The Paradox of Modern Liberalism
Side Score: 25
Side Score: 32
I tried to give a basic overview of the paradox of tolerance in the first section of this, mentioning that the idea was alive and well with the rise of modern liberalism. Here we will briefly explore that rise and how it has contributed to the paradox of tolerance.
Beginning in the early 1900’s, modern liberalism (they referred to themselves as “progressives”) rallied behind Republicans such as Theodore Roosevelt, and Democrats such as Woodrow Wilson and William Jennings Bryant to fight corruption, corporations and to propose and push for government solutions to social and economic problems. This was a drastic departure from the prevailing thought before them, which for identification purposes we will call classical liberalism, that we will explore in the future. The movement then, and continuing into today, sought to combine civil liberties and equality while trying to support both a free market and a planed economy. Today you would see this view point expressed by both moderate Republicans and Democrats. Think both Joe Donelly of Indiana and John McCain of Arizona as a couple of examples. While they disagree on various points in how to reach the goal, those who are carrying the mantle of modern liberalism, whether Democrat or Republican, are in essence trying to do the same things. Public spending (tax dollars) are encouraged for education, health care, welfare programs, and the like. It expands the role of government in daily life.
Social Justice is a big buzzword these days and it is important to understand that what we tend to think of as social justice now differs a great deal than it has in the past. In the past it had more to do with an individual fulfilling their part in a society and in return receiving their due from society. In a more modern understanding it has come to deal with social safety nets, the distribution of wealth, economic justice,etc. I mention it because it will surely come into play now, and later, in this exploration.
A good explanation of the modern liberal is given by Paul Krugman in ‘The Conscience of a Liberal’
“I believe in a relatively equal society, supported by institutions that limit extremes of wealth and poverty. I believe in democracy, civil liberties, and the rule of law. That makes me a liberal, and I’m proud of it.”
Of course civil liberties have come to mean something very different also. In the modern setting, civil liberties, often called civil rights have no distinctions from political rights or the equal protection of law. They have become one and the same due to a combination of law and public opinion, but that is probably another blog in and of itself. In short, we have Roosevelt’s New nationalism, Wilson’s New Freedom, FDR’s New Deal, Truman’s Fair Deal, Kennedy’s New Frontier and Johnson’s Great Society. All of these are examples of modern liberalism. Modern liberals constitutionally would say that we need to understand what the constitution meant when it was written, then apply that to a modern setting, even if some principles are tweaked or changed.
From this modern liberalism, we have a branch, very popular today, called social liberalism. The basis for this political school of thought is that individual liberty requires an amount of social justice. Social liberalism believes that the role of government includes an increased role in healthcare, poverty, etc. It teaches that the good of the community is required for the freedom of the individual. From the group to the one. This is the predominate form of liberalism seen just after WW II in the nation. I want to note that a good many social liberals maintain a very conservative economic policy.
The progressive movement today hardly resembles Roosevelt’s progressive movement. The two are so dissimilar that I wanted to mention it simply so they are not confused. The modern progressive movement can be seen as calling for government to take measures, often extreme measures, to end the income gap, protect the environment, provide safety through gun control, etc. Bernie Sanders is a good example of a modern progressive. In many ways, Former President Obama was as well.
So, finally to the tolerance paradox. What does all of this have to do with anything? Let us work backward. Progressives demand an an almost cult adherence to their policies by and large, or there will be severe, at least verbally severe, consequences. We see this politically by much of the rhetoric of say a Nancy Pelosi. As an example, I will quote her from Morning Joe on MSNBC
Question: But how do Democrats who have the right policies economically. in their minds, how do they reconnect with a middle America who feels like sometimes they are looked down upon because of their faith or their values?
Pelosi Answer: Well, thank you for asking that question because the cultural issue, and especially when it comes to rural America, the isolation that some people feel there, plus they don’t think that Democrats are people of faith, when the fact is that we are. And I say, this will be a little not in keeping with the spirit of the day of unity, but I say they pray in church on Sunday and prey on people the rest of the week, and while we’re doing the Lord’s work by ministering to the needs of God’s creation they are ignoring those needs which is to dishonor the God who made them.
To at least this progressive, and it is the attitude of many more, they are doing God’s work, or at the very least the good work. No one else is. They are misguided. This is a prime example of the tolerance paradox. She, and those similar to her, have made a simple right or wrong choice, and for the sake of protecting that choice, for the good of us all of course, anything contrary to it must not be tolerated. As she mentioned God, we now have one of the many intersections of faith and politics in our country. Look at her words carefully. Middle America, at least those who did not vote her way, are dishonoring God. Now one can argue that this is not the majority social viewpoint, but she believes it is and thus acts using the paradox of tolerance to try and shut down such thoughts and actions. Notice the moral superiority here. It is essential for the tolerance of paradox. Those who are tolerant, must be morally superior in their views in order to shout down those who are, by their standard, intolerant. The justification for her saying such things will undoubtedly be that is her opinion so it is ok…which is terribly funny because undoubtedly a contrary opinion to hers will be mercilessly assaulted by the very same who justify it in yