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Anti-PC League

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Day By Day© by Chris Muir.


Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Why I Am Not a Leftist Liberal (Part One)

I found this while visiting a very left-wing blog (who referred to me as "a brown shirt" because I dared to state that I was still waiting for John Kerry's form SF 180):

My Liberal Manifesto

Which is great, because at least a liberal is stating what they stand for other than "Bush lied" or being anti-war-in-Iraq. Of course I want to use this to re-iterate to why we oppose such ideas, because we (conservatives) aren't racists, fascists, uncompassionate (or whatever else we've been painted as) but because we are very much opposed to these things. Nor do I intend to flame, but to give people something to think about.

There are 27 points in this manifesto, I will address the first 6 in this post.

*cracks knuckles*


I am a Liberal.
Let me start off by saying that I believe there is a difference between a true Liberal and a "Leftist". Look at the dictionary definition of "liberal" as it relates to this discussion:

lib·er·al
1.

a. Not limited to or by established, traditional, orthodox, or authoritarian attitudes, views, or dogmas; free from bigotry.
b. Favoring proposals for reform, open to new ideas for progress, and tolerant of the ideas and behavior of others; broad-minded.
c. Of, relating to, or characteristic of liberalism.
d. Liberal Of, designating, or characteristic of a political party founded on or associated with principles of social and political liberalism, especially in Great Britain, Canada, and the United States.

Let me ask you, does this definition fit every person that calls themselves' a liberal or associates themselves with the political left or the Democratic Party? I don't think it does. This may be the case with some, but not all. Many are wrapped-up in a very narrow view defined by a very narrow ideologies, such as those within the animal rights movement, some (but not all) elements of the environmentalist movement, the anti-war/pacifistic movements, those who believe that Marx had good ideas, etc. That is where I draw the line between Liberal and Leftist. Liberals by definition are open to new ideas, even if these ideas contradict their preconceived views. Now I don't think that even a true Liberal must accept or even tolerate every idea that passes their way, but one has to at least be open to discussion & debate. When one takes, for example, Noam Chomsky as truth to the exclusion of any contrary argument, then one ceases to be a Liberal in the classic definition of the term, and can be considered as simply as someone who embraces left-wing views. In short, a Leftist.

that means that I believe we have a responsibility to those who cannot care for themselves,
No one I know is saying that those who cannot care for themselves should not be cared for (though Peter Singer believes they should be euthanized, but he's a leftist). It's just that many conservatives believe that government has done a poor job of defining, and caring for, who cannot care for themselves, or that the responsibility is not a role for the government in the first place.

Our belief stems from two things: 1) that the taxpayer’s money is the property of the taxpayer, and he or she should rightfully decide to use it as they see fit. It is not the property of a politician, bureaucrat or "society", to do so as they wish. 2) The reality that private charities often can do a better job than government programs do. For example, during the preparation and aftermath of hurricane Katrina, the American Red Cross was ready to roll prior to the disaster, yet it was the governor who barred them from entering the state; only to leave the people in need of charity at the whim of several incompetent bureaucrats.

I believe we should help the poor,
Again, few will disagree with this on the basic level. The difference lies again with the degree of involvement by government. The current welfare system is rife with fraud, corruption, and waste. Welfare is a way of life for many who have no ligitimate reasons not to find work, but instead drive their Escalades to pick up the welfare check. What can the taxpayer do? Not much, as change involves dealing with a massive bureaucracy. Yet with private charities, one can research and analyze which ones are engaged in fraud, waste and abuse, and give their money accordingly. How many times have you heard a story of a person who offered a homeless man a job, only to be turned down in favor of a handout? How is it that I am responsible to work in order to not only feed me and my family, but also to feed a man determined not to work to feed himself? For the politicians and government bureaucrats, the reasons do not lie with sheer charity, but with their own livelihoods.

I believe old people deserve to be treated with respect & dignity,

I agree wholeheartedly. However, many have used this line to justify social programs that are inefficient and wasteful. Again, those invested in bureaucracy do not spend your money as efficiently as you can. So now we have this huge population of retiring citizens that are expecting their payback for a lifetime of taxpaying, only to find that their tax money won't be there because some politician already spent it. Where will they be when the smaller, younger generation can't bear the burden? Is that respectful?

I believe we should protect the environment,
Damn skippy. But for many, this is less about actually protecting the environment and more about backing an agenda. Right now nations who back whacko religious extremists have by the short & curlies because we cannot use our own natural resources but instead have to rely on theirs. Why? Because of environmental regulations, and some of the backers of said regulations simply tell us we should stop buying SUV's or that "Big Oil" should lower their profits (when as I've already written, the true measure of wealth-making, the profit margin, is relatively low for them; lower than what the government makes in gas taxes).

John Stossel did a report where he showed that when natural resources are privatized, it gives people an incentive to take care of their property. Instead much of the environmentalist movement (at least those we refer to as watermelons), prefers to use government rules. Is this because government has done a better job?

Then you have the rules against the use of DDT, which has caused deaths from such insect-borne diseases as malaria and others to skyrocket. But as As Jacques Cousteau said, "In order to stabilize world populations, we must eliminate three hundred and fifty thousand people per day. It is a horrible thing to say, but it's just as bad not to say it."

I believe we should not invade other countries without the majority of the worlds democracies agreeing it is the last option,

Now we can (and have) debated the justifications for the Iraq war, as this statement is obviously aimed at. However, this is a broad statement, so put all those arguments for or against this war aside. My question in response is if you intend to determine the path of our nation by the motivations of foreign politicians, then how can you claim that we are a sovereign nation? Add to that this involves the democracies whose politicians are corrupt and profited from tyranny (as was the case in the oil-for-food scandal). Democracy is a great thing, but is putting the course of one's own nation in the hands of foreign politicians not elected by our own populace true to our own brand of democracy?

I believe that the government is no more corrupt or inefficient than a huge multinational corporation (Enron),
Of course Enron was the exception, not the rule. The market also dealt with their dishonesty, as James K. Glassman noted:

The Enron scandal was primarily a story of executives and auditors deceiving investors about the true state of a business. If it was "greed" that caused the deception, it was greed that uncovered it as well. James Chanos, a money manager who specializes in short-selling (speculating that a stock's price will fall), got wind of Enron's shenanigans, and tipped off a reporter at Fortune. Enron was forced to restate its earnings and acknowledge hidden debts.

Investors reacted with fury, dump-ing Enron stock. The company's worth declined from $30 billion to almost nothing. Before any indictment or government report, the market pronounced Enron guilty and imposed a sentence of capital punishment. Then longtime clients started punishing Arthur Andersen, Enron's auditor. Delta ended its 53-year relationship with the auditor, as did Merck and Freddie Mac. Andersen, and the executives who allowed it to stray, face oblivion.
The government? It does the very same thing, as Walter Williams wrote:
Enron used accounting gimmicks to hide debt and make corporate executives look good and earn fat bonuses. Congress does the same thing. Each year, it transfers vast sums of money from the Social Security and the Federal Highway trust funds to hide debt, and they boastfully lie to us saying they've not only balanced the budget but created a surplus.

So what's the difference between Enron and the government? Enron doesn't exist anymore! Not because of government action, but because the people withdrew their support by selling their stock. Yet Washington has no such worry.

(continued here)