Thursday, December 13, 2018

Has liberalism failed? 2-on-1 12/14/2018

Has Liberalism failed? To proceed with this text there needs to be  an agreed upon definition of what Liberalism really is.  The far-right in this country has confused the situation by essentially equating liberalism with many historic evils, including communism, socialism, the devil, mental deficiencies and many more.

Merriam Webster offers this as one of its definitions - political philosophy based on belief in progress, the essential goodness of the human race, and the autonomy of the individual and standing for the protection of political and civil liberties specifically : such a philosophy that considers government as a crucial instrument for amelioration of social inequities (such as those involving race, gender, or class).

On the surface that all sounds great. The elimination of social inequities. Wow. Liberalism  eliminates racism, race and gender discrimination and more. Wow. Sounds like a perfect world to me.

Alas, all "isms" share a common misconception - that they can be all things to all people. Isms and their followers seem to consider themselves one size fits all solutions to an increasingly complex world with extraordinarily complex issues which must be resolved to make progress. And that, my friends, is from whence the so-called Progressive movement emerged from the swamp into the  lexicon of modern politics. 

And, from the Progressive movement came the most infamous of all indicator Liberal/Progressive thought - Political Correctness. The stuff that gets sanctimonious do-gooders to want to remove everything that is offensive to someone from the airwaves, written page and consigned to the garbage can of life. If the Political-Correctness cops had their way all pages would be blank and the airwaves void of content.

Every right-thinking individual recognizes the folly in such thought and action. We function best and make progress within a system that does little or nothing to restrict or impede the acquisition of wealth. Vast quantities of it. Prices are to be determined by the market with no restriction on profit. And if you reject Jesus in any way, shape or form enjoy your short earthly stay because you will spend eternity in hell. Oh - and there are no AC units in hell. 

Clearly both liberalism and conservatism have been presented in very brief, extremes here. I could go on and on but this weekly exercise is not for War and Peace - we are more of a short story or for those of you who may recall them - the Cliff's Notes versions.

In the brief samples offered above, the liberal viewpoint offers empathy and concern whereas the right viewpoint is more of the Gordon Gecko greed is good notion. Both - if taken on their own are ineffective in the long run. It is when the two notions are combined that a real workable solution is offered. And when we hop into our very safe automobiles - made safe by liberal/progressive safety feature demands that the auto manufacturers screamed would put them all out of business because of the cost - and drive to our safe that back up to a marvelous river that we swim in and catch food from - thanks to restrictions placed on the lumber mill and coal mine handling of waste that was once simply  dumped into the river we should give props to those liberal folks.

When President Bill Clinton had an affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky in the 1990s, right-wing evangelist Franklin Graham—son of the late Rev. Billy Graham—was not happy. As he saw it, Clinton had disgraced the presidency. And he wasn’t about to keep quiet about Clinton’s infidelity because the president’s “sins are not private.” But in 2018, Franklin Graham has a very different set of rules for President Donald Trump—and this time, he is ordering fellow Christians as well as the media to lay off the president or face God’s wrath and judgement. Isn't it amazing what the price for a couple of Supreme Court Justices can be.

This little ditty could become a large ditty very quickly but I do not wish to scare you off. Liberalism is not dead nor is its counterpart - Conservatism. A judicious application to both principles is required in nearly all instances for any semblance of a civil society. Back in the old days it was not a mortal sin, political suicide nor just plain wrong for our two political sides to get together and be civil to each other while working things out. I used to be what was known as a Rockefeller Republican. I have a liberal, progressive view of most social causes and a more conservative view of government.Smaller is better. These days I am most often called a RINO or libtard.

That's a wrap on this week's topic. be sure to check Ramana's Musings for his take. 


  1. By your definition, both of us are liberal but, ideologically, we are somewhat different. Our differences however are primarily due to our living in different countries with different cultures, history and current situation. Such differences are the reason why the ideal liberalism which
    includes globalisation has received negative reactions and nationalism and jingoism is on the rise all over the world. That reaction is the reason why Mookherjee believes that liberalism is in its twilight years and I agree with him.

  2. I have digested both your posts for a couple of days now. the thought that comes to me first is that old line... 'if we don't learn from history we are doomed to repeat it...' in answer to your above reply.
    and a line from a song comes to mind. "why can't they be like we were? perfect in every way!"
    and to this simple mind therein lies the crux. it's either/or.
    I guess I'm a conservative liberal. if civility and tolerance are liberal then I'm a liberal. and if I don't want Big Brother constantly watching and requiring me to have 27 forms to start my own small business then I am a conservative who wants Big Gov to butt out. somewhere out there... there surely is a happy medium?
    there was a school bus accident a couple of months ago. a lawyer has taken the 'case.' no one was badly injured or killed. the lawyer is suing on behalf of the families whose children were on the bus. he wants a million dollars for each of them. "it's only fair." he said. can't help wondering what HIS take will be from it.
    he might as well have said aloud the famous line from the movie... "GREED is good."
    we must now be the ONLY part of Mother Nature that has totally screwed up the balance. weather wise. and people wise (or unwise!)
    and... I never have liked isms. labelling always seems to be an invitation to divide us. and it's getting worse all the time.
    I don't know enough about it all I'm sure. I feel like I'm sitting at the grown up's table. but to tell the truth...
    I'm sick of all the grown ups!
    (present companies here excepted!) xo

    1. All isms suffer from our way or the highway syndrome which is why they cannot be effective. Nearly all of life is too complex for one size fits all. Ax for being sick of the grownups, you are not alone LOL.

  3. One of the best features of liberalism is the regulatory mechanisms you refer to (like making cars increasingly safe). Some of these measures are over the top but most have given us healthier, safer and generally better lives. One of the possible outcomes of Brexit here in the UK is that many of the EU regulatory mechanisms we have adopted will disappear and we'll be back with full-blooded unregulated capitalism. An appalling prospect.

  4. Seems whatever an individual’s personal beliefs are and the label they assign themself defines whether they consider others positions to be liberal or conservative. Outside of academia ordinary people throw these terms around though there’s a wide variance among individuals who may see themself within the same label — but may have little to do with actual formal term definitions. Others may perceive them quite differently based on their own definition.