Spoken Like a True Liberal

Keith Thompson, writing in the San Francisco Chronicle, tells the story of yet another disaffected liberal finding some common cause with Bush voters:

I’m leaving the left — more precisely, the American cultural left and what it has become during our time together.

I choose this day for my departure because I can no longer abide the simpering voices of self-styled progressives — people who once championed solidarity with oppressed populations everywhere — reciting all the ways Iraq’s democratic experiment might yet implode.

More devastatingly for the Left (and in perfect keeping with Mike Jericho’s observation about the Left’s resemblance to Nazis), Keith notes the corruption of individual identity under the aegis of the Left’s elites:

True, it took a while to see what was right before my eyes. A certain misplaced loyalty kept me from grasping that a view of individuals as morally capable of and responsible for making the principle decisions that shape their lives is decisively at odds with the contemporary left’s entrance-level view of people as passive and helpless victims of powerful external forces, hence political wards who require the continuous shepherding of caretaker elites.

Leftists who no longer speak of the duties of citizens, but only of the rights of clients, cannot be expected to grasp the importance (not least to our survival) of fostering in the Middle East the crucial developmental advances that gave rise to our own capacity for pluralism, self-reflection, and equality. A left averse to making common cause with competent, self- determining individuals — people who guide their lives on the basis of received values, everyday moral understandings, traditional wisdom, and plain common sense — is a faction that deserves the marginalization it has pursued with such tenacity for so many years.

I wonder if Keith has gotten any death threats yet. Still, it’s a bold step in the right direction.

[Cross-posted at Between Worlds]

7 thoughts on “Spoken Like a True Liberal”

  1. Don’t flatter yourselves, Boyz. Most of us “leftists” who support the war in Iraq find almost nothing else in the way of “common cause” with Bush voters.

    We applaud the forward strategy of freedom in the Middle East – and loathe the “religious” right’s backward strategy of freedom here at home, as so-called “Christians” attempt to roll back the secular state and establish the Evangelical Church.

    We detest the wing-nut right’s current version of “conservatism,” and the only reason we’re supporting Bush in Iraq is because it’s a liberal venture. So the project is now to convince pull independents away from the nuts on the right, and to jettison the “loony” left. We’ll get some Republicans, too, who can’t stand their own party, either.

  2. So, as usual: liberals (or liberalism) do(es) all the work and conservatives claim all the credit.

    This time it was instantaneous, and basically due to identity confusion. Usually, it takes about 30 years for right-wingers to finally unclench enough to realize that liberals were right, and to co-opt their innovations.

  3. bls, the article specifies “some common cause”; the advance of freedom, however much you may hate to impute it to the machinations and/or blunders of the Bush Administration, was one of the big reasons many voters voted for Bush. Cut through your disgust with the Bushies (the ones actually on his political team instead of simply voting for him), and all you’ll have is your last paragraph. See? Not so different after all. Oh, and by the way, did you notice the title at all? There is, after all, a distinction to be made between liberals and Leftists.

    Anonymous, co-option is the best form of flattery, to mangle an old saying. So get the stick out of your butt and rejoice in the triumph of liberal ideas. :O)

  4. Most bright people over the age of 30 (the age the frontal lobes are fully matured) have exited the leftist camp. You cannot really blame the children for their folly.

  5. bls, are you really a “leftist who supports the war in Iraq?”

    “Leftism” is undergirded by an unshakeable faith in the U.N., and a chronic distrust of American military and commercial power. Operation Iraqi Freedom and the reelection of “W” refute all those precepts.

    How do you face your brethren at the water-cooler each morning, man?

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