Friday, April 19, 2013

The Elegance of Simplicity

The Power Line blog asks a rhetorical question, “Why aren’t more voters repelled by the constant parade of vulgarity, hate and violence that characterizes modern liberalism?”  They point to demonstrations at the funeral of Margaret Thatcher.

Power Line’s question is provocative, but it has an easy answer.

Here in America, liberalism is practiced by the Democratic Party, and it is easy to become a Democrat.  You don’t need to learn any difficult policy prescriptions or constitutional issues.  You simply have to believe in your feelings, and hold to one guiding sentiment:

I have high ideals and I dislike Republicans.

Consider the elegance of that conviction.  It is a kind of “homage to self esteem” for adults.  You know you are better than others because you are idealistic and keep a sharp focus on your central animus.

There is similar orthodoxy in other cultures.  In a totalitarian environment, your high ideals might be vested in a particular leadership figure and your hatred directed at another country.  Alternatively, your high ideals could be associated with religious fervor and your hatred directed at those who practice a separate religion.

These feelings are universal characteristics of the human condition.  They have been with us forever, and will always bring an attraction to those political/religious movements that adopt this simple structure.

UPDATE 5/17/2013:
Peggy Noonan and Kim Strassel have articles in today's Wall Street Journal that look at the impact of the idealism of the Democratic Party on our culture.  Americans are starting to pay attention.

UPDATE 5/24/2013:
Peggy Noonan and Kimberley Strassel press their insistence for an independent investigation of actions by the U.S. Internal Revenue Service.

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