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Liberalism Makes It Easier to be Bad ^ | July 30, 2013 | Dennis Prager

Posted on 07/31/2013 4:35:10 PM PDT by SJackson

There are many liberals who lead thoroughly decent lives. And there are conservatives who do not.

But that is not the whole issue.

There is something about liberalism that is not nearly as true about conservatism. The further left one goes, the more one finds that the ideology provides moral cover for a life that is not moral. While many people left of center lead fine personal lives, many do not. And left-wing ideals enable a person to do that much more than conservative ideals do.

There is an easy way to demonstrate this.

If a married — or even unmarried — conservative congressman had texted sexual images of himself to young women he did not even know, he would have been called something Anthony Wiener has not been called — a hypocrite.

Why? Because conservatives — secular conservatives, not only religious conservatives — are identified with moral values in the personal sphere, and liberals are not. Liberals rarely called Bill Clinton a hypocrite for his extramarital affair while president. George W. Bush would have been pilloried as such.

Simply put, we do not generally judge personal conduct the same when it comes to liberals and conservatives.

Both liberals and conservatives know this. As a result, as noted, liberal social positions can provide moral cover for immoral behavior in a way that conservative positions cannot.

Though there are many sincere liberals, it is likely that this ability to provide moral cover for a less than moral life is one source of liberalism’s appeal.

I first thought about this when I saw how the left-wing students at my graduate school, Columbia University, behaved. Aside from their closing down classes, taking over office buildings, and ransacking professors’ offices, I saw the way in which many of them conducted themselves in their personal lives. Most of them had little sense of personal decency, and lived lives of narcissistic hedonism. Women who were involved with leftist groups have told of how poorly they were treated. And one suspects that they would have been treated far better by conservative, let alone religious, men on campus.

My sense was that the radicals’ commitment to "humanity," to "peace," and to "love" gave them license to feel good about themselves without having to lead a good life. Their vocal opposition to war and to racism provided them with all the moral self-esteem they wanted.

Consider the example of the late Sen. Edward M. Kennedy. He had been expelled from college for paying someone to take his exams. His role in the death of a woman with whom he spent an evening would have sent almost anyone without his family name to prison — or would have at least resulted in prosecution for negligent homicide. And he spent decades using so many women in so public a way that stories about his sex life were routinely told in Washington. Read the 9,000-word 1990 article in GQ by Michael Kelly, who a few years later became the editor of the New Republic.

When this unimpressive man started espousing liberal positions, speaking passionately about the downtrodden in society, it recalled the unimpressive students who marched on behalf of civil rights, peace and love.

It is quite likely that Ted Kennedy came to believe in the positions that he took. But I also suspect that he found espousing those positions invaluable to his self-image and to his public image: "Look at what a moral man I am after all." And liberal positions were all that mattered to the left and to the liberal media that largely ignored such lecherous behavior as the "waitress sandwich" he made in a Washington, D.C. restaurant with another prominent liberal, former Senator Chris Dodd.

In addition to knowing that liberal positions provide moral cover for immoral personal behavior, liberals know that their immoral behavior will be given more of pass than exactly the same behavior would if done by a conservative.

Women’s groups provided Bill Clinton with enormous moral capital because he supported their feminist agenda. One leading feminist famously said she would be happy to get on her knees and pleasure Clinton thanks to his pro-choice position on abortion.

Conservative politicians have the same sex drive as liberal politicians, the same marital problems and the same ubiquitous temptations and opportunities. And some will therefore engage in extramarital sex. But every conservative politician knows that should he be caught, his positions on issues not only do not provide moral cover for his conduct, those very positions condemn it. There is no benefit to the conservative sinner in being a conservative. There is great benefit to the liberal sinner in being a liberal.

TOPICS: Editorial; Government; Politics/Elections

1 posted on 07/31/2013 4:35:10 PM PDT by SJackson
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To: SJackson

especially when they spend their time attacking and mocking those who are not bad

2 posted on 07/31/2013 4:37:54 PM PDT by GeronL
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To: SJackson

The atheist and writer Aldous Huxley wrote quite openly about his motivation for believing that life had no meaning and that there is no God:

“I had motives for not wanting the world to have a meaning; consequently I assumed that it had none and was able without any difficulty to find satisfying reasons for this assumption…. For myself as, no doubt, for most of my contemporaries, the philosophy of meaninglessness was essentially an instrument of liberation … liberation from a certain system of morality. We objected to the morality because it interfered with our sexual freedom…. There was one admirably simple method in our political and erotic revolt: We could deny that the world had any meaning whatsoever.[1]”

1: Aldous Huxley, Ends and Means (London, 1946), pp. 270-273.

3 posted on 07/31/2013 4:46:58 PM PDT by BwanaNdege ("To learn who rules over you simply find out who you are not allowed to criticize"- Voltaire)
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To: SJackson

If you only believe in the STATE and nothing else it is not hard to rationalize any action.

4 posted on 07/31/2013 4:56:38 PM PDT by Don Corleone ("Oil the the cannoli. Take it to the Mattress.")
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To: SJackson

Cities also make it easier to be bad. In a small town, you become infamous if bad. Life in a city is much more anonymous, which is why cities tend to be dens of iniquity.

5 posted on 07/31/2013 5:03:01 PM PDT by expat2
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To: SJackson

i reject the premise.

i truly do not believe there are “many” liberals that live decent lives. If they are genuinely liberal and are living liberal values, they by definition are not decent people.

6 posted on 07/31/2013 5:10:51 PM PDT by Secret Agent Man (Gone Galt; Not averse to Going Bronson.)
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To: Secret Agent Man

Well said. From a practical standpoint, we really need more conflict between us. Liberalism is surviving because of this moronic attitude that we can get all along, and nobody should ever get angry at the Lib, no matter how badly they screw things up. What cost is there to being lib?

Now our own loved ones are one day going to end up being denied treatment, simply for being old, in a disasterous healthcare debacle. But nobody should blame the Liberals or hold them accountable, even if it was their rank stupidity, (and hatred of Conservatives) which drove this to this point. Our economy will crater, our government will collapse under its own weight, and civilzation may even briefly disappear as anarchy takes over dyue to their need for ever bigger government. But nobody tell a Liberal they are anything but a valued fellow citizen partner, as we all head to armageddon.

It is ridiculous.

7 posted on 07/31/2013 6:53:38 PM PDT by AnonymousConservative (Why did Liberals evolve within our species?
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To: SJackson

I stopped reading at “There are many liberals who lead decent lives...” LIBs are destroying our country and our culture. How can that be “decent”? They should all be in prison or deported.

8 posted on 07/31/2013 7:26:16 PM PDT by hal ogen (First Amendment or Reeducation Camp?)
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To: SJackson

Conservatives have always held the moral “high ground”. This drives liberals nuts because they don’t recognize any moral high ground and thing only in terms of moral relativism where every depravity is justified on some level under some circumstances.

A pox on liberals and Democrats. They are reaping what they’ve sown. Sadly, we have to share their harvest.

9 posted on 07/31/2013 9:33:53 PM PDT by Freedom_Is_Not_Free (Free goodies for all -- Freedom for none.)
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To: GeronL

“especially when they spend their time attacking and mocking those who are not bad”

Just part of the larger assault on the WASP culture in general and Christianity in particular.

10 posted on 08/01/2013 3:34:20 AM PDT by kearnyirish2 (Affirmative action is economic war against white males (and therefore white families).)
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