The Liberal Problem in America

Donald Trump brought the void to the entire liberal establishment. He brought it emptiness and confusion and, more importantly, he brought it fear of the American people. The liberal sun is setting in the West, and all that remains for its worshippers is an unbearable sorrow for the power they have lost, of bewilderment and anger, a sense of the lengthening shadows of their irrelevance, and a gathering realization that, from having dwelt within the deep corruption of the Obama administration, they have nothing to offer the people but their old socialist handbooks, their consuming hatred for the new president, and a roiling temper of revenge.

The liberal mind is a dark place -- an irrational, predatory, enslaving, and uncivilizing influence. It has become its own refuge, its own closed system of thought and behavior, its own electric carnival of delusions. It can switch reality on and off with the swipe of a finger. It can turn wishful clay on a magic potter's wheel until it has made new creeds out of its own lies and new religions out of government. Its proselytes have placed their left hands upon Marx and sworn an oath of fealty to a pernicious ideology of power. Not only have its priests and ministers raised society above the individual in their egalitarian rituals, but they have also elevated the state above society. They eulogize "diversity" and "inclusion" in their propaganda, but when the diverse and the included have entered the great House of Liberal Thought, the wide doors close behind them, and they are not permitted to leave.

In Philip K. Dick's sci-fi classic, Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep, the remnants of humanity that have not emigrated off-world live in cities perpetually darkened by the clouds and radioactive dust of a post-Terminal War. The people dwell in communities that are neither society nor civilization. With most forms of life made extinct by war, they have created animal and human counterfeits to merge with the remaining culture as a necessary means of survival. No one knows with certainty if anything is real, and no one cares to ask. Better to live with viable simulacra and mood-altering machines than to acknowledge the truth of what intelligence gone wrong had made of the world. Reality is only a suggestion -- and even the androids think they are human.

The liberal establishment is too much like this closed, unavailing, dysfunctional state following the Trump apocalypse. Liberals have fallen into a slough of nihilism, for a high tide of common sense has poured over their little castles made of sand; and now they must survive on the products of weak imagination and alternative certainties, on implanted memories of things that never were and on the futility of things that cannot be. Their unreality, however, is a dynamic medium, changeable with art and perfectible with language. To speak this language is to speak a terrible ignorance that misinforms with purpose, an ignorance that does not tolerate correction -- a language that makes hatred possible. And if they can survive on the authorship of their own fictional reality, one can only wonder at their infinite capacity for self-delusion. To lie and believe the lie is to forswear one's humanity; and one might therefore ask of liberals if they too think they are human.

It is a universal irony that the study of democratic societies should often prove a history of free peoples searching for tyrants to enslave them. One has only to examine the bloody record of democratic origins and endings to understand the multifold opportunities available to radical interests for exploitation and overthrow. Although America's republican form of government provides the greatest resistance to despotic methods, it cannot entirely escape the vulnerabilities inherent to the democratic process itself. We now find our nation disturbed by the cultish and non-moral spirit of intellectual dishonesty, error and arrogance that defines the liberal problem in America, for although liberal activists have proven the perfect stewards of the nation's political and cultural decline, yet they scorn the world that offers no thanks for their instruction.

It is the definitive modern liberal conceit: that the world waits upon instruction. There are legitimate spaces in our literature for fantasy and imagination, but handbooks on racial politics and social justice are not among them. Liberalism is a mythos of political narratives in which the settled laws of human nature do not apply, thus allowing for an infinite range of social theories to flourish and multiply unconnected to reality. Its poets do not answer to reason; rather, they are hard-wired to the sentiments that direct reason towards misshapen ends. The ability to persuade oneself with one's own lies, to willingly forfeit one's conscience to the tribe, and to justify one's own corruption by teaching it to others is a genius discovered only in a truly liberal intelligence. The modern cult of liberalism thus affords some gratification to the uncounted numbers of unfinished minds desperately looking for a great lie to believe in -- for the lie shall set them free of conscience, personal responsibility and the burden of defending freedom itself.

History is the axis of every passing moment. We participate in the constant turning of that necessary human study and its promise of greater understanding. A long familiarity with the ungovernable forces of human nature must precede all political reflections. Only through that gate are we allowed to proceed along a determined course of right action. The study of history informs us, however, that we are now caught in the march of folly -- bitter, repetitive clashes of misguided ideology and founding principles -- in which each succeeding administration of our government, in order to accomplish its ends, must first destroy the works of its predecessor. If this is not folly, then the word has no meaning. Folly is a universal solvent -- a progressive agent of change. In its triumph, it has reduced many forms of government to an elemental sludge; and its influence is certain to continue through American politics, as the authors of liberal doctrine have promised a Stalinist annihilation of history itself.

History is abandoned when social theorists believe they know all the answers. According to the leftist handbooks, democracies are little more than precursor states with limited life spans, necessary procedural stages for a new authoritarian world order ultimately without political parties, without choice, without freedom, but with an absolute promise of social equality -- reminiscent of the old Soviet bloc system. The prospect of eventual one-party rule is the reason why leftists regard democracy so highly; and that length of darkness is the path that liberal instruction is now taking the Democratic Party.

Every presidential election, from this moment onward, will represent a hinged point in the trajectory of historical freedom -- an unequivocal turning towards or turning from the founding principles of our nation. The world anticipates 2021, the year in which Philip Dick set his post-apocalyptic tale. We should know by that time if progressive interests have recovered the political powers commensurate with their contempt for the American people, the great majority of whom, the left believe, are governable only by force. That reliable plantations have already been established by the left gives credence to their despotic sentiment, outlining the prototype and purpose of a new dystopian form of liberalism for the 21st Century.

Philip Ahlrich can be reached for comment at