Thomas Sowell

 Despite clever and hard-working political handlers who have done a masterful job of concealing and distracting attention from John Kerry's voting record in his long Senate career, and the liberal vision behind that record, glimmers of reality still break through now and then.

 Senator Kerry himself has said that he was for spending more money on education with "no questions asked." The teachers' unions no doubt loved hearing that, but blank checks are precisely how our schools have produced the most expensive incompetence in the world.

 Then there was another glimmer of reality breaking through recently, courtesy of wife Teresa Heinz Kerry. While her husband was addressing some midwestern farmers, Teresa passed a note to him, which led him to ask her to address the group.

 Her message? Organic hog farming is "economical" and there is "a huge market" for it.

 A hog farmer in the audience was immediately on his feet, objecting. That this sheltered rich woman from Boston would have the nerve to try to tell hog farmers how to raise hogs is a classic example of the liberal vision.

 What is liberalism all about? Regardless of whether the particular issue is race, agriculture, housing, or a thousand other things, liberalism is about the government telling people what to do in their lives and work.

 Most of the liberals who are for ordering other people around know as little as Teresa Heinz Kerry. But they don't have to know.

 It has been said that knowledge is power but, politically, power trumps knowledge.

 When government agencies like the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission or the courts take statistical differences in the "representation" of various ethnic groups in an employer's workforce as evidence of discrimination, they don't have to prove their belief to anyone. They have the power. Employers have to try to prove their innocence to them.

 When the people who run our schools and teachers' colleges prefer the "whole language" and "whole math" approaches to teaching English and mathematics, it doesn't matter how many studies show that these approaches don't work. The education establishment has the power -- and power trumps knowledge.

 Back in the 1960s, when judges began buying into new theories about the "root causes" of crime and about "rehabilitation," it didn't matter that the old approach which they cast aside had led to declining crime rates -- and it didn't matter that the new approach led to skyrocketing crime rates.

Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute and author of The Housing Boom and Bust.

Creators Syndicate