The strange clash between the liberals and the conservatives

Here at VFR, I frequently criticize the mainstream conservatives for being too liberal. As we also know, however, the left sees the mainstream conservatives as … well, here are some excerpts from an angry liberal web site called firedoglake, which was linked by Michelle Malkin:

Why Kate O’Beirne is a Dangerous B*tch

It is a dangerous time to be an American. We live under virtually unchallenged one party rule, and that one party is on a rampage to make torture morally acceptable. Karl Rove and Ken Mehlman invite screaming racist Michelle Malkin to lunch, and today Peter Kirsanow is paraded before the Senate by the GOP as an “expert.” Both of these people applaud rounding up American citizens and putting them into concentration camps.

Hate-list books like O’Beirne’s, Bernard Goldberg’s, and especially Ann Coulter’s are the leading edge of something ugly and scary and are softening up the public discourse for increasingly eliminationist rhetoric.

Nazi antiSemitism was a ludicrous distraction too, at the start, barely worth the energy to ridicule, much less refute.

Now I’m as big a photoshop fan as the next person, but those caricatures on the front of O’Beirne’s book look like nothing so much as the hideous caricatures of Jews in Nazi paraphernalia of the Third Reich.

Two observations that I’ve made before: First, while today’s mainstream conservatives are not, of course, fascists, there is a definite “fascist-like” quality about them, consisting of their overstressed patriotism, the hysterical note in their support for the troops, the way they form a mass against their leftist enemy, and their essential lack of interest in any intellectual activity other than attacking the left. I’ve also said in extenuation that given the sheer evil and madness of today’s left, this “fascist-like” reaction by the “right” is somewhat understandable, if still very regrettable.

Second, the fact that the mainstream conservatives are constantly called fascists and racists convinces them that they really are, no, not fascists and racists, but real hard-line right-wingers, standing at the utmost bound of human politics. (Let the disgusting absurdity of this sink in for a moment: Jonah Goldberg looks in the mirror and sees a hard-line right-winger.) This image of themselves, imposed on them by their leftist enemies, makes the mainstream conservatives dismiss as sheer crackpottery the criticism—coming from traditionalist conservatives like myself—that the mainstream conservatives are, in reality, liberals. Even worse, as far as the mainstream conservatives are concerned, it places traditionalist conservatives beyond the utmost bound of human politics .

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Reader van Wijk sums up very well the bizarre dynamic of modern liberalism, in which the more extreme the liberals become, and the more they dominate the society, more they see themselves as a victim class oppressed by an ascendant fascism. He writes:

The leftist web page that you quote said:

“We live under virtually unchallenged one party rule, and that one party is on a rampage to make torture morally acceptable.”

One of the most important (if not the most important) parts of modern liberalism’s foundation is that strength can only be found in victimhood and one’s oppressed status. The liberal honestly believes that he is a dissident, a courageous nonconformist, and is speaking truth to power. To support his self-image, he must forever live within the shadow of a monolithic and oppressive government.

Of course, this is a sham. It takes no courage to speak out against the president. In fact, rabidly bashing Bush and “conservatives” is a multi-million dollar industry. Liberals are not dissidents, and indeed they have no idea what real oppression is. If Cindy Sheehan had been born a Soviet subject, no one would have ever known her name. She’d be in an unmarked mass grave somewhere in Siberia.

No matter how powerful the Democrats get, no matter how left-leaning and conciliatory the Republicans get, people like Sheehan and Ted Rall will keep telling us that Bush is worse than Hitler, and that Rove is worse than bin Laden. They could have majorities everywhere, be implementing a new socialist or multiculturalist policy every day, and still they would paint themselves as victims because not to be a victim is not to be a liberal. This is one of the reasons that liberalism is doomed. A professional victim cannot survive in the “real” world.

A few months ago I remember reading with delight one of your posts, in which you said that liberals live in an anti-world and breathe anti-air, where up is down and black is white. Throughout all of our recorded history, from Troy to WWI, it has been human nature to strive to become physically stronger than your adversaries, to defend your border, your culture, and your nation against the tide of hostile neighbors, to view Us as superior to Them. In a word, to survive. Liberalism is an anomaly, a 50-year blip within 5000 years of tooth-and-nail survival. As you have said many times, it cannot endure.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at June 09, 2006 10:33 PM | Send

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