Victor Davis Hanson, one of the best observers of the political and popular culture (and its decline) from a Classical Western Liberalism (as opposed to today’s rampant Political Liberalism which is more authoritarian / communitarian), has another wicked corker out
Romney almost forfeited the election when a video was leaked about his honest, though inexact, admission that 47% of Americans would, by needs, be unsympathetic to any agenda that cut spending and taxes, given their dependence on government “stuff.” Borrowing money to pay for more entitlements for the liberal mind is good politics, killing two birds with the proverbial one stone. The less well-off are indebted to those who gave them subsidized food, health care, shelter, even cell phones and will vote accordingly to ensure the liberal political class remains in power. And as deficits grow, the calls for higher taxes on those who “didn’t build that business” and are “fat cats” and never knew when they should stop profiting only increase. Liberalism is about power and influence, impossible without millions of dependent constituents.
…In the elite liberal mind, there is instead a sort of progressive Big Rock Candy Mountain. Gasoline comes right out of the ground through the nozzle into the car. Redwood 2x4s sprout from the ground like trees. Apples fall like hail from the sky; stainless steel refrigerator doors are mined inches from the surface. Tap water comes from some enormous cistern that traps rain water. Finished granite counter tops materialize on the show room floor. Why, then, would we need Neanderthal things like federal gas and oil leases, icky dams and canals, yucky power plants, and gross chain saws — and especially those who would dare make and use them?
…For some, especially those who are well-educated and well-spoken, a sort of irrational furor at “the system” governs their political make-up. Why don’t degrees and vocabulary always translate into big money? Why does sophisticated pontification at Starbucks earn less than mindlessly doing accounting behind a desk? We saw this tension with Michelle Obama who, prior to 2009, did not quite have enough capital to get to Aspen or Costa del Sol, and thereby, despite the huge power-couple salaries, Chicago mansion, and career titles, felt that others had far too much more than the Obamas. “Never been proud,” “downright mean country,” “raise the bar,” etc., followed, as expressions of yuppie angst. The more one gets, the more one believes he should get even more, and the angrier he gets that another — less charismatic, less well-read, less well-spoken — always seems to get more.
So do not discount the envy of the sophisticated elite. The unread coal plant manager, the crass car dealer, or the clueless mind who farms 1000 acres of almonds should not make more than the sociology professor, the kindergarten teacher, the writer, the artist, or the foundation officer. What sort of system would allow the dense and easily fooled to become better compensated (and all for what — for superfluous jet skis and snowmobiles?) than the anguished musician or tortured-soul artist, who gives so much to us and receives so much less in return? What a sick country — when someone who brings chain saws into the Sierra would make more than a UC Berkeley professor who would stop them.
It seems that Liberals live in the land of magic and “no bad consequence can be allowed to stand” – a misguided belief that Life is not cruel but consists of fanciful unicorns and pixie dust; as of Kings of Yore, they merely have to pronounce something to be true to have Life bend to their minds. If they would only wish this upon themselves (and their own families) but they don’t. Unhinged and unhooked from true reality (hey, how DO you think that the gas that goes into your Lexus gets there in the first place?), they dismiss the idea that Capitalism is what it truly is (a voluntary transaction between adults – they seem to be absolutely OK with this when it comes to sex in any form, but not when it comes to financial affairs) and that Freedom should only be what they consider to be right behavior. And to the latter, as long as the Government is paying for it, the rest of us should just sit back, shut up, and enjoy their charity funded with our taxes.