Wednesday, March 5, 2014

THE HEARTBREAK OF LIBERALISM

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by Burt Prelutsky

Ii's easy, not to mention great fun, to ridicule liberals. But so long as you’re not totally devoid of the compassion gene, it’s hard not to feel sorry for them.

For instance, imagine you voted for Barack Obama in 2008 because you believed all the high-sounding hooey he spewed, ignoring his background and his associates. Because you gave him the key to your heart, you found yourself unable to complain about an additional five or six years of mounting casualties in Afghanistan, drone strikes, Guantanamo or even the Patriot Act.

You also felt you couldn’t complain about Operation Fast and Furious; tapping the phones and computers at the AP; the Benghazi massacre and subsequent cover-up; or the scandalous goings-on over at the IRS.

You can’t even condemn the President for subverting the Constitution by grabbing power from the legislative branch of government.

The fact is, liberals can’t even take Obama to task at a time when unemployment and under-employment are destroying the lower and middle class; ObamaCare is wrecking the world’s best health care system; and soaring energy costs are killing Americans trying to cope with winter storms of biblical proportions. And all the while, Barack and Michelle are carrying on like French kings and dukes just prior to Robespierre’s introducing the royal scum to Joseph Guillotin’s novel contribution to the world of pest control.

But before we waste too much sympathy on liberals, we should recognize that even Obama couldn’t totally destroy America without the assistance of like-minded mopes like Harry Reid, Charles Schumer, Nancy Pelosi, Dick Durbin and Alan Grayson, all duly elected by voters who take obvious pride in being both arrogant and stupid.

Unlike the typical low-information liberal, even a child knows that when the Declaration of Independence states that all people are created equal, it’s not to be taken literally. The child, even one cursed with progressive parents, realizes that some people are bigger, stronger and faster. He or she may even realize that some people are smarter, born richer or are simply more ambitious, than others.

But what everyone should understand is that, ideally, every American is entitled to equal liberty and the opportunity to succeed, with the freedom to define success on his own terms.

What equality never means – except in the echo chambers liberals have where their brains were meant to be – is equality of outcome, as determined by politicians and federal bureaucrats. Such systems are inevitably totalitarian, with equality -- except for the privileged few in authority -- being one defined as equality of deprivation, fear and misery.

A reader of mine, Buz Chertok, reminded me that the Fifth Amendment calls for equal protection under the law, but Attorney General Eric Holder only prosecutes whites for hate crimes, even those involving intimidation of white voters. In addition, taking his marching orders from Obama, he refuses to enforce the Defense of Marriage Act or those laws dealing with illegal immigrants. That is why my ears perked up when I heard that Holder was looking to step down before the end of the year. My glee was short-lived when I realized how easy it will be for Obama to find a new hand puppet to head up the Justice Department.

Finally, I really liked Ronald Reagan. He had an amiable personality and he had terrific writers and, after four decades in front of the cameras, knew how to deliver a line. But, unlike some, I never regarded him as the conservative ideal.

As a two-term governor here in California, he raised our taxes twice. He signed the most liberal abortion bill in America. And along with Jerry Brown, he helped close down the state’s mental asylums, unleashing thousands of psychotics on our streets. As President, he let himself get snookered by the Democrats and signed the amnesty bill that opened the floodgates to millions of illegal aliens. What’s more, he did nothing to diminish the size and scope of the federal government. He didn’t do away with a single cabinet position or shut down a single federal agency. He couldn’t even be trusted to appoint conservatives to the Supreme Court. His two picks, Anthony Kennedy and Sandra Day O’Connor, might as well have been appointed by Jimmy Carter.

When you remove the rose-colored glasses and look at Reagan realistically, ignoring the famous grin and marvelous rhetoric, he was about as conservative as John McCain.

To find an inspiring model of conservatism, you have to go back to the 1920s and Calvin Coolidge. In 1920, when Warren G. Harding became the first of three consecutive Republican presidents, our national debt was $26 billion. By 1930, it had been lowered to $16 billion, thanks mainly to Coolidge, who was in the White House from 1923-1929. By comparison, when Reagan took office in 1981, the national debt was $907 billion. By the time he left in 1989, it was over $3 trillion.

Much of Coolidge’s fiscal success rested with his Bureau of the Budget, which went so far as to check the desks of federal employees to make certain they weren’t wasting stationery and paper clips, and to insist that bureaucrats receive only one pencil at a time, and not be given a replacement until they turned in the stub; a far cry from these days, when a single department, the IRS, was found to have wasted over $100 million last year alone.

Also, unlike the uberliberal Woodrow Wilson, who believed the black race was inherently inferior and deserved to be segregated, going so far as to have “Birth of a Nation,” D.W. Griffith’s celebration of the Ku Klux Klan, screened for him at the White House, Coolidge was dedicated to the notion of racial equality. He actually tried to get anti-lynching laws passed by Congress. Predictably, he failed because the Democrats dominated both the House and Senate.

Some people may be unaware of the fact that blacks used to vote overwhelmingly for Republicans, the party of Lincoln. That was until FDR wooed them over to the dark side by putting millions of them on the dole in the 1930s. It’s been 80 years and, proving that bribes always work better than shackles, they haven’t set foot off the plantation since.

Finally, it is to his credit that Coolidge, a taciturn New Englander by nature, was nicknamed “Silent Cal.” After five years of Obama’s endless speeches and lectures, don’t we all long for a president who’s not infatuated with the sound of his own voice?

©2013 Burt Prelutsky. Comments? BurtPrelutsky@aol.com.

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