Monday, September 02, 2013

Why did liberals stop being patriotic?

Stalin fought WWII as "The Great Patriotic War"; JFK told people  to ask what you could do for your country;  The Communist Woody Guthrie wrote "This land is your land".  TR rejoiced in  battleships and seized slices of the old Spanish empire for America. Friedrich Engels (of Marx & Engels) was a furious German patriot who wanted Germany to seize neighbouring lands.  And in Australia Communist poet John Manifold wrote a memorial to an heroic Australian soldier.  ....  I could go on.

The Left of today, however, are almost unrecognizable as the heirs of the historic Left.  They still hate rich people and business and want to control everybody but these days they seem to have a visceral hatred of their own country.  America can do nothing right.  Far Leftists even condemn Obama.

So why?  It's simple.  Up until the great postwar surge in affluence, Leftists always saw themselves as the champions of the working class.  Working class people up until that time did have often difficult lives, with putting bread on the table a real challenge at times.  Things stayed that way for hundreds of years.  And Leftists had a solution to all that:  Government control of the means of production, socialism, communism.

But the gradual unwinding of the Soviet myth made their solution sound like the crap it was  -- while capitalism steadily made almost everyone middle class by the standards of the past.  Capitalism rescued the workers and the workers thoroughly enjoyed it.  The workers came to live a life not greatly different from the hated middle class.

Leftists had always seen the working class as the real people -- as the backbone of the nation. Eulogizing the nation was to eulogize the working class.  The middle and upper classes were seen as being simply parasites on the work of the working class.

So the transformation of the working class left the Left with nothing in the country to admire.  Even the workers are complacent and doing well.  And now they often vote Republican.

There is still the (non-working and welfare dependent) underclass, of course, but even Leftists find it had to see anything to idealize or hope for in them.  Leftists who advocate busing, for instance, make sure that their own kids don't get bused.  But the existence of the underclass is still handy.  It has the advantage that it enables the old Leftist warcry of "poverty" still to ring out as an explanation of all social ills.  It rings out more as a tic than as an attempt at thought but it still fills the speaker with a warm feeling of virtue.

So Leftist hatred now extends to the working class as well as the middle and upper classes.  EVERYBODY is complacent, they wail.  So they now hate us all and do their best to impose destructive policies (such as Obamacare and Greenie regulations) on the whole country.


When fascism came to America, it was wrapped in the clothes of tolerance and health

Dennis Prager

I cannot count the number of times I heard liberal professors and liberal writers quote the phrase: "When fascism comes to America, it will be wrapped in the flag and carrying a cross."

The phrase is brilliant. There is actually no threat to America of fascism coming from the right. The essence of the American right, after all, is less government; and fascism, by definition, demands ever larger government.

Therefore, if there is a real fascist threat to America, it comes from the left, whose appetite for state power is essentially unlimited. But because the left has so long dominated American intellectual, academic, artistic, and media life, it has succeeded in implanting fear of the right.

I have never written that there is a threat of fascism in America. I always considered the idea overwrought. But now I believe there really is such a threat -- and it will come draped not in an American flag, but in the name of tolerance and health.

Before explaining what this means, let's be clear about what this does not mean.

First, it does not mean, or have anything in common with, Nazism. Nazism may have been a form of fascism. But Nazism was a unique form of fascism and a unique evil. It was race-based and it was genocidal. No other expression of fascism was race-based. And not all fascism is genocidal. So my fear that the American left is moving America toward an expression of fascism in no way implies anything Nazi-like or genocidal.

Second, it is not liberals or liberalism that presents a threat of fascism. It is the left. Liberals of the 1940s to 1970s such as John F. Kennedy, Harry Truman, Hubert Humphrey, Henry "Scoop" Jackson, Daniel Patrick Moynihan and so many others were not leftists. They were liberals.

But liberalism has been taken over by the left. There are virtually no non-left liberals.

The left now has a president who is a true leftist who is asserting unprecedented presidential power through his cabinet and myriad other agencies (such as the Environmental Protection Agency) and through presidential decrees. The left has taken over the universities and, increasingly, high schools and elementary schools. It dominates the news and entertainment media. And many judges and courts are leftist -- meaning that their decisions are guided by leftism more than by the law or the Constitution.

With all this power, the left controls more and more of the life of the American citizen. And when nothing stops the left, the left doesn't stop.

