by Brad Nelson
“In a nutshell, our love-in generation, in chasing some utopia imagined during an orgasm at a smoke-shrouded rock concert, created a world where the strong are punished for being strong, the weak are rewarded for not being strong, the failings of many are the fault of others, and the politics of failed states are preferable to those that made us who we are and afforded us this time to kill. We throw billions of dollars at projects in and out of our own countries that continuously fail, but we persist because it is the right thing to do.”
The above is from an American Thinker article by R.H.J. King. I think one of the author’s points is that the gullibility of the 60’s Flower Power generation is coming home to roost. I don’t disagree. It’s one of those good news/bad news things. There were good attributes to that time as well as bad ones. But I run into more and more ex-hippies (still sometimes bearing long ponytails) who are shockingly conservative in their viewpoints, at least towards those trying to tear down the country with debt and Marxism. But I don’t think many have rethought their liberal attitudes toward social issues. And perhaps regarding some of the 60’s stuff, this is fine. They did make progress regarding a few things.
Perhaps this is where the idea of the “socially liberal/fiscally conservative” conservative comes from. Many on the right don’t think that such diverse elements can peacefully coexist. But I think they can if it is understood who pays for it. If I were pressed to label myself I would say I’m absolutely fiscally conservative while tending toward a “If it feels good, do it” libertarianism with the caveat of “And don’t ask me to pay for your recklessness when you crash and burn.”
But, of course, our society does expect us to pay for everyone else’s recklessness or for stuff that they should have to earn for themselves. That’s why so many try to disingenuously turn everything into a “right.” I have a “right” to an affordable home. I have a “right” to cheap gas. I have a “right” to this, that, and the other thing. A “right” by that definition…you guessed it…means I have to pay for it. But true rights are things that the government can’t prevent you from doing (and has to thereby protect, such as free speech). Such rights are precious, but not everything good or that we prefer is a “right.” There’s not even a “right” to live in a safe world. We do what we can. We built up our military because deterrence, not weakness, works. But declaring something a “right” is what pilferers, pirates, and thieves do. We live in a world where trying to turn bad motives into Good Things has become an art. In many cases, just change the language and … Presto! … you have a Good Thing.
American-style freedom is a very good thing and was one of the most cherished principles of the 60’s generation. But this new generation of present-day leftists has duped the Flower Power generation and have redefined “freedom” to mean “freedom from” instead of “freedom to.” And as soon as that happens, hold onto your checkbooks…and your true rights, for in order to institute any kind of “freedom from” you have to insert government as the redistributor of goods and services in society. There is no other way. The right to free speech, for example, does not require taxing anybody. It requires simply enforcing the first amendment. But when something like “freedom from paying for health care” becomes a “right,” this is a “right” that is not an immaterial liberty but a material piece of property that the government declares everyone should have. And who pays for that? Well, enter Karl Marx, for he and others declare that “the rich” can pay for it all. But you might as well believe that leprechauns or Tinker-bell can pay for it, for this idea that “the rich” can pay for anything you can think of as a “right” is complete nonsense.
The very reason we are undergoing an extended recession and high unemployment right now is because “the rich” (and business in general) are being bashed over the heads with government debt, interference, threats, and bad fiscal policy. That dries up the job market like a noonday sun in Death Valley. This is the natural outcome when government deludes itself that it is the main driving force in job growth, not the private sector. Government does not create anything. It can only ever tax wealth and parcel it and repackage it. It is people pursuing their own best interests in the free market who are the engine of prosperity. And they can do this only if they are free and do not buy into the Marxist/socialist lie that “the rich” are like a bottomless piggy bank that you can rob anytime you want.
Our culture is now under assault, but that assault does not come from the political right despite the decades of propaganda from the left saying otherwise. And it is a very illiberal assault. But I do believe in liberalism in the old sense. I believe in the maximum amount of liberty one can have and still maintain a structured and civil society. That’s what liberalism is truly about. True liberalism supports free speech not the stifling Orwellian thought police of “hate speech” and such nonsense. True liberalism is in support of those fighting for freedom and against theocracies and thugs if it is within our reasonable interest and ability to do. True liberalism cherishes freedom from all but the most absolutely necessary state intrusions and would never make peace with a government that forced you to buy any particularly product (Obamacare, for instance). Liberalism is also very protective against cadres and organizations that threaten to corrupt our laws, whether talking about the military-industrial complex or the environmental-wacko coalitions. (The left not only turns a blind eye to such corruption, they actively finance it with things such as ACORN.)
But it is not only the 60’s Flower Children who need to understand that they are being scammed, that their principles are being perverted and re-named to support an entirely different agenda. We have all been fooled to some extent. And it’s not just the word “freedom” that has been redefined and corrupted. The left has also redefined “equality” to mean “equality of outcome” instead of what it has always meant and that is “equality of opportunity” or “equality under the law.” This is a pernicious and dehumanizing redefinition because there’s no way to guarantee equal results without destroying something that the left says they love so much, and that is “diversity.” True freedom will create that very thing because we all have different drives, talents, and circumstances. The best that any freedom-loving country can do, and should do, is to try to protect equality of opportunity.
But as soon as you try to enforce “equality of outcome,” you enter a world of hurt. That is the very thing Marxism/socialism wishes to achieve — at any cost, including your freedom. (And last century has a body count of over 100 million to show for this effort.) In order to try to achieve this mythical “equality of outcome” (how could we all every be equal in this way, even if we were clones?), government must punishing anyone who stands out a little more than someone else, or who is just a bit different. The left may try to justify these policies with a thousand squishy names (such as “social justice”), but it’s all just the tyranny of a very narrow and intrusive mindset.
The lying, misinformation, misdirection, and rope-a-doped demagoguery of the left has been loud and unforgiving these last few decades. Political correctness is the tip of its arrow. We’ve all been forced to either oppose this leftist beast or go along with it so that we wouldn’t be eaten by it. But with trillions of dollars of debt piling up, and our freedoms and pieces of the free market disappearing daily, this is no longer an option. Blame-shifting, scapegoating, and demagoguery should no longer move us or frighten us as it once did. We’re in a “Fool me once, shame on you…fool me twice, shame on me” situation. It’s put up or shut up time for those blaming everyone else for their failures.
But that is the left in a nutshell. The left is power-hungry, arrogant, and dismissive of the value of freedom itself. These are not your father’s liberals, so to speak. These are a most illiberal people and movement.