Conservatives are nasty and mean, liberals are nice and fair. That's the mantra of the progressive, liberal, Democrat American left. I see these postings saying, "I'm proud to be a liberal because I believe in free education, free health care, free housing, and free love. I'm proud to be a liberal because I care and that's why I'm a better person." I'll explain why I can't stand the sick sanctimony of the Hillary-Obama-Sanders crowd. If they knew what they really believed in, then maybe they would think again, but probably not.
Probably the biggest asymmetry in right versus left in America is simply this: Most conservatives I know think liberals are well-meaning but misinformed, that they would likely think as we do if they knew their own history and consequences of their attitudes. Most liberals I know think conservatives are awful, uncaring people. Which is the narrower, more-confining, less-caring attitude? I don't claim to love Republicans or even to hate Democrats, only to despise a self-serving, sanctimonious attitude from the liberals who supported and caused most of the economic and political mess we have today. (I'll point out that I'm a libertarian rather than Republican with some important differences in philosophy and support, but the last hundred years of history, and recent economics, put me closer to Republicans than Democrats by a large-enough margin to write this piece.)
This is the view from my side of the street. I have a Princeton math degree cum laude, a Stanford Engineering Ph.D., and Bell Telephone Laboratories on my résumé. I've built large, complex software systems that manage business decisions. I've signed the front side of paycheques. My insight commands respect when I opine about scientific analysis and I've earned the same here. I've thought about these issues with the same effort that I've put into the systems I wrote for airlines, railroads, hotels, and retail chains. I choose my words carefully. That doesn't mean I'm right for sure, but surely it's worth more than some Facebook JPEG image proclaiming somebody's right because she thinks she cares more than I do.
Liberal, progressive Democrats since 1913 (and probably since 1854) have been comfortable with moral bankruptcy to create a better world for everybody, or at least themselves, but the results have been horrible.
Suppose you found out the light you turned on every night, thinking it was giving you light and was harmless to others, was, in fact, giving nasty, painful, excruciating electric shocks to a lot of your neighbors every time you turned it on. Wouldn't you change your behavior knowing that? Suppose you found out your political views you thought were giving light and were harmless to others were, in fact, hurting millions of people elsewhere. Shouldn't you change your behavior knowing that?
All of the issues below are where American left and right differ. Both have supported war and deficit spending, for example, so they're not on this list of issues. These are issues where the proud left-wing progressive liberals maybe shouldn't be so proud of themselves.
The recent round of liberal media simply rewrite fact. It's convenient to blame Bush for everything, even bad weather, and there's plenty to blame him for, but I take the longer-term view and Bush is only a small part of the problem. It makes it hard to engage in discussion with people who change the facts, not only from what actually happened, but even from what they earlier said happened when they were trying to make different points.
I'm a smart American, I have taken a good look around, and this is what I see.
Race: The Democrats pride themselves on racism. Since 1854, even before they were "progressive," Democrats have believed race should be a determining force in politics. Slavery, Jim Crow laws, the Ku Klux Klan, and forced segregation gave way to forced integration and the insidious racial quotas of Affirmative Action. (What better way is there to keep black Americans down than marginalizing and infantalizing them with undeserved favorable treatment?) Why is any suggestion that whites and blacks should be treated equally under the law and treated equally by public institutions castigated as "racist" by the left? The racist history of the liberal side of the street is continuous and seamless for 161 years. Abraham Lincoln and Martin Luther King were Republicans for good reason.
Economics: "Fairness" is euphemism for jealousy. I don't care how rich Bill Gates and Donald Trump are. It has nothing to do with "trickle down." Letting people keep the wealth they earn isn't any kind of "welfare for the rich." When people keep the fruits of their labor, the rising tide of prosperity raises all boats. If rich people gain more than poor people in the rising, then what do I care? The occupy movement is about naked jealousy that some people are doing better, not my concern. Compared to the twelve Republican years 1995-2006, the last eight Democrat years 2007-2014 were terrible. (The twelve Democrat years before 1995 were bad, too.) Jobs are fewer, income is lower, America produces less. Just to make it clear to those who doubt, black Americans are doing "more worse" than white Americans.
I mean, look out there! How bad does it have to get? The lefties I know tell me how good it is and how wonderful the Obama administration is. (After all, there's a lot less traffic on the roads when nobody has a job to drive to and all those noisy, smelly factories are gone now that nobody makes anything stateside anymore. Pittsburgh used to be polluted with factories and jobs and work and pride and a thriving middle class and now its skies are clear, azure blue with nobody working anymore except bankers and lawyers and investment brokers and people who don't actually produce anything. They count other people's money.) When I point out the job shrinkage and the factories closing and the record numbers on food stamps, they say I'm probably right and, look, it's all Bush's fault.
I mean, look out there! After fifty years of utter, abject, total, tragic failure, does anybody still believe that government handouts actually house the homeless, feed the poor, or educate the ignorant? Does anybody still believe that cities like Detroit owe their miserable histories to anything other than government's so-called handouts? It's just not so, not then, not now, and not in years to come. (There are still people who believe in socialism and global warming and Santa Claus and the Easter bunny, so maybe I shouldn't be so hard on them.) The damage is huge and, if you supported the New Deal or the Great Society or any of today's welfare programs, then, yes, it's your fault.
After twelve years of Republican leadership, the Democrats got both houses of Congress in 2007 and things went bad in a hurry. The housing bubble of 2007 was the same as the Internet bubble of 2001 except in the first case it was Republicans in charge and in the second case it was Democrats. Trillions in bailouts and stimulus and handouts have crippled our economy. The difference between the pre-2007 ineptitude and the post-2006 idiocy works out to about a million dollars per Obama vote in what economists call net present value. That's a lot of hurt for each liberal vote, isn't it?
Taxes: If government pays for something for somebody, then it means somebody else paid for it. I don't think left-wingers ever think about where it comes from. "Is it so wrong to give a kid breakfast?" Did you ever ask how many families went without dinner to pay for it? This disrespect for those paying for all this free stuff is offensive and should be offensive to someone who respects the dignity of those who actually work for it.
Education: Free education isn't free. When we give it away with tax dollars, whether in government grants or subsidized state schools, it devalues the currency of our schools, their degrees. In 1912 most people stopped before high school ended and now most people stay in school through college. I don't know anybody who thinks today's population better educated, just that they got to spend at least four extra years drinking beer and playing fraternity games. Of course, there's the quid-pro-quo that colleges get left-wing, Democrat support and they teach their students left-wing, Democrat versions of history and science.
Health care: Increased regulation in health care has consistently created higher costs and lower volume. We have unregulated health care available here, it's cheap, and I would be happy with that level of care. The law prohibits me and poorer Americans from buying our own health care in the unregulated market. (The positive pre-existing-conditions regulation is an enforcement of the already-existing contract between insurers and insured that was being violated, a good thing from the left. Even a stopped clock is right twice a day. Of course, the left-wing-driven income tax and the employer-health-insurance exemption from it is what created the dependency on employer health care insurance in the first place.) By the way, not having guaranteed insurance paid for by somebody else at the point of a gun is not the same as not having health care. From where I sit, that's not such a subtle point. If centralized health care were a good thing, then they wouldn't have to make it mandatory, would they?
Minimum wage: Expecting people to climb a ladder to success is good, but kicking out the bottom rungs of that ladder is not good. Restricting low-income people from working doesn't help them. While raising minimum wage to $15/hour gets some get a raise from $14.50, most earning less simply lose their jobs.
Unions: The cozy relationship between government and unions should end and their power should be limited to collective bargaining with mass-quitting as their only trump card. This has been a progressive cause for a long time and, as with minimum wage, it kicks more rungs out of the bottom end of the ladder that leads poor people to becoming not-poor.
How many closed factories do you have to drive by, how many record numbers of people need to be on relief and food stamps, how many people have to fall down below minimum wage, how piss-poor do most of the job opportunities have to get, and how much of what conservatives said would happen has to happen before liberals see that the change they hoped for didn't happen?
Since the people who support global warming seem hell-bent
on comparing anybody who doubts anything they say with the
most-ignorant factions, I think it's worth a little extra
The "global-warming" or "climate-change" claim is fundamentally C caused B and B caused A, we have to reduce A, so we have to use political means to reduce C. Have I missed anything?
