Discredit Liberalism Utterly
Conservatives have a Hamlet question this week. Whether to 'tis nobler in the mind to back President Obama as commander-in-chief, right or wrong. Or to take arm against a sea of troubles and defeat the president on his Syria war resolution.
Or, perchance to dream that, at this point, what difference does it make?
Either way, this nation desperately needs to discredit utterly the political faith of its liberal ruling class by November 2016. Because until that happens, America is stuck in an authoritarian administrative time warp of foreign policy irrelevance and domestic policy train wrecks.
Here's how we would know that liberalism were utterly discredited. We would see cable comedians like John Stewart and Stephen Colbert make their bones by sneering at liberal numskulls instead of at conservative numskulls as they do now, because that's where the ratings would force them.
Conservatives used to think that liberals had already been discredited by the Reagan Revolution of the 1980s. We were wrong, and here's why.
There's a theory about war that any real war takes 30 years to sort out. That's because the loser typically needs to sacrifice two generations of young men on the battlefield before it gets the message. See Germany 1618-48; France, 1789-1815; Germany, 1914-45.
Stephen Moore's recent piece reporting that youth and women and minorities are hardest hit by Obamanomics tells us that liberal governance is in the middle of wiping out the second generation of Democratic faithful in 40 years. The first wipeout, remember, was the stagflation of the 1970s that Reagan cured in the 1980s.
Back in the late 1970s liberals were saying that the nation was ungovernable. How else to account for the stagflation? Liberal President Carter knew what needed to be done, but he just didn't have the power to overrule Congress. Now we have Sam Tanenhaus mourning that Obama is stuck with a "Hands-tied Presidency." Nobody's fault, of course. Just the reality of politics in America.
President Reagan advocated and passed an economic policy that reversed Keynesian inflationism with hard money; continued the deregulation that had started under Carter; and cut tax rates. "Supply-side economics" was the catchphrase, but there was solid science behind it.
Liberals sneered that supply-side was "trickle-down" economics, that Reagan was an amiable dunce, that Reaganomics would never work. The liberals of the era believed that the developed countries had exhausted the potential for economic growth. It was an era of Limits to Growth, as advocated by the Club of Rome, the IPCC of the time. Nobody's fault, of course.
Liberals were wrong in the 1970s and conservatives were right in the 1980s. It was a slam dunk and liberals were silenced for a season. When Bill Clinton ran for president in 1992 and Democrats were desperate for the spoils of office after losing three presidential elections in a row, he ran as a New Democrat. Unsaid, but understood, was that Democrats had learned the lessons of the 1980s.
Even in 1992 there was a clue that liberals hadn't learned their lesson. The catchphrase of the day was "policy wonk" and Clinton was celebrated as a man that liked nothing better than to go to the annual Renaissance Weekend and gabble about policy with his fellow up-and-coming wonks. But really, Renaissance Weekends were just bull sessions to plan how to increase the power and the reach of big government and the authoritarian administrative state. Today Paul Krugman is sneering about a Republican "wonk gap."
In fact, liberals hadn't learned their lesson; they were lying. But what do you expect? You don't get to win a war with one battle.
Still, after the 1994 election, Clinton and Co. decided that they'd better lay low on their real liberal agenda for the rest of the 1990s.
With Obama and Co., we are talking about the second generation that has been mobilized, trained and sent to the front to battle for the modern ruling class and its essentially fascist vision of "everything for the state, nothing outside the state, nothing above the state." That is why it is so important to defeat them and humiliate them, and get their hardest-hit followers -- the young, the women and the minorities -- to desert the liberal colors.
Because the way to win a war, a real 30 year slugfest, is to defeat the second generation sent to the trenches.
The way things are going, it looks like conservatives won't have to do much to make this happen, because the liberal generals are still fighting the last war with their discredited Keynesianism and big government meltdowns. And they are getting the same disastrous results as they did a generation ago.
Discredit them utterly, that's what it takes.
Christopher Chantrill (mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org) 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. Get his Road to the Middle Class.