I learned years ago, before I ever started writing op-eds, and long before I started blogging that Liberalism is an ideology of convenience. A Liberal can take a stand on any issue regardless of facts. How convenient that is. Liberalism is also an ideology for the selfish. Not only do liberals think themselves entitled to everyone else’s money, but they think they should be able to express their opinions without any disagreement. See, disagreeing with a Liberal might force them to think about their position on issues, and that would be highly inconvenient. It would also make them unhappy, of course, Liberalism is also an ideology for the pessimistic, but I will save that for another time. Back to the unhappiness that being challenged ideologically brings to a Liberal. This is where Liberals fail to grasp what Jefferson was talking about when he wrote “the pursuit of happiness” in the Declaration of Independence.
Jefferson writes about the “pursuit” of happiness. No one has a right to be happy, just as they do not have a right not to be offended, or a right to other people’s money. What we do have a right to do is pursue happiness, to live our lives as we see fit, to pursue, and hopefully live our dreams. Jefferson understood, as did the rest of the founders, that the unalienable right we are created with come from God, or at least they are rights that are part of the natural condition of mankind. These rights do not come from government, as Liberals believe. This, of course, makes Liberals unhappy because Liberals love them some government, the bigger the better. Now would be a good time to add another steadfast rule about Liberalism. It is an ideology of government dependence. Liberals look at government as their parents, it is there to protect them, decide for them, run their lives etc.
All ,of this makes me laugh when a Liberal tries to call Jefferson THEIR founding father. Jefferson if he lived today, would be loathed by the Left. He would be ridiculed as a Tea Party extremist, and the IRS would likely have thrown him in prison already. Jefferson exemplified everything the Left hates, yet they
think feel, because Liberalism is an ideology of emotionalism, that Jefferson would be a Liberal. Boy do they misunderstand Jefferson. And, again, it is all because they fail to grasp what Jefferson meant when he penned the Declaration of Independence. Sorry Liberals, but pursuing happiness is not the same as being happy, and, as Jefferson understood, the pursuit of happiness is greatly hampered by big, intrusive government, but, I suppose y’all will never get that straight either. If Liberals were really honest with themselves, they would admit that THEIR founding father, was not Jefferson, or Madison, of Franklin, or Mason, or Washington, instead it was this lunatic.
But, sadly, many Liberals are not even aware of how closely their ideals and his are connected. If they spent more time thinking, rather than emoting, they might just grasp why I refer to them as Marxists in training
H/T to The Other McCain, who is also trying to set Libs straight on what he calls the “Politics of Feeling”. Go read what he says, good stuff, here is a small sample
What did Jefferson mean by “happiness,” anyway? Considering that this phrase occurs where “property” would be found in the classic Lockean formulation of rights, Jefferson means “happiness” not as some mere sentimental feeling, but rather in the sense of “good fortune,” which to an 18th-century mind, would mean what we today mean when we say “success” or “prosperity” — the contented enjoyment of the accumulated fruits of one’s labor. Of course, the mind of an 18th-century colonial plantation owner is so remote from our own culture that we might as well try to understand the worldview of the Pharoahs.
Still, my point is exactly this: Our sentimental reverence for these phrases — “We hold these truths to be self-evident” and so forth — hinders our ability to think about what the Declaration was really all about, and unless we have the maturity to transcend our childish emotionalism, we aren’t really thinking, but merely feeling.
This is how we end up in situations where the discussion of public policy is warped by the claim that our arguments are wrong because we might make people feel bad about themselves.
You are a “hater” if you dispute the benefits of affirmative action — not because facts and logic contradict your argument, but because some people have convinced themselves that this policy is a reflection of their value as human beings. Thus, no matter how wrong-headed the policy or how harmful its results, your opposition is indicted as unfair because you’re making people feel bad — you hater!
Beyond that, however, is the point that Thomas Sowell hammers home inThe Vision of the Anointed, namely that liberalism is about making liberals feel good about themselves or, as the book’s subtitle explains,Self-Congratulation as a Basis for Social Policy