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THE LIBERAL BUSH ADMINISTRATION
Monday, December 05, 2005
George Bush – The Liberal/Socialist Prologue The following essay cites examples, but will not bibliograph its contents. The instances raised can be researched by anyone who has the ability to use Google.com to do searches. Political Science for Dummies In order to politically define a person in contemporary terms, one has to understand where they stand socially, and economically and identify the political policies they adopt in relation to the two. (We could throw “religiously” in there also, but for purposes of this analysis it won’t be necessary.) As terms like “liberal” and “conservative” are often relative terms we first have to establish contemporary definitions in order to give them meaning. In order to do this the first order of business is to have a basic understanding of the following political model (there are corresponding social and economic models also): Image hosted by Photobucket.com Since we do not have time here to teach an entire political science class, we will look at the main points. First, note that democracy is at the center top of the circle. We will use this as the starting point to define all other political philosophies. Note also that the top half of the circle is government based on individual rights. We refer to this as “Individualism”. An absolute democracy is about individual rights, a system where the people are the ultimate determination of governmental direction, policy, etc. We tend to look at democracies as being “Free” because the right of the individual is paramount to the right of the many (hereinafter referred to as “the collective”). In democracies the power belongs to the people with a subservient governmental body to carry out their will. Now note the bottom of the circle where we see the opposite of democracy-which is fascism. As the power lies with the people in a democracy, the opposite applies to fascism in that the power belongs to the governmental body (whether it is an absolute monarchy, dictatorship, theocratic dictatorship, etc., these all remain the same) with the people being subservient to the government. We look at this as enforced sameness—where the government puts all members subject to itself equally. This is commonly referred to as “Egalitarianism”. This is where the government forces everyone to be the same. Under fascism there are only two classes—the rulers and their servants. Now contrary to what most people understand, a deviation from democracy in either a LEFT or RIGHT direction in the extreme ultimately leads to fascism. Traveling in a leftward direction away from democracy is considered “liberalism”. Traveling in a rightward direction away from democracy is considered “radicalism”. Notice that both move away from individualism, it is only the ways that that they move that differ. I will touch briefly on the move right because that is not very relevant to our discussion. If the United States was a pure democracy (which it isn’t—it is a mixture of democracy and socialism) then a move to the right would be toward complete libertarianism (where people’s individual rights trump majority rule) then anarchy (where individual rights are paramount and complete control is lost by a governing body) to ochlocracy (where mob rule reasserts itself – survival of the fittest—alliances forming out of anarchy) to radical fundamentalism (where structures are formulated to control ochlocratic subgroups) then ultimately fascism. Anyone can see that this is not a good way to go, but we see it often in third world nations, the middle east, etc. If this is understood, then the inaccurate term “right-wing” would be discarded by contemporary media, because it hardly applies to the current state of government. Right wing would encompass all of those issues to the right, and we do not have a political party in power that fits on the right side of the circle. Let’s look at the left side of the circle. As one proceeds left away from democracy (individualism) they will become more politically “moderate” move toward socialism (where the rights of the individual is taken away to create a more “fair” or equal society –egalitarianism) to communism (where government begins to remove all individual rights for the good of the collective) then on to fascism. So, in order to define our two terms in a contemporary sense, one has to know that a "conservative" is someone who wants to maintain the nation economically and socially as it was intended when established, and a liberal is one who wants to progress in a leftward direction away from that. A radical would want to take us away from that ideal through means of corruption. A liberal would want to take us away from that ideal through means of "progress". Conservative: A true American Conservative wants to maintain the United States in its most purest form. They are dedicated to the ideal that the government who governs least governs best. They are staunch advocates of the checks and balances as laid forth in the Constitution such as the separation of powers. They believe that the Congress, beholden to the people should make law that