The Corner

Re: making liberals

From a very longtime moderate liberal reader:

I could not possibly spend the kind of time you do researching and explaining your position, so let me try to explain mine in a single sentence:  What you call liberalism and I and others like me call a sound, humane and moderate political philosophy is much like a religion because it is anchored to the premise that we ask government to do what we as individuals would do if we were rich and powerful like the government.  Ok, two sentences:  Conservatism, on the other hand, requires heaps of explication and grand theories of economics and human behavior because it needs to justify having government not do what we as individuals would otherwise do if Almighty God were standing behind us, tapping his foot impatiently.

For example, how does a good Catholic oppose a minimum wage increase?

Me: Obviously, there are big problems with this, but I like the honesty and straightforward nature of it.  The government, for liberals (or at least this one), does what we like to think we’d do if we were all-powerful.  You can see here the basic outlines of progressive fallacies and the inherent narcisism of populist thought. What was it Huey Long promised? Every man a king? 

Jonah Goldberg — Jonah Goldberg is a fellow at the American Enterprise Institute and a senior editor of National Review. His new book, The Suicide of The West, will be released on April 24.

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