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Sunday, June 20, 2010

Understanding Liberalism

A lot of conservatives just do not get what liberalism is all about. Having no clue as to how any rational person can have a view like liberals do, conservatives simply dismiss liberals as "libtards." The fact of the matter is that the average liberal is just as intelligent as the average conservative even if both sides will not admit that about their opponents. Most conservatives think that liberals just do not get it, where "it" covers just about everything. Actually that is the key clue to understanding liberals. They simply have a totally different worldview from conservatives so they are operating from a totally different set of assumptions about the world and people than conservatives are.

Here is the key thing to understand about liberals: they do not believe in evil. There is no such thing as an evil person in their view. People can be misguided or burdened by their upbringing and hence do bad things but they cannot be inherently evil. That is why liberals think that if enough money is thrown at societal problems such as poverty, poor education and poor parenting, no one will be doing bad things. Even if they are already adults and doing bad things, they can be rehabilitated and persuaded to stop doing bad things. Of course, they do understand that there are insane people who do really bad things but that is because they are sick and need the proper treatment so they will stop their bad behavior.

This refusing to believe in evil explains a great deal about why liberals hold the views they do. Liberals are nice people who wear their hearts on their sleeves and champion the poor and downtrodden so it never occurs to them that some people just cannot be rehabilitated or persuaded to stop doing bad things. Another way of saying this is that liberals view the world as it should be and not the way it is. They have been fitted with rose colored glasses and never take them off. Once you understand this key assumption on their part, you can understand why liberals consider conservatives as cold hearted skinflints who do not give a damn about their fellow human beings and the planet.

Conservatives just feel that they are merely being realistic and that liberals are totally unrealistic about the real world. That is why conservatives just marvel about how liberals just don't get it. Once you understand that liberals are soft hearted folks who are constantly tilting against the windmills of societal injustice even though some problems are so intractable that no amount of money and government programs will solve them. They simply do not believe that poverty cannot be cured or that there will always be a bottom group on the socioeconomic ladder even if the ladder is moved to a higher level which it certainly has been in the last few centuries. The poor of 1810 in America would give anything to be the poor of 2010 here.

This is also why liberals are so attracted to socialism and redistributing wealth so that everyone is on an equal footing. They do not understand that even if they succeed and everyone has the same amount of money and assets that everyone would then be equally poor and not equally rich. They simply do not understand the role of incentives in human nature. If everyone is the same and any extra income is taken from a person and given to others who have done nothing to earn it, then there is no longer any incentive to do anything but the bare minimum to get by. Where is the incentive to save up money and start your own business and hire other people so that they will have a job when you know the government is going to take those savings and spend it on government programs to alleviate poverty?

Liberals are so concerned with helping the poor and downtrodden that they do not see the forest for the trees. Conservatives understand that taxing the rich who have too much to give it to the poor who have so little is totally counterproductive to the professed goal of alleviating poverty. After all, letting the rich remain rich as a solution to alleviating poverty is counterintuitive even though it does in fact work better than any other approach. Of course, some of the rich do not help matters any by spending fortunes on lifestyles of the rich and famous instead of putting their wealth to work to create more businesses to hire more people and hence play right into the hands of the liberals.

This refusal to accept that there are evil people even explains why liberals are not only so blind to jihadists but are so antisemitic as well. Liberals see that most Jews have an inborn talent for making money so most of them are "rich". On the other hand, the Palestinians are obviously poor and downtrodden. Hence it is a given that the members of Hamas, Hezbollah and the like cannot be evil merely because they have been brainwashed to accept the teachings of the Koran in the worst possible interpretation. No, they are merely poor and downtrodden because they are oppressed by the rich Jews. Indeed, they have even convinced most Jews that they should feel guilty about being rich and for not giving the Arabs whatever they want. That is why most American Jews are liberals.

This even extends to a lot of Jews in Israel. There are a lot of leftist Jews in Israel even though most Israelis have found out the hard way that some of those Arabs are very evil, indeed. A lot of people understand that a suicide bomber is the very height of evil but not liberals. Suicide bombers are so determined to destroy their professed enemies that they are will to die if they can take a bunch of their enemies with them. Being willing to die in defense of one's ideals is heroic but being willing to die in an offense against women and children merely because of their religion or ethnicity is just plain evil because it is nothing more than genocide. Most liberals do understand that genocide is a bad thing so help them to make the connection between suicide bombers and genocide so they will understand that not all Palestinians are deserving of their sympathy.

Obviously since liberals do not believe in evil, they do not believe in the dictum that government is evil, albeit a necessary evil. That is why given that rich people and rich big corporations are greedy entities that will not share their wealth with the rest of us, the liberal always chooses government as the perfect instrument to cut these people down to size. After all the government works for all of us since we choose who runs the government. The flaw here is that while the politicians make the laws and set the policies, they do not run the government. The government is run by its various agencies which hire employees to actually run the government.

These agencies are divided into various bureaus and hence their employees work for these bureaus and are thus bureaucrats. What is worse, these bureaucrats make the rules we have to live by as opposed to the laws and policies that the politicians set. These rules are codified into the federal register. Thus it should be no surprise even to liberals that volumes of the federal register fill every last bookcase in a truly huge room. That is what happens when bureaucrats get to make their own rules. With that many rules requiring reams of paperwork it should also be no surprise that all of this tends to get in the way of accomplishing even "good" things. We have all had experience with the petty bureaucrat who delights in making us jump through the many hoops of their rules.

Thus these rules prevented the federal government from accepting help from foreign governments to help clean up the oil spill since this help did not meet the standards set by these rules. Likewise, these rules required permits from various governmental agencies before anything could be done about the mess. These rules of the federal government create such a huge mass of red tape that a proper response to a disaster in an emergency is impossible. Liberals believe that this oil spill is a real disaster as opposed to weather related disasters that merely inconvenience residents of places like Nashville except in places like New Orleans where the residents are the poor and downtrodden.

The bottom line is that you cannot convince a liberal to change his worldview but you can convince him that bad things are happening as a result of this worldview. Genocide and oil spills are bad things and jihadists and the federal government rules are preventing us from fixing these things. Let them work backwards up their thought chain to see in their own good time that the real problem is their first axiom: there is no such thing as evil. From this all things flow and so maybe that first principle needs to be revisited. Bad things do happen and often they are caused by bad people. Indeed, some people do such bad things that they truly are evil and that nothing you can do or say will change them.