carries out the will of the people. They believe in an executive branch that helps enforce those laws. They believe in a judiciary that strictly interprets those laws. They are firm proponents of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, as granted to individual freedom and responsibility. And that our leaders are subject to that Constitution—never above it. We are for a nation that is as close to democracy as one can become. (If you think about it, you may not know many "real conservatives") Liberal: A contemporary liberal is one who believes that the Constitution is a "living document" and that its meaning changes as times change. They believe in changing the nation politically to facilitate egalitarian ends. Moving left means leaving individual rights in favor of egalitarian outcomes. What defines a political philosophy as being left sided or liberal is if the move towards egalitarianism is justified for the “COMMON GOOD”. With this framework in mind, you can be a political, social and economic expert! You can place social issues within this model and determine if the are liberal or radical, extreme individualism or egalitarianism. You can also evaluate political events and policy, and economic philosophy. So with this in mind, lets do what we set out to do; evaluate what George Bush is politically, socially and economically. Most of the Bush Administration and congresses policies fall on the left hand side of the circle. Discerning liberals should be happy. The Bush Administration To Date The best way to define someone is by their actions. Words are fickle, so we will primarily evaluate the policies and decisions of the Bush administration. Also, as long as President Bush has been in office, we will have to look at them in a macro sense vs. a micro. Political Philosophy: The Bush Administration has demonstrated time and again the philosophy that government is the solution for mankind and its problems. He has even said so. The following are brief examples of the overall political direction of the Bush Administration. Domestic Policy- Take the administration’s support for the Patriot Act. When we evaluate the Patriot Act the main problem that stands out to us is that it violates individual liberties. The thing is, that it violates those individual liberties for the “safety of the collective”--a move away from individual freedom to placing restrictions on society for increased safety for all. I often get a chuckle when I hear liberals criticizing the Patriot Act, because in its essence it is liberal/socialist policy. Trade- So far, even though the administration has talked about free trade, any time they have taken an initiative it has been to interfere with free markets by implementing “fairness or collective” policies. Not long ago the steel industry was facing stiff competition from overseas, and the Administration’s response was to impose tariffs on foreign steel; thereby using government power to interfere with freedom in order to create a collective good. This is not the only example of protectionism that the administration has adopted during its term. (Australia, Canada, CAFTA, etc.) Education- No one is a firmer advocate of state funded and dictated education than the Bush Administration. Public education, which is a product of socialism, (with America’s system actually modeled after that of Nazi Germany), has seen larger increases in funding and scope under the Bush Administration than any administration heretofore. There has been increased controls on education also at the federal level, with less local autonomy. Social Agency – Welfare spending has increased. Social agencies have seen increases in both size, scope and power. Many of these are outside of Constitutional purview, but have been justified because of the good of the collective. The Bush Administration has spent more on social spending than any other president to date, and holds the proud title of largest percentage increase since Jimmy Carter. Social Medicine – From day one, the Bush Administration pushed for socialized medicine. They have made huge strides in that direction ushering in the largest entitlement program to ever hit these United States. And it is just getting started. Politics – The Bush Administration signed into law the campaign finance bill that is blatantly unconstitutional. It takes power away from individuals to wage campaigns the way they see fit and for the “good of the collective” instituted policies that essentially protect incumbents. A conservative would have never allowed this to happen. Social Policy – George Bush and his administration has come out against gay marriage. Wait! How can that be liberal? The gay marriage ban is a use of government to enforce the will of government for the “good of the collective”. Many liberals I know are all for gay marriage, but they have no idea that the use of government to enforce morally legislated egalitarian outcomes is liberalism working through social policy. Foreign Policy – A common misconception of today’s left is that “liberal” means anti-war and “conservative” means pro-war. I hate to point out the obvious, but more major wars have been waged in the twentieth century as a