Skip to comments.The Lie at the Heart of Modern American Liberalism (Or, Why I Finally Decided to Vote for Bush)
Posted on 10/28/2004 10:40:59 PM PDT by pescates
The Lie at the Heart of Modern American Liberalism By Paul E. Scates October 25, 2004 Though it may sound strange to say so, considering the months of campaign rhetoric weve endured from both, this presidential election is not about George W. Bush and John Kerry. It is about us, the American people. Of course thats always the case, but I believe the leftward shift of the entire political spectrum these past fifty years, and the erosion of our Founding moral, economic and political principles that has resulted, makes this a watershed moment in American history.
This election will reveal whether the American people still believe in the Founding principles of individual liberty and responsibility, self-government and traditional Biblical standards of morality, or if we have finally succumbed to the liberal deceit that only government can ensure the protection of our rights, our material well-being and the fair treatment of every citizen. In short, will we remain a free and independent people or accept the socialism of modern American liberalism?
Thats right, I said modern American liberalism is nothing but socialism in disguise. Not a novel idea, of course, but in my forthcoming book (Politics of Deceit: How Liberals Lie and Why They Have To) I use the writing of the foremost authority on political Liberalism, Austrian-born economist Ludwig von Mises, to support my own research and observations proving that assertion beyond doubt. This excerpt will provide the context for my assessment about the upcoming crucial election, and the conclusion Ive reached (liberal and liberalism are in quotes to denote its false characterization of the Lefts politics)
In political parlance, liberalism (from the Latin liber meaning "free") originally referred to the 18th century political and intellectual movement that replaced feudalism with free enterprise and a market economy, substituted constitutional representative government for the absolutism of kings or oligarchies, and made individual liberty and economic opportunity available to all people in society. If those ideas are familiar, its because this [classical] Liberalism was the primary philosophical influence on our Founding Fathers.
Ludwig von Mises, the Austrian-born American economist, wrote the definitive work on this political philosophy, entitled Liberalismus, originally published in Europe in 1927. In 1956, historian Arthur Schlesinger, Jr., wrote, The American political tradition is essentially based on a Liberal consensus. He was referring to the classical Liberalism of free markets, individual liberty and limited government.
Von Mises noted, however, that modern American liberalism is from outside that tradition. It proposes regulation of the economy and the de facto abandonment of individual liberty (never expressed in such terms, of course) to an all-powerful government. Modern liberals claim non-existent rights for atheists, convicted felons, feminists and homosexuals, and have used government to impose false interpretations of the Bill of Rights to promote those rights. Though these actions are clearly at odds with the classically Liberal, and Constitutional, emphasis on equality and liberty for all, liberals claim their ideas are the politics of our Founding.
Schlesinger explains the reason for their deceit: Even those Americans who privately reject the [classical] Liberal tradition like the Communists of the '30's and '40's or the McCarthyites of the '50's can succeed only as they profess a relationship to [classical] Liberalism. (Italics mine) Thus despite the clear evidence refuting their claim, liberals must claim their political philosophy is that of our Founding in order to fool the American people into accepting it.
By 1962, however, in a foreword to the first English-language version of his book, von Mises wrote: Today the tenets of Liberalism are almost forgotten. In continental Europe it is remembered only by a few In the United States liberal means today a set of ideas and political postulates that in every regard are the opposite of all that Liberalism meant to the preceding generations.
Modern American liberalism, in von Mises words, aims at government omnipotence, is a resolute foe of free enterprise, and advocates all-round planning by the authorities, i.e., socialism. In fact, because modern liberalism is so completely different, the term classical Liberalism was coined to distinguish the original philosophy from the modern counterfeit version.
Because the great majority of Americans are willfully ignorant politically, this deceit has been alarmingly successful. We have turned government over to hired gun political elites lifelong bureaucrats and career politicians, lobbyists, political consultants and campaign professionals, commentators and analysts almost all of whom are removed by economic status, education or personal sentiment from the mainstream of American life. They have little affinity for, or commitment to, the traditional moral and political beliefs that are held by the majority of ordinary Americans.
Since LBJs Great Society in the 1960s, liberals have been very successful in their deceitful task of converting Americans, subconsciously, to an unquestioning acceptance of the premises of their de facto socialism. The actor Christopher Reeve, who believed that embryonic stem-cell research offered hope of curing his paralysis, revealed this subconscious acceptance a few years before his death. Demanding government support of that research, Reeves commented, Government is supposed to be concerned with the greatest good for the greatest number. Though that sounds right on an emotional level, this view of governments role is pure, unadulterated socialism.
Richard Doerflinger, of the U.S. Council of Catholic Bishops, rightly responded to Reeves comment: Our government is not supposed to serve the greatest good for the greatest number. Totalitarian governments are supposed to do that. Our government is supposed to protect the vulnerable individual from the rich and powerful... (Italics mine)
In the recent presidential debates, John Kerry openly displayed his socialist belief that government can better decide our future than individual Americans with every accusation that the Bush administration had failed to do enough in the area under discussion, or had done nothing at all. Those are great sins to a socialist, who believes the government must dictate every detail of our lives in order to ensure that greatest good for the greatest number. On an endless number of issues, Kerry claims he has a plan, and I dont doubt it but the U.S. Constitution was written precisely to strictly limit the power and authority of the federal government! Economist and columnist Walter Williams (among others) notes that the federal government already has no Constitutional authority for at least 80% of what it does today, yet Kerry and the liberals want even more government encroachment and control.
