At the End of the Liberal Dynasty

You really have to feel sorry for our liberal friends. With each passing day, they are coming to resemble the old WASP elite they sneered at for a century. Good liberal journalists should visit only those inscribed in the Liberal Social Register. And the Netroots seem more and more like southern rednecks, the folks who howled their approval when George Wallace vowed, "Segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever" in 1963 in the last moments before the Civil Rights Acts and the end of Jim Crow.

In the Juan Williams affair, they are telling us that liberal journalists have to take a vow, as members of the exclusive NPR Vegan Club, never to be caught grabbing a salty snack at the Fox News Drive-In window. Is that what liberalism is reduced to?

This is classic late-dynasty behavior. The founder of a political dynasty, whether a Napoleon or a Mao, understands the nature and use of political power down to his fingertips. He uses power to win his objective, never merely in the service of social snobbery. He decks his opponent with a knockout punch: no face-slapping for him. But the heirs do not get it. They have never had to fight for power; they have merely stepped into positions of power carved out by others.

The women at NPR who bungled the firing of Juan Williams last week advertised their weakness in all directions. They told the Angry Left that they could be rolled. They told the Republicans in Congress that they were not up to the job of defending their institution.

In addition, they are demonstrating to anyone who cares the strategic folly of Affirmative Action. Why on earth would liberals want to staff their nomenklatura with a bunch of second-raters chosen on the grounds of race and gender instead of making young liberals fight each other to the death for the right to run their headline institutions? 

The answer is that it is ever thus. It applies even to Rupert Murdoch, the street brawler who built his media empire with his bare hands. He appears to be preparing to hand over his media empire to his less-than-impressive sons. Eventually News Corporation will be inherited by the Murdoch equivalent of Pinch Sulzberger.

The Chinese have an elegant way of describing the late dynasty situation. In a great empire after years of strength and tranquility, things start to go wrong. Harvests fail; provincial governors become insubordinate and hold back their taxes. The army can't keep the barbarians north of the Great Wall. That's when the Chinese talk of the emperor losing the Mandate of Heaven. 

Dynastic heirs lack the skills and the intensity to keep the dynasty going. As the British say, they start to lose the plot. The ladies at NPR demonstrate this. Don't they understand that the charge of bigotry (or racism or sexism) is supposed to be used against the enemies of the regime, the racists and the bitter clingers, and not against a loyal if slightly off-message Juan Williams? Apparently they think it more important to truckle to their contributors and remain ritually clean of Foxite contamination.

Government is force. Politics is power. But the wise ruler keeps the mailed fist in reserve. Instead, he uses the methods of social control to enforce his will. He knows that humans are social animals; they hate to be branded as bad people. So he sends out his operatives to brand his opponents as bigots and racists (or traitors and heretics, according to taste). Liberals have successfully cowed the nation for decades with their racist-sexist-bigot-homophobe charges. Last week was a hint that the liberal idol has feet of clay.

This election is marked by the enthusiasm of the Tea Party and Republican voters. But the sign that something is really afoot is the stumbling of the once-proud elite, call it what you will: New Elite, Ruling Class, Educated Youth, Progressive Elite, Cognitive Elite, Creative Class. They complained of President Bush's strategic overreach in Iraq, but now they must confront their own overreach in Keynesian stimulus and ObamaCare and their oblivious disregard of the gathering storm.

History is the lie agreed upon. For fifty years liberals kept enough of us persuaded that their disastrous New Deal policies in the 1930s were a stunning success. Then they forced most of us to believe that their racial quotas and soul-destroying welfare programs were the essence of justice and compassion. Now they want us to believe that ObamaCare will reduce health care costs. 

It all adds up to a bridge too far, and people have stopped believing in the liberal lies. Worse than that, people are starting to laugh at liberals rather than fear them.

That is always the danger signal for the Ruling Class at the end of a dynasty.

Christopher Chantrill is a frequent contributor to American Thinker. See his and also At he is blogging and writing An American Manifesto: Life After Liberalism.
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