result of liberal/social politics than from radical/right politics (discounting the petty conflicts and internal skirmishes in places like Africa and South America). War is not franchised by either side, and is endemic to both. America has often justified its military action by saying it had to do with the issues of national security. Protection of the collective. The reasons given to go into Iraq (no matter what your believe one way or the other) was that it was a threat to the security of the United States. President George W. Bush has made Woodrow Wilson the guiding spirit of Republican foreign policy. A candidate who criticized nation building is now pursuing global social engineering. THIS ONE SHOULD STICK IN MOST AMERICAN LIBERALS CRAW: The Bush Administration has even advanced a doctrine of pre-emption that encourages war for allegedly humanitarian ends. Attempting to justify the Iraqi war retrospectively by pointing to Saddam Hussein's manifold crimes, the president apparently believes he may attack any nation to advance human rights. Fiscal Policy - I would challenge anyone to find any significant differences between the Bush Administration's fiscal policy and the Clinton Administration's. I think the first thing that springs to mind is "tax cuts"(always prefaced "for the rich"), but these were not significant enough to even be considered part of the fiscal policy. Those on the left and right were anxious to blame mounting deficits on tax cuts, the war, and a slow economy, but the simple truth of the matter is that President Bush is a bigger spender than both Clinton and Carter. (Yes, defense spending rose by about 34 percent since Bush came into office. But, at the same time, non-defense discretionary spending will have skyrocketed by almost 28 percent. Government agencies that Republicans were calling to be abolished less than 10 years ago, such as education and labor, have enjoyed jaw-dropping spending increases under Bush of 70 percent and 65 percent respectively). How else can one explain the administration publishing a glossy report criticizing farm programs and then proceeding to sign a farm bill that expands those same programs? How else can one explain the administration acknowledging that entitlements are going to bankrupt the nation if left unreformed yet pushing the largest historical expansion in Medicare one year before the election? Other than tax cuts—which have benefited the rich only because the rich paid, and still pay, most of the taxes—virtually nothing of conservative substance has happened. Government is more expansive and expensive than ever before. Actions speak louder than words. The Problem The problem with many liberals is that they are compartmentalized in thinking. They tend to define a political figure based on a single issue. For example, they will think that if someone is pro-life, then they are “conservative”, and completely ignore every other philosophy or action. (Side note: President Bush is not pro-life. Surprised?) Conservatives share these same blinders and have largely ignored the Bush Administration’s overall policies because of its apparent verbal placation of some of their pet issues. James Traub contends, "Today's Republican Party [led by the Bush Administration] is arguably the most extreme—the furthest from the center—of any governing majority in the nation's history." The only extreme detected in this tirade is James Traub's lack of education and understanding! This is the Administration and Party that has embraced as its own every liberal initiative, from Lyndon Johnson's Medicare to Jimmy Carter's Department of Education to Bill Clinton's AmeriCorps. This is the Administration and Party who have enacted a Medicare drug benefit that would represent the largest expansion of the welfare state in 40 years. This is the Administration and Party that is increasing federal education spending as if doing so had something to do with the quality of local schools. This is the Administration and Party that is increasing spending faster than an previous president or administration. Right-wing extremists? Evidently, from the Left, liberal means centrist, and moderate conservative approaches fascism. True conservatism must be off the scale. In short, a liberal who thinks that the Bush Administration or the Republican Party is "right-wing" is either so ignorant of politics and political science in general, or so far left that they think communism a wondrous concept. Truly educated liberals should identify with the Bush record. He is increasing the size and power of the U.S. government both at home and abroad. He has expanded social engineering from the American nation to the entire globe. He is lavish with dollars on both domestic and foreign programs. I think that the only thing they hate about him is that some call him conservative, he prays, and is against late term abortions. George Bush is a liberal socialist. Is there an truly educated liberal out there who can prove otherwise? -Jack Mercer Is it my guess that many liberals are not as "liberal" as they think they are?
posted by Jack Mercer @ 12/05/2005 03:36:00 PM  
24 Comments:
  • At 12/05/2005 04:24:00 PM, Blogger Sar said…