Take tolerance.

Last week, the New Mexico Supreme Court ruled that an event photographer's refusal on religious grounds to shoot the commitment ceremony of a same-sex couple amounted to illegal discrimination.

The photographer had never objected to photographing gays. She did not, however, wish to be part of a ceremony to which she religiously objected. In America today, thanks to myriad laws and progressive justices, people can go to prison for refusing to participate in an event to which they object.

This is what happened to a florist in Washington state who had always sold flowers to gay customers but refused to be the florist for a gay wedding: sued and fined.

This is what happened to a baker in Oregon who had always sold his goods to gays but refused to provide his products to a gay wedding: sued and fined.

This is what happened in Massachusetts, Illinois and elsewhere to Catholic Charities, historically the largest adoption agency in America. Their placing children with married (man-woman) couples, rather than with same-sex couples, was deemed intolerant and a violation of the law. In those and other states, Catholic Charities has left adoption work.

In the name of tolerance -- and fighting sexual harassment -- five- and six-year-old boys all over the country are brought to the police for innocently touching a girl.

In the name of tolerance, girls' high school teams in California and elsewhere must now accept male players who feel female.

In the name of tolerance, businesses cannot fire a man who one day shows up on the sales floor dressed as a woman.

For the left, tolerance does not mean tolerance. It means first, acceptance. And second, celebration. That is totalitarianism: You not only have to live with what you may differ with, dear citizen, you have to celebrate it or pay a steep price.

Meanwhile, in the name of health, there is a similar intrusion into the life of the individual. We saw it in New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's call for a law limiting the amount of soda a person can order at one time.

In the name of health, people are banned from smoking outdoors, cigar stores are prohibited from allowing customers to smoke inside, and, incredibly, California is about to ban electronic "cigarettes" as if they were real cigarettes, even though they contain no tobacco, nothing is burning, and they emit only water vapor.

In the name of health, some businesses, like the Bert Fish Medical Center in Florida and Kids II, Inc. (Baby Einstein, Disney Baby) do not hire those who smoke at home. In the name of health, for the first time in American history, what you do -- legally -- at home will be reason for companies not hiring or terminating employees.

In the name of safety, first-grade boys are suspended from schools for playfully aiming a pencil at another boy and "shooting" him.

And then there are the ubiquitous "re-education" and "rehabilitation" seminars that the allegedly insensitive need to take at both private and government workplaces and the speech codes at nearly all universities.

The only question is: Will Americans awaken to the increasingly rapid deprivation of their freedoms -- not draped in an American flag but draped in tolerance and health?



High Time to Stop Dignifying Liberal Fraud


Among the most infuriating aspects of the leftist/Alinsky strategy is that it has been so effective, given it can only succeed with the tacit participation of its intended victim. On those occasions when a conservative, who has been targeted by the left for isolation and eventual political destruction, responds by going on the attack, the leftist onslaught quickly implodes. The surest sign of total retreat by the left is that the entire topic is never again mentioned, either by liberal politicians or their parrots in the "mainstream" media.

In September of 2007, Rush Limbaugh made a derogatory reference to "phony soldiers" during his daily radio broadcast. In context, Limbaugh was absolutely clear that he was discussing an ongoing controversy involving individuals who bogusly claimed to have witnessed or committed atrocities while deployed in Iraq. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D.-NV), perceived the situation as an opportunity to create controversy with which to discredit Limbaugh. So Reid found the nearest media microphone and denounced Limbaugh for ostensibly denigrating any soldier who opposed the Iraq War as being a "phony soldier." Believing he had the momentum of public opinion on his side, Reid then drafted a letter to Limbaugh's radio syndicator, signed by forty one of his Senate colleagues (all Democrats of course) demanding that Limbaugh be censured.

Rather than play along with the ruse, Limbaugh obtained the letter, auctioned it off on E-Bay, and donated the $2.1 million proceeds from it (which he matched with an out-of-pocket donation) to the Marine Corps Law Enforcement Foundation. In the wake of this audacious turnabout, it was Senator Reid who had to essentially do a mea culpa and publicly offer an insipid and insincere tribute to Limbaugh for his philanthropy.

