Sunday, February 15, 2004


Joe Willingham emailed me as follows about my contention (post of 11th.) that all U.S. "liberals" today are in fact Leftists:

"American liberalism is in such a degenerated state today that it is easy to lose sight of some of the complexities of its history. FDR and Harry Truman, for all their faults, were great men who led the nation through World II and the beginning of the Cold War. Their liberalism was about security and a better life for the working man, and it had little in common with the demented "multiculturalist" victimology that passes for liberalism today. Don't forget that in 1948 American liberalism split into pro-Soviet and pro-western camps, and that to their credit the majority of liberals adhered to the latter. With the debacle in Vietnam liberalism fell apart, leaving only the pitiful caricature we see today".

I largely agree with that. I think there was once a core of conservative values that almost all Americans shared. But that is all gone now, of course, and optimists like Porphyrogenitus are just living in the past.

Oddly enough, it is the other way around in Australia. Australia was once much more polarized than it now is. The two major parties in Australia today seem to share a broadly conservative consensus in most of the policies they put forward. Australia's two major parties have just agreed on measures to cut the taxpayer-funded perks of politicians. I may have missed something but I think that in the USA today, a similar proposal would be only a dream.

Mike Tremoglie has a very good sarcastic explanation of why HE is a "liberal".


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