    Jack, it sure is a lengthy read. Let me take some time to read through and digest then I'll happily comment further. :)

     
  • At 12/05/2005 04:28:00 PM, Blogger Jack Mercer said…

    This may be one of those "bathroom papers", Sar :) Print it out and take your time!

    -Jack

     
  • At 12/05/2005 04:38:00 PM, Blogger krediet said…

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

     
  • At 12/06/2005 11:49:00 PM, Blogger SheaNC said…

    Jack, I haven't read it all yet, but at first glance, I can see that my first area of inquiry will be your "political model". Is this a subjective model, or is it a widely accepted standard? It is the foundation upon which you build, and if research shows that foundation to be cracked (i.e., a subjective model), well, then, your walls will come tumbling down!

     
  • At 12/07/2005 07:47:00 AM, Blogger Jack Mercer said…

    Well, Shea, Plato, Lenin, Marx...some of the greatest political minds in history were teachers of this basic concept. I claim to be nowhere near their degree of wisdom, though.

    -Jack

     
  • At 12/07/2005 10:11:00 AM, Blogger Smorgasbord said…

    I made some notes on my print out and I was going to address pretty much each paragraph, but for the sake of expediency, I'll just make one point/observation right now...

    You have nothing kind to say about Bush in this essay. You're probably right about where he and others sit in your model, but what's the difference? As far as I'm concerned, the point is Bush is terrible. He is bad for the country, and you prove it here on your very blog with your own words. Why have you spent so much time in past comments/posts defending him?

    The academic stuff about the model puts new labels on Bush's stance and the direction most "liberals" (in the common sense) want the country to go, but it doesn't change anything. It proved to me that you agree with most "liberals" about Bush and disagree with the Republicans (masked as conservatives) who choose to blindly support him regardless of the impact on our country.

     
  • At 12/07/2005 12:44:00 PM, Blogger Jack Mercer said…

    Note to all. The above comment that was deleted was a spam post. The Snipet NEVER deletes comments related to this blog, no matter what the opinion or statement is.

    Hi Smorg!

    Thanks for taking the time to read this incredibly long post. (And, I might add, fairly disorganized, and not very well-written one)

    When Bush was campaigning for the GOP nomination, I supported Alan Keyes. I maintained at the time that Bush's policy statements were largely socialist/centrist and predicted the direction of his presidency from day one. I also predicted that Bush's second term would be more liberal than his first.

    The only time I defend Bush is when the accusation leveled against him is founded in hearsay, illogic, and emotion. I believe in objectively viewing each situation on a case by case basis, and I defended Bush where credit was due. I did the same for Clinton, and will do the same for any president.

    Smorg, the problem is that we have a lot of irrational thought and emotion that goes into politics. I never understood someone hating someone else based on a differing ideology. The correlations of Bush to Hitler, saying that Bush is evil, and a lot of other moral judgments to me were just silly. My defense of Bush was often an attempt to get people to think objectively--something difficult for those who think with passion or emotion.

    Also, kindness has little to do with the objectivity of the post. As I have said many times, I would probably like President Bush as a person--I think I would even like President Clinton or Carter as persons. Disagreement with policy or political ideology has little to do with the equation. That is the reason I can come to a site like NeoLibs and think completely opposite of what you guys often promote, but still like you as individuals and people. I have never based my fellowship or associations on agreement. I think that only small and insecure people do that.

    I agree too that the Bush Administration has been bad for the country. I think that many presidents have been "bad" for the country leading it through policy both foreign and domestic in directions it should not go. I believe this about Congress too, and both political parties. I think anyone can objectively look at our government and say that they have made many decisions contrary to the good of this nation. But in all fairness, one has to also give credit where credit is due, and we are reluctant to do that if we are emotionally involved to the point of blindness. I characterize many on the left as such, because they fail to see that many of the Bush Administration's policies are favorable to them, and yet they can only focus on special interest issues like abortion and gay marriage--to the exclusion of all else. My point is that the left is inconsistent, and they don't know what they want. This is evident by their representative party which sits around complaining, but has little to offer in the way of action.

