Liberalism: What Up Wit Dat?

Mary Katharine Ham
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Posted: Dec 04, 2006 4:02 PM

I wouldn't call it "political madness," but I can get down with this sentiment:

What the liberal mind is passionate about is a world filled with pity, sorrow, neediness, misfortune, poverty, suspicion, mistrust, anger, exploitation, discrimination, victimization, alienation and injustice. Those who occupy this world are “workers,” “minorities,” “the little guy,” “women,” and the “unemployed.” They are poor, weak, sick, wronged, cheated, oppressed, disenfranchised, exploited and victimized. They bear no responsibility for their problems. None of their agonies are attributable to faults or failings of their own: not to poor choices, bad habits, faulty judgment, wishful thinking, lack of ambition, low frustration tolerance, mental illness or defects in character.

None of the victims’ plight is caused by failure to plan for the future or learn from experience. Instead, the “root causes” of all this pain lie in faulty social conditions: poverty, disease, war, ignorance, unemployment, racial prejudice, ethnic and gender discrimination, modern technology, capitalism, globalization and imperialism. In the radical liberal mind, this suffering is inflicted on the innocent by various predators and persecutors: “Big Business,” “Big Corporations,” “greedy capitalists,” U.S. Imperialists,” “the oppressors,” “the rich,” “the wealthy,” “the powerful” and “the selfish.”

The idea of Americans as victims who are relentlessly acted upon and have no responsibility for their own failures nor opportunities for individual successes is the first thing that ticked me off about the liberal philosophy. I would torpedo it as oversimplified if I didn't know so many 20-somethings with "eat the rich" patches on their bookbags that actually believe exactly this, with very little nuance.

They're the same ones who can't figure out what could possibly make me a conservative when I'm also clearly an "oppressed...exploited, victimized" "woman" who needs liberal philosophies and government programs to keep her head above water.

The irony, of course, is that creating a victim mentality out of compassion, creating dependence as a path to deliverance, very seldom truly helps or delivers anyone for whom liberals have such compassion. Dependence on government is a shame when America offers so much more to those who are inclined to go out and get it. Why encourage them not to? It does honor neither to the "victims" nor the opportunity and freedom our country offers.