Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Tonight's post-vacation post comes from Robert, thanks for the feed. Here is a column written by Thomas Sowell and I couldn't have said it any better myself.

The Anger of the Left by Thomas Sowell

That people on the political left have a certain set of opinions, just as people do in other parts of the ideological spectrum, is not surprising. What is surprising, however, is how often the opinions of those on the left are accompanied by hostility and even hatred.

Particular issues can arouse passions here and there for anyone with any political views. But, for many on the left, indignation is not a sometime thing. It is a way of life.

How often have you seen conservatives or libertarians take to the streets, shouting angry slogans? How often have conservative students on campus shouted down a visiting speaker or rioted to prevent the visitor from speaking at all?

The source of the anger of liberals, "progressives" or radicals is by no means readily apparent. The targets of their anger have included people who are non-confrontational or even genial, such as Ronald Reagan and George W. Bush.

It is hard to think of a time when Karl Rove or Dick Cheney has even raised his voice but they are hated like the devil incarnate.

There doesn't even have to be any identifiable individual to arouse the ire of the left. "Tax cuts for the rich" is more than a political slogan. It is incitement to anger.

All sorts of people can have all sorts of beliefs about what tax rates are best from various points of view. But how can people work themselves into a lather over the fact that some taxpayers are able to keep more of the money they earned, instead of turning it over to politicians to dispense in ways calculated to get themselves re-elected?

The angry left has no time to spend even considering the argument that what they call "tax cuts for the rich" are in fact tax cuts for the economy.

Nor is the idea new that tax cuts can sometimes spur economic growth, resulting in more jobs for workers and higher earnings for business, leading to more tax revenue for the government.
A highly regarded economist once observed that "taxation may be so high as to defeat its object," so that sometimes "a reduction of taxation will run a better chance, than an increase, of balancing the Budget.".......full article


Dan Trabue said...

Interesting. While there is certainly some truth that many on the left are outraged a lot of the time ("If you're not outraged, you're not paying attention!"), but I generally find that those on the Right are the ones who resort to ugly speech and demonization of the Other.

Not the Right in general, mind you. Most folk I know, Left, Right, Up and Down, are generally amiable. It's the Very Few on either side who get bitter in their responses, in my experience.

Having said all of that, I can tell you why, to the degree that it's true, some of us on the so-called Left are angry some of the time: It's called moral outrage, moral indignation.

We think that some leaders are merely less-than-competent or taking us in directions that we seriously don't want to go in.

But ocassionally, a Reagan or a W Bush comes alonog and take actions, make statements and create policies that are SO morally wrong as to rouse our righteous anger.

I've asked this question repeatedly and rarely get a reasonable answer, if any: IF we think that a leader acting on our behalf has committed (for example) or likely committed war crimes, wouldn't you expect us to be outraged?

That seems like a no-brainer. I fully understand that you may disagree about the war crimes in the case of Reagan and Bush, but if WE think it the evidence shows that, we must react in some way or we'd be criminally and morally wrong, wouldn't you agree?

John Washburn said...

Dan, I felt that same way about Clinton. I felt we had no business in Bosnia (a CIVIL WAR) and certainly had no business putting US troops under foreign command. I felt that a decent man would have resigned after confessing adulterous behavior to the American public, and then purjuring himself in the court of law. I feel he was morally repugnant. The difference is that none of us on the right resorted to bully tactics, ie shouting down others in debate, denying them the right to speak their opinion, vandalizing the offices of public servants, throwing a pie at a left wing commentator. We did none of these things, yet our dislike of the man in power was just as strong.

I think the point of Sowell's article is that even though the Left seems to hold on to basic democratic principles, many of them don't practice these principles. Did anyone in the Clinton administration have their car pounced upon like Karl Rove recently did? There is no excuse for this. Disagree with Bush's policy all you want, but there is a right way and a wrong way in doing that.

Dan Trabue said...

I agree with you about Clinton - at least insofar as I didn't like him for some of those same reasons. But we didn't think he was likely guilty of war crimes - although there were a couple of instances that seem to have been at the least an abuse of power.

When the crimes are as serious as war crimes, people ought to be reacting.

Most of those opposed to Bush are not misbehaving in the way you cite. That is an extreme minority and not "The Left." If you want to decry boorish behavior, fine. We generally join you there.

Just don't ascribe it to a whole group of people as Sowell stupidly did.