Unwashed progressivel Michael Tomasky demonstrates what is wrong with statist liberalism. He describes a dinner party he attended where they engaged in a discussion of communities and the role of government in them:
Then a woman I didn't know spoke up. She was southern. She was very friendly and chatty. She said she was all for beloved communities. But what was clear to her, the really important point, was that in the good old days, those communities had nothing to do with government. And when we started thinking it did was when it all went wrong.Because government had to step in and restore civil rights, it shall now hound these iniquitous communities for all eternity, dictating life down to the last detail?
It was a small group, so I was polite and didn't say anything, but what I thought was: you idiotic, irresponsible, egotistical cretin. Nothing to do with government? Let's go ask the black people of your age cohort and home town whether they felt part of a beloved community, and let's ask them whether they think government had anything to do with the change in their status in your community over the decades.
By his illogic, the US should now be ruling Europe since we put an end to bloody warfare and genocide there in WW II. After the Democratic Congress’s Post Office and banking scandals caused the GOP takeover in 1994, the Democrats should have been forever banned from further majorities. See where liberal thinking leads? Right down the toilet of absurdity.
Next, he steps up with a fuzzy phrase:
I can assure you that in America, black people – yes, even today, when discrimination isn't remotely like it was – have little choice but to consider the big matters from the white point of view.What exactly is a “white point of view?”
And how is it distinct from a “black point of view?” I’ve had many black friends over the years, and we’ve shared many points of view, so was I considering things from a black point of view, or were they considering things from my white point of view?
His statement is absurd, especially coming from someone paid to comment publicly. In any society, the majority often sets the tone on “big matters,” but here in the US, people of all stripes and creeds have a voice, so this is a smear. And why point to a "white" majority. The following groups also form a majority in this country: sports fans, people without a college degree, homeowners, the employed, and English speakers.
Does anyone with a brain really think that the "white point of view" is more prominent than the "liberal media-leftist academia-traditional values mocking Hollywood" point of view?
More pernicious is his dividing us up by black and white, blithely assuming each group (diverse within itself) is mutually exclusive from the other. Nothing could be further from the truth. Geographic location, income, religion, occupation and education levels are all better predictors of opinion than race. Tomasky shows that liberals who think like this are the true racists
Next comes the strawman...
The two problems here are, first, that while they think they owe government nothing, they actually owe government a great deal. If they're small business people, they depend on the freight rails and the roadways and the utilities and the regulation of interstate commerce and the laws that keep their crooked competitors from undercutting them.Wrong! We don’t owe the government a “great deal.” We The People have charged the government with certain responsibilities stated in the US Constitution. Government owes us performance of those duties. Citizens have a duty to fulfill their part of the bargain, but government is subservient to the people, not the other way around.
More progressive twaddle...
The second problem is the one I saw manifest at that dinner that night. Everybody in this country isn't like you.Precisely. It is for exactly this reason that one-size-fits-all statism does not work. Individual citizens and communities have a natural right to craft their own cultures and solutions within the bounds of the law.
Here’s where he goes wacko...
Yes, you worked hard to get where you are. But the vast majority of people work hard. Some have good luck, some have bad. Some stay healthy, some get sick. Some make only wise decisions, some make an unwise one. Some benefit from free-market oddities and inequities, some lose.
And yes, some, because of history or birth circumstances, started the race at a starting line several paces back from the one where you started. Part of citizenship, a crucial part of citizenship, is standing in their shoes for a few moments – as they must stand in yours, and understand your point of view too.No it’s not. He just made that up. Good citizenship is obeying the just laws, opposing the unjust ones, and not violating the God-given rights of others. Good citizenship is also keeping oneself informed and identifying liberal claptrap like this for what it is and warning others lest they fall into the tarpits of progressive ignorance.
The Mirage of Fairness
We all have equal rights, but we are not all equal in circumstance. Indeed, how would one set about making us all equal? God save us from such a project! Hayek points out the inherent inconsistency of such "fairness" arguments:" "to produce the same result for different people, it is necessary to treat them differently." And who will be the enlightened ones who determine just what the desired outcomes are?
Since heart disease hits black people disproportionately, should government randomly pick out non-blacks and force feed them bacon grease until they die of congestive heart failure? Whites have higher rates of schizophrenia. How do we even that out?
Life is not fair. Unlike me, Teddy Kennedy’s kids were millionaires the day they were born, and I don’t begrudge them that. We all come from different circumstances with different skills and interests.
America was founded upon equality of opportunity, not equality of outcome.
Michael Tomasky - Obama, Beck and America