Political Hay

Pie in the Sky Liberals

How soon before they begin throwing bombs again?

By 4.14.05

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In the 1960s, radicals began their march through the institutions of American society. They marched through them, stayed long enough to find the exits, and now end up right back where they started: on the outside, in a state of powerless, clawing anger, hurling pies at "establishment' figures and wishing death upon congressmen and presidents.

The left's feelings of impotent 1960s-style rage can be measured in Drudge Report headlines, such as: "Website sells 'Kill Bush' T-Shirts," and in Drudge's now weekly links to stories about pundits pied by liberals who clearly regard their victims as members of a new establishment. Like children who hurl their baby food as a form of protest, liberals in a state of infantile, frustrated rationality are reduced to tossing sugary and oily products at Bill Kristol and Pat Buchanan and stomping their feet at Ann Coulter.

Underneath the robes, vestments, and suits they collected during their march through the institutions remained the grubby attire of radicalism only now visible as they return to their posture of primitive protesting -- a wild, speechless style of protest that throws light on liberalism's essential hostility to reason and morality. Why do liberals who regard themselves as apostles of Enlightenment reason resort so quickly to intimidation and primitive exertion of will? Because fundamentally liberalism is based not on reason but on force. It is a willfulness writ large that becomes more vivid as liberals lose power and fail to control a people unpersuaded by claims that find no basis in reality and thus cannot be calmly demonstrated by reason.

When ancient radical Anthony Lewis says that liberals "need a new people," he's not joking: they need a different people with a different human nature, because the heart, mind, and soul God created will never find lasting satisfaction in their liberalism.

The only part of human nature that liberalism can appeal to is the part God didn't create -- man's inherited tendency toward irrationality that Western philosophers used to call original sin or concupiscence.

Liberalism is concupiscence intellectualized -- think about how often it ends up telling people to take the low road, feel good about being bad, renames raw selfishness and greed "justice," encourages nihilism and cruelty in one form or another and then calls it self-expression. Because of its basic appeal to an irrational love of self, liberalism can always find an audience eager to hear a justification for letting wayward desires trump reason, but most people know that this will produce too much chaos to sustain a civilization, and so they rush back to conservatism once the yoke of liberalism grows too heavy and they return to their senses.

Liberalism's revolutions are not brought about by reason -- systematically presenting its philosophy to the people over time (that's the last thing liberals want to do, as it gives the people too much of an opportunity to see its holes) -- but by fraud or force. Liberalism can fool the people through sophistry and demagoguery, dressing up falsehoods in rhetoric and crassly appealing to people's weaknesses, or it can use state power to engineer them. When fraud fails, force follows.

Because liberalism is a sustained violation of human nature, violence as a tool of change is never far from it. Its radicals use violence to get state power, then use state power to commit more of it. As the Enlightenment philosophes noted with pride, the most ruthless revolutions are carried out not against state power but with it.

In possession of state power, liberals can behave more decorously. There is no need to throw pies at conservatives when you can unleash bureaucrats and judges on them. But deprive liberals of that power and they regress rapidly, justifying any animalistic protest in the name of revolution. When Hillary Clinton spoke to feminists at the March for Women's Lives last year, the feminists, sensing that power was ebbing away from them in Red State America, held aloft signs wishing that George Bush's mother had aborted him (as well as signs wishing Pope John Paul II's mom had "choice").

The pie-throwing and death-to-Delay-and-Bush T-shirts are just the beginning. That and much worse will spread in proportion to liberalism's loss of state power as the march through America's institutions begins anew.

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About the Author
George Neumayr, a contributing editor to The American Spectator, is co-author of No Higher Power: Obama's War on Religious Freedom.