Promoted from the diaries by streiff. Promotion does not imply endorsement.
A few months back, I published a diary entry here at Redstate and referred to the Left as “the enemy.” One member of our commenter community warned me about the language saying that they- the Left- were fellow Americans. I respectfully disagreed then and reiterate it now.
I will admit that sometimes conservatism and liberalism may have the same goals. It is the path taken that sometimes is the difference. The old proverb “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime” may best express the differences. Liberalism goes for the quick fix, but conservatism may take a little longer. Taking longer has its advantage because one can gauge effectiveness along the way. The Left is more knee-jerk while conservatism is more contemplative.
The recent Kavanaugh confirmation circus is a perfect example. When the allegations against him surfaced, the Left rushed to judgment. Part of this was their desire to keep him off the Supreme Court, but it was also was their knee-jerk tendencies. It is as if it is wired into their brains (and giving brains to the Left is a huge concession).
Another example of this was Johnson’s Great Society which took FDR’s New Deal and placed it on steroids. There is no denial that there was a poverty problem and that many blacks were being shut out of society at the time. Lost in that entire discussion is the fact that blacks were showing steady improvements on just about every economic metric- home ownership, poverty rate, literacy, etc.- BEFORE Johnson’s War on Poverty. That is because conservative policies were working slowly and incrementally. However, supporters of the Great Society cast its opponents as mean-spirited and cold-hearted. Unfortunately, the Great Society was advertised as a program to lift people out of poverty by giving them the proverbial fish where in reality, it entrapped them in poverty for generations.
Additionally, Johnson’s War on Poverty and his Great Society vision actually impeded the civil rights of those it attempted to help by stigmatizing a large swath of the population. The Left has rewritten American history with regards to the civil rights movement. The entire concept of equal protection under the law is a very conservative view. A color-blind society is a very conservative viewpoint.
However, one supposes that because Johnson, a Democrat flanked by civil rights leaders, signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964, it must have been a Democratic initiative. In the House, 80% of Republicans and only 63% of Democrats voted for it Only one single Republican joined Richard Russell (D-GA) in his effort to filibuster the legislation. Yet, the Democrats and the Left have hijacked credit for the law and “civil rights” ever since. And lest anyone forget, the Ku Klux Klan was nothing but a militant wing of the Democratic Party.
In reality, the GOP has had a better legislative record when it comes to civil rights. From 1933 to 1964, there were 26 major civil rights bills proposed in Congress. In 80% of those instances, a majority of the Democrats voted against the bills while 96% of the time, Republicans voted for the bill. Some argue that the Republican Party changed and most point to Richard Nixon and his Southern strategy as the reason. Whatever the reason, there is no denying the fact that the Left has so rewritten history that the party which enacted and enforced Jim Crow laws and who methodically lynched blacks now have people believing the Left and Democrats are the only ones who care about civil rights.
In the 19th century, Alexis de Tocqueville stated: “The American Republic will endure, until politicians realize they can bribe the people with their own money.” And he was considered a “liberal.” His observation accurately describes the Great Society and every Leftist policy prescription since.
Something changed that traditional notion of “liberalism” and this writer believes it can be traced to the first fascist President- Woodrow Wilson. Liberalism in America adopted a belief that government knew better than the individual. That is quite a condescending viewpoint when you get down to it. It assumes no one other than the government- the state- has the intellect to make choices.
We can see the results writ large. Leftist liberal housing policies have essentially warehoused (i.e., segregated) large portions of the population in urban areas that have become crime and drug infested. Money is diverted from society’s productive citizens to the non-producers and leeches off the state. Liberal/Leftist policies created the problem of out-of-wedlock birthrates in minority communities because the government became the de facto father. The list of unintended consequences is too long to list here when it comes to Leftist policies. Of course, their solution is always more money until they eventually end up with no producers to bilk anymore.
The Left’s views are always based on emotion, not fact. Their logic is illogical. If you want to stop teenagers from having sex, for example, hand out free condoms. If you want to stop innocent people from being shot, take away their guns. And the list goes on again.
Another area of knee-jerk reaction and illogical thought is affirmative action. As originally envisioned, there is nothing wrong with it. Originally the government, then the private sector, was encouraged to seek out, hire and promote qualified minorities. But that quick-fix propensity soon transformed into quotas and although they have changed the language from “quota” to “target,” the fact remains that unqualified minorities are admitted to college, granted jobs and given promotions. If one wanted to create a colorblind society- a goal of conservatism and an alleged goal of the Left- one would not even ask one’s race or ethnicity on an application.
So what does the Left believe in that separates them from conservatives? The answer can be summed up by one of their own, Steve Kangas, a few years back:
- liberals believe in collectivism, conservatives in individualism;
- liberals believe in “democracy,” conservatives in constitutionalism;
- liberals believe in pacifism, conservatives in armed deterrence;
- anti-poverty spending;
- regulation of business;
- guns are evil and should be banned.
There is likely more, and every true American conservative should agree with this partial list since a true American conservative rejects everything on their list. Conservatives do not have an obsession with class warfare. Conservatives believe more people should keep more of what they legally and rightfully earn. True conservatives believe in capitalism. Conservatives are not merchants of fear in everything from global warming to Social Security to being one paycheck from homelessness to whether or not one drinks a liquid through a plastic straw.
All of these things conservatives believe in are rooted in our history and traditions. Taken together, they are what make us uniquely American despite the ethnic diversity that makes up American society. While the Left concentrates on the E Pluribus, conservatives concentrate on the Unum. The Left wants to fracture American society so that they can rebuild it in their socialist vision. They would prefer tribalism, fractionalization, and a never-ending series of hyphenated Americans. That is not American.
And that is why the Left are enemies of America and one is correct to NOT consider them “American.”