The scientific community promoting this message is the same government-funded, state-pressured community that promoted eugenics, an impending ice age, acid rain, DDT, and the ozone layer. That doesn't mean they're wrong this time, but it moves the burden of proof onto their shoulders. That the same community specifically predicted warming from 1998 to 2003 that specifically did not happen weakens their credibility further. Their starting line is not the credibility of biology or chemistry or physics but rather the credibility of astrology or tarot cards. Pretend I'm from Missouri and show me!
I'm a Ph.D.-educated mathematician who understands that fossil fuels in 1960 probably didn't cause CO2 in 1940 which probably didn't cause warming in 1920. I understand that seventeen years of non-warming data since 1998 don't prove anything but they do cast serious doubt on warming claims, especially when the so-called experts predicted so much more warming. That self-claimed-expert climatologists saw no hint of six record-setting winters 2000-2005 weakens their claims of predictive power even further. The experts aren't idiots, but they don't know as much as they think they do about climate. Understanding the limits of our knowledge requires a lot of smarts. That's my livelihood, so I know something about it. (At least nobody's paying me for my humility.)
If you want to believe in global warming in the face of contrary data and demonstrated scientific failure, then go for it! But please don't get all preachy with a real scientist like me in the room. Real science is accountable to actual facts. Real science doesn't make shit up as it goes along like the global-warming crowd does.
Diverting food and feed corn into ethanol took food off of tens of millions of dinner tables in Latin America. Was that as bad as when the same kind of science took lives under the banner of eugenics? Maybe not, but that's the comparison we should be looking at. If you supported global warming and its associated politics, then those starving people are your legacy.
This is what I see when I look at global warming.
Environment: Government stopped the practice of courts awarding money to people damaged by air pollution and decided to regulate the pollution themselves. The liberals have continued to believe in regulation as the path to environmentalism. While the air and water are cleaner than fifty years ago, it's not at all clear that market forces wouldn't have done better. It is clear that there have been some really boneheaded policies coming out of the do-gooder-environmentalists in politics.
Gay marriage: This is one where the liberals were absolutely right and found a way to screw it up royally. Government should have no say in who should marry whom, but they also should have no say in who should marry whom. By that I mean if two people want to become husband-and-husband or wife-and-wife, then it's fine, but if some minister, priest, church, or business chooses not to be a participant in the process, then it's also fine.
Drugs: The liberals are also right here, and also messed up. Prohibition started as a bi-partisan progressive movement in 1920 and should have ended forever in 1933, but anti-drug laws have been passed and maintained through both parties. While liberals cry and moan about how silly they are, there hasn't been reduction of anti-drug laws when liberals have been in power. Furthermore, they resist use of drug tests for screening, especially public functions like public assistance and voting.
Actually, I would point out the liberals have done no more than conservatives when it comes to actually reversing the idiotic anti-drug laws. It's kind of like liberal whining about war when they've done more bad stuff than conservatives. They talk a good game and whine how the conservatives keep marijuana from being legalized as it should be, but when they had the presidency and both houses of Congress, nothing good happened on that issue.
Abortion: Again, the liberals got it right and then screwed it up. It isn't whether a fetus is alive, even the broccoli I ate last night was alive. It isn't whether it has a heartbeat, the tuna I also ate last night had a heartbeat. It isn't really even whether the fetus is human. (This is one place I resonate completely with the Book of Genesis, that the sanctity of human life begins with our first breath.) It's whether it's worth taking wealth from people who had no part in any of it to intervene in a woman's personal decision of personal responsibility. It's hard all around and a bunch of nosy, nasty meddlers doesn't make it any easier.
Where I have no sympathy is for those who want society (meaning government) to pay for it. Never mind the eugenics horrors that led to the founding of Planned Parenthood, maybe it's performing a useful function 95 years later. Still, I fully, completely, utterly respect a person's religious, personal, or simply selfish reasons for not wanting to pay for another person's abortion. If tax funding of abortion doesn't strike you as wrong, then there's something really wrong with you.
