'Okay Google -- What Went Wrong With Liberalism?'

When liberals decided in the mid-2000s that they were becoming an Emerging Democratic Majority on the strength of minorities, women, the educated, and the youth, I believed them.

And when President Obama was elected in 2008 I could see how, with a cunningly moderate program, the Dems could cast Republicans out into outer darkness for a generation.

But then the Dems lurched left, culminating in the latest folly -- the mayor of New York dissing his own police force.

So which party is the Stupid Party?

It is time to haul out the old chestnuts. First the comment of the diplomat Talleyrand, who said after the restoration of the House of Bourbon to the French throne following the defeat of Napoleon: “they had learned nothing and forgotten nothing.”

Really, liberals! Did you learn nothing from the Sixties: that middle-class American people just hated to see students and blacks rioting in the streets? The “Law and Order” only really got buried in 1992 when Bill Clinton made a special trip back to Arkansas to sign a death warrant on a condemned murderer and took time out to diss Sister Souljah.

Then there was Karl Marx's comment on Napoleon III.

Hegel says somewhere that all facts and personages of great importance in world history occur, as it were, twice. He forgot to add: the first time as tragedy, the second time as farce.

Remember back in the day when liberals thought that Obama was the second coming of Franklin Delano Roosevelt? Or when Obama imagined himself as a transformational president on the order of Ronald Reagan? Talk about farce!

Last week I wrote a blog post begging liberals not to throw themselves off the cliff by turning back the clock on supply-side economics and broken window policing.

And now, of course, completely out of the blue, the fracking revolution has transformed the world economy. Gosh, liberals, who could have seen that coming? All the experts had told us that we had already reached “Peak Oil.”

And the warming “pause” is 18 years and counting.

What went wrong?

What do you do when you're stumped? You haul out your Android phone and bark “OK! Google!” Much more effective than whining “Siri” at your iPhone.

“OK Google. What went wrong with liberalism?”

Disturbingly, none of my stuff appears in the Google Search Results. So I'll have to spell it out here. Again.

You liberals took a wrong turn over a century ago. You thought of yourselves as a benevolent, beneficent elite, kindly dispensing justice and benefits to a grateful nation through a professional expert-led government.

You completely misunderstood the nature of government.

Government is force, not a beneficent Oz, and politics is civil war by other means. When you call for a new government program, you saying: forget peaceful cooperation and negotiation. We must go to war and impose our will by force.

It's the liberal thing to do. When you experience an intolerable injustice, you form a political movement, and set out to force society into a fundamental transformation. In other words, you declare war on the status quo and recruit a political army, and march into battle. When you've captured the citadel of government and get your hands on the levers of political power, then you legislate your morality to force your program on a corrupt society.


There's one little fly in this ointment. You liberals should know what it is, given how much you keep whining on about it.

“Siri. What is an arms race?”

When you mobilize your political army of “peaceful protesters” to fight injustice you quickly discover that other people are mobilizing against you. Why? Well, they feel they are caught in an arms race, and have to respond or get run over.

That's why you liberals extol the virtues of “soft power” to solve global conflicts. You tell us it avoids an arms race.

But liberals believe in “hard power” for domestic politics. Punch back twice as hard.

Hey liberals! Why not do the Sen. Aiken thing: declare victory and go home!

Just imagine, if you can, our liberal friends declaring victory on their wars on racism, sexism, homophobia, poverty, rape culture, global warming, greedy bankers, glass ceilings, brogrammers, etc.

What a joke. For liberals, political war on America, in President Obama's felicitous phrase, “is who we are.”

And that's where liberals went wrong. Just when everyone goes to sleep, liberals wake them up with another war on something.

We conservatives, in our best moments, think that all this liberal war on other Americans is a bad idea. It can lead to actual civil war. That's why we want a small government and a large civil society. We figure it creates less occasion for discord and division, and it socializes people into the art and practice of cooperation.

Christopher Chantrill @chrischantrill runs the go-to site on US government finances, usgovernmentspending.com. Also see his American Manifesto and get his Road to the Middle Class.