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Lessons in Emotional Liberalism
by Robert Ditmar
20 March 2003

I have become convinced that liberals will take any side of an issue as long as it is opposed to anything that 'W' and the "rich Republicans" support.

Last weekend I had breakfast with a very liberal friend. The restaurant, a little no-frills hole-in-the-wall, affectionately nicknamed The Greasy Spoon, is the type of place where you often pour your own coffee rather than get served while an ex-Navy chef works the griddle. Every Saturday morning the regulars pile in at dawn turning the place into an impromptu business forum exchange, a political debating chamber, a smoking room and a comedy club. On this morning my friend’s sense of logic was overtaken by caffeine jitters and second-hand smoke. He climbed on his soapbox and started preaching emotional liberalism to me.

Having known him for 12 years, he is still convinced that he will convert me into a liberal, or at least a Democrat. Because he was so overbearing during this “debate”, I become more convinced that he, and liberals in general, will take any side of an issue based on raw emotion as long as it is opposed to anything that “W”, “rich” Republicans or conservatives in general support. Far from being an actual, even-balanced two-way debate, it turned into a typical one-sided tirade against the “vast right-wing conspiracy” and a lecture on liberal “enlightenment.”

Of course, the day’s topic was “W’ and his "absolute failure" in just about every aspect of both domestic and foreign policy. Predictably, my friend started to recite, as if reading off cue cards, the great Presidents and the economies over which they presided. It never fails to amaze me how each time we recounted actual historic trends to compare the “great” Presidents, my friend would argue passionately that the economy has always thrived under Democratic Presidents and fallen into recessions under Republican Presidents. He must have forgotten Carter. As usual, he cited FDR’s New Deal as ending the Depression and LBJ’s Great Society programs of the 1960’s as proof of what makes a leader great.

To no avail, I countered that FDR’s policies in themselves, were not really working to end the Depression any more than Hoover’s had. It took World War II to kick-start the economy back to health because of the government’s huge orders of war material. I also stated that LBJ's big government programs of the late 1960s lead to the recession of the 1970s.

Rather than acknowledge this fact, my friend jumped to the 1980s. I received the  “usual” dose of Reagan bashing, still a popular liberal sport. According to my liberal friend, Reagan’s huge spending on the military and his large tax cuts put us into the worst deficit ever. Apparently, it is because of Reagan that homelessness increased and the rich got all the breaks to grow their big businesses.

“True”, said I, “Reagan did cut taxes and spend billions to rebuild a military that Carter had all but ignored.” I then pointed out that Reagan’s tax cuts were the foundation for pumping cash back into the economy. Doing this allowed small and medium businesses an avenue to capital that led to phenomenal growth, which in turn created more jobs for Americans and grew the economy. I said tax cuts were the basis for the huge economic gains made during the 1990’s that Clinton merely inherited. As for military expenditures, Reagan’s brilliant tactic of outspending the Soviets into bankruptcy is what led to the collapse of the communist bloc and the end of the Cold War.

Because he had no defensible argument to counter with, I thought the “debate” was finished and I had won. But the liberal came back with another “intelligent” and “well-thought” broadside. “Daddy Bush”, he pointed out, “used the Kuwait crisis in 1990 as an excuse to help his oil business and defense contractor buddies and to take the electorate’s mind off the recession at that time. The economy did not recover and pick up steam until Clinton was elected 2 years later. When Clinton was president, the entire world respected and actually liked America.” 

“Of course!” I thought. After all, in my friend’s, and just about every liberal mind, Clinton had miraculously and almost single-handedly repaired the economy in 1994. In fact, liberals believe Clinton’s economic policies were so sound that his “minor affair” incident in the Oval Office and subsequent impeachment were nothing but trivial. After all, boys will be boys.

Liberals, such as my friend, believe Clinton was an internationalist of the highest moral standing. Never mind that Clinton never created animosity toward the United States from the “international community” because of his subservience to the United Nations and lack of principled leadership. Liberals believe that “Commander-In-Chief” Clinton won a brilliant victory in the Kosovo war without a single combat fatality, despite the fact that Kosovo was not in our national interest in any way. Until Clinton intervened, liberals argue, the Europeans could not control the Balkans War. These are the same liberals who today argue we cannot go to war against Iraq without support from our “allies”.

Liberals believe Clinton’s missile tirades against Iraq in December 1998, a “unilateral” act as only American and British missiles were involved, were necessary to thwart Saddam Hussein’s ambitions for weapons of mass destruction. Today these same liberals argue against military action against Saddam because it is a principled Republican President that plans to take decisive action with a true commitment to defend our interests and safety. True leadership really baffles liberals.
Conveniently, liberals overlook Clinton’s refusal in 1996 to accept Sudan’s offer to turn Osama bin Laden over to U.S. custody on the grounds that there was not enough hard evidence under “international law.” Yet, they cite Clinton’s “brilliance” at his response to the attacks on the U.S. Embassies in Tanzania and Kenya by lobbing a few missiles at Al-Qaeda tents in Afghanistan and aspirin factory in Sudan, the country that had made the offer to turn the Al-Qaeda leader over to the U.S. just 2 years earlier.

Of course, in my friend’s liberal mind, it is “W” that has currently “destroyed” the economy, by using terrorism and another Iraq war to help his “daddy’s rich oil buddies.” Of course it is the Republican policy of “unilateralism” that has inflamed the entire Muslim world against America, leading to the September 11 atrocities that murdered 3,000 innocent Americans. It’s our own fault “they hate us”. Never mind that had Clinton acted when he had a chance, 3,000 Americans might still be alive today.

Of course it is “W’s” insistence that the United States follow its own sovereign Constitutional common law rather than submit its sovereignty to an unelected, aspiring world government known as the United Nations. My friend probably blames every hurricane, earthquake and tsunami on “W” and the “rich Republicans” too.

When I thought through the anti-logic of my friend’s liberal mind, it became clear that I would not be able to advance my case that Clinton had simply “kicked the terrorism can” down the road while surfing the great economic wave that his predecessor Reagan had built. Since he would not let me get another word in to cross-examine his points, I decided to give up arguing and made a motion to adjourn. 

My friend seemed satisfied with himself. We shook hands and left. As I got into my Pontiac family minivan, I waved to my friend as he hurried away in his SUV. He had to hurry to make his appointment with his CPA so he could do a tax write off for his contributions to the Catholic Church and Planned Parenthood.

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