Functus lege eadem extremum ad omnes: It means "the same law for all," but it sounds more profound in Latin. (At least it sounds more pontifical, doesn't it?) In my experience, liberals believe in law for others but not themselves. One liberal buddy was adamant in favor of the 55-MPH speed limit on the turnpike even though he drove 70 miles per hour himself. "I don't want all the other guys whizzing along at seventy." Another progressive fellow believed in the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) controlling medication. When he got diabetes, he got a not-yet-lawful drug from Europe for himself, but still believed in FDA regulation for the rest of us. Over and over again I find liberals believe laws are for other people while conservatives, in my experience, tend to believe in good law for all of us to obey, not just other people.
Morality: Liberalism is the moral low road, the ends-justify-the-means attitude. Just like real liberals in my experience, Ayn Rand consistently had her liberal characters justify horrific behavior as responding to "the expediency of the moment." They say, "We have to do something." Not hurting people and not taking their stuff isn't that hard a moral imperative, but it has clearly been lost in the liberal view.
This needs nothing to do with religion, by the way. While most conservatives are more moral than most liberals, most of the ones I know are not particularly religious. Rather it's the reflection on and understanding of and respect for the values that have done right for people for millennia. I don't have to know why these values work or how they work, I only have to know that they work. In another essay, I code those values as human life, liberty, property, livelihood, and contract. Others code them as "don't hurt people and don't take their stuff." Still others tie them to the left side of the ten commandments, the latter five, that all start with the Hebrew word לא (pronounced "LOW") which means "NO!" Wherever they come from, the long-term morals and values that conservatives hold dear are rejected by liberals for some greater, short-term good. The results of that short-term view over long-term morality have included horrible holocausts overseas along with staggering economic losses in our country.
Guns: Liberals have developed a phobia about guns. I'm a lot more afraid looking straight up at a safe hanging from a pulley than seeing a gun lying on a table. I'm a lot more afraid of the kind of society gun control creates than I am of either of those life threats. This country was founded as a gun club, it's what we do, it's part of what we are, and it's time for all Americans to get used to it. Besides, it's fun to shoot paper targets and empty pop cans.
Claims that America has more gun murders than other countries usually don't take into account that we have more people than those other countries. When we compare like to like, cities in the United States with high and low ownership of firearms, the high-gun-ownership places have lower crime rates, for whatever reasons. Germans who boast of their gun-murder record usually ignore the thirteen million who died during the holocaust that would not have happened in a well-armed society.
Corruption: The bailouts, the stimulus packages, Al Gore buying massive corn futures before the ethanol program, Whitewater and the Clintons, and Michelle's no-show job while her husband was running for office are all examples of corruption on a huge scale, beyond Europe all the way to Africa-style. The American left-wing has re-invented corporatism and graft on a scale even the most corrupt right-wingers could not have imagined. Is all the corruption in United-States government 1879-2006 even noticeable in the presence of all this stealing in the past eight years? Is it okay because their liberals believe in good causes? It is okay because he's black? Is it okay because they're Democrats? I don't think it's okay and neither do my conservative friends.
History: My liberal friends are smug about their history, which is downright awful. They supported slavery, Jim Crow, KKK, forced segregation, forced integration, and race quotas. They supported Stalin, Mussolini, Hitler, Castro, Mao, and the Islamic State of Iran and Syria (ISIS). They supported eugenics, impending ice age, panic around acid rain and DDT, the ozone-layer scare, and global warming. They supported economic degradation and increasing poverty on a massive scale. They supported the New Deal that prolonged a terrible depression for eight long years and the Great Society that created a permanent poverty class that has no reasonable path out of their misery. All of these are specific issues where the progressive left differed from the conservative right and all turned out very badly doing it their way.
Most liberals will cry out that they don't support Stalin or Hitler or the Klan. Of course not now, but they did then, when it counted, when it made a difference. Pete Seeger sang songs and raised money for Stalin and Hitler with throngs of eager fans at the time. Eugenics was all the rage in its day as the ozone layer was three decades ago as global warming is today and as something else will be when global warming is no longer interesting. For all the issues in the preceding paragraph the liberal, progressive left was on one side, the right was on the other side, and history has shown, or is showing, the right of the right side.
