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How Obama is turning liberalism into an instrument of coercion
Washington Examiner ^ | 7/18/2014 | Michael Barone

Posted on 07/17/2014 4:21:33 PM PDT by markomalley

Liberals just aren't very liberal these days. The word “liberal” comes from the Latin word meaning freedom, and in the 19th century liberals in this country and abroad stood for free speech, free exercise of religion, free markets, free trade -- for minimal state interference in people's lives.

In the 20th century New Dealers revised this definition, by arguing that people had a right not only to free speech and freedom of religion, but also, as Franklin Roosevelt said in his 1941 Four Freedoms speech, freedom from fear and from want.

Freedom from want meant, for Roosevelt, government provision of jobs, housing, health care and food. And so government would have to be much larger, more expensive and more intrusive than ever before.

That's what liberalism has come to mean in America (in Europe it still has the old meaning), and much of the Obama Democrats' agenda are logical outgrowths -- Obamacare, the vast expansion of food stamps, attempted assistance to underwater homeowners.

But in some respects the Obama Democrats want to go farther -- and are complaining that they're having a hard time getting there. Their form of liberalism is in danger of standing for something like the very opposite of freedom, for government coercion of those who refuse to behave the way they'd like.

Example one is the constitutional amendment, sponsored by 43 of the 55 Democratic U.S. senators, which would cut back on the First Amendment and authorize Congress and state legislatures to restrict political speech.

The amendment is poorly drafted and leaves many questions dangerously open (who qualifies for the media exception?), perhaps because its sponsors know it has no significant chance of passage.

It also seems animated by a delusionary paranoia: Democrats profess to be afraid they'll be swamped by a flood of rich people's money, even though their rich supporters have raised more than the other side in recent years.

Nonetheless the picture is striking. Many conservatives wanted to change the First Amendment in order to prosecute flag burning, not the Founding Fathers’ central concern.

Today’s liberals, in contrast, want to change the First Amendment to restrict political speech, which is the core value the Founders sought to protect.

Or consider liberals' recent attitude toward free exercise of religion, made plain in their reaction to the Supreme Court's Hobby Lobby decision declaring the Obamacare contraception mandate invalid as a violation of the Religious Freedom Restoration Act (RFRA).

The RFRA was passed, with three dissenting votes, and signed by Bill Clinton in 1993. It was prompted by a Supreme Court decision upholding the penalization of Oregon Indians for using peyote, which they claimed was a religious rite.

In passing RFRA, liberals and conservatives alike responded as Americans have often done when small groups have claimed laws infringed their religious beliefs: They put a higher priority to a few individuals’ free exercise of religion than they did to widely supported laws of general application.

Thus Congress allowed for conscientious objectors to be exempt from military service in World War II, in which more than 400,000 U.S. service members died. Even in a national emergency, when lives were at stake, Americans were willing to accommodate religious beliefs that a large majority did not share.

Today’s liberals take a different view. They want to make Hobby Lobby’s owners pay for what they regard as the destruction of human life. They spent much time arguing the owners are mistaken (actually, they have a plausible scientific basis for their belief).

But the point about freedom of religion isn’t that everyone has to agree. On the contrary: Almost no one agreed with the Oregon Indians’ beliefs about peyote.

They just thought the larger society should not use compulsion to bar them from practicing their religion. Today’s liberals seem comfortable with using the force of law to prevent people from doing so.

Or consider the Supreme Court decision in Harris v. Quinn, ruling that caregivers for disabled relatives paid with Medicaid funds are not state employees and thus cannot be forced into a public employee union.

Today's liberals did this in President Obama's Illinois to channel public money away from low-income caregivers and toward public employee unions that do so much to fund and support the Democratic Party. They seem unembarrassed by this crass political motive and indifferent to the plight of the needy.

Today’s liberals seem bent on pushing people around, preventing them from speaking their minds and practicing their beliefs. It’s not just the language that’s changed.


TOPICS: Editorial; Government; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 07/17/2014 4:21:33 PM PDT by markomalley
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To: markomalley

When we get fed up enough to start a second party, “Liberal” may be a good name of course in the classical sense. The left isn’t using it anymore anyway.


2 posted on 07/17/2014 4:46:46 PM PDT by Vince Ferrer
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To: markomalley

That’s why most Liberals changed their names to Progressives.


3 posted on 07/17/2014 4:54:58 PM PDT by sr4402
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To: markomalley

“Coercion”?

