EppsNet Archive: Liberals

Liberalism and the Wrath of the Privileged Whites

9 Dec 2017 /
Hillary Clinton

The largely white and affluent solid liberals are notionally egalitarian and opposed to white privilege, but they include many of the most privileged whites in America. . . .

Millions of working-class whites felt that Obama was talking about them, too, when he said, “There’s not a liberal America and a conservative America—there’s the United States of America. There’s not a black America and white America and Latino America and Asian America; there’s the United States of America.”

And many of those same Americans knew that Hillary Clinton was talking about them when she ranted about the “racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic—you name it” deplorables.


Identity Politics = Liberal Suicide?

13 Aug 2017 /

Mark Lilla is professor of the humanities at Columbia University. He’s got a book coming out, The Once and Future Liberal: After Identity Politics.

As you might have surmised from his job title, Lilla is a liberal himself. His concern is “the divisive, zero-sum world of identity politics” and its negative effect on liberalism in America.

Here’s an excerpt of an excerpt published in the Wall Street Journal:

As a teacher, I am increasingly struck by a difference between my conservative and progressive students. Contrary to the stereotype, the conservatives are far more likely to connect their engagements to a set of political ideas and principles. Young people on the left are much more inclined to say that they are engaged in politics as an X, concerned about other Xs and those issues touching on X-ness. And they are less and less comfortable with debate.

Over the past decade a new, and very revealing, locution has drifted from our universities into the media mainstream: Speaking as an X… This is not an anodyne phrase. It sets up a wall against any questions that come from a non-X perspective. Classroom conversations that once might have begun, I think A, and here is my argument, now take the form, Speaking as an X, I am offended that you claim B. What replaces argument, then, are taboos against unfamiliar ideas and contrary opinions. . . .

The politics of identity has done nothing but strengthen the grip of the American right on our institutions. It is the gift that keeps on taking. Now is the time for liberals to do an immediate about-face and return to articulating their core principles of solidarity and equal protection for all. Never has the country needed it more.


More People I’m Sick Unto Death Of: Hobby Lobby Boycotters

16 Jul 2014 /
Hobby Lobby

“Don’t tell me what to do” and “Do what I say” – these are not compatible admonitions.James M. Buchanan

I just saw this Boycott Hobby Lobby group on Facebook . . .

There’s a longstanding liberal maxim — Keep Government Out of the Bedroom — i.e., “Don’t tell me what to do,” which has gone out the window on the Hobby Lobby case, where the liberal position is “Do what I say,” i.e., that a law requiring everyone to buy certain bedroom supplies whether they want to or not is not only a really great thing, it’s a moral imperative.

Individual liberty is a two-way street, folks . . .


People Who Don’t Want Me to Know Things

12 Jul 2014 /

What I want to know is why there are so many people who don’t want me to know things . . .

Trudeau's book Natural Cures Updated Edition

And that doesn’t even include all the things that people “won’t tell me.”


Good Causes

22 May 2014 /
NASCAR

The Good Causes of the Left may generally be compared to NASCAR; they offer the diversion of watching things go excitingly around in a circle, getting nowhere.

— David Mamet, The Secret Knowledge

The Unbearable Whiteness of Liberal Media

17 May 2014 /

Via The American Prospect, a left-leaning publication:

http://prospect.org/article/unbearable-whiteness-liberal-media


Success is Not (All) About Money

10 Jan 2014 /

But I think American liberals have also made the mistake of focusing too much on income and wealth as the measures of success. Every chart and graph we see about America’s increase in “inequality” is about either money, or the likelihood of getting money. Sure, disparities of wealth are distasteful. Sure, money is one thing that confers social status. But by focusing on it obsessively, I think liberals are helping to cement its paramount importance as the end-all and be-all of social outcomes.

Related links


Can You Hate Both Political Parties Equally?

11 Aug 2013 /

Democrat or Republican. Liberal or conservative. If you’re not one, you must be the other. If you don’t vote, people — apparently rational, functional people who manage to drive their cars without ramming them into walls — tell you with a straight face that your non-vote is a de facto vote for the candidate you would have voted against (had you voted). Because you’re not allowed to hate both. Because, in under our idiotic one-or-the-other political system, even if you hate both parties, you’re supposed to hate one party more than the other.