What conservatives miss is that the liberals of 1925 and 1935 did not support the Gulag and the gas chambers. Communism in Russia and National Socialism in Germany presented beautiful, pristine views of hope and change, much like Singapore of today. The conservatives saw the nearly-inevitable consequence of such concentration of absolute power while the progressive liberals believed the story being told. It's the same as liberals in 2008 (or, heaven forbid, in 2012) believing, after two (or six) years of destructive liberal policy, in the Obama presidency that continues to create a cesspool of so much of our country.
I'll put it another way. How many times can you blindly get it wrong when we saw and got it right before you should turn around and let us make the hard decisions? (How many vases should liberals be allowed to knock over before they're not allowed to play in the living room?)
Whining: The tone of liberalism has been sniffling and sniveling. They're entitled to everything, taken from conservatives of course, and they're offended by everything, mostly conservatives of course. Their lives matter, but not conservatives' of course. Somebody has to work to give them the lifestyle they want, but it's going to be somebody else, probably somebody conservative. P. J. O'Rourke said it best in one of his essays.
The whole Politically-Correct thing is just glorified whining combined with a kind of power, "I'm more offended than you are." Sometimes it's better to face the music than to complain that it's too loud to make it go away.
Respect: My experience is that conservatives respect people who do real work and liberals pooh-pooh their efforts. I treat the folks who fix my machines and the people who deliver packages with respect. They earn their living and they should be proud of it. It's a real difference of attitude, and respect for work and effort should be part of our society.
Contract: Ayn Rand called it "the sanctity of contract." It's the notion that we make voluntary deals with people and we keep our word. Liberals believe that promises are fleeting, that political winds can and should change, and that people who based their careers on circumstances are acceptable casualties of their political whims.
Tenth amendment: I'll let P. J. O'Rourke speak for me here: "The Tenth Amendment sends a message to all the jerks who want redistribution of wealth, higher taxes, more government programs, more government regulation, more government, less free enterprise, and less freedom. And the message is clear and concise: Go to hell."
Pride: I'm proud of my work, I'm proud of my beliefs, and I'm proud of my what my country was meant to be. However well I live, I've earned it, I haven't forced anybody to pay me, and I haven't taken from others to make my living. My employers have earned considerably more from my work than they have paid me. On the whole conservatives tend to share my pride while liberals look for reasons to feel bad about themselves, their communities, and their country. I think Mitt Romney would have done a lot better if he had faced the camera and said, "Yes, I'm rich. I worked hard for it, I created hundreds of thousands of jobs, I've made the world a more prosperous place, and I'm proud of it. That's what America is all about."
Hair: The party that elected a massively-corrupt candidate (with some help from massive voter fraud in Pennsylvania) whose name and background they didn't know and who promised to continue all the mistakes of the last guy is making fun of a candidate who actually worked hard and made money (not always in a nice way perhaps) because he has silly hair. He's not my favorite either, but I didn't forgo the right to make fun of him by voting for a guy solely on the color of his skin.
Nobody's denying you something because they're not paying for it,
so quit complaining about it.
You should be paying your own way
because that's what grown-up people do.
If you can't pay for something you need,
then ask for help.
People will help people who need help
because that's what grown-up people do.
Letting people keep what they earn isn't welfare for the rich
and taking away middle-class jobs to pay poor people
is dumb as well as immoral.
Stealing for a good cause is still stealing and it's still wrong.
Realize that nobody owes you a living
and you might actually have to work for it
because that's what grown-up people do.
Eat your vegetables.
Brush your teeth and don't forget to floss.
Look both ways before crossing the street
and signal your turns, even on a bicycle.
Quit whining like a crybaby, grow a backbone, and do your job well.
Do I have to tell you everything?
Clean up your room,
stand up straight,
pick up your feet,
take it like a man,
be nice to your sister,
don't mix beer and wine, and
don't drive on the railroad tracks.
It's okay for somebody to be richer than you are,
or better looking, or living in a bigger house,
or facing a greater destiny.
