogance. That is because he has a safe seat in Boston. Chris Dodd is not a liberal, but said to be one of the most corrupt members of the U.S. Senate. Harry Reid is a Machiavellian demagogue. Nancy Pelosi is a mafia moll. We should therefore stop associating the word "liberal" with such creatures. Liberalism is dead; anyone using that word is lying or living in the long-ago past.
What we see now from the Democrats may be Applied Marxism, Hard Leftism, Gangster Leftism, or maybe the Machine Politics of the Left. Europe has killed liberalism in exactly the same way since the Evil Year of 1968. Even Joschka Fischer, the founder of the Green Party of Germany, has confessed that yes, he sometimes gave in to "the totalitarian temptation." I don't think Hubert Humphrey, Harry Truman, Adlai Stevenson, or even JFK ever had a "totalitarian temptation" in their lives. It takes a German Green Marxist to say such things, with all its bloody echoes in 20th-century Europe. Bizarre.
There's always been a huge amount of totalitarianism on the Left, all the way from Karl Marx onward. On the real Left, the lust for power always wins out over sucker slogans like democracy and peace. The real Left isn't against the Ruling Class; it just wants to be the new Ruling Class. Obama is the perfect example. When Lenin took over in Moscow, it was the Russian liberals who got a single bullet in the head.
Jonah Goldberg's book Liberal Fascism points out a lot of similarities between the modern Left and fascism -- they are only slightly different brands of Control-Freak Statism, alternative brands like Coke and Pepsi. I think he is right on the facts, but not on the labels. "Liberal fascism" sounds like a contradiction because the Left is no longer liberal. That's all there is to it.
The name "liberalism" should be put in a museum of out-of-date political labels, like the Whigs and the Wobblies. If there is ever a real democratic rebellion in the Democrat Party, then maybe real liberalism will come back. But until such time, we can only wish that the l-word will Rest in Peace. The Left has killed it.