Wednesday, January 10, 2007

The Prerogative of the Philosopher-Kings

Republicans are having fun as Democrats evade their campaign promises to withdraw from Iraq. As Tony Blankley puts the Democrats’ predicament:

(1) The Democrats cheerfully campaigned all last year on "re-deploying" our troops out of Iraq, (2) now that they are in charge, many of their voters want and expect them to legislate their campaign promise, and (3) the Democrats want to continue to express their unflinching determination to oppose the war and bring the troops home.

Their problem is that many Democratic Party leaders don't want to actually cut off the money necessary to fight the war for fear that if things go badly, they might be held responsible by the voters in 2008 for a Middle East catastrophe.

Cassandra at Villainous Company examines Joe Biden’s lack of seriousness when he says cutting off funding would be “unconstitutional.”

…the political cost of continued carping is nonexistent, while the cost of actually doing something about the problems Democrats are complaining about may be unacceptable to them.

As Rich Lowry puts it, the Democrats are not being "straightforward" when they do not admit what they really believe, that the war is lost.

So the Democrats are being evasive and less than forthcoming. Normal people (meaning people who are not politicians) call this behavior lying. The Democrats want to criticize the war to please their base, but they also want to support the troops to please the rest of American voters. They want to blame Bush, but they don’t want any responsibility for which they might be blamed in ’08.

Will the Democrat base mind that their leaders lie? The far left might grumble a little, but in the long run, most of the base will accept the lying. Here’s why.

In the liberal imagination America is a nation of sheep who are easily deluded by capitalism/corporations/patriotism/ racism/greed/Rush Limbaugh/Fox News/Teflon presidents, etc. Wave the flag or a wad of dollars before these sheep and they become hypnotized and will follow any lies their corporate masters tell them, even if it is to their own harm. We would have socialized medicine in America were it not for greedy corporations manipulating the sheep.

Liberals, on the other hand, are America’s Platonic philosopher-kings who see the true reality because they have goodness in their hearts and are not corrupted by greed. As long as America’s contemptible sheep have the right to vote, liberals have the right to lie to them in order to get elected and hold power over the sheep for their own good.

Liberals are used to their leaders lying. They have heard their leaders lie all their life. Will they mind lies about Iraq now? No. Quite the contrary, they expect it.

UPDATE: The inevitable slight revisions.


Anonymous said...

I think that today's Left is much more committed to altruism than today's Right. Someone on HBL said it best when he described the conservatives as people who believe in altruism but also will cheat it as much as they can. Liberals if they had their way would construct a society where it was impossible to cheat altruism. Liberals would create hell.

The Left hates Bush and conservatives because they associate them with individualism and selfishness (believe it or not). Bush's foreign policy is evil because he had the audacity to put up any kind of fight (forget that his wars are self-sacrificial and wimpy). To a liberal, Iraq and Afghanistan represent self-interest and that is an unforgivable sin.

We are still stuck between mystics of muscle and mystics of spirit. We're still basically screwed.

Bill Visconti

Myrhaf said...

Yes, I agree that liberals are more consistent altruists by far. I'm still not convinced that the Republicans are more dangerous because of the growth of the religious right. Not yet.