The Death of Liberalism
By R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr.
HC, 208 pgs. $19.99
Why liberals are like zombies
By Alan Caruba
web posted June 25, 2012
I hope Barack Obama lives to a very old age. I want him to look back at the wreckage of the Democratic Party and the senility of Liberalism that has wreaked such havoc on the world stage. To me, Liberalism is a zombie philosophy, devoid of any connection with reality, but still able to cause great harm.
It is easy and tempting to conclude that the defeat of Liberalism has begun. It was encouraging to see the public service union movement rejected in the recent Wisconsin recall election. I want to believe that Obama has proven to be such a horror as President that people will draw a lesson from it. But there are just too many people who will still vote for him.
Occasionally I read that the ranks of Liberals have continued to thin over the decades. The Reagan presidency in the 1980s gave momentum to the rise of conservatism that had begun in the 1950s, but the politics of the nation no matter whether a Republican was in office or not still reflects Liberal ideas and agendas. The government and the debt continues to grow.
R. Emmett Tyrrell, Jr., founder and editor of The American Spectator, a conservative magazine ranked with The National Review for its influence, has written The Death of Liberalism. It is blessedly short, written with elegant prose and good humor, and relentless in the way it documents the failures of Liberalism that have brought America to the brink of financial failure as the result of its misbegotten belief in Big Government, unsustainable "entitlement" programs, and its penchant for taxing everything.
Obama is the ultimate culmination of what Tyrrell calls "the Infantile Leftists", citing the various candidates for the presidency who reflect the immaturity of the 1960's generation of whom the Occupy Wall Street children are the latest pathetic gasp of what Tyrell regards as a failed political movement. The "Occupiers" tried to grab center stage to demand free everything as if working for a living does not matter. The mainstream media quickly lost interest in their antics along with the rest of the nation.
Tyrrell needed only to point to Al Gore, John Kerry, and John Edwards as the "Infantile Leftists" whom the Democratic Party put forth to lead the nation. Bill Clinton was cited as an example of "sophomoric exhibitionism" along with Hillary Clinton in her bid for the presidency.
Tyrell noted that "in time, Clinton left a legacy of welfare reform, free trade, and balanced budgets—all Republican policies." The reality is that the Clinton presidency was saved by the 1994 election that returned the power in Congress to the Republican Party. Even then, Clinton's womanizing got him impeached for the trail of lies he left in its wake. He beat the rap and, in true Liberal fashion, has gone on to be one of Democratic Party's "elder statesmen."
"Liberalism may not be dead, but its zombies have not stopped seeking high office. Their antics get ever more amusing…and narcissistic", says Tyrrell. I must disagree. I find nothing amusing about the crowd running the nation these days.
While both Clintons created false biographies of their lives the penultimate of such autobiographical excess is Barack Obama whom Tyrrell calls "the stealth Socialist."
Obama's narcissism is impossible to ignore. He accepts responsibility for nothing that has happened on his watch. It was "George W. Bush's fault" until that line became a joke, along with his dependence on the ever-present Tele-Prompters. Left to speak on his own every sentence is a long string of ahs and uhms, a stuttering sing-song delivery that is a pale, inadequate imitation of rational thought.
Tyrrell leaves the best for last after reviewing the history of Liberalism and Progressive beliefs, all of which are revealed to be based on a penchant for authoritarianism and totalitarianism that gave birth to Communism, Socialism, and Fascism along the way.
Politically, "For decades they have been losing to conservatism in an obvious but (for them) very troubling way: the numbers." Citing Gallup, Pew Research Center, and Harris polls, it is clear that the number of Americans who self-identify as conservatives or right-leaning moderates, often called independents, is in the ascendancy. "In polls going back more than three decades, conservatives have almost always outnumbered Liberals significantly."
Every Liberal program introduced prior to and since World War II in response to the Great Depression and as part of Lyndon Johnson's "War on Poverty", is now in some stage of failure. Only conservatives can reform them to ensure solvency. In Obama's first term, he has engineered the near collapse of the nation's economy and only his defeat will offer an opportunity to draw back from that cliff.
Now, with the exception of the hardcore thirty percent of true believers, one can only hope that Liberalism has been sufficiently destroyed by the feckless hand of Barack Obama. I want him to be around to survey his legacy and to reap the same well-earned derision that, until now, has been Jimmy Carter's.
I am not, however, ready to declare Liberalism dead. It is more like a zombie to me.
Alan Caruba writes a daily post at http://factsnotfantasy.blogspot.com. An author, business and science writer, he is the founder of The National Anxiety Center. © Alan Caruba, 2012
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