The L Word

No, this is not a post about lesbians. I’m talking about Liberals. Well, that’s the term the Wall Street Journal still uses for the people of the New Religion. According to this post on their site, Liberals are enjoying a renaissance of late.

There are signs that liberals are making a comeback — and not just because a socialist is running for president, gay marriage is spreading like wildfire and pot legalization is gaining acceptance.

A new analysis of Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll data finds a marked  increase in the share of registered voters identifying themselves as liberals, and an even bigger drop in the share saying they are conservatives.

In three national polls conducted so far in 2015, the analysis found that 26% of registered voters identified themselves as liberals — up from 23% in 2014. At the same time, the share of voters identifying as conservatives dropped to 33% from 37% in 2014.

The defect in this sort of thing is that no one bothers to define the terms. To the people of the WSJ editorial board, conservative means global capitalism, open borders and permanent war on the periphery of the empire. To old guys who were once regarded as typical conservatives in America, none of this makes the least bit of sense. Today’s conservatism looks a lot like what was called liberalism 35 years ago when Reagan ran for president.

That would, in part, explain why more people are inclined to say they are liberal. If the people calling themselves conservative are embracing most of the liberal causes, the only way to remain on the trendy left is to race further into the extremes. On the other hand, people like me no longer describe ourselves as conservative because we are at odds with everything the modern conservative supports.

That’s what never gets picked up on these sorts of surveys. Using a two-dimensional scale for describing ideological inclination is fine, but ours was defined for the purpose of reinforcing Progressive identity. At one of their spectrum is Hitler and at the other is Stalin. The former is a typical person outside the hive, while the latter is a well intentioned, but horribly maligned member of the one true faith.

The result of this bizarre left-right axis is that the folks at Reason Magazine are on the same side as Hitler, a socialist and nationalist. It places Mussolini and FDR at extreme opposites ends, when both men greatly admired one another until you know who came along. The fact that modern Progressives fully embrace the corporatism of European fascists is another paradox of this way of thinking.

I suspect there’s something else going on now. This Great Progressive Awakening has not followed others. There’s no sense that we are about to see a return to normalcy and a snap back toward traditional American patterns. Christianity has collapsed in America and is no longer an anchor of the culture. In 1968 Nixon could count on the silent majority. In the 70’s the Evangelical movement joined politics, leading to the Moral Majority that helped elect Reagan.

Today, nothing like that exists. Evangelicals are spent as a political force. The Catholic Church is in tatters with most of its members either worshiping the NFL on Sunday or ready for the grave. The mainline Protestant faiths are dead, for all practical purposes. The culture has been turned over to homosexuals and blacks, whose extreme intolerance of normalcy makes even the cartoon villains of the Civil Rights Movement look tame.

If you pay any attention, no one could blame you for thinking that it is all over. The lunatics have won and it is now an uninterrupted slide into the abyss. Young people could not be blamed for joining the winning team and making the best of it. They have lives to live. This is, after all, how Christianity spread in Europe.

12 thoughts on “The L Word

  1. It is human nature to assume that because something has been the prevailing thought or way of doing things for as long as they can remember, that this will continue into the future. Thus, the Leftists believe they see permanent victory for their failed ideas and policies. But movements both social and political are non-linear entities. Ideas rise and they fall. The Leftists will see their sunset one day. I only hope I’m still alive to see it.

  2. A conservative is someone who is conserving the past, but as his past is likely revolves around the twentieth century he is far more likely to resemble a progressive. If he knows in the first place that Teddy Roosevelt was a progressive, he imagines that the term must have changed it’s meaning, but as Chesterton already wrote one hundred years ago–the whole modern world has divided itself into Conservatives and Progressives. The business of Progressives is to go on making mistakes. The business of Conservatives is to prevent mistakes from being corrected. Even when the revolutionist might himself repent of his revolution, the traditionalist is defending it as part of his tradition.

    As Reagan often repeated, he did not leave the Democrat Party, the Democrat Party left him. Conservatives think of the best possible outcome as the return of Reagan without for a moment acknowledging his actual legacy–George 1 and George 11, Clinton, and The One.

    Right wing and left wing are far better terms than liberal and conservative, even as poorly defined as they are as well. But they would come to be better defined if people thought in them and assorted themselves accordingly. The left had called themselves progressives since the French Revolution, which was twisted enough. The term liberal was then stolen by the enemies liberty because they so admired the success of their foe. Von Hayek refused to give it up to them, but that was like a modern man describing his mood as gay. They will have a hard time calling themselves right wing, and perhaps the right wing can then evolve toward some philosophical and moral clarity. I am rarely greeted with other than shock when I advise a conservative that universal suffrage is a one way street to left wing hell. It plays a part of his democratic religion only slightly under that of his left wing neighbor.

    The anti-Federalist thought it would come to this, only far sooner, yet they were playing a losing hand as well. But after all, the 11th century Italians had the greater task re-discovering civilization out of burned and tattered manuscripts. Our problem now is not discovery, it is noise.

  3. “On the other hand, people like me no longer describe ourselves as conservative because we are at odds with everything the modern conservative supports.”
    Two questions: 1. what specifically are the things the modern conservative supports? 2. In what respect are you at odds with each of these things?

    I am asking these questions to better understand your overall political/cultural philosophy.

  4. If the style wasn’t so consistent, uniformly clever and peppered with witty cultural references, I’d be inclined to think this blog was written by committee.

    A number of times on the recent past, Zman has inferred than this latest Progressive Awakening was on fumes. That Angry Negroes and Homos are still a small sliver of the population, and normal people will eventually take their nation back.

    Now we hear we are muy f*cked, all is lost and their is no hope.

      • This is the full quote:
        “A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by little statesmen and philosophers and divines. With consistency a great soul has simply nothing to do. He may as well concern himself with his shadow on the wall. Speak what you think now in hard words, and to-morrow speak what to-morrow thinks in hard words again, though it contradict every thing you said to-day. — ‘Ah, so you shall be sure to be misunderstood.’ — Is it so bad, then, to be misunderstood? Pythagoras was misunderstood, and Socrates, and Jesus, and Luther, and Copernicus, and Galileo, and Newton, and every pure and wise spirit that ever took flesh. To be great is to be misunderstood.”
        ― Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance

    • I think you take the author’s intent wrongly, too far when drawing your conclusion. I thought it was much more along the lines of “Why We Fight”, rather than signalling a “surrender”.

      Consider the phrase…”No one could blame you….” that’s realism, as to what those remaining true and classic liberals face, but I see the tiniest of lights at the end of the tunnel and this is a reminder of what we have to do to muster the needed strength in order to prevail.

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