The Lincoln Memorial

Berkeley Voters Leave Something to be Desired as Parents

29 Nov 2012 /

According to a new survey, just over 10 percent of Berkeley High ninth and 11th graders reported carrying a weapon onto school property, while about 35 percent of 11th graders reported attending class drunk or high.

If I had a kid at Berkeley High, I’d be moving out of town yesterday, but I’m reading in the Daily Californian that this news has been “met with surprise and joy from administrators,” the reason being that a similar survey two years ago reported about 17 percent of ninth graders and 16 percent of 11th graders carrying weapons onto campus, and 48 percent of 11th graders attending class drunk or high.

Progress!

“We’re very pleased with the survey results all around,” said Director of Student Services Susan Craig, “and at the same time we’re not at all complacent.”

If by “pleased” she means “horrified,” I couldn’t agree more.

In other news, Barack Obama got more than 90 percent of the Berkeley vote in the recent presidential election, while Mitt Romney got 4.6 percent and Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate, got 3.2 percent.

The liberal voter looks to government to solve problems that many people prefer to take on themselves, like raising their children.

Berkeley High School


No Surprises in Berkeley

23 Nov 2012 /
Third-party! Stein, Johnson, Anderson and Good...

(Photo credit: ironypoisoning)

Final election counts are in for Berkeley, CA, the most liberal city in America. Let’s start with the presidential election, where Mitt Romney was able to edge out Jill Stein for second place:

  • Barack Obama, Democrat – 90.3%
  • Mitt Romney, Republican – 4.6%
  • Jill Stein, Green Party – 3.2%

California ballot proposition results included:

  • Proposition 30, a measure to increase state income tax rates for the wealthy – 90.7% Yes (passed statewide at 54.6%)
  • Proposition 34, to abolish the death penalty in California – 86% Yes (lost statewide 52% to 48%)
  • Proposition 37, requiring labeling of genetically engineered food – 92.4% Yes (lost statewide 52% to 48%)

Thomas Jefferson on “You Didn’t Build That”

8 Sep 2012 /
Thomas Jefferson

Almost everything appertaining to the circumstances of a nation, has been absorbed and confounded under the general and mysterious word government. Though it avoids taking to its account the errors it commits, and the mischiefs it occasions, it fails not to arrogate to itself whatever has the appearance of prosperity. It robs industry of its honours, by pedantically making itself the cause of its effects; and purloins from the general character of man, the merits that appertain to him as a social being.

— Thomas Paine, Rights of Man (1792)

My fellow Americans —

You see how my friend Tom Paine, 220 years ago, perfectly anticipated — and rejected — your President Obama’s “You didn’t build that” quote.

Oh yes, we were aware of the “progressive” philosophy — that everything good comes from government — even then and we wanted no part of it.

By the way, I notice that liberals are now calling themselves “progressives.”

That’s good. The word “liberal” has lost its true meaning. Classical liberalism was based on “liberty” — from kings, churches and aristocracies.

Did you know that the great economist Milton Friedman did not call himself a conservative or a libertarian? He called himself a liberal, in the original sense of that word.

Progressives don’t believe in liberty. They believe in government as the new church and politicians as the new aristocracy.


Euphemisms from the DNC

7 Sep 2012 /
  • Progressive = Liberal
  • Investing = Spending
  • Choice = Abortion
  • Bodies = Abortion
  • Healthcare = Abortion
  • Who they love = Gay marriage

Here’s a Good Mandate

11 Feb 2012 /

Remember, we’re supposed to be worrying about skyrocketing health-care expenses. Doubling the number of wellness visits and free pills sounds great, but who’s going to pay for it? There is a liberal dream that by mandating coverage the government can make something free.

Here’s a good mandate: Let’s mandate that every time a government official says that the government is going to “help” some category of voter, he or she has to say who they are going to hurt in the same sentence. Because it has to be someone.


