Unsilent Truth
March 23, 2021

That truth should be silent I had almost forgot.
Antony and Cleopatra,  Act 1, Scene 2

Leftists, “Baselessly,” and
Limited Government


It is not uncommon to hear that modern Democrats are not liberals. They are leftists, or left-wing radicals.

The implication is that liberals were something different, perhaps something better.

But such is not the case.

The history of 20th-century liberals begins with an act of theft: they stole the word. The 20th-century liberal had nothing in common with the 19th-century liberal. Where the latter favored free markets, every policy ever offered by the former has aimed at one thing and one thing only: the control of markets, which is to say, the control of individual persons. Where the latter defended liberty in all its forms, the latter defended it only in matters that were of some use to its work. Thus the 20th-century liberals defended free speech — but after the “Fair Housing” legislation was passed, they restricted it for real-estate agents. They defended free assembly — until other anti-discrimination laws were passed. They defended the privacy of the bedroom — until they decided to force homeowners to rent bedrooms and other rooms to released felons.

For a brief time, 20th-century liberals enjoyed an undeserved reputation as opponents of war. But that they never were. True, they opposed entry into World War Two — as long as the Soviet Union was an ally of Nazi Germany. Once that alliance was broken and the Soviet Union was in danger of being defeated by the Germans, then they howled that the well-being of the world was at stake unless Germany were defeated.

They stayed loyal to Franklin Roosevelt as he prosecuted the most horrific war the United States had ever been in, a war that he entered with lies and by provoking an attack. They stayed loyal to him while he ordered horrors upon civilian populations, including the fire-bombing of Tokyo, called by Wikipedia the “single most destructive bombing raid in history,” and they remained loyal to his successor when he sought to equal those horrors with nuclear weapons. They regard both of these war criminals as great presidents.

Many of them marched against the Vietnam War while their sons were subject to conscription. Later they marched because a hated Republican had become president.

Indeed, after 1968, all their opposition to war has been crafted with an eye to which party was holding the presidency.

The tolerance of Democrats for the violence of anti-war protesters, “civil rights” protesters, student vandalisms (called “protests”), anti-police riots (also called “protests”), and union thugs is so much a part of their history that it is no surprise whatever that they were silent in the face of the violent riots of 2020’s summer.

Their efforts to use the FCC against their enemies and to control the airways were well-known during the Kennedy years and go back to the second Roosevelt. During the Clinton administration there was an attempt to file discrimination lawsuits against those who objected to seeing public-housing projects moved into their middle-class neighborhoods; what was that if not an attempt to silence dissent? What reason can there possibly be to think that Democrats would object to Antifa's anti-speech terrorism?

And throughout the Cold War, there was their sympathy with the most murderous tyrannies the world had ever seen: the Soviet Union and Red China, a sympathy that was never so obvious as when it was discovered that there were communist spies in their midst, on their staffs. Why is it, Joe Sobran asked, that communists and socialists always seemed to fit in with Democrat politicians and were able to make common cause with them? And when Mao Zeodong at last died (and presumably went to hell), their praise for him as a great statesman knew no limits. Even in dictionaries, when they didn’t praise communist dictators, they remained silent about their crimes or else defined their role in government so as to minimize them.

That modern Democrats are more explicit about their socialism than 20th-century liberals were does not indicate that they are not woven from the same cloth. It shows only that the Left has always been dishonest about their goals, and that it has taken time to build such a foundation that they can now be more explicit about them.

Business Insider has been authorized to report that “Elon Musk baselessly said the second coronovirus jab could be more harmful.” Actually, what he said was that there was “some debate” about it.

People seem unable anymore to distinguish between the absence of evidence and evidence they reject or think inadequate. In this case, the ignorance is even more brazenly on display, because the article then goes on to debate the issue, actually confirming Musk’s claim.

In another departure from logic, Andrew Cuomo has said he will not resign, and that the charges against him are “politically motivated.” I think that “politically motivated” change began to be rung at tiresome length during Bill Clinton’s Lewinsky scandal. Mrs. Clinton even used it to “answer” her daughter’s question about whether what they were saying about daddy was true. Neither Cuomo nor Mrs. Clinton (nor, by now, probably Chelsea Clinton) seems to be aware that sensible people (admitted to be a shrinking minority) don’t care whether accusations are politically motivated, financially motivated, or even astrologically motivated; sensible people just want to know whether they are true.

Just another drop of evidence in the ocean that already exists indicating that truth is not really very important to most people.

I have been wondering why libertarians who believe that there should be a limited government are making so little headway. Unlike free-market anarchism — which is obviously hard for most people to swallow — the libertarian limited government arrives on the scene with built-in attractiveness. It has noble pedigrees reaching back 400 years, the names of its champions are practically household words, and there are monuments to many of them not only in marble but as engravings on the money. Ω
March 23, 2021
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Published in 2021 by Thornwalker.

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