They ARE DEMANDING political speech and conservative speech be made ILLEGAL!

They are PASSING LAWS demanding conservative ideas and beliefs (and ALSO conservative actions) be ILLEGAL.

So, like in ALL Communist countries, “enemies” are sent to prison for opposing the “State-approved” thought and speech and behavior. Now, “IF” yo are DOING the state-approved behavior - EVEN IF ILLEGAL (inviting and promoting illegal alien entry into the US - YOU ARE PROMOTED AND PAID AND REWARDED.

Even if the action “that the state likes” is illegal.
If the state “likes you” everything you do is legal, even if it is illegal.
If the state “doesn’t like you” everything you do is illegal, even if it is legal.


4 posted on 07/17/2014 5:00:00 PM PDT by Robert A. Cook, PE (I can only donate monthly, but socialists' ABBCNNBCBS continue to lie every day!)
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To: markomalley

If one isn’t a member of the community organizer’s clan, then one is out in the dark — literally.


5 posted on 07/17/2014 5:04:40 PM PDT by Salvation ("With God all things are possible." Matthew 19:26)
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To: markomalley
... toward public employee unions that do so much to fund and support the Democratic Party...

today's lie-beral when unfettered, tends toward tyranny and despotism. Here in MA, where lie-berals so rule, state legislature campaigns get union money but NOT corporate money. As a result, typical state rep race is $20,000 for the Republican and $100,000 for the 'Rat.

6 posted on 07/17/2014 5:25:09 PM PDT by C210N (When people fear government there is tyranny; when government fears people there is liberty)
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To: markomalley

“Turning liberalsism into an instrument of coercion?” That is like turning water into , well, water.


7 posted on 07/17/2014 5:29:27 PM PDT by arthurus (Read Hazlitt's Economics In One Lesson ONLINEhttp://steshaw.org/economics-in-one-lesson/)
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To: arthurus

Well, for some reason, we are letting them get away with it. No one is stopping them. As Rush pointed out yesterday, liberals make up only about 20% of the U.S. population (whereas somewhere around 30% to 40% identify as Conservative, according to various polls), and yet they are still having their way with all of these things. For such a small minority of the population, they have taken control of the news media, the entertainment industry, and all forms of mass communication in general (except for one or two cable TV channels, AM talk radio, and a portion of the Internet). They also control the public education system, the judiciary, organized labor, a portion of Christian churches, and few other major things. Why is it that the rest of the population is not standing up to them, and putting a stop to all of this?? Why do they, as such a small minority, continue to get away with this??


8 posted on 07/17/2014 7:25:06 PM PDT by Zetman
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To: markomalley

“Liberal” as it is used today has nothing to do with LIBERTY.

Liberals are SOCIOECONOMIC FASCISTS. They want to control everything. They are the antithesis of freedom.


9 posted on 07/17/2014 11:24:37 PM PDT by AlanGreenSpam (Obama: The First 'American IDOL' President - sponsored by Chicago NeoCom Thugs)
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To: AlanGreenSpam
“Liberal” as it is used today has nothing to do with LIBERTY.

I personally refuse to call leftists "liberals"

As you say, leftists are utterly terrified of "liberty" and are not at all "liberal."

10 posted on 07/18/2014 1:25:52 AM PDT by markomalley (Nothing emboldens the wicked so greatly as the lack of courage on the part of the good -- Leo XIII)
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To: markomalley

He didn’t turn it into a coercive entity, but he did perfect it. Of course one must understand that being faux black, homosexual, alien, muslim, and having serious mental problems helped pave the way for him.


11 posted on 07/18/2014 3:06:47 AM PDT by trebb (Where in the the hell has my country gone?)
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To: C210N

“Here in MA, where lie-berals so rule, state legislature campaigns get union money but NOT corporate money. As a result, typical state rep race is $20,000 for the Republican and $100,000 for the ‘Rat.”

Sounds like NJ; steal from the people with property taxes among the highest in the nation to funnel to Dem candidates who will in turn raise those taxes even higher. The northeast is dying for a reason; the descendants of the WASPs are fleeing to more “American” states to escape the forced redistribution...


12 posted on 07/18/2014 3:43:01 AM PDT by kearnyirish2 (Affirmative action is economic warfare against white males (and therefore white families).)
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To: markomalley
How Obama is turning liberalism into an instrument of coercion

Liberalism, socialism, communism, etc. -- the governing systems of the Left -- must necessarily rely on coercion.

