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Some Notes on Liberal "Values"

Commentary by Greg Lewis /
May 26, 2004

A recent CNN/USA Today poll of American print and electronic media journalists has revealed them to be, by their own admission, overwhelmingly politically "moderate" or "liberal." It's hardly a secret that the political left, which includes most American Democrats, shies away from the term "liberal" these days. The left has at least begun to cotton to the fact that the American public is becoming increasingly wary of self-described political liberals, and so those liberals have more and more come to describe themselves as "moderates" or, to a lesser extent, "progressives."

In fact, so dicey has it become for political types to use the term "liberal" in describing their positions and philosophy that John Kerry has gone to fairly extreme lengths to avoid the appellation, this despite the fact that he earned a "liberal index" score of 96.5, the highest in the Senate, as ranked on the National Journal's liberal-conservative continuum. Indeed, although, according to one survey, 39 percent of the American public view him as a liberal, Kerry continues to distance himself from the label. This notwithstanding that campaign finance reform legislation has apparently opened the floodgates for left/liberal groups such as Media Fund and to pimp Kerry's candidacy while at the same time providing, because there can be no "official" connection between the Kerry campaign and either of these groups, a cloak of deniability for the lead-pipe-cinch Democrat Presidential hopeful of his fundamental liberal leanings.

It's interesting, in light of their squirming to avoid being caught in the glare of the spotlight generated by the very term that so accurately describes their politics, that liberals are eschewing the "values" that once set them apart from conservatives. Where for liberals — to cite just one example — freedom of speech once meant "the freedom to speak out on any subject without fear of retribution," it now means "freedom to speak out if what you say agrees with the left/liberal public opinion hegemony." It is today conservatives who stand for freedom of speech, and nowhere is that freedom manifested more clearly than in the rise to prominence of "conservative" talk radio and internet forums and weblogs. And while they rant incessantly about the "vast rightwing conspiracy" these newly emergent media venues represent, in fact, liberals who spout this line are themselves part of a loose though unadmitted conspiracy bent on increasing the size and influence of the federal government and decreasing the influence at the local level — where it really counts — of the American people in determining their futures.

This "liberal conspiracy" would strike fear into the hearts of conservatives everywhere if it weren't utterly laughable on its face. From Terry McAuliffe to Hillary Clinton to John Kerry to Tom Daschle to Teddy Kennedy, we have nothing to fear from the left but the unimaginable retreat from their senses of the American people in the next six months. That is to say, John Kerry doesn't stand a snowball's chance in the mid-summer Iraqi desert of getting elected unless Americans abandon the values and principles that have made us the greatest nation on earth.

Not going to happen.

So, where does that leave us? Ideally, we need the political equivalent of the Sport of Kings' Daily Racing Form to handicap not only the candidates, but the pronouncements of their parties and the liberal media as well. We need some reliable way to know how well John Kerry has performed under a load, at distance. The evidence we've been able to amass to this point certainly indicates that he has problems delivering under difficult conditions. He's not a "mudder," that's for sure.

Among the things we've got to handicap in determining Kerry's fitness as a Presidential candidate is the melange of "reporting" and commentary of the "mainstream" media, from which we must somehow cull truth and tease out meaning. That is to say, it's up to us to discount the biased pronouncements and agenda-driven reportage of said media — including ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, The New York Times, and The Washington Post, to mention several — and find a way to arrive at some factual foundation for assessing the import of the earth-shaking events that are occurring in the Middle East.

The conflict there — although you'd never know it if you relied on the above-mentioned sources for your information — is about the spread of freedom and democracy. It's about giving a sovereign people to understand that they can exert control over their own lives and over the direction chosen and the destiny manifested by their country. It's about instilling the principles of democracy in a people accustomed to being oppressed in the most horrifying and soul-deadening ways.

Bottom line: Don't expect any liberals to come forth any time soon in defense of those principles or of our fighting for them. While they're more than willing to implicitly subvert the principles of American democracy for political gain, you won't find them standing up for what the American people — as witness the recent polling data — regard as the fundamental values on which this country was built and on which it continues to thrive.

The polling data that supports this is hardly necessary to prove what America knows in its heart: So-called "liberal values" will not suffice to see our nation successfully through the current conflict to the more nearly universal implementation of liberty and justice for heretofore oppressed peoples the world over. For that, conservatives, armed with the values they cherish, must step forward unhesitatingly.


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