You should be making your own destiny
because that's what grown-up people do.
Make something because it's fun to make things
and it's good for the economy.
Make something of yourself because it's fun to be somebody
and it's good for everybody, including yourself.
At least make a living wage and live within it
because that's what grown-up people do.
Why would you come to a far-away place just to make it like home?
So many immigrants do that.
They like what we have
but they despise the values and morality and integrity
that got us there.
It just isn't right.
America is a guns-and-freedom club, plain and simple.
We don't take somebody else's livelihood for our own,
nor do we take it away on behalf of anybody else.
People post signs on Facebook that Denmark
gives their citizens free healthcare, free school, free everything,
but I don't see those posting those posts moving to Denmark.
Howcum all the people moaning about how evil our healthcare is
came to the United States when they got sick.
They may have had to pull out their wallets,
but they got better care than they could get at home.
Nobody's stopping you from having socialized health care.
You can form a club of sixty million people and share the costs,
just like I do when I join Blue Cross.
I want to make my own choices,
I want you to be able to make your own choices,
and there's nothing stopping anybody from living communally
if they choose to do it.
America is supposed to be about choice.
But here's the cool part.
When all of us do our own things in our own ways, we all prosper.
At every income level,
a free society like America of 1912 has lived better,
a lot better in fact,
a lot better at every percentile of income and wealth,
than not-free places.
How good did it have to be,
and how bad does it have to be now,
for liberals to see that it's not working,
that real people are really suffering
for their beliefs and their actions and reality of what they do?
I don't get it.
It's not that liberals like liberalism,
they can have that anywhere in the other 95% of the world.
They can even form self-contained communities based on those values
right here in the United States.
It's that they hate the notion
that somebody, somewhere isn't doing things their way,
isn't under their thumb.
I just don't see why anybody would want to do that.
That's really it.
Liberalism is about hate and power.
Maybe you can understand why I'm not a fan of it.
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Eat your vegetables. Brush your teeth and don't forget to floss. Look both ways before crossing the street and signal your turns, even on a bicycle. Quit whining like a crybaby, grow a backbone, and do your job well. Do I have to tell you everything? Clean up your room, stand up straight, pick up your feet, take it like a man, be nice to your sister, don't mix beer and wine, and don't drive on the railroad tracks.
It's okay for somebody to be richer than you are, or better looking, or living in a bigger house, or facing a greater destiny. You should be making your own destiny because that's what grown-up people do. Make something because it's fun to make things and it's good for the economy. Make something of yourself because it's fun to be somebody and it's good for everybody, including yourself. At least make a living wage and live within it because that's what grown-up people do.
America: Why would you come to a far-away place just to make it like home? So many immigrants do that. They like what we have but they despise the values and morality and integrity that got us there. It just isn't right.
America is a guns-and-freedom club, plain and simple. We don't take somebody else's livelihood for our own, nor do we take it away on behalf of anybody else. People post signs on Facebook that Denmark gives their citizens free healthcare, free school, free everything, but I don't see those posting those posts moving to Denmark. Howcum all the people moaning about how evil our healthcare is came to the United States when they got sick. They may have had to pull out their wallets, but they got better care than they could get at home.
Nobody's stopping you from having socialized health care. You can form a club of sixty million people and share the costs, just like I do when I join Blue Cross. I want to make my own choices, I want you to be able to make your own choices, and there's nothing stopping anybody from living communally if they choose to do it. America is supposed to be about choice.
But here's the cool part. When all of us do our own things in our own ways, we all prosper. At every income level, a free society like America of 1912 has lived better, a lot better in fact, a lot better at every percentile of income and wealth, than not-free places. How good did it have to be, and how bad does it have to be now, for liberals to see that it's not working, that real people are really suffering for their beliefs and their actions and reality of what they do?
I don't get it. It's not that liberals like liberalism, they can have that anywhere in the other 95% of the world. They can even form self-contained communities based on those values right here in the United States. It's that they hate the notion that somebody, somewhere isn't doing things their way, isn't under their thumb. I just don't see why anybody would want to do that.
That's really it. Liberalism is about hate and power. Maybe you can understand why I'm not a fan of it.
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