Today's liberals are much like England's 18th century leaders
There was a time when the word "liberal" meant to think freely and openly. Our Founding Fathers were liberals because they believed that free men can govern themselves. In the 18th century, the British Empire ruled the waves; the U.S. was a British colony; and England's ruling elite governed for us because they thought that we were incapable of governing ourselves. Fast forward almost 250 years: the United States is the world's leading economic and military superpower and England is an Island.
Today's liberals are much like England's 18th century leaders. They may be well-educated. Some of them attended Harvard or Yale or Virginia, for example, and they think that their college degrees set them apart. They enjoy gathering together in their toney cafés and talking about how smart they are and how stupid the rest of us are, but they are infatuated by their own delusions of grandeur.
Sandra Fluke is an example of today's liberal. She must be intelligent because she is a law student at Georgetown, and Georgetown Law School admits bright students. She must be clever, too, because she rose from obscurity to become the liberal mainstream media darling by challenging Georgetown's and the Catholic Church's right to make policies that are consistent with their core values.
What makes Fluke a modern-day liberal? First, she thinks that she's smarter than the unwashed masses. Just like 18th century British leaders before her, she knows what's best for us, and she's determined to drive her philosophy down our throats. Second, she thinks that she should be able to do whatever she wants and that the unwashed masses should pay for it. Third, she has done nothing of consequence to prove her mettle, but she wants to make our world over in her image at our expense. Finally, she is amoral and/or immoral, and she thinks that our society should embrace her principles despite their obvious shortcomings.
Laurence Lewis is a contemporary liberal as well. He's a writer for Daily Kos, and this is what Daily Kos says about him:
Laurence Lewis is a native Oregonian, and recently returned after 25 years in California. A lifelong political activist, he first stuffed envelopes while in grade school, walked precincts for local candidates while in junior high, and his first paying job, in high school, was on a Congressional campaign. He was first paid for his writing when Rolling Stone gave him fifteen dollars for a five word poem. It remains the best rate he's ever received. He writes poetry, music, all manner of drama and fiction, and also spends a lot of time with cameras.
On Sunday, an article by Lewis titled "The cruel stupidity that is economic austerity" appeared in Daily Kos. The first paragraph of the article is below, and it went downhill from there:
When right wing politicians talk about deficits you can be certain that they're waging class warfare. When right wing politicians pursue economic austerity you can be certain that they're waging class warfare. If right wing politicians truly cared about fiscal responsibility, they would raise taxes on those who can most afford to pay more taxes and they would end corporate handouts, whether they be direct subsidies or the indirect enabling that is having the public foot the bill for environmental and other public harms incurred as part of corporate profit making. If politicians cared about balanced books they would do what's best to grow the economy and rectify social and economic imbalances. Prosperity does not trickle down. If given the chance, it can blossom up.
What has Lewis done in his life that has prepared him to speak so authoritatively about the motives of people who believe that our nation is borrowing and spending its way into oblivion, and why does he equate fiscal responsibility with class warfare? The answers to those questions are nothing and ignorance, idiocy, or both. Today's "liberals" believe that people who have earned any measure of success should give to others who have less than they do until they have no more to give without respect for ambition and initiative, or lack thereof. Contemporary liberals want things now at others' expense with no strings attached, and they are hedonists and nihilists to the core.
Paul Krugman of the New York Times is the grand poobah of modern liberalism, and he has a Nobel Prize to prove it. His article in Sunday's Times titled "Europe's Economic Suicide" is yet another of his many attempts to convince unwitting readers that Europe will go down in flames and take the rest of the world with it if Europeans have to live within their means. More than any other modern liberal with the possible exception of Barack Obama, he has made contemporary liberalism his crusade. His mission in life is to create a Marxist/socialist system that he and other "liberals" like him believe is the solution to the world's problems. Below is an excerpt from that article:
In a way, it doesn't really matter how Spain got to this point - but for what it's worth, the Spanish story bears no resemblance to the morality tales so popular among European officials, especially in Germany. Spain wasn't fiscally profligate - on the eve of the crisis it had low debt and a budget surplus. Unfortunately, it also had an enormous housing bubble, a bubble made possible in large part by huge loans from German banks to their Spanish counterparts. When the bubble burst, the Spanish economy was left high and dry; Spain's fiscal problems are a consequence of its depression, not its cause.
So if European leaders really wanted to save the euro they would be looking for an alternative course. And the shape of such an alternative is actually fairly clear. The Continent needs more expansionary monetary policies, in the form of a willingness - an announced willingness - on the part of the European Central Bank to accept somewhat higher inflation; it needs more expansionary fiscal policies, in the form of budgets in Germany that offset austerity in Spain and other troubled nations around the Continent's periphery, rather than reinforcing it. Even with such policies, the peripheral nations would face years of hard times. But at least there would be some hope of recovery.
Notice that Krugman didn't say anything about the willingness of Spanish homebuyers to borrow more than they could afford to repay to purchase bigger houses than they needed during a hyper inflated housing market. In Krugman's world, German and Spanish banks were responsible. And what is Krugman's solution? More easy money and more government spending. Ironically, it was easy money and excessive government spending that created the problem in the first place, but that doesn't matter to Krugman and other modern liberal savants. They think that more government spending and extracting more tax revenue from the so-called "rich" is always the right thing to do even though we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that that approach does not work.
Are today's liberals ignorant, or are they idiots? It's probably a little bit of both.
Neil Snyder is a chaired professor emeritus at the University of Virginia. His blog, SnyderTalk.com, is posted daily.