Sunday, May 30, 2004


I know I shouldn't be, but I was slightly surprised that my considerable efforts to point out that party politics in modern democracies are essentially centrist were totally lost on the Leftist bloggers (calling themselves "One Good Move") who have been criticizing Keith Burgess Jackson for some fairly ordinary statements he made about the sources of ideology. Who, for goodness sake, disputes that aging makes you more conservative? Practically every conservative intellectual there is (including Keith and including the dreaded Neocons) started out on the Left! I am a considerable rarity in being a lifelong conservative intellectual.

But the fact that a centrist such as GWB is hated with a passion by so-called American "liberals" (really Leftists. Liberty is a very low priority for them) is itself instructive. If you look at the legislation and policies that Clinton and GWB have supported and implemented, it would be a hard task to say which was the more Leftist. With his support for all sorts of expansion of government, I would definitely say that GWB is the more Leftist but the fact that the matter can be reasonably debated shows just how centrist both men are. So why do the Left loathe GWB? I know of nothing directed towards John Kerry by conservatives that remotely approaches the rage and hate that is routinely directed towards GWB by the Left. Contempt for Kerry's dishonesty is common among conservatives but that is about all. So why do American Leftists take their party politics so seriously? Why were the "One Good Move" bloggers so completely incapable of taking on board the simple fact that a vote for the GOP is NOT automatically a vote for conservatism?

A vote for the GOP is SOMETIMES a vote for conservatism but American politics are essentially interest-group politics. Each party has its client groups (mostly minorities in the case of the donkeys and particularly New Testament Christians in the case of the GOP) and it is speaking for them that brings in the great majority of votes -- which is why lots of GOP supporters who deplore GWB's expansion of government will still vote for him in the next election and which is why American blacks who are conservative on lots of social issues almost always vote for the donkeys. It is only small minority of centrist (swinging) voters who decide which candidate will win or lose and that is a major part of the reason why both candidates themselves have to be centrist.

So it all boils down to power. Does your team occupy the top positions or not? Are people you can identify with in charge? And for Leftists, politics is NOTHING BUT power. They have no principles and openly ridicule (particularly via postmodernism) the idea that anything could be right or wrong. Policies that were once popular but which have become unpopular (such as eugenics) are abandoned so completely by Leftists that only historians know that such policies once had large-scale Leftist support. And with the way antisemitism is surging on the Left, the time will come when people will have forgotten that Leftists were for a time anti-racist. So for Leftists it is only party that matters and conservatives such as myself and Keith who take ideas, principles and ideology seriously are simply incomprehensible.


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