Inconsistency the hallmark of liberalism

2013-11-24T06:00:00Z 2013-11-24T10:43:10Z Inconsistency the hallmark of liberalismDENNIS CLAYSON Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier
November 24, 2013 6:00 am  • 

The foundation of modern liberalism is riddled with logical inconsistencies. Conservatives have them as well, but I truly believe we have fewer. The major difference, however, is what is done with these contradictions. Conservatives tend to complain, write books and articles. Liberals find the largest government that will listen to them and then write all their nonsense into laws, forcing the consequences on entire nations.

There is another difference as well. Conservatives will sometimes admit that their logical inconsistencies need to be corrected. For example, many conservatives are now grappling with their dislike of central authority over individual action with their traditional hatred of drugs. In fact, conservatism is based on change, a consistent examination of what has worked and what has not.

Liberals do not grapple. They are simply correct; the consequences be damned.

This lack of objectivity is maintained by cultural isolation and by insisting that their objectives have such high moral value that any shortcoming in method or logic is inconsequential. Liberals tend to associate any challenge to their core beliefs as an indicator of the critic’s immorality.

Examples of both our logical inconsistencies abound: The claim that everything is relative. Our intolerance of intolerance. Not renting to anyone who wishes to rent your apartment is a violation of someone’s civil rights, but not the owner’s civil rights. We insist on using discrimination as a method of eliminating discrimination. We shrug when we hear a defense of blatantly unfair tax policies by using the phrase “fair share.”

We talk about and bemoan a “war on women” while tolerating and condoning a true “war on children.”

We pride ourselves on our emphasis on liberty while demanding that the largest government we can find restricts everyone else’s liberties.

In practice, we never eliminate a governmental program or reduce the spending on any program, and then argue over whether the government has a revenue problem or a spending problem.

We make the automatic assumption that society is government and government is society.

As economist Steven Landsburg pointed out, why do we assume that any important social problem needs to be solved or resolved outside of the market system?

In fact, why should we assume that a government is going to be helpful? There isn’t much evidence for this, especially if you don’t fall into the logical trap of justifying the pain of the many by the temporary relief of the few.

Why do we assume that a representative of the government is a representative of society? I know this will sound harsh, and it is a bit of an overstatement, but “normal” people don’t go into politics.

Who is willing to put up with all the grief we dish out to politicians? Messianic and egotistical personalities, people who see the best con game they will ever be able to pull off, evangelists for social causes or busybodies who want to control other people. Take your pick. They describe every politician in the country except the one we voted for.

Congress is less popular than a root canal, and yet our politician is a saint? That should give us pause. It could happen if we were the only person who ever voted, but sadly, the rest of the voters evidently get taken every time.

Contrary to what we were taught in grammar school and every day by the media, the best and brightest do not go into politics. I’m sorry to point this out, but Wilson, Roosevelt, Kennedy and Reagan were not the smartest people around, and they were not (gasp) saints. Even after millions of hagiographic attempts, they remain tarnished idols that we have to bow to occasionally to show how well we were indoctrinated, but no one really believes they have any power in heaven to save those they couldn’t save when they ruled in this world.

I would assume that Mother Teresa would have more influence, so why wouldn’t we select her, and those like her, as true representatives of society?

Dennis Clayson

is a marketing professor at the University of Northern Iowa.

Copyright 2015 Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(20) Comments

  1. Steve_2012
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    Steve_2012 - November 29, 2013 5:49 am
    Wow, this president really does have a knack for bringing people together. Iran's rulers and a majority of Americans now agree Barack Obama isn't honest and trustworthy.
  2. Daveb47
    Report Abuse
    Daveb47 - November 28, 2013 6:02 pm
    Here is Harry Reid's flip flop on the filibuster.

    And other Democrats flip flop and its even in your favorite left wing rag.

    A nice summary.

    Both sides are guilty ideological inconsistancies but thats what you get from career politicians.
  3. Brian B
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    Brian B - November 28, 2013 11:58 am
    Thanks. I do see that only certain people may get personal. Oh well.
  4. Axolotl
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    Axolotl - November 28, 2013 10:17 am
    Wake up [earlier] son. It's incumbent on you to be the early bird lest you never see the errors and changes made by the handlers of this here page in a consistent yet transparent manner.

    The first reply to you contained the word "bum" used in an anatomical sense ans was much the same as the first sentence in this here post. I imagine that was deemed offensive or personal by the Guardian of Comments - or it may have been due to a bit of chastisement of the Whomevers that changed the columns headline without notice - always considered a sound and wise practice in the in the hallowed halls of the Fifth Estate ... excuse me, the fourth estate. I fully anticipate this post not seeing the light of day, but only to prove consistency!
  5. Axolotl
    Report Abuse
    Axolotl - November 27, 2013 10:10 pm
    Fret knot, freddie will be back and full of venom aimed at the commie Pope and yet more for Obama for closing the Vatican embassy!
  6. Phil
    Report Abuse
    Phil - November 27, 2013 11:43 am
    It's too bad Freddy hasn't joined us this week. We could hear his comments on the following topics:

    How the pope says capitalism is tyranny:

    How the right wingers reacted to filibuster issues when the Repubs controlled the Senate - talk about inconsistency:

    etc., etc., etc.
  7. Brian B
    Report Abuse
    Brian B - November 27, 2013 4:17 am
  8. Brian B
    Report Abuse
    Brian B - November 27, 2013 4:14 am
    Pepperoni, beef, bacon and extra cheese!!!!