We Need Better Parents

20 Dec 2011 /

Kids can’t do well in school unless their family has a lot of money, according to an op-ed in the New York Times, which goes on to argue that massive intervention by “policy makers” is needed to confront this issue head-on.

Head Start

The authors, Helen Ladd and Edward Fiske, are a husband-and-wife team of academic researchers. Education reform in a nutshell: First thing, let’s kill all the academic researchers.

Helen and Ed cherry-picked the results of a Program for International Student Assessment (PISA) study to show that students with lower economic and social status had far lower test scores than their more advantaged counterparts.

But they didn’t actually link to the PISA results, because if they had, people would see that Helen and Ed just ignored the three main findings, which are:

  • Fifteen-year-old students whose parents often read books with them during their first year of primary school show markedly higher scores in PISA 2009 than students whose parents read with them infrequently or not at all.
  • The performance advantage among students whose parents read to them in their early school years is evident regardless of the family’s socio-economic background. [That seems obvious, given that reading a book with your kid doesn’t cost anything. Can’t afford books? Borrow them from the library.]
  • Parents’ engagement with their 15-year-olds is strongly associated with better performance in PISA.

Andreas Schleicher, a member of the PISA research team, says that “just asking your child how was their school day and showing genuine interest in the learning that they are doing can have the same impact as hours of private tutoring. It is something every parent can do, no matter what their education level or social background.”

Another recent study, by the Center for Public Education, found that parent actions such as monitoring homework, making sure children get to school, rewarding their efforts and talking up the idea of going to college are linked to better attendance, grades, test scores, and preparation for college.

Doesn’t this seem way too obvious for funded research?

To be sure, the Epps family doesn’t live in a poverty zone, but neither does it cost anything to teach a kid how to incorporate academics into his daily routine, or to review homework every night, or to read a book together.

I don’t think Helen and Ed have any kids of their own. They’re both white, in their 60s, maybe 70s. They’re true believers, ignoring reality and misrepresenting research findings to stake out what they imagine to be the moral high ground.

Listen, Helen and Ed, Ed and Helen: The only thing that matters in education is parents. Kids can be good at anything if that thing is important to them. And since kids are not born knowing what’s important and what isn’t, it’s up to their parents to teach them.

Are low-income parents going to focus their lives on teaching their children the importance of education? Of course not. They’re going to amuse themselves to death with the television. That’s why they’re impoverished in the first place.

Bad parenting is an epidemic in America. That’s okay. Failure is a part of life, even in America. School is a good place to learn that.


Liberals and Conservatives

4 Oct 2011 /

If you want to take my guns away from me, and you’re all for murdering fetuses, and love it when homosexuals marry each other, and want to give them kitchen appliances at their showers, and you’re for the poor, you’re a liberal. If you are against those perversions and for the rich, you’re a conservative. What could be simpler?

— Kurt Vonnegut

A Couple of Schillers

9 Mar 2011 /
Casablanca

A couple of Schillers resigned from NPR after one of them said (among other things):

Tea Party people aren’t just Islamaphobic, but really xenophobic, I mean basically they are, they believe in sort of white, middle-America gun-toting. I mean, it’s scary. They’re seriously racist, racist people.

Well really . . . I haven’t been this shocked since Claude Rains discovered gambling at Rick’s Cafe.

It shakes my belief system to the core to think that someone who works at NPR believes that Tea Party members are scary white gun-toting racists.

Although come to think of it, everyone I know who listens to NPR believes that Tea Party members are scary white gun-toting racists.

These guys really need to give up the federal funding. They could go full bore in promoting their mission and stop pretending to respect the common folk, who in turn would be relieved of the burden of paying for it.

P.S. If it’s real bigotry you’re looking for, film a liberal when he thinks no one but other liberals can hear him.

P.P.S. We had a bus driver in grade school named Mr. Schiller. Real angry German guy. Probably no relation.


Completely Missing the Cause and Effect

25 Oct 2010 /

It’s a sign of how poorly liberals market themselves and their ideas that the word “liberal” is still in disrepute despite the election of the most genuinely liberal president that the political culture of this country will probably allow.

“Despite”?