Dennis Prager

As liberalism has moved left in the past 50 years, there has been a veritable explosion of legislation. That is why the mainstream, i.e., liberal, news media, characterize local, state and federal legislatures as successes or failures based on the number of laws the legislature has passed. The worst legislature is one that repeals laws, and the next to worst is a "do-nothing" Congress or state legislature, in other words, one that has not passed enough new laws.

There are many reasons for the liberal/progressive/Left's adoration of laws. Three of them are:

1. Most activists on the Left believe that they, not only their values, are morally superior to their adversaries. Therefore, coercing people to adhere to "progressive" values is morally acceptable, even demanded. It is thus quite understandable that laws would compel high school cheerleaders to cheer at girls' athletic events as much as at boys'. And true to leftist totalitarian models, not only is behavior is coerced, but emotions as well. As The New York Times article reported, "a statewide group of physical education teachers in California called for cheerleaders to attend girls' and boys' games 'in the same number, and with equal enthusiasm' as part of its five-year goals." It is Orwellian, but not inconceivable, that either the California legislature or a California judge will require "equal enthusiasm" from cheerleaders at the girls' games.

2. "Progressives" are often unsuccessful in competing in the marketplace of ideas. Same-sex marriage and affirmative action are two contemporary examples. And when persuasion fails, laws are used. If you can't convince, coerce.

3. The more secular the society, the more laws are needed to keep people in check. When more people feel accountable to God and moral religion, fewer laws need to be passed. But as religion fades, something must step into the moral vacuum it leaves, and laws compelling good behavior result.

Unlike the nearly contemporaneous French Revolution, which affirmed "egalite" along with "liberte," the American Revolution never held equality equal to liberty. The Founders knew that you cannot have both, and so, the further left one moves, i.e., the more like France and Western Europe we become, the more coerced equality and the less personal liberty we will have.

Now even high school cheerleaders know that.

Dennis Prager

Dennis Prager is a SRN radio show host, contributing columnist for and author of his newest book, “The Ten Commandments: Still the Best Moral Code.”

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