    Which leads into the kicker, Smorg. What is the alternative? Hillary Clinton? Howard Dean, the whole clown show called the Democratic Party?

    I have often said that we are in a headlong rush down the leftward path towards global fascism. The only difference in our two parties is the speed at which they travel. Justification for voting for the GOP has often been because they were slower in their headlong rush, but unless they wake up, they are closing the distance rapidly. I don't favor getting there sooner and a vote for the Democrats is such. There is plenty of things to criticize the Republican Party and the Bush Administration for, but the left propose no solutions and are bogged down in kook conspiracy theories. And...with current leadership, there is little chance it will gain any coherence.

    Also, you nailed it when you said that many conservatives have blindly followed the Republicans and the Bush doctrine. I maintain that their faith and trust has been badly betrayed, Smorg.

    Quick story: The News Snipet used to be an email newsletter. I sent out several Snipets concerning Bush's betrayal of conservative constituents and was asked by many of my subscribers to drop them from my email list. Smorg, I am first and foremost a principled conservative, and maintain that the Republican Party left me, not I it.

    Regards,

    -Jack

    PS.

    Some past posts:

    http://newssnipet.blogspot.com/2005/02/consistency.html

    http://newssnipet.blogspot.com/2005/02/ideologues.html

    http://newssnipet.blogspot.com/2005/02/more-on-bush-budget.html

    http://newssnipet.blogspot.com/2004/12/as-if.html

    http://newssnipet.blogspot.com/2005/01/new-world-order.html

    http://newssnipet.blogspot.com/2005/02/freedom-where.html

    http://newssnipet.blogspot.com/2005/02/physics.html

    And more if you care to search the blog.

     
  • At 12/07/2005 01:14:00 PM, Blogger Bouncie said…

    There was an interesting poll out my friend told me about. Bush's approval is at an all-time low at around 35 percent. But approval for the DNP is even lower.

    Bush is a "conservative" supposedly on things like religion and family, but your dead right on policy he's using the conservative name but is fiscally a liberal. And cutting taxes during wartime will eventually lead to higher taxes, though I suspect the conservative camp will not be broadcating it.

    I think a liberal conservative is worse because atleast with the "spend & tax" label of the DNP, you know what your getting when you vote.

    I suppose I believe the RNP is the "less worse" option, but I'm not a 'rah rah' person over any party or ideology. I'm too cynical and presume everyone is being deceptive.

     
  • At 12/07/2005 01:49:00 PM, Blogger Smorgasbord said…

    Jack, I guess you're just fond of being the devil's advocate, which is good. Your post makes me reconsider the label of "lefty" that I sometimes accept lovingly. As we've noted in prior conversations, you and I don't differ a heck of a lot in our political views. In fact the difference may just be that while you may consider yourself a disenfranchised Republican, I consider myself a disenfranchised Democrat. Perhaps that's because you live in SC and I live in MA, no? Maybe we should meet in Maryland for a cup of tea!

    Good discussion though. I have a hard copy that I will refer to regularly... for perspective.

     
  • At 12/07/2005 05:26:00 PM, Blogger Henwhisperer said…

    Global facism and global food supply. It's not good, either way.

    Hey, Jack, I've written you several times but they come back as delayed delivery for 2 days then not deliverable. Just wanted you to know.

    Hen

     
  • At 12/07/2005 06:14:00 PM, Blogger Jack Mercer said…

    Bouncie!

    Fantastic to see you! I lost touch with folks like you when I lost my first blogger format. Lost the link I had to your site and with it my way of navigation.

    Thanks also for taking time to read such a long post. I am in no way anti-Bush, I am simply a lover of freedom and our Constitution. As we move further away from that I am saddened because hundreds of thousands of American lives were sacrificed to preserve it and its ideals.

