Day By Day

Wednesday, April 08, 2009

The Core of Modern Liberalism -- "Preposterous and Repellent"

Camille Paglia nails it:

[S]omething very ugly has surfaced in contemporary American liberalism, as evidenced by the irrational and sometimes infantile abuse directed toward anyone who strays from a strict party line. Liberalism, like second-wave feminism, seems to have become a new religion for those who profess contempt for religion. It has been reduced to an elitist set of rhetorical formulas, which posit the working class as passive, mindless victims in desperate need of salvation by the state. Individual rights and free expression, which used to be liberal values, are being gradually subsumed to worship of government power.

The problems on the American left were already manifest by the late 1960s, as college-educated liberals began to lose contact with the working class for whom they claimed to speak. (A superb 1990 documentary, "Berkeley in the Sixties," chronicles the arguments and misjudgments about tactics that alienated the national electorate and led to the election of Richard Nixon.) For the past 25 years, liberalism has gradually sunk into a soft, soggy, white upper-middle-class style that I often find preposterous and repellent. The nut cases on the right are on the uneducated fringe, but on the left they sport Ivy League degrees. I'm not kidding -- there are some real fruitcakes out there, and some of them are writing for major magazines. It's a comfortable, urban, messianic liberalism befogged by psychiatric pharmaceuticals. Conservatives these days are more geared to facts than emotions, and as individuals they seem to have a more ethical, perhaps sports-based sense of fair play.

Read it here.

She is so right about this! Time and again I have encountered nice and intelligent people, prosperous, well-educated, reasonable and generous in most respects who, once the subject turns to politics, become "preposterous and repellent" haters. What is perhaps worst is that they do not recognize their own bigotry and are so comfortable with it and are so seldom challenged on it that they habitually and casually pepper their speech with disparaging comments regarding conservatives, Christians and white working class Americans.