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Forgive the Liberals: They Know Not What They Do

by Christopher Chantrill
July 12, 2016 at 12:00 am


WHEN A WHITE racist thug kills a bunch of black Charleston church ladies we are supposed to go into the Cringe. But when a black racist thug kills a bunch of Dallas policemen we are supposed, even by conservative writers, to get out of our partisan foxholes and fraternize with the other guys in political nomansland.

I couldn’t agree more. Forgive the liberals, Father, for they know not what they do.

You can see why, from the life of Good Little Girl Hillary Clinton. First she was daddy’s good little Goldwater Girl, but then she went to Wellesley, and good little girls at Wellesley learn to become good little lefty activists, so Hillary Rodham wrote her senior thesis on Saul Alinsky and his politics of street empowerment. Then she went straight to the head of the line as a staffer on a Watergate committee. And so on, checking elite lefty boxes all her life like the good little girl she was. Now look at her. Sad.

There is a problem here, and it is that, having lost their religious faith, our liberal friends have have made a religion out of their politics. So good little girls with a vocation don’t become nuns and help working-class women birth their babies, as in Call the Midwife. Today they have bigger fish to fry and become political activists. But politics is violence; government is force.

Religion, since the Axial Age, has introduced the radical idea of the responsible self. If you read the pre-axial Iliad you learn that humans are the helpless victims of the gods, and live or die according to the day’s power plays up on Mount Olympus. But one day a smart Jewish kid came down from Mount Sinai and said that the old ways were over. From now on God had set forth Ten Commandments for his Chosen People to follow. Or else.

Nicholas Wade has an interesting take on this. The “or else” of divine justice, he writes, solves the problem of punishing malefactors. Earthly punishers tend to get into trouble with the relatives and friends of earthly malefactors, the Black Lives Matter folks down the ages, so why not ask God do it instead? Good idea, said the gods, and have performed “this chore willingly and vigilantly” ever since.

But with the Death of God and the end of divine justice we are left with dueling community organizers hitting back twice as hard in the war of all against all, and the trouble is that our liberal friends, from President Obama on down, actually believe that this street activism works. Send your community organizers out into the street, properly funded by George Soros, and the arc of history will bend towards justice.

But if Nicholas Wade is right, the community organizers will only make people arc with rage.

I’ve recently been digesting on my blog the thoughts of a liberal, who argues that a progressive is “someone who *is* interested in power, specifically, the *empowering* of other people.” So, for him, the question is “how far to get the government involved in empowering people.”

There is one little problem with this. When government, at the behest of anyone, sets out to empower people it usually means giving them stuff taken from other people.

Here’s how. Look at the basic fact of the last 100 years of government. US taxes have gone up from about 7 percent of GDP to about 35 percent of GDP, according to usgovernmentrevenue.com. This money has been given to millions of people in wonderful empowering government programs. But first it was taken from other people. The average worker, instead of having to fork out about 7 cents out of every dollar earned to be given to other people, is now forking out about 35 cents on the dollar.

How can anyone call that empowering? Job One in America is that you (or somebody else) are forced to pay 35 cents to the government on every dollar of your wages before you pay your rent. Some empowerment.

The last time liberals tried to legislate their religion of politics-as-empowerment was in the Sixties, and after they had set the streets ablaze they had their heads handed to them twice by Richard Nixon and twice by Ronald Reagan. So they hid their beliefs for a while in order to get back into power.

Now liberals are doing it again, and nobody knows whether today’s voters will honor their fathers and hand liberals their progressive heads to them all over again. I hope they do, because I love America and I want Americans to fulfil the nation’s promise, which is that politics and government are necessary evils, not the klieg lights illuminating the arc of history.

But still, I can’t be angry at liberals, for they know not what they do. Bless their hearts.

Christopher Chantrill blogs at www.roadtothemiddleclass.com.

Buy his Road to the Middle Class.

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What Liberals Think About Conservatives

[W]hen I asked a liberal longtime editor I know with a mainstream [publishing] house for a candid, shorthand version of the assumptions she and her colleagues make about conservatives, she didn't hesitate. “Racist, sexist, homophobic, anti-choice fascists,” she offered, smiling but meaning it.
Harry Stein, I Can't Believe I'm Sitting Next to a Republican

US Life in 1842

Families helped each other putting up homes and barns. Together, they built churches, schools, and common civic buildings. They collaborated to build roads and bridges. They took pride in being free persons, independent, and self-reliant; but the texture of their lives was cooperative and fraternal.
Michael Novak, The Spirit of Democratic Capitalism

Taking Responsibility

[To make] of each individual member of the army a soldier who, in character, capability, and knowledge, is self-reliant, self-confident, dedicated, and joyful in taking responsibility [verantwortungsfreudig] as a man and a soldier. — Gen. Hans von Seeckt
MacGregor Knox, Williamson Murray, ed., The dynamics of military revolution, 1300-2050

Society and State

For [the left] there is only the state and the individual, nothing in between. No family to rely on, no friend to depend on, no community to call on. No neighbourhood to grow in, no faith to share in, no charities to work in. No-one but the Minister, nowhere but Whitehall, no such thing as society - just them, and their laws, and their rules, and their arrogance.
David Cameron, Conference Speech 2008

Socialism equals Animism

Imagining that all order is the result of design, socialists conclude that order must be improvable by better design of some superior mind.
F.A. Hayek, The Fatal Conceit


[Every] sacrifice is an act of impurity that pays for a prior act of greater impurity... without its participants having to suffer the full consequences incurred by its predecessor. The punishment is commuted in a process that strangely combines and finesses the deep contradiction between justice and mercy.
Frederick Turner, Beauty: The Value of Values

Responsible Self

[The Axial Age] highlights the conception of a responsible self... [that] promise[s] man for the first time that he can understand the fundamental structure of reality and through salvation participate actively in it.
Robert N Bellah, "Religious Evolution", American Sociological Review, Vol. 29, No. 3.

Religion, Property, and Family

But the only religions that have survived are those which support property and the family. Thus the outlook for communism, which is both anti-property and anti-family, (and also anti-religion), is not promising.
F.A. Hayek, The Fatal Conceit

Racial Discrimination

[T]he way “to achieve a system of determining admission to the public schools on a nonracial basis,” Brown II, 349 U. S., at 300–301, is to stop assigning students on a racial basis. The way to stop discrimination on the basis of race is to stop discriminating on the basis of race.
Roberts, C.J., Parents Involved in Community Schools vs. Seattle School District


A writer who says that there are no truths, or that all truth is ’merely relative’, is asking you not to believe him. So don’t.
Roger Scruton, Modern Philosophy

Physics, Religion, and Psychology

Paul Dirac: “When I was talking with Lemaître about [the expanding universe] and feeling stimulated by the grandeur of the picture that he has given us, I told him that I thought cosmology was the branch of science that lies closest to religion. However [Georges] Lemaître [Catholic priest, physicist, and inventor of the Big Bang Theory] did not agree with me. After thinking it over he suggested psychology as lying closest to religion.”
John Farrell, “The Creation Myth”


Within Pentecostalism the injurious hierarchies of the wider world are abrogated and replaced by a single hierarchy of faith, grace, and the empowerments of the spirit... where groups gather on rafts to take them through the turbulence of the great journey from extensive rural networks to the mega-city and the nuclear family...
David Martin, On Secularization

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