    One thing I have always noticed that I think that there are many Democrats and liberals who ARE WELL INTENDED. I think that many lose site of that, and need to be reminded. Like them, I am all for helping those in society that cannot help themselves, but at the same time I am a little leary about giving a leviathon sized government the power to do so fully realizing that the cost to everyone is far greater than if we shouldered those burdens ourselves. As a conservative I am a firm believer that government is FORCE and this always gives me pause to think about things that force should be applied to. Physical aggression is a good use of force, but forcing some to pay for others irresponsibility is not. I am beginning to ramble though.

    Thanks for dropping by, and great to see you again!

    Smorg, I do! I think that you and me are more independent than anything. As I said above, I think that many on the left are admirable and good people who are well intended. I think that if many on the left begin to suspect government and view it with a little more skepticism the conclusions will come to them.

    Maryland sounds good!

    Hi Hen!

    I finally dropped the website and have just gone exclusively with blogger. Because of that my address changed. I will update the link here on my blog.

    Good to hear from you as always!

    -Jack

     
  • At 12/07/2005 09:30:00 PM, Blogger SheaNC said…

    A SheaNC update... home from work... reading and adding footnotes... comments pending...

     
  • At 12/08/2005 11:19:00 AM, Blogger Toad734 said…

    So are you saying conservatives still want to count black people as property and 3/5 of a person and they believe slavery should have never been outlawed? Does it also mean that they would be against an amendment defining marriage? After all, change to the Constitution is bad right? Every thing was just fine they way it was. Also you said conservatives believe in a congress that should carry out the wills of the people but that they are also strong believers in the bill of rights. Those can very easily contradict each other. If the common will of the majority wants to own slaves for example, that doesn't mean they should be able to own slaves just because that happens to be the trend. Christianities war on secular society and gay people are other examples of how this contradiction comes to fruition. Just because the trend now is to carry your Bible to school and teach your kids that all homosexuals are evil and that they deserve no protection under the law (which is exactly what the American Family Associations web site says) doesn't mean our congress should cater to that; no, because it is merely a passing fad and they are wrong. All people deserve protection under the law, even these crazy Christians.

    Either the constitution is a living document or it isn’t. Even the NRA changed their constitution to allow Heston to be president longer. If they can change their constitution then why can’t we change ours?

     
  • At 12/08/2005 03:38:00 PM, Blogger English Professor said…

    Well, that was a totally intimidating post. Hmm, I have a decision to make: read it in its entirety, or study for comprehensive exams? Hmmm.

     
  • At 12/08/2005 05:38:00 PM, Blogger Jack Mercer said…

    Quick comments:

    Thanks, Toad, for your comments. There is a Constitutional process for ammending the Constitution, not re-interpreting it. There are those who want to change the meaning of the Constitution without consulting the will of the people. If there is a need to change the Constitution we can do it--and it has been done--but we can't just change its meaning to suite our needs.

    Hi EP!

    Good to have you back. PLEASE don't critique the grammer, spelling, etc. :) This was put together very quickly for some of my friends on the left who have asked me many times why I think that the Bush Administration is a liberal administration. I got tired of writing points and thought I would go ahead and do something permanent that I could refer them back to. There is much work to be done with the post, but I am working on it.

    -Jack

     
  • At 12/08/2005 05:39:00 PM, Blogger Jack Mercer said…

    Oops, maybe I spoke too soon, EP. Maybe I could use your help here...my very own editor! Critique away!

    :)

     
  • At 12/08/2005 07:08:00 PM, Blogger English Professor said…

    LOL. I have no desire to be a grammarian--was behaving like my students in looking for something quick and easy to read. :-)

     
  • At 12/08/2005 09:55:00 PM, Blogger Jack Mercer said…

    Well, EP, the Snipet is usually about brevity. As a matter of fact its supposed to be:

    "Snipet" (pronounced: snipe - it) is not a word.It is a derivative of two words: "Snipe" and "Snippet".

