Tuesday, March 14, 2017

Is this the end of Liberalism in the United States of America?

Have you noticed how unhinged many liberals have become since Donald Trump won the presidency? Of course you have; you can’t miss something that extensive and that crazy.

Many liberals, perhaps most, reside moderately to the left of the political center; but this is about the radicals who hang on by their fingernails to the left-most edge of the political spectrum, about to slip off into undisputed madness.

These leftmost folks have disentangled themselves from the general rules of common courtesy and civility where some may properly disagree with the ideas of others in a polite and accepting manner. These radicals are not just disagreeable but are becoming more militant and demanding, and want not to persuade others to their ideas, but to force their acceptance.

Whereas more reasonable folk hold the position that if they think smoking is a bad thing, they don’t smoke, or if they don’t think red meat is a good thing, they are vegans, or if they believe guns are always and forever dangerous and never suitable for personal ownership, they don’t buy a gun. The leftmost, by contrast, want to totally ban tobacco, red meat and guns, and will do their best to bring those bans to reality.

Protesting is protected speech in America, and we honor that right. But increasingly those protests sponsored by liberals turn to violence and destruction in their infantile temper tantrums of whining and foot stomping, demonization and name-calling. Demonstrating the character of those radicals, a Trump golf course in California and his Washington hotel have recently been vandalized. And if liberals think some group deserves special consideration and you don’t agree, you are called racist, misogynist, Nazi, fascist, immigrant-hater, etc.

And now, things are happening that are so bizarre that they can only be accurately described as deliberately dishonest, or just dumb. California Democrat Rep. Maxine Waters actually said on MSNBC’s “Hardball” four days before the inauguration that Trump ought to be impeached. She implied that Trump had gotten campaign information from Russia, such as the names he called Hillary Clinton and others, and therefore he should be impeached, after he becomes president. Obviously, a president can be impeached only for wrongs committed while in office. Shouldn’t a long-time congressional representative know that?

On ABC’s “Good Morning America” David Wright attributed the timing of Trump’s U.S. Attorney purge to Fox News host Sean Hannity, noting the purge occurred one day after Hannity called for it on TV. These requested resignations are standard operating procedure when the new president is of a different political party than his predecessor, and any network news reporter ought to know that. Yet somehow because Hannity mentioned it on his show shortly before it occurred, it was Hannity that “ordered” the action, and Trump would not have done it otherwise. Fake news?

And it is much worse than those examples. Some liberals have sunk to a level below mere opposition. It is anti-Americanism: not the loyal opposition, but the disloyal political enemy. Among the more serious infractions is that appointees and holdovers from the previous administration apparently have leaked sensitive information to the media, which have eagerly reported these things, potentially breaking laws and committing treason.

While this behavior has been on the increase for a while, the election of Donald Trump has been like a dose of steroids, as if his election lifts the barriers to illegal and unethical behavior. People seem to have forgotten that, like him or not, Trump is the duly elected president, and while much of the opposition merely makes things more difficult for him, some of it puts the nation’s stability at risk.

Shelby Steele, a senior fellow at Stanford University’s Hoover Institution, evaluates these changes in liberalism as follows: “The recent flurry of marches, demonstrations and even riots, along with the Democratic Party’s spiteful reaction to the Trump presidency, exposes what modern liberalism has become: a politics shrouded in pathos.”

He remembers how things were during the civil-rights movement of the 1950s and ’60s, “when protesters wore their Sunday best and carried themselves with heroic dignity,” and bemoans today’s liberal marches, which he described as “marked by incoherence and downright lunacy — hats designed to evoke sexual organs, poems that scream in anger yet have no point to make, and an hysterical anti-Americanism. All this suggests lostness, the end of something rather than the beginning. What is ending?”

He continues, “Our new conservative president rolls his eyes when he is called a racist, and we all — liberal and conservative alike — know that he isn’t one. The jig is up. Bigotry exists, but it is far down on the list of problems that minorities now face.” Reaching back into his own experiences, he notes, “I grew up black in segregated America, where it was hard to find an open door. It’s harder now for young blacks to find a closed one.”

Calling current liberalism “an anachronism,” Steele goes on to explain that what we have today is not liberalism, but “moral esteem over reality; the self-congratulation of idealism.” And he concludes with the post mortem: “Liberalism is exhausted because it has become a corruption.”

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