With key institutions grown effete, standards of right and wrong descend into a moral miasma of relativistic goo.
So today, with more Americans knowing about Miley Cyrus and Charlie Sheen than know about the reasons for resisting jihadist terror, we tend to tolerate the culturally intolerable and reject the demands of our own national interests -- and civilizational survival. The enervation of many of these institutions has paralleled their infestation by an insidious liberalism. That's the bad news. And the good? Each day they exercise seemingly less influence on a consistently, insistently, conservative citizenry.
How to define contemporary liberalism? There's no better way than to cite some of the incoherencies of liberal ideology and its most Delfic office-holder (and primary polarizer) -- the president of the United States.
A partial listing....
-- Despite his high-toned rhetoric, Obama and his fellow leftists make clear almost hourly that they only will toy with reducing deficit spending and the accrued $14 trillion national debt.
-- As France, Britain, Germany, and Japan pare their deficits and debt, the administration niggles over even smidgen cuts -- and limits them to the smallest portions of the federal budget.
--The administration did a 180 on Guantanamo and trials of jihadists by military tribunals. It no longer defends the Clinton-signed Defense of Marriage Act.
--The administration weakens our national security by diminishing our military. It has introduced open homosexuality into the ranks, wants women in combat, and proposed cutting benefits for wounded veterans.
-- The president ordered the word "terror" stricken from the name of the war against it.
-- He has killed the manned space program.
-- His administration and his congressional cronies (1) go slow on nuclear power, offshore drilling, and the use of coal, and (2) stress inefficient peripheral technologies such as tidal, wind, biomass, and solar -- suggesting they prefer dependence for oil on tin-pot potentates who despise us.
-- The White House expresses solidarity with public-employee unions and supports their collective-bargaining rights against state and local governments -- but not (of course) against the federal government.
-- The administration routinely disses our most loyal Middle Eastern ally -- Israel -- and from Libya across the Arab world to Iran and China, manifests its incompetence and demonstrates it has little notion as to what it is doing.
-- Preening leftist pols find the Federal Employees Health Benefit Plan good for them, and too good for the mere populace.
-- Liberalism fails to insist on stabilization of the dollar.
-- It refuses to seal the border and tolerates a drug war spilling into the Southwest from Mexico.
-- Despite liberalism's best efforts during many years, the educational product of our elementary and secondary schools steadily deteriorates. Similarly, much of our collegiate community has imploded into irrelevance and doltish idiocy.
-- Liberalism regards a Ground Zero Muslim mosque as an indicator of peace and reconciliation at the interface of cross-cultural understanding -- instead of a monument on the site of the greatest Islamofascist success in North America.
..A debilitating political ideology, liberalism cannot find a center it does not possess. And its many dismal outcomes prompt the question whether Americans are a serious people. How long will we abide the agenda of a politics of recrimination that magnifies defects, stresses divisive ethnicity, pits class against class, and cripples our future?
Centrist/conservative ideas and solutions accentuate the positive -- some, such as these, culled during a 46-year career of writing about public questions:
-- Stabilize the dollar.
-- Address the debt.
-- Restore the military, and restore ROTC to prestigious college campuses.
-- Seal the border.
-- Repeal ObamaCare.
-- Expand nuclear power, drill for oil, dig for coal.
-- Renew the nation's resolve to defeat Islamofascism, isolate Iran (and halt its march toward nuclearization), and prevent its seeding of the Middle East with jihadist regimes.
-- Beware of China.
-- Ban public-sector collective bargaining.
-- Via statute or constitutional amendment, (a) require a balanced federal budget, (b) limit senators to two terms and congressmen to four, and (c) sanction for members of all branches of government no program, privilege, or perk (or medical insurance coverage) denied the citizenry at large.
-- Abolish academic tenure.
-- Restore rigor and discipline to the schools, and two-track students in high school -- one track toward college, the other toward acquiring skills for jobs.
-- Enact an 18 percent federal flat tax for individuals and corporations, and let taxpayers decide whether they want to file under such a flat-tax regime or under the existing progressive tax structure.
-- Adopt universal service for all men and women 18-24, requiring one year of public service -- consisting of three months of basic military training followed by nine months of service in any on an endless list of charitable or public-service jobs. The only choices confronting participants would be (1) whether to serve the year directly following high school or directly following departure from an undergraduate collegiate curriculum, and (2) which civilian-service job to perform after the front-end military component.
So much of liberalism reduces to little more than sniggering deceit.
As its regnant practitioner, Obama is fashioning an image as the only adult in D.C. -- indeed one of the few on the planet. There's more: He has not yet claimed to command the cosmos, but campaigning in 2008 he did say his election would mark "the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal."
This is how an arrogant, condescending, oleaginous ideology views itself. And next time around the track, maybe I'll discuss what really to think of contemporary liberalism -- all bogus, all baloney, all bilge.
Ross Mackenzie lives with his wife and Labrador retriever in the woods west of Richmond, Virginia. They have two grown sons, both Naval officers.
Be the first to read Ross Mackenzie's column. Sign up today and receive Townhall.com delivered each morning to your inbox.