    Miriam Webster defines Snipe as: to aim a carping or snide attack, or: to shoot at exposed individuals (as of an enemy's forces) from a usually concealed point of vantage.andMiriam

    Webster defines Snippet as: : a small part, piece, or thing; especially : a brief quotable passage. Jack Mercer, therefore, defines "Snipets", as: brief, snide shots at exposed situations (not individuals--although sometimes this happens to) from a concealed vantage point.

    I am definitely getting more long winded the older I get!

    -Jack

     
  • At 12/08/2005 10:56:00 PM, Blogger SheaNC said…

    A SheaNC update... review complete... footnotes complete... formatting text... comments pending...

     
  • At 12/09/2005 12:31:00 AM, Blogger Kevin Mark Smith said…

    Sadly, I agree with everything you said in this "snippit." Bush is not conservative, though he is oddly concerned about his legacy in the minds of conservative voters. His judicial appointments (except for Miers) have been terrific, but everything else is suspect.

    The Patriot act really bothers me. It's being used against pro-life protestors in my own backyard. Unbelievable.

     
  • At 12/09/2005 01:58:00 AM, Blogger SheaNC said…

    “order to do this the first order of business is to have a basic understanding of the following political model”
    Must we? Whose model is it? Is it the universal one, or are there a lot of them? See political compass and political spectrum

    “Traveling in a leftward direction away from democracy is considered “liberalism”.”
    Is it? Or is movement towards liberalism a movement towards democracy? If everyone votes for liberal policies, how is that not democratic?

    “a move to the right would be toward complete libertarianism (where people’s individual rights trump majority rule)”
    Assumption that the right values individual rights, which is untrue: the very definition of conservative is to value conformity to the establishment.

    “a "conservative" is someone who wants to maintain the nation economically and socially as it was intended when established”
    By liberals! Conservatives wanted to remain with the crown (Tories).

    “A liberal would want to take us away from that ideal through means of "progress".”
    Quotation marks indicate an adverse reaction to the concept of progress – a conservative reaction against the individual desire for progress, and in favor of the conservative desire to maintain the status quo.

    “A true American Conservative wants to maintain the United States in its most purest form.”
    Definition problem: “purest form” can refer to any number of incarnations the country went through from its establishment through the civil war and beyond. Many of those changes were improvements, such as women’s suffrage, civil rights legislation, child labor laws, etc. The term might give people a warm fuzzy feeling when they read it, but is impossible to define, and subjective unless specifically defined.

    “With this framework in mind, you can be a political, social and economic expert!”
    Unless your political model is subjective, which reduces your expertise to opinion.

    “The Bush Administration has demonstrated time and again the philosophy that government is the solution for mankind and its problems.”
    Only if you confuse “government” with Bush’s neocon cabal.

    “I often get a chuckle when I hear liberals criticizing the Patriot Act, because in its essence it is liberal/socialist policy.”
    Wrong – liberalism is based on individual freedom. You're trying to re-define it.

    “Trade-”
    Liberalism is also based upon a free market. Another attempt to re-define it.

    “The Bush Administration has spent more on social spending than any other president to date, and holds the proud title of largest percentage increase since Jimmy Carter.”
    My casual research and personal experience say otherwise – I have to ask for a pointer to a source, here.

    “From day one, the Bush Administration pushed for socialized medicine. They have made huge strides in that direction ushering in the largest entitlement program to ever hit these United States.”
    You mean the big pharmaceutical-industry sweetheart deal? Or cutting healthcare benefits?

    “The gay marriage ban is a use of government to enforce the will of government for the “good of the collective”.”
    Again, redefining liberalism in opposition to its founding principle of individual liberty.

    “Many liberals I know are all for gay marriage, but they have no idea that the use of government to enforce morally legislated egalitarian outcomes is liberalism working through social policy.”
    Preventing gay marriage is enforcement (of conservative values). Allowing gay marriage is freedom (liberty... liberal).

