Monday, April 14, 2008

Progressives, Not Liberals

I have been saying for years that there is nothing of classical liberalism in the ideology expoused by our modern left. Our "progressives" are far more influenced by Marx than Aristotle and Locke. They are anything but liberal. And recently, Victor David Hanson made a similar argument.


This from Victor David Hanson writing in the NY Post:

THESE days, Democrats aren't sounding very liberal. Classic liberals, after all, would support free markets, internationalism and the universal desire for constitutional government, while downplaying racial affinity. But the following examples highlight how far from these ideals today's liberals are.

Campaigning earlier this year in recession-prone Ohio, both Democratic candidates trashed the North American Free Trade Agreement. Sen. Barack Obama advocated renegotiation of the treaty. And Sen. Hillary Clinton assured voters she had always opposed NAFTA, an agreement that was concluded under her husband's administration.

. . . Despite such illiberal pandering, both Clinton and Obama know that a traditional liberal position would be to defend free trade that lowers prices and increases choices for poorer American consumers - while helping foreign economies catch up with the United States.

Free trade isn't the only example in which liberal Democrats advocate positions that sound parochial and blinkered. Let's take an environmental issue. It may seem environmentally correct for liberals to oppose oil drilling in a small part of Alaska. But how is this prohibition in any way liberal?

Unless Americans are willing to accept a drastic reduction in their standard of living or can discover novel methods of conserving or creating energy, in the short-term transportation fuel will have to come from somewhere. Given our present prohibitions, that somewhere apparently means foreign oil.

. . . Homegrown, clean-burning biofuels sound great as a partial replacement for polluting foreign petroleum. But at present, to supply grain-based ethanol, we are diverting a large percentage of US farm acreage away from food production. The result - apart from the net energy loss needed to grow and refine ethanol - is that the price of basic food staples is soaring.

It's politically incorrect to say so, but an oil well in Alaska might cause less damage to the world environment, less strain on our food supply and more savings to poorer US consumers than most of the present alternatives.

What also is the real liberal position on Iraq? Not long ago Clinton and Obama slugged it out, trying to establish who was more anti-war - and who would bring the troops home the most rapidly. But then one of Obama's chief campaign advisers, the now-dismissed Samantha Power, suggested that an Obama administration would assess withdrawal on the basis of conditions on the ground in Iraq, not according to once-promised timetables.

Power is no conservative. But it sounds like she grasps that the humane - indeed liberal - position now on Iraq is to continue to support the democratically elected government of Nouri al-Maliki.

"No blood for oil" and "American imperialism" may be catchy slogans, but no serious observer believes that the United States is stealing Iraq's oil or trying to colonize the country. The Iraqis themselves are selling oil on their own terms, and they are no longer so eager for Americans to pack up and leave their fragile democracy before it's stabilized.

Finally, what is the liberal position on race? It is not to offer relative contexts and mitigating circumstances for hate speech, as did Sen. Obama regarding the words of his former pastor. Nor, in contrast, is it Bill and Hillary Clinton's racial polarizing and scapegoating to defend - and then restore - a poorly run campaign. It's surely not a Democratic race that has devolved into the candidates counting on their constituents to vote along racial lines.

In short, with all this demagoguing, backtracking and firing of aides, we don't always know exactly what the Democratic position is on trade, energy, Iraq or race - only that it is seems to be far from what we once thought was liberal.

Read the entire article.

1 comment:

Jimmy J. said...

Why can't we just call a spade a spade. They are socialists with marxist ambitions.