Sunday, November 23, 2008

A (short) list of liberal accomplishments

In my post about the National Review Institute, I complained:
Too many of the NRI panelists were willing to cede ground to global warming, the biggest liberal hoax since the "homeless crisis" of the 1980s. Besides the specific evidence of fraudulent statistical manipulation and the problematic assumptions of climate "modeling," the very fact that liberals passionately believe in global warming is an argument against the theory. When have liberals ever been right about anything?
That last taunt prompted a troll to respond:
Let's see, off the top of my head:
Civil rights (and abolition, for that matter)
Ending child labor
40 hour work week
Rivers tend not to catch afire anymore
There are still bald eagles
Read "The Jungle" next time you eat a steak
I suppose other examples might be added, but let's go with this list for starters. Upton Sinclair's "The Jungle" was published in 1906 and the Pure Food and Drug Act was passed that same year. Child labor was outlawed and the 40-hour week was mandated by the Fair Labor Standards Act of 1938. The Cuyahoga River in Cleveland caught fire in 1969. The Environmental Protection Agency was created in 1970, and the Endangered Species Act (credited, rightly or not, with saving the bald eagle) was passed in 1973. Slavery was abolished by the 13th Amendment (1865) and the Civil Rights Act was passed in 1964.

Shall we credit all of these measures as "liberal"? U.S. Grant and W.T. Sherman might eschew that label, and both the EPA and the ESA were signed into law by Richard Nixon. Shall we credit all these measures as successes? After all, we have not abolished child labor, merely outsourced it to the Third World, and you can ask the average professional (say, a young lawyer) when the last time was he worked a 40-hour week.

Yet call all of these measures unalloyed successes and credit them all to liberalism, and it's still a pathetically short list of achievements, most of them accomplished 70 or 100 years ago. And I fail to see how today's liberals can really claim credit for a food-safety law passed before any of them were old enough to vote. Will liberals next claim their opposition to the crucifixion of Christ as evidence that we should trust them about global warming?

Liberals promote a sort of Whig history of continual progress, wherein everything good and beneficial is credited to crusading liberals and all failures and shortcomings are the fault of their opponents. And this mantle of historical liberal virtue is then draped around the shoulders of the next liberal crusade, so that to oppose liberalism is analogous to opposing progress -- not merely the "progress" proposed today, but centuries-old "progress," as well.

It's a scam, a dishonest hustle, and if all the myriad measures that liberals say are necessary to "progress" today were enacted tomorrow, the liberals would come back the day after tomorrow with a new list of demands. This fact -- the absolute endlessness of the liberal appetite, the sheer voraciousness with which they seek new legislation -- is why it's so much easier simply to oppose liberals in everything.


  1. ahh Robert, sometimes I think you have hope, a Conservative that actually gathers information to form his opinion, then I see you have no hope, a Conservative who gathers information to justify your opinion


    for your information the declaration of Independence is a liberal document, the constitution is a liberal document, the Gettysburg address is a liberal documentation.

    Thomas Jefferson was of course a liberal and if here today you would deride his principles as if he were mad, so if you want a list of "liberal accomplishments" start before your very nose, this great nation, from there you should have no difficulty comming up with far too much to remember

    it's a scam, a dishonest hustle, and if all the myriad measures that liberals say are necessary to "progress" today were enacted tomorrow, the liberals would come back the day after tomorrow with a new list of demands. This fact

    you got one right, it is indeed a fact, it is called progress, it is called the progressive, it is the reason we have today better cars then yesterday, it is the reason we no longer live in caves, the reason we walk on two legs, it is the reason you and I are talking though we have no idea where each of us hail

    yes, I am a liberal by right wing corporate media standards, (though really I am an old time Conservative but that principle is probably lost on you)

    I am what the right wing and corporate media wants to call a "liberal", uand I ppose you are going to call me a troll, in fact I am neither, I am here for the debate, to be convinced or to convince

    I am by all but the latest neo-con high jack of the word, a Conservative

    fiscal responsibility, small deficit, small government, strong military, international integrity, adhering to the contracts and treaties of past presidents, securing our constitution and the principles of the founder (not the principles of the depraved federalists Jefferson fought against I might add), lower taxes for the people, higher taxes for non people, (no, corporations are not people, if they want to enjoy the rights of people they need to decertify their corporation)

    no, reagan did NOT "lower" taxes, as I told you before he RAISED taxes more then any peacetime president before him, no republicans do NOT "lower" taxes they redistribute taxes, no flat tax is not "fair", the higher percentage you use and gain from assets the more you need to pay into that system, it's called "paying your own frigging bills", a concept lost on the current breed of "republicans" and "concervatives" (they are neither, republicans are NOT for welfare and they are NOT for making other people pay their bills, that's the neo con

    the center is what you Robert call "the left", and even those who represent themselves as "Conservatives" and the vast majority of people who call themselves "republicans" are actually "liberal" by the right wing, corporate owned and consolidated media's definition.

    so go on with your bad self, claiming you don't know anything liberals accomplished as if someone but the base might believe you

    sadly, the base will

  2. Robert, it is a dirty lie to say that Civil Rights and Abolition were liberal causes, as we understand the word liberal today. Both were opposed vociferously by the Democratic Party. Indeed, abolition gave birth to the modern Republican Party and the 1964 Civil Rights Act was filibustered by Democrats until a largely Republican coalition managed to break it and bring it to a vote.

    Those are, as you say, facts. I concede nothing to modern progressives whose intellectual history reeks of oppression, government-sponsored gangs of thugs, horrific eugenics programs, abject poverty, and the worst sorts of suppression of speech and religion ever seen in the history of the world.

    When I see a proud progressive, I know I am looking at someone who known nothing about the history of the movement and doesn't care to learn.