    “A common misconception of today’s left is that “liberal” means anti-war and “conservative” means pro-war.”
    That’s not a misperception by the left. It is a perception widely enjoyed by both left and right.

    “The Bush Administration has even advanced a doctrine of pre-emption that encourages war for allegedly humanitarian ends. Attempting to justify the Iraqi war retrospectively by pointing to Saddam Hussein's manifold crimes, the president apparently believes he may attack any nation to advance human rights.”
    That’s only if you believe his lies, and exclude all the other reasons for, and allegedly for, going to war. Besides, the preemption excuse had nothing to do with the humanitarian excuse.

    “I would challenge anyone to find any significant differences between the Bush Administration's fiscal policy and the Clinton Administration's.”
    Tax cuts for the rich, dude.

    “Government is more expansive and expensive than ever before. Actions speak louder than words.”
    Why do republicans keep doing that?

    “The problem with many liberals is that they are compartmentalized in thinking. They tend to define a political figure based on a single issue. For example, they will think that if someone is pro-life, then they are “conservative”, and completely ignore every other philosophy or action.”
    Generalization, conjecture, exaggeration, all rendering the statment inaccurate.

    “(Side note: President Bush is not pro-life. Surprised?)”
    No. No one I know ever said he was. He is usually referred to as a murderer.

    “This is the Administration and Party that is increasing spending faster than an previous president or administration.”
    Again, the mistake is made of defining liberalism primarily as “spending”. Proceeding from that premise taints the analysis with a bias of misperception.

    “Evidently, from the Left, liberal means centrist, and moderate conservative approaches fascism.”
    And from Jack’s “right”, radical means centrist…?

    “In short, a liberal who thinks that the Bush Administration or the Republican Party is "right-wing" is either so ignorant of politics and political science in general, or so far left that they think communism a wondrous concept.”
    Closing arguments getting a tad aggressive there, aye, Jack?

    “He is lavish with dollars on both domestic and foreign programs.”
    “Lavish” is a relative term. What foreign programs? War? We spend a tiny, tiny percentage of our money on foreign aid.

    “I think that the only thing they hate about him is that some call him conservative, he prays, and is against late term abortions.”
    Slamming religious liberals reveals predjudice. You buy into the myth that liberals are atheists. There are lots of religious liberals, and their faith is as strong and as worthy as anyone's.

    “George Bush is a liberal socialist. Is there an truly educated liberal out there who can prove otherwise?”
    Absolutely.

     
  • At 12/09/2005 09:34:00 AM, Blogger SheaNC said…

    Postscript: my comments above were just rough-draft, so there might be some that appear incomplete...

     
  • At 12/09/2005 07:15:00 PM, Blogger Jack Mercer said…

    Hi Shea!

    I'll be back for more discussion. Just a quick note. I think you are illustrating my point that many liberals in the United States do not know the effects liberalism has had on it. I think that when liberals begin to wake up to what it was that they really held as core beliefs they will definitely feel a disconnect from their representative party (the Democrats), and revolt! Your comment raises a LOT of good points and so I will be back for more discussion.

    Thanks for commenting!

    -Jack

     
  • At 12/11/2005 12:21:00 PM, Blogger chickenhawk said…

    This is one of the best and most important posts I have ever read. It really stretches across a broad spectrum and doesnt pertain to one small issue. One thing that is for certain is how both parties have strayed from their true meanings, pretty much as a result of catering to special interests and striving to undermine the other side. As Jack defines Conservatism, there seems to be no place for a true Conservative in the GOP, nor does there seem to be any room for a true Liberal, as Shea would define, in the Democratic Party. It is funny how both parties want to alter the Constitution as they see fit too. The federal govt seems to have far too much control and all we see nowadays between the two deceitful parties is daily power struggle and who can screw who the hardest, while State governments have little say on the social issues in their state, just economics. But the federal govt sure sticks their nose in those too.

     
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