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?