Are Liberals Immoral?
Yes, liberals are immoral. The liberal power elite are selfish, hypocritical, arrogant, self-righteous, and, worst of all, destructive of those around them. They are willing to saddle everyone else with rules and regulations that do not apply to them, and with higher taxes that they somehow escape paying. The Buffett Rule might sound like a great idea, but it would never apply to the Buffetts of this world. Or the Kerrys, Kennedys, or any other left-wing billionaire.
Liberal do-gooders are always coming up with lovely schemes for redistributing other people's money and managing other people's lives. The problem is that all of these schemes do more harm than good. Welfare, which redistributes wealth to those who cannot work but also to those who avoid working or underreport income, is funded on the backs of those who actually do work. "Saving the planet" costs jobs but never actually saves anything. Killing fossil fuels increases energy costs and triggers inflation across the board. Yet the liberal elite blithely support every cause that comes along with no consideration of the cost to ordinary people. In doing so, they pad their already inflated sense of self-importance, and at no cost to themselves.
Scratch the surface of the liberal elite, and you will find a monstrous contempt for those "beneath" them. Liberals like Barack Obama live and breathe in a realm of utter disdain for ordinary Americans, including congressmen who hail from what the president likes to call "Palookaville." It is not just that they are out of touch; it is that they despise what is normal and decent. They would no more live in the heartland or send their kids to a public school than they would forego an exemption engineered solely to save them money -- the same tax break for the rich that they publicly decry as soooo unfair. It's no surprise that several prominent liberal Democrats made their fortunes as slum lords and ambulance-chasers. Others just married their money.
There's nothing wrong with making money, of course. Mitt Romney earned every penny of his fortune, and to his credit he has never apologized for his success. But the liberal game -- the Kennedy game -- is to pretend to side with the poor and, by doing so, gain political power so as to further line one's own pockets. In all of this, the liberal elite are utterly cynical. I didn't notice any bottle-washers or cleaning ladies admitted to George Clooney's $40,000-per-person fundraiser for President Obama, nor any middle-class Americans, either. The liberal elite's contempt for the rest of us was palpable when Nancy Pelosi noted that "every week we don't pass a Stimulus bill, 500 million Americans lose their jobs," or when in 2004 Teresa Heinz Kerry called Elizabeth Edwards a "mother earth person" who still had a brain.
It's not just that liberals don't know much about those "500 million" Americans. They despise them the way they despise Walmart and NASCAR and the American Legion. What it all boils down to is an appalling contempt for life. As long as Obama can keep his nose elevated at a 45-degree angle, and get re-elected, he is happy. Happy, even if 25 million Americans remain out of work as a result of his environmental pipe dreams, happy if millions of seniors just go away and die, as his former Medicare director Donald Berwick suggested ("they just need the morphine and counseling that have been around for centuries").
The liberal elite appear callous even when the lives of those close to them are at stake. In a sad footnote to the Kennedy family legacy, Mary Richardson Kennedy, the 52-year-old estranged wife of Robert Kennedy, Jr., was found dead on May 16, an apparent suicide by hanging. One's sympathy goes out to Mrs. Kennedy's family and particularly to her four children. One can only imagine the degree of anguish that would lead an individual to commit such a horrific act. Daughter of a wealthy northeastern family, Mrs. Kennedy was part of the liberal elite culture from birth. Yet despite all her gifts and her privileged lifestyle, something went wrong, as it does so often for those in her social milieu. Reportedly, Mrs. Kennedy had become dependent on prescription drugs and alcohol. As for her husband, who lists no profession other than "environmentalist," there was a record of heroin possession, and there were rumors of infidelity during the years of his marriage. In many ways, the contrast between his selfless public persona and dubious personal behavior fits the mold of the classic liberal player.
I have no desire to single out Mary Kennedy as an example of the damage of the liberal elite. In any case, there are plenty of other examples, both within the Kennedy clan and beyond, of just how destructive the self-indulgent liberal ethos can be. There was the case of John Kennedy, Jr., killed along with his wife Carolyn Bessette-Kennedy and sister-in-law Lauren Bessette in 1999. Kennedy was piloting a small plane that went down with a probable cause of pilot error, according to the NTSB. There was Joseph P. Kennedy II, whose car crash injured his younger brother and permanently paralyzed his passenger Pam Kelly. Kennedy was cited for reckless driving. There was David Kennedy, who died of a drug overdose in a Palm Beach hotel in 1984.
And then there was Ted Kennedy, who left Mary Jo Kopechne in the water overnight while he debated whether to report the accident.
So why is it that the Kennedys of this world think they have the right to tell the rest of us how to live? That is clearly the implication of the frequency with which they run for public office, pass legislation regulating the behavior of others, and lobby for higher taxes on the middle class. Do they imagine that they actually inhabit Camelot (which, by the way, was an absolute monarchy, not a democracy)? Far from it, the Kennedys and the rest -- the Roosevelts, the Kerrys, the Clintons, and the Obamas -- are actually examples of how not to live.
My guess is that every member of the little church where I hang out here in Palookaville knows more about the virtuous life and how to live it than does any member of the liberal elite. My Baptist brothers and sisters -- as our president has said -- "cling to" their religion, and their religion nurtures and protects them. It teaches the importance of fixed opinions, clear moral values, respect for others, and, above all, faith in a loving and redemptive God.
I have yet to hear the Kennedys, the Kerrys, or the Obamas, or any member of the liberal elite, speak with anything but disdain for the faith-centered life. I wish it were not so, but that is why it really does not surprise me that so many of them come to a bad end. If allowed to continue governing, they will bring the country to a bad end as well.
Jeffrey Folks is the author of many books and articles on American culture, including Heartland of the Imagination (2011).