"The modern conservative is engaged in one of man's oldest exercises in moral philosophy; that is, the search for a superior moral justification for selfishness."
- Kenneth Galbraith
"Of all the varieties of virtues, liberalism is the most beloved."
"As Mankind becomes more liberal, they will be more apt to allow that all those who conduct themselves as worthy members of the community are equally entitled to the protections of civil government. I hope ever to see America among the foremost nations of justice and liberality."
"Somebody came along and said 'liberal' means 'soft on crime, soft on drugs, soft on Communism, soft on defense, and we're gonna tax you back to the Stone Age because people shouldn't have to go to work if they don't want to.' And instead of saying, 'Well, excuse me, you right-wing, reactionary, xenophobic, homophobic, anti-education, anti-choice, pro-gun, Leave it to Beaver trip back to the '50s,' we cowered in the corner and said, 'Please don't hurt me.'"
-The West Wing (Television show)
“The Liberal Dictator”
Many conservative Christians label liberals as effete, snobbish, un-American immoral godless heathens ever in search of their own gratification, living by selfish “Darwinian” mores and dying alone with no solace of God or the afterlife to buoy them in their last hours.
According to them, we liberals are craven and pathetic indeed. Oh, and we’re all going to hell, of course.
Since religion has become inextricably intertwined with the conservative Republican Party we have to take that into account as well. Now they claim to have the moral high ground simply because they’re convinced that they’re the side that God is on.
Well, so was Hitler. “Gott Mit Uns.”
I’ve heard many Christian conservatives insist that Hitler wasn’t a Christian, that in spite of all the times that he claimed to be one and in spite of how he co-opted the religion and its symbolism for his Nazis, he was not a Christian, and even if he thought that he was, he wasn’t a “real” Christian, since no “real” Christian would act that way, would act in so “un-Christlike” a manner.
That seems a bit silly to me, since it reduces the number of real Christians in the world to like twenty-seven. But what the heck, I’ll play along.
Christians will also mention that Stalin, Lenin, and Pol Pot were all atheists. Which seems to support their point that being religious is not necessary to being a dictator.
And they’re right. Being religious is not a prerequisite to being an evil dictator. I will grant the point to them at long last. I finally agree. It can definitely help you to be a more efficient evil dictator, but it’s not a prerequisite.
Being a conservative is, though.
Hitler may have been a Christian, but even if he wasn’t, and instead was the “athiest” atheist ever to walk the planet, he most certainly was a conservative. There’s no denying that.
What of Stalin, Pot, Lenin, and all the rest of the known dictators past and present, religious and atheist?
All conservatives. It’s the common denominator.
In fact, the very definition of the word liberal runs contrary to the necessary tactics and philosophy of the dictator. It’s actually impossible for a dictator to be a liberal. There is no such thing as a liberal dictator. Not now. Not ever. Every single one in all of history has been a conservative. Authoritarianism is immiscible with liberalism. Like oil and water. They cannot coexist in the same individual.
Conservatives persist in maintaining that their way is the better path, that their way is the optimal, that their way is the only smart way to run a country. They continue denigrating liberals, and have made even the word “liberal” itself into a slur. A word that means “open-minded” and “forward-thinking” is now a slur. They foment anger and hatred and they just love the politics of division. They keep secrets from the people and approve of torturing our enemies. They attempt to repress the freedom of the press by making them out to be biased when they’re not. They refuse to testify when subpoenaed, claiming higher authority. And they have gutted our constitution and have given themselves as much power as they could get away with giving themselves, which turned out to be a lot. Not to mention the big one, starting an un-necessary war for a distraction. (oh crap, I mentioned it)
We were told that if we forget the past we’re doomed to repeat it, but the conservatives ask us to do just that.
Well, not me.
Instead, I’ll keep asking this question whenever a conservative tells me how worthless being a liberal is:
“Which one out of all the evil dictators, tyrants, and despots in the entire history of the world, past and present, was a liberal?”
I like the sound of silence that follows.