Sadly, too many Beltway Republicans simply cannot grasp the lesson of this episode, or the countless others like it. Instead, whenever attacked, they are nearly reflexive in their efforts to back-peddle and grovel their way into the good graces of their accusers. Consequently, if the current pattern remains unchanged, few Republican agenda items will ever succeed, since all of them will assuredly be mischaracterized by the leftist media and the Democrat Party (to the degree that any distinction between the two groups exists). Whether in minority or majority status, the typical Republican reaction to such criticism shortly degenerates into little more than the advocacy of something similar, but presumably less costly, than that demanded by the Democrats. And even then, Republicans and their proposals are excoriated for "mean spiritedness" and callous indifference to the little guy.

How much of the nation's current mess could have been avoided, had the Republican Party merely been honest and objective, and denounced the premises of the liberal agenda? Certainly, far too much of the liberal expansion of government, both in its cost and its ominous reach, was enabled by an "opposition" party that was neither conservative, nor possessing the necessary courage to actively oppose anything the Democrats want to do.

The latest slow softball pitch that the Republicans could be hitting out of the park (They only lack the willingness to swing the bat) is the erupting controversy over voter identification laws. The simple, incontestable fact is that proper voter identification is the only means by which elections can be conducted honestly and objectively. And it is for this reason alone that the political left abhors the entire concept.

Attorney General Eric Holder is aggressively working to undermine any and all laws across the nation that might infringe on the ability of ACORN style organizations to stuff the ballot boxes on behalf of their leftist/statist candidates. Holder defended his actions with an August 22 allegation that a North Carolina law requiring proper identification "was adopted for the purpose, and will have the result, of denying or abridging the right to vote on account of race, color, or membership in a language minority group." It is almost comically ironic that Holder feigns such deference to voting rights for these selected groups, having essentially given his blessing to his cohorts in the "New Black Panthers" who blatantly engaged in real voter intimidation and vote suppression in Philadelphia in 2008.

Holder is likewise suing the state of Texas over its implementation of voter identification laws. Displaying complete disdain for the recent Supreme Court decision that removed state elections from federal jurisdiction, he proffered the notion that it might be wrongly interpreted, invoking the deliberately incendiary phrase "open season" for states to "pursue measures to suppress voting rights." Exhibiting complete contempt for every honest American, Holder likened the requirement for mere legal validation of a voter's identity at the polling place to vigilantism.

In reality, voter identification laws only infringe on the ability to cheat by those who intend to cast multiple ballots, or who do not meet the qualifications to vote in a particular district. Regardless of how eloquently they rationalize it, Democrats who oppose voter ID support vote fraud. Intellectually honest Republicans that believe in the American ideal would simply say so as many times as liberals attempt to portray them as something sinister. Eventually, the left would be forced to defend its duplicity, at which point its artificial firestorm would collapse. Unfortunately, few among the current crop of "Republicans" in public office seem capable of grasping the simple yet nearly infallible success of dealing with leftist tactics in this manner.

Worse yet, by their own complicity in other outright frauds currently being perpetrated against the American people, Republicans thoroughly undermine their own credibility on those rare occasions when they try to stave off liberal attacks on the fabric of the nation. How can the Republican Party credibly make the case that the integrity of the nation and the Constitution is of any consequence when so many of its members refuse to confront the devastating influx of tens of millions of illegal aliens from Mexico? Here again, the only issue of significance is border security. And anyone who is truly concerned about the quality of life in this country for all of its citizens will singularly focus on securing the border.

Those who make border security secondary, under any pretense, are actually making it irrelevant. Whether for votes or cheap labor, they pursue a course of traitorous pragmatism. All other discussion can and should wait until border security is achieved. Case closed. Yet the mere mention of setting this common sense goal immediately elicits hysterical but tediously predictable accusations of racism against those who would keep America American.

America's problems are far from irreparable. However, those who couch their discussion in evasive and inflammatory terms, in order to suppress honest and open debate, prove by their very words that their only concern is a perpetuation of the duplicity that has wreaked so much damage to the nation we love.



For more blog postings from me, see  TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH,  POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC,  AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL and Paralipomena (Occasionally updated) and Coral reef compendium. (Updated as news items come in).  GUN WATCH is now mainly put together by Dean Weingarten.

List of backup or "mirror" sites here or  here -- for when blogspot is "down" or failing to  update.  Email me  here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or  here (Pictorial) or  here  (Personal)


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