Because the Left's impulse is to always force the governed into actions the governed would prefer not to undertake. The Left simply cannot govern by consent; therefore, it must govern by coercion.

13 posted on 07/18/2014 3:56:55 AM PDT by okie01 (The Mainstream Media: Ignorance on parade.)
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To: markomalley

It’s called “The Road to Serfdom”


14 posted on 07/18/2014 4:00:08 AM PDT by P.O.E. (Pray for America)
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To: Zetman

It is worse than that. Homosexuals make up a recently measured 2.3 % of the population and they determine the liberal agenda domestically and whatever foreign policy interests them.


15 posted on 07/18/2014 4:57:08 AM PDT by arthurus (Read Hazlitt's Economics In One Lesson ONLINEhttp://steshaw.org/economics-in-one-lesson/)
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To: arthurus
It is worse than that. Homosexuals make up a recently measured 2.3 % of the population and they determine the liberal agenda domestically and whatever foreign policy interests them.

I don't get that either. If 20% of the population is left-wing liberal, and 2% is homo, almost all of those 2% are already included in that 20% because they are most all liberals. That means the political agenda of the 20% of liberals is being largely determined by just 10% of their membership. Not even close to a majority. Something does not add up. How can the homo's, as such a small percentage of even the liberal population of the U.S., basically drive the agenda for the entire left?? Why does the rest of the left-wing movement allow them to do that?? Plus, the major homo advancement has only been going on for the past few years. So, if the homo's are in control of the 20% of the U.S. population that are liberals, how did THAT happen?? There are not enough of them. To me, it seems like homosexuality is the current cause of the moment for the left in general. Like abortion and global warming before that. It seems more likely that the homo's are the current tool of choice for the liberal movement in general, rather than the other way around.

16 posted on 07/19/2014 3:45:17 PM PDT by Zetman
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To: Zetman
How can the homo's, as such a small percentage of even the liberal population of the U.S., basically drive the agenda for the entire left?

They have a common enemy. Us.

17 posted on 07/19/2014 3:46:43 PM PDT by Billthedrill
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To: Billthedrill
They have a common enemy. Us.

True enough. But still, why did the other 90% of liberals suddenly decide to allow the homo's to take control of their movement, just within the past few years?? The left has a LOT of non-homo Type-A personalities within it's ranks, who will do anything to be the one's holding the reigns of power. They FAR outnumber the homo's, and are highly motivated to remain in control. They have been leading the movement for decades. Now all of sudden (relatively speaking, of course), they give up all of their control to the homo's?? It does not seem likely. These are not people who would easily cede power once they have it. Look at all of the in-fighting within the GOP between the Tea Party-types, and the RINO's. It is a REAL fight. But that is nothing compared to the all out war that happens within the ranks of the left, and the Democrats. The news media just doesn't report it. I am having trouble seeing the reason all of the Stalinist control freaks at the top of the movement would suddenly give up the power they have had for decades, and simply let the homo's take over the leadership. That is why I think that has NOT happened. Not anymore than the women had taken over the movement when they were pushing women's rights, or the blacks had taken over when they were pushing civil rights, or the environmentalists had taken over when they were pushing globull warming. I think that the entire homo thing is simply what is getting them traction with the entire U.S. population right now, so the leadership of the left is using them to advance the liberal cause in general. Once the entire homo thing has run it's course, the homo's will be thrown to the back of the bus once again, and whatever cause takes their place will be moved forward to replace them. And so it goes.
18 posted on 07/19/2014 4:05:01 PM PDT by Zetman
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To: Zetman
I'm inclined to agree about a temporary alliance. And don't forget how much political traction is obtained these days within the popular entertainment culture, where homosexuals are most certainly not a small minority. It's a huge megaphone and we're on the other end of it.
19 posted on 07/19/2014 4:09:16 PM PDT by Billthedrill
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To: Billthedrill
And don't forget how much political traction is obtained these days within the popular entertainment culture, where homosexuals are most certainly not a small minority. It's a huge megaphone and we're on the other end of it.

Yes. Which circles back to my original post - how is it that we have allowed such a small percentage of the total U.S. population seize control of that megaphone?? Why does the rest of the 80% of the population allow it to continue??
20 posted on 07/19/2014 4:15:51 PM PDT by Zetman
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