Sunday, June 12, 2011

Why Bother?

Peter Parisi, an editor at the Washington Times has this opinion piece which echoes something that I have been thinking about for a while. Why debate with Leftists? Now, Mr. Parisi uses the term "liberal" but I reject that appellation since so many on the Left have misappropriated the term for their own use while being decidedly illiberal. There are a few that I would consider to be true liberals (as opposed to classical liberalism of the Libertarian kind) and they are usually identified when you point out the problems with the Left's talking points, they at least deem those worth considering.
But too many on the Left have simply swallowed the Kool-Aid and repeat what they have been told to think. How many times have you been accused of being a Republican as soon as they find out that you aren't a Democrat? No subtleties, no appreciation for complex experiences and reasoning, you are either with them or against them. And they do defend their own against all crimes that would have been worth of the death penalty if committed by a Republican. See for example, tax cheats, Geithner, Rangle, and a host of others, or sex freaks such as Clinton, Studds and now Weiner. I have always said that you can get away with anything once in America so long as you publicly apologize. But if you are a Democrat, don't even bother with that. Your oblivious jihadis will defend you to their death just because you have a D behind your name. Comical, if you take them seriously.
But why take them seriously anymore? I have been mystified by the strange adherence to failed policies like Keynesianism, even when it has failed to provide any proof in support of its efficacy. In fact, there is even proof that it is a complete sham of an economic theory, but still it remains sacrosanct to the Left. Why pursue such failed policies? Because as someone said we don't believe the lies we fear, we believe the ones we want to believe. And if you want the government to spend money, then Keynesianism is just the right tonic for what ails you. Sort of like when Lewis and Clark would dose their comrades with mercury to treat venereal disease. Seemed like a good idea, but it tended over the long run to kill the patient. So much for the Hippocratic oath.
The economic nostrums put forward by President Obama and his party are the same as L&C's mercury. But the difference is that the President's remedy has been tested and found wanting. Yet still they persist.
Reading the letters to the editor in the Missoulian, we see more demand that nothing be done to change Medicare. Now a rational person would say that Medicare is going to implode in about seven years, and doing nothing is not going to make that problem go away. But that is apparently the position of the Democrat Party, which means of course that the Democrats are not rational.
Although, in a way they are. If you presume to play on people's fear and ignorance in order to maintain your political power, then it is completely rational to demonize Republicans. Besides, when the system fails, who will really remember that it was the Democrat Party that contributed the most to both its inception and its destruction.
So you see, the first point I made in this post is that it is unworkable to deal with these people. You cannot rationally debate and discuss anything with them that they won't try to turn into some sort of partisan advantage at your (and the truth's) expense. To discuss anything with them is to give validity to their positions, positions that do not merit validity.
But those few who are truly "liberal" and not just Leftist, we need to work together to solve some huge problems. Just remember though, if you are not part of the main body of thought of the Democrat Party, you will be called a Republican.


Pogie said...

You're right, man. Why debate liberals who dismiss complex ideas and debate with simplistic ideas?

We should debate with people who dismiss one of the 20th century's dominant economic paradigms with a link to a 400 word blog post.

Such depth!

Steve said...

It's more than that and you know it. I would make an exception in your case because I do think that you are more liberal than Leftist. But there is absolutely no evidence that government spending (in reality deficit borrowing masquerading as spending)can pull us out of a recession.
On the other hand, if business felt that they were living in a predictable world, both tax and regulatory wise, they would be more willing to take a chance with their money. Right now, we have Qualitative Easing combined with crony taxation exemption (GE) and increased regulations (CFLs) as just quick examples.
But yes, the dominant economic paradigm of the 20th Century has proven to be nothing more than a fraud, an opiate for the political classes.
And no, I am not going to write a doctoral thesis in a blog post.

Ken & Carol said...

If much of what we have from our governments is really illiberal and we would like to get rid of it why don't we change names. They can be the conservatives defending the status quo and we can be the true liberals, seeking ordered freedom.