Before I get to how liberals sell less so effectively (a la the last post: LIBERALS: NOTHING TO SELL BUT LESS), I want to make sure that I have been perfectly clear about why they sell it.
The point I want to make here is: Liberal solutions do not come from intensive, exhaustive, well-researched and well thought-out determinations of the most effective way to solve a problem or achieve a goal. Liberal solutions are dictated by the limitations of liberalism itself. I’ve already identified one of those limitations — the real reason liberals are always telling us that we need to use less, produce less, and reproduce less, and, if we don’t, we’re going to run out of everything and be bad people and destroy the planet, yadda, yadda, yadda. The real reason they keep telling us this is: they have no hope of outcompeting free-market capitalism in producing more.
That’s why they work so hard to peddle global warming/climate change, the end of oil. It’s also why they’re constantly villainizing the U. S. for its excesses. Since they have nothing else to sell but less, they have to give us some reason to want less rather than more and since that decision is so counter to our natural inclinations — Who want less rather than more of anything? — it has to be a very good reason.
IF ALL YOU HAVE IS A HAMMER
Here’s another way (actually there are quire a few of these) in which the nature of liberalism dictates the problems they identify and the solutions they propose: liberals are limited by the nature of the tools in their toolbox.
The main tools in the liberal toolbox are regulation, legislation, investigation, litigation, income redistribution, taxation, and confiscation — the taking of property rights including the direct taking of property itself (Which is what taxation is.).
The reason liberals are always claiming that we’re threatened by energy shortages, overpopulation, global warming, the death of the oceans, poverty, racism, and on and on is because these crises provide excuses for more regulation, more legislation, more villainization of the producers of more, etc.. If you’ve got an energy shortage, what do you do? You either produce more (Which liberals can’t do.) or you enact regulations to require rationing, institute huge government programs to create ”alternatives” (which are really ways to create less and call it more), and raise taxes to fund all of the above.
TOOLS THAT CAUSE PROBLEMS RATHER THAN SOLVE THEM
The most convenient part of all this, for liberals, is that the tools they tell us we absolutely have to use to solve these crises actually make them worse. This creates the opportunity for them to tell us we must submit to even more government control. For instance…
Regulations that prevent us from drilling for more oil or producing more electricity cause the energy shortages that require rationing techniques like cap and trade and alternative energy programs, which don’t work and deepen the shortage.
Regulations that raise the cost of health insurance decrease the availability and quality of health care, which in turn creates the opportunity to socialize medicine and make things even worse. Villainization of the producers of more, such as when we call them the destroyers of the planet or vilify them for the money they make, discourages our most creative innovators from producing us out of these shortages (and, worse yet, recruits them to the cause of creating less). And, while we’re at it, there is no more effective way to create less of everything than by increasing taxes, the liberal’s piece de resistance.
HOW LIBERALISM WORKS
This is how liberalism works: Liberals can’t produce more so they exaggerate or even dream up crises which at least seem to require that we tighten our belts, reduce our footprint, ”Live simply that others may simply live.” This provides the campaign ”pitch” for them to convince us we should vote them into office so they can use the tools in the liberal toolbox to force us to do the above (for our own good of course). Once applied, the liberal tools then deepen the very crisis they are supposed to solve and create the twisted logic that we should keep voting liberals into office, ideally forever.
It’s sort of like bailing water into (rather than out of) the lifeboat.
This spotlights yet another way in which the actions of liberals are dictated by the limitations of liberalism itself. The only way the tools in the liberal toolbox can be applied is via government. In order to regulate, legislate, levy taxes, dismantle rights, confiscate property, etc. you have to be in control of the government. For that reason, if liberals don’t control the government, they’re out of the game, they don’t exist. To liberals, politics is blood sport, a life or death activity. If they don’t win this time, they have to win next time.
WHY LIBERALS ARE BETTER AT POLITICS
That’s why liberals are so much better at campaigning than conservatives (think Clinton vs Dole and Obama vs McCain), and why their campaigns are so much more vicious. It’s also why liberals are campaigning 24/7/365. For them, politics is the only sea in which they swim. It is the air they breathe.
Conservatives, on the other hand, are usually people who achieve their success in a sphere different from politics. They produce more — more oil, more cars, more food, more whatever. They see the role of government, as did the people who founded this country, as limited to apprehending and punishing those who commit crimes and defending us from outside enemies. They become involved in government in order to do their part in performing those functions but also in order to keep government out of our way, because they believe that people being free to exercise their creativity is what brought us to the greatness we now enjoy. And it is the only hope we have of solving whatever problems do crop up, including whatever the ever-changing climate of this planet throws at us, or whatever shortages we encounter as we try to create an ever-growing abundance in this finite ecosphere. For conservatives, politics is a necessary evil to keep government out of our way and off our backs. That is why they aren’t very good at it.
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN LIBERALISM AND CONSERVATISM
What I’ve just told you is a very important difference between liberalism and conservatism. That’s what I’m developing here: a more complete and useable description of the difference between liberalism and conservatism than you’ll read anywhere and, along the way, a list of the elements of the true nature of liberalism. Now you’ll know why liberals do what they do and why it so frequently doesn’t work.
At this point I should probably revisit why I’m doing this and where I get the credentials to do it. For me delving into the difference between liberalism and conservatism is not just an academic exercise. Nor is it an effort to decide who to vote for. It is a completely practical matter.
My interest in this topic came as the result of my efforts to change the nature of environmental issues from confrontative to collaborative. What could be more liberal, more Kumbaya, than that? How could this set me to deconstructing liberalism to see how it works, and why it doesn’t work? That is the topic of the next post.