    Can you deliver that in 30 minutes or less???
  9. reojoe
    Report Abuse
    reojoe - November 26, 2013 9:59 am
    That's why you were instructed to blame it on our Commander in Chief, eh?
  10. reojoe
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    reojoe - November 26, 2013 9:58 am
    I voted for Willard Mitt Romney, darling of the "tea party."-Brian B.
  11. reojoe
    Report Abuse
    reojoe - November 26, 2013 9:58 am

  12. Brian B
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    Brian B - November 26, 2013 3:16 am
    Our Commander in Chief has nothing to do with mandates, but rather is supposed to be in charge of the military when necessary. Our Chief Executive is supposed to work with the Congress to pass legislation that benefits the nation as a whole. Please do not confuse the two.
  13. Brian B
    Report Abuse
    Brian B - November 26, 2013 3:02 am
    I will not negotiate with the republicans on this health care matter. Barry Obama.
    We have to pass this bill to see what's in it. Nancy Pelosi.
    I am the leader of the Senate. What I say goes. Harry Reed.
  14. Brian B
    Report Abuse
    Brian B - November 26, 2013 2:57 am
    Actually, I was hoping the shut down would have lasted long enough to get rid of the farm bill and the unaffordable care act..... Corn is for making whiskey, not gasoline.
  15. reojoe
    Report Abuse
    reojoe - November 25, 2013 2:14 pm
    Forgetting the fact that country clubbers have been calling for the individual big gubment mandate for decades, and also voted for the person who actually was the architect of the original big gubment mandate, one of my favorites overlooked by Clayson is how country clubbers (suddenly) oppose the big gubment mandate, but were enraged when our Commander in Chief suggested to delay the mandate for bidnesses, as well as for individuals.

    But, nah, they don't want America to fail.
  16. BIL
    Report Abuse
    BIL - November 25, 2013 10:05 am
    Wow, what a steaming pile.

    This is one of those columns where you could swap the words liberal and conservative and everything would still make sense, if not more sense.

    Here's a striking bit of nonsense:
    Clayson: "In fact, conservatism is based on change"

    Merriam-Webster Dictionary:
    "con·ser·va·tism noun \kən-ˈsər-və-ˌti-zəm\
    : belief in the value of established and traditional practices in politics and society
    : dislike of change or new ideas in a particular area"

    Here's another: "why do we assume that any important social problem needs to be solved or resolved outside of the market system?"

    That's certainly a single-minded approach, one solution for every conceivable problem. And yet... "Liberals do not grapple."
  17. reojoe
    Report Abuse
    reojoe - November 25, 2013 9:45 am
    Better yet, country clubbers want big gubment out of our lives, yet were enraged when big gubment shut down about a month ago.
  18. Phil
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    Phil - November 25, 2013 7:37 am
    Columns like this continue to make me wonder if Clayson ever believes anything he writes, or if his ideology blinds him so badly he can't see how ridiculous his analysis and comparisons are.

    Liberals suffer from logical inconsistencies?

    You mean like when conservatives say they want government out of their lives - except when they want them in everyone's bedroom and every women's uterus?

    Or when conservatives say they support "family values" but only if they get to define what the family should look like?

    Or when conservatives support individual rights except if you're a minority trying to vote?

    Or when conservatives say they believe in a "market based" solution for health care, except when a Democratic president signs one into law, then they're against it.

    And Mr. Clayson, why would we ever assume a market based solution could solve any social problem? Markets are meant to "solve" the "problems" of supply and demand as well as resource allocation. Markets have "winners" and "losers", and losers usually are eliminated from the market. The only way market based solutions can be used to help solve social issues is when the market affected is highly regulated, as in the health care law. And even that is probably not the best solution when compared to a single payer solution.

    And what is the "war on children" you speak of? Conservatives cutting food stamps? Conservatives not allowing gay people to marry in over 30 states?

    The only thing consistent about your columns Mr. Clayson is the complete lack of consistency in the logic you use.
  19. Axolotl
    Report Abuse
    Axolotl - November 24, 2013 12:06 pm
    Oh, and the new improved title is even moreso, betterer. Consistency - a virtue for others.

    Touchè WCFC!
  20. Axolotl
    Report Abuse
    Axolotl - November 24, 2013 10:27 am
    Aptly, yet unironically titled.
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