To his shame, President Bush simply defended what he has done or offered his own plans in all those areas. When a nominal Conservative can go toe-to-toe with the most liberal senator in prescribing government encroachment and solutions in every area of our lives, its clear that the socialist mentality that government, not the American people, should be in charge now permeates the American political consciousness. Practically speaking, that means the choice you and I have between Republicans and Democrats today is often merely one of pace, the speed at which well become just another socialist cesspool like those in Western Europe, rather than a choice between fundamentally opposing principles.
The importance of this election derives from that fact. Modern liberalism has so undermined our Founding moral, economic and political foundations that another liberal presidency may push us beyond the point where those principles can be restored.
Though I once shared Kerrys liberal faith, I eventually rejected liberalism for the lie that it is. In 1990, disgusted with the elitism of family and wealth in politics and considering him an unprincipled, opportunistic political chameleon, I voted against the elder President Bush. I knew very little about Clinton at the time, except that he wasnt Bush. It was a brutal way to learn that the casual assumption He couldnt be any worse can be a damnable lie. Those who today subscribe to the anyone but Bush stupidity should take note.
I did not vote for George W. Bush in 2000 (Howard Phillips of the Constitution Party) and until just a few days ago I was adamant about not voting for him this year, either (too much so-called compassion, too little Conservatism). However, he has shown that he at least will fight to defend us (the presidents primary responsibility), and that he has the moral clarity we need in our president in the face of an implacable foe. He will not trust our security to the whims of a corrupt UN, or discard our Founding principles for a foreign and deadly ideology, the socialism disguised as modern liberalism. Our Founding principles will remain intact under Bush, making it possible for us to awaken and reclaim our government from the political elites in both parties that now control it.
So, to help preserve those principles so future generations will have the same freedoms and opportunities Ive enjoyed, I will cast my ballot, although grudgingly, for President Bush. Even with his flaws, this nation and its Founding principles are safe in his hands. And even with its flaws, I still choose America and those principles over Kerrys internationalism and his deadly socialist fantasy. What about you?
The attached essay examines the critical nature of this election, and why I recently realized that, though I did not support him in 2000 (Howard Phillips, Constitution Party), this time I must vote for President Bush. Though he is far more "compassionate" than Conservative, he at least respects and largely upholds those Founding principles, which cannot reasonably be said of John Kerry.
Part of the essay is an excerpt from my recently completed book (Politics of Deceit: How Liberals Lie...And Why They Have To), in which I use the writings of Ludwig von Mises to prove the assertion that modern American liberalism is nothing but socialism in intent, methods and results, and therefore worthy of our resounding rejection this November.
Welcome finally to the Republican Party, where you belong
Excellent essay, For the sake of this country and our future, Bush must be reelected
Actually, he kind of belongs with the Libertarians, as many of us would if it weren't for the fact that most of them spend their time howling about how we shouldn't have gotten involved in WWI and the Federal Reserve. Both good points but 90 years too late. I swear, I'd be a Libertarian but they can't get their sh*t together long enough to decide who should buy the sodas for the meeting, much less mount a war on terror. So, to the Republicans we go. By default. Oh well.
Welcome finally to the Republican Party, where you belong
It took me 8 years to finally realize where I belonged. I owe it to slick Willie and his cohorts. For most, it doesn't "just happen". It's gradual.
bloody good work.....
Congratulations and enjoy your new found Free Republic!
He make a great point about the move towards socialism. The media loves to point out the "right track, wrong track" numbers in the polls. I was polled and supported Bush, but I said the country was on the wrong track. I'm sure many conservatives feel that way...we're moving towards a corrupt Socialist government.
"Any man who is under 30, and is not a liberal, has no heart; and any man who is over 30, and is not a conservative, has no brains." Mark Twain.
It takes time. I was a liberal, more or less, in the first few years of college (mostly because I thought that the girls would be easier--believe me, this motivation counts for about 35% of all young, male liberals). Now I am to the right of Atilla the Hun and plan on staying there.
Great point--I say the same thing. Approval ratings are also misleading: lots of conservatives don't approve of Bush because he's not conservative enough and really should have done more to curb spending. That doesn't mean we'd actually vote for someone on the extreme opposite of what we believe in.
Great article, we have a lot in common. I sat out the 1996 election after Jack Kemp was defeated by other republicans in favor of the marxist Bob Dole, so I know exactly where you are coming from about the GOP under Doles leadership.
Very interesting AND FRIGHTENING thesis. The real tragedy is that so many Americans actually BELIEVE the liberal lie! Perhaps a simultaneous reading of Al Franken's book on "lies" can serve as a grain of salt to bring out the special flavor of your book!
Then again, the liberal is all for compulsory "public" education, for the "common good" and the "public welfare," aka cradle-to-grave MISEDUCATION. Looking at these modern liberal types, it can be said truthfully that, indeed, it does take a village and now - even a "global test" - to raise a bunch of IDIOTS!
Welcome to Free Republic.
I enjoyed your essay very much. There are many here who don't agree with President Bush on some of his policies, but just like he said at the rally here Monday, "You may not always agree with me, but you know where I stand and I do what I say". For the most part that is true. I have grown to respect him more and more as the months have gone by.
I'm glad you have decided to vote for him even with your misgivings.
I look forward to reading more of your essays.
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