Liberals Should Have Known
One of the favorite parlor games of our liberal friends is "The Germans Should Have Known" -- about the Final Solution, about the war crimes, about the slave labor. Part Two of the game is to blame everyone from Nietzsche to Hegel to Herder to Heidegger for setting the stage for Nazism. Some people are even able to parlay the parlor game into a bestseller, as with Daniel Goldhagen and his Hitler's Willing Executioners.
So, while the president tries out for the new Hollywood blockbuster The Boy Who Cried 'Wolf,' featuring fiscal cliffs and sequesters and climate change, let us imagine the world after liberalism. It might be a time when media talking heads and ambitious young writers will be figuring out paths to fame and fortune playing the "Liberals Should Have Known" game.
Really, I don't think we will be playing "Pin the Tail on the Liberal," because what's the point? In the glorious dawn of entitlement reform, vigorous economic growth, a price-driven health-care system, and educational choice; with abortion safe, legal, and shameful; and with a robust African-American middle class with the highest marriage rate in the nation, who will care about blaming liberals? Except, perhaps, former liberals eager to curry favor with the new ruling class.
Having lived through the liberal Götterdämmerung, any decent person will then figure that the liberals have suffered enough with the destruction of all their delusions, what with Siegfried Obama dead, Brünnhilde Clinton finally done singing, and the Ring of big government returned to those captivating MSNBC Rhinemaidens.
Another thing. All the liberals that I know are good, decent people. They just believe what they read in The New York Times and hear on National Public Radio.
Of course our educated liberal friends should be reading Sowell's Basic Economics. Of course they should be parsing Hayek. But they don't; they won't. Instead they take comfort in Nobel economist Paul Krugman's call for more Keynesianism. They worry about right-wing militias. They sneer at fracking. And they equate gay marriage with the civil rights struggle. They are, you might say, Human, All Too Human. They stay with their faith.
After all, what would have happened to the Israelites if they hadn't followed Moses on his crazy wanderings in the desert? What would have happened if Henry J. Heinz had given up after going broke in cucumbers? What would have happened if the Revolutionary Army had melted away in the winter at Valley Forge?
Liberals naturally think that with one more Big Push, they will get the political breakthrough they need to fundamentally transform America.
But liberals should have known. They should have known that their vote-winning entitlements were a fraud that discouraged generations of Americans from saving for their old age and creating jobs for their children. They should have known that a time would come when people would react in outrage to the idea of killing little babies in the womb, for what are we here on this Earth if not for babies? They should have known that their welfare politics would lead to a cultural implosion, with lower-income women abandoning marriage and lower-income men abandoning work, and both abandoning their children to inner-city chaos. They should have known that the global warming conspiracy was a con from the beginning, and that its exposure as a cesspool of crony capitalism would touch just about every Democrat in high politics. They should have known that a century of compulsory government education would lead inevitably to a generation of whining whipped puppies.
The reason the Germans created their big state was to play catch-up with Britain and France in the nation-state game. They succeeded only too well, and then they didn't know how to stop. It didn't help having a foolish kaiser as head of state at the turn of the 20th century.
The reason the liberals created their big state was to solve the "social question" posed by early capitalism. They succeeded only too well, and then they didn't know how to stop. It didn't help having a foolish president a little after the turn of the 21st century who got his politics from drinking a lethal ideological cocktail of radical suits and big-city corruptocrats.
A liberal friend recently told me that the civil-rights revolution was inevitable. I beg to differ. It required a lot of things to come together, including a united ruling class determined to do the right thing against the bitter-enders, who at the time, you might recall, held a lot of committee chairmanships in Congress.
The tragedy of the Obama era is that there is no consensus in the ruling class to do the right thing and reform our government finances. And the Democratic Party is a coalition of bitter-enders, dogs-in-a-manger snapping at anyone who dares to threaten their rotting pensions and sinecures.
It is all such a shame.
Christopher Chantrill (mailto:email@example.com) is a frequent contributor to American Thinker. See his usgovernmentspending.com and also usgovernmentdebt.us. At americanmanifesto.org he is blogging and writing An American Manifesto: Life After Liberalism.