Many Liberals are Naifs and Innocents
We conservatives, crouching in the trenches of the political wars, experience liberals as haters and culture warriors. When we think of liberals we think of the Kos Kidz over at DailyKos and the execrable hosts on MSNBC. We think of the liberal journalists that sneer "who me?" to the charge of journalistic bias.
But I was reminded this last week that many liberals are naifs and innocents. They don't see feminists as the professional class making a virtue out of poor women raising their children; they think of career women and two-income families as a simple natural progress from darkness to light. They worry about "greed" and "inequality" without realizing that their worry didn't just issue from concern for fellow humans but from the power project of the big-government advocates. When they express dismay about the retreat of "Merry Christmas" into "Happy Holidays" they don't realize that "Merry Christmas" -- like Eeyore -- was pushed.
This innocence extends upwards to people that really should know better. Take Dr. Ben Santer of the Lawrence Livermore Laboratory, one of the government climate-change scientists that appear in the Climategate emails. Says he:
I had always assumed that if the science was credible, we could just rest our case on the science. It was enough to publish high-quality papers, to establish some human culpability in observed climate change, and that ultimately that would be good enough, and that policymakers would take the right decisions based on the best available scientific evidence.
Let us take Dr. Santer at his word. All he wants to do is good science, and leave the "policymakers" to act on it. But Dr. Santer needs to understand that science has been a concubine of the politicians starting no later than the Napoleonic Wars when the Prussians invented the research university. The idea was to make the German state more modern and powerful.
There are also innocents down in Silicon Valley. The techies think of themselves as hip and progressive and sneer at conservatives. But Walter Russell Mead warns that big government understands the power of the information age only too well and it wants more of it; the Obamis just finished using the Google guys to micro-target the electorate for the 2012 election.
Meanwhile in the Bay Area the Berkeley progressives are starting to stigmatize the tech companies as Big Data and the politicians are desperate for more money. Hey Sergey and Larry! Are you guys up to the embarrassment of lunching with a Neanderthal conservative at the Chick-fil-A down the road in Sunnyvale? You might be desperate for our support in the coming years.
This year we have the ObamaCare disaster, and the naïve liberals that drank the KoolAid about helping the "uninsured" find to their dismay that they are the ones paying for it. Now a Wall Street Journal report says that most of the ObamaCare signups are people that already had insurance. The "uninsured" aren't signing up.
Hey innocents! You voted for a guy that blew up the health care system and now ObamaCare isn't even going to get health insurance to the uninsured!
Liberal innocents buy into the moral urgency of the "universal system." There has to be a system, they cry, a system so that every child gets an education and everybody gets health care. The problem with a catch-word like that is that it always ends up covering up a monster. Here's one unearthed by the New York Post (H/T Peggy Noonan).
It appears that there's a school in Far Rockaway in Queens that's a poster child for what's wrong with the universal system of childhood education.
There are no gym or art classes... The library is a junk room; the nurse's office lacks essentials; there are no math or reading books for the Common Core curriculum.
And the principal, Marcella Sills, doesn't show up for work much.
This is why I keep banging away on the idea that government is force. Because once you forget that you forget a lot more things. You forget that system is domination and that universal system is universal domination (H/T Frankfurt School).
When you remember that government is force, you realize that the government is not interested in education, except as education increases its power; not interested in science, except as science increases its power. Dr. Ben Santer's Livermore Laboratory was opened by Edward Teller to research the nuclear physics for Curtis LeMay's bombology.
I tend to get impatient with the liberal innocents I know. After all, an educated person ought to know better. But we will turn the innocents away from liberalism more by friendly conversation that by didactic impatience. Mea culpa.
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.