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What’s So New About Liberal Ideas?

American leftists are a bunch of reactionaries who defend the status quo and get angry at actual change.

by
Frank J. Fleming

Bio

March 1, 2011 - 12:00 am
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So in this country we have the liberals — the progressives — and their new ideas to change the country and lead us forward. And not just lead us forward, but win the future. Their obstacles are the conservatives who are scared of change and stuck in their old ways of thinking. Conservatives get angry at the thought of change, but liberals love change, embrace the new, and break the status quo.

At least that’s the conventional wisdom: The right in this country preserves old, stale ideas while the left fights for new ones. Which leads me to what seems to be a really obvious question: What, if any, of the ideas of liberals these days are new?

Like with the election of Obama, it was supposed to be this big progressive revolution. It seemed to me more of a reactionary thing where people were sick of Bush and latched onto the first seemingly inoffensive guy they saw, but liberals assured us that this was the start of a new era — a new enlightenment. So what was the first big, new thing they did? With the economy hurting and people crying out for change, what brand new revolutionary idea did they get to first?

Have the government spend lots of money.

I’ll let that sink in for a moment. It’s a really new idea; it might take some time to comprehend a concept so novel and revolutionary as that one. I mean, it’s not like it’s the same solution the Democrats have had for everything for the past one hundred years. Maybe we should tell Europe about this brand new idea; let’s get this revolution of government spending lots of money to really spread.

And that wasn’t the only new idea the liberals had. They also had another innovative idea to save the failing car companies and fix health care. What was it? Well hold on to your hats, because it’s pretty crazy and fresh:

The government could take over private industry.

What a new idea! What a groundbreaking way of looking at things! Usually we keep government and industry separate, but this idea is to have the government run an industry — that’s mind blowing! It’s just a completely original idea. Hey, Hitler back in the 1930s, have you and your National Socialist German Workers’ Party ever heard of the idea of the government taking over a business? Of course not, you right-wing fascist; it’s a new progressive idea.

By the way, if Godwin has a problem with anything I write, he can tell me himself.

But the new ideas don’t stop there. Have you heard of President Obama’s latest idea to really get the economy going?

Build fast trains.

What an insane new idea! I mean, it’s totally something innovative that will “win the future” and not an economic solution that would seem more in place in the late 1800s.

Some of you may have been confused by those last few paragraphs; what I was doing was being insincere in a humorous way. It’s a brand new thing called “sarcasm” — just as new as all those liberal ideas.

Seriously, though, shouldn’t “liberal” or “progressive,” when used to describe the left, be in scare quotes, because what exactly are they pushing that isn’t some old, failed idea of the last century? Much of liberalism these days involves looking over at Europe and their failing economies and riots and saying, “Hey, let’s try their old ideas!” The only arguably new idea they’ve had is gay marriage, but that’s just taking an idea as old as mankind itself and applying it to more people — so at best it’s newish. And it’s not even a proposed solution to the big problems of the day (we’re not going to gay marry our way out of severe unemployment). Plus president Obama is against it.

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