The idiocy of liberal slogans
- Last Updated: 3:54 AM, July 8, 2012
- Posted: 10:31 PM, July 7, 2012
Modern American liberalism is no longer a system of beliefs about the role of government, the conduct of international relations or the nature of personal responsibility. Rather, it has become a series of bumper stickers.
But if you peel them away, one by one, from the forehead of liberals, there’s nothing underneath.
“Give Peace a Chance”
Granted, it’s hard to argue with a dead Beatle. But is there a more craven intellectual position than to oppose a particular war only because, in general, you favor peace? Way to go out on the limb there, Gandhi. That’s mighty big of you. Furthermore, is peace always preferable to war? Should Lincoln have given peace a chance after the First Battle of Bull Run? Should he have summoned Jefferson Davis to the White House and said, “All right, you southerners keep your slaves. Come back into the Union, and we northerners will mind our own business. Live and let live. No hard feelings, eh?”
“All Republicans May Not Be Racist, But if You Are a Racist, You Are Probably a Republican”
The notion that racism is more prevalent on the political right than on the political left depends on the premise that if you oppose big-government programs designed to help minorities, you must oppose helping minorities. Hence, you must be a racist. The problem, however, is that big-government programs often don’t work. Except when I say they “often don’t work,” what I mean is they “hardly ever work” . . . unless you define “working” as “making liberals feel good about themselves.”
The expansion of welfare benefits under LBJ’s Great Society initiative in the 1960s was intended to provide relief to rising numbers of unwed black mothers. The government began, in effect, to sponsor single parenthood. The out of wedlock birthrate among blacks in 1964 was 23%. Today it’s 70%. With only the noblest of intentions, LBJ’s Great Society decimated the family.
“Keep Your Laws Off My Body”
Nearly four decades after the Supreme Court’s landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, abortion remains an intensely divisive issue. So let’s concede that there are serious philosophical and legal arguments on both sides of the debate. “Keep your laws off my body” isn’t one of them. Insisting that a woman has the right to end a pregnancy because she controls her own body is either provably false or logically meaningless. Even if we grant the contentious point that the fetus is part of a woman’s body, it’s just not true that Americans exercise absolute sovereignty over their own bodies. There are many laws that regulate the uses of our bodies. You can’t sell your organs. Nor is prostitution legal in most places.
But if we take the sovereignty argument in a weaker sense — that a woman’s right to control her body includes the right to end a pregnancy — we’re left with: A woman has the right to an abortion because a woman has the right to an abortion.
“Freedom Isn’t Free: Tax the Rich”
New York is in a deep fiscal hole. What if Mayor Bloomberg and the City Council decided to solve it by hiking the sales tax? Since it’s a deep hole, let’s not pussyfoot around. The tax on goods and services purchased in the five boroughs is now 8.35%. So let’s make it 100%. Just double the price of everything. Think of all the extra money the city would rake in!
Except we know what would happen. Tourists would shun Manhattan hotels and no longer crowd into Bloomingdale’s and Bergdorf Goodman. New Yorkers themselves would stop buying big ticket items locally. They’d shop in New Jersey, Connecticut or Long Island. Raising the sales tax would more likely bankrupt the city than close its budget shortfall.
Here’s how reality works: Taxing affects behavior. If you stick it to “the rich” by continually raising their tax rates, they’ll eventually find ways to shelter their earnings or move somewhere more hospitable. If you stick it to profitable companies, they’ll lay off employees or raise their prices, or take their business elsewhere . . . and leave the government’s coffers in worse shape than before.
A FEW MORE LIBERAL PEARLS IN NEED OF REAR-ENDING
“Silly Republicans, Medicare Is Socialized Medicine”
. . . that’s right, and it’s bankrupting the country.
“Taxes Buy Civilization”
. . . which makes the Jersey Shore the most civilized place on earth, right Snooki?
“History. Civics. Math. Is There ANY Class the Teabaggers didn’t FAIL?”
. . . hygiene. Now let’s talk about the Wall Street Occupiers.
“Right-Wing Radio Makes You Dumb and Mean”
. . . but at least it pays for itself. Now let’s talk about NPR.
“The Death Penalty Deters Nothing”
. . . but it cuts down significantly on recidivism.
“I Think, Therefore I Am a Democrat”
. . . cogito, ergo jackass?
Mark Goldblatt is the author of “Bumper Sticker Liberalism” (Broadside/HarperCollins), out this week. He teaches at the Fashion Institute of Technology.Follow @NYPostOpinion