Saturday, November 19, 2011

Guest post: Liberal Swan Song

A few weeks ago, I composed this "swan song" to a liberal friend who was no longer interested in hearing my opinions. In order to maintain friendship and civility, I resolved not to share these thoughts or opinions anymore with those who do not want to challenge their comfortable, if inflexible thinking. So I sent this explanation of why and how I came over to the dark side. I thought you might be interested.

Larry Greenberg

Here is my last comment on this subject, respecting your wish not to be on the receiving end of my political opinions. I feel the need to share a bit about my political journey, one in which I feel I actually stood still. The party and candidates of my "genetic" or habitual affiliation had radically changed. They no longer represented my personal interests or what I came to see as the true interests of America and Israel (I feel that the two are closely linked). I found that in the name of social justice and fairness, liberals had perversely come to reverse the very principles that they had worked for in the 1950s and 1960s:  fairness of opportunity based on personal responsibility, tolerance based on respect for traditions and religions that are tolerant and respectful in return, alliances with countries and movements that are based on the rule of law-human rights-independent judiciary-elective democracy, and the defense of the US based on overwhelmingly deterrent power.

I came to find that the so-called progressives had turned away from a culture and legal system intended to protect the rights of every individual to a system of political correctness in which government and its bureaucracies favor specific groups over all citizens. I found that the ideas of post-War era critics of colonialism were now turned into an ideology where the West accepted guilt for the economic, political and often murderous failures of other countries and societies. Once upon a time, I had admired the federal role in balancing various interests in the economy, overturning barriers to opportunity, especially in overthrowing Jim Crow, and a century of public health-environmental improvements, culminating in clean air and water reforms in the 1970s (ironically enacted under Nixon). Now I see an explosion of a bureaucratic elite that at all levels of government have gone beyond the necessary and seems to impose regulations that stifle initiative and that mostly perpetuates the bureaucrats themselves. The creeping expansion of government has been financed by massive debt. Not even the growing confiscation of income through taxes for the purpose of redistribution to favored groups can close the gap. And by now we have ingrained a deeper and wider culture of dependency where half the population receives government payouts.

What happened to me about 5 years ago is that I took stock of my values and interests and saw that those concepts and politicians who traditionally had my allegiance were really hostile to me and others like me. I felt that I had been betrayed by those who still called themselves liberals. It may appear that I am on a mission to share my stand-still journey with those who seem to have similar interests and values. I have found that a few people are open to rethinking their positions, others just don’t want to think about such things, and others are actually offended that I bring up such subjects.

Since I value your friendship, I will stop sending such stuff, but in this swan song, I wanted to explain why I have shared my thoughts with you.


  1. Very nicely stated Larry, I couldn't agree with you more. SueAnn

  2. Welcome home. Pull a chair up by the fire and grab a beer.

    The biggest difference I've come to see between progressives and the rest of us is that progressives insist on treating everyone as part of some group, almost any group. The rest of us are content to deal with each other as individuals.

    Be thankful your problem was "only" with a friend; mine is with my 44-year old daughter.

    Ron Pittenger