The Exhaustion of American Liberalism
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The recent flurry of marches, demonstrations and even riots, along with the Democratic Party’s spiteful reaction to the Trump presidency, exposes what modern liberalism has become: a politics shrouded in pathos. Unlike the civil-rights movement of the 1950s and ’60s, when protesters wore their Sunday best and carried themselves with heroic dignity, today’s liberal marches are marked by incoherence and downright lunacy—hats designed to evoke sexual organs, poems that scream in anger yet have no point to make, and an hysterical anti-Americanism. All this suggests lostness, the end of something rather than the beginning. What is ending?
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Today’s liberalism is an anachronism. It has no understanding, really, of what poverty is and how it has to be overcome. It has no grip whatever on what American exceptionalism is and what it means at home and especially abroad. Instead it remains defined by an America of 1965—an America newly opening itself to its sins, an America of genuine goodwill, yet lacking in self-knowledge.This liberalism came into being not as an ideology but as an identity. It offered Americans moral esteem against the specter of American shame. This made for a liberalism devoted to the idea of American shamefulness. Without an ugly America to loathe, there is no automatic esteem to receive. Thus liberalism’s unrelenting current of anti-Americanism.Let’s stipulate that, given our history, this liberalism is understandable. But American liberalism never acknowledged that it was about white esteem rather than minority accomplishment. Four thousand shootings in Chicago last year, and the mayor announces that his will be a sanctuary city. This is moral esteem over reality; the self-congratulation of idealism. Liberalism is exhausted because it has become a corruption.
Mr. Steele, a senior fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, is author of “Shame: How America’s Past Sins Have Polarized Our Country” (Basic Books, 2015).
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And interest summarization of the era that I’ve lived through.
Today’s “faux liberal” try to sway “We, The Sheeple” with “for the children”, “wage gaps”, “wealth inequality”, “political correctness”, “Secular Progressive”, and phoney outrage over everything. Seems like “We, The Sheeple” have gotten emotionally tired of the guilt trip while they have “real problems” to solve. It’s tiring, as well, for the Classical Liberals aka the little L libertarians. While we don’t want the “Conservative King”, neither do we want the “tyranny of the mob”
like the French Revolution’s guillotine. Regardless if you call it “democratic socialism”, fascism, communism, totalitarianism, or whatever-ism, then it all devolves into dictatorship or oligarchy — that’s just another form of “King”!
So in summary, I want you all to have all the freedoms I want for myself. Including the right to be left alone by all your Gooferments!
“America isn’t easy. America is advanced citizenship. You gotta want it bad, ’cause it’s gonna put up a fight. It’s gonna say “You want free speech? Let’s see you acknowledge a man whose words make your blood boil, who’s standing center stage and advocating at the top of his lungs that which you would spend a lifetime opposing at the top of yours. You want to claim this land as the land of the free? Then the symbol of your country can’t just be a flag; the symbol also has to be one of its citizens exercising his right to burn that flag in protest. Show me that, defend that, celebrate that in your classrooms. Then, you can stand up and sing about the “land of the free”.” — President Andrew Shepherd played by Michael Douglas in “The American President” (1995)
While I don’t agree with the political views “President Andrew Shepherd”, I do agree with the passion for a “land of the free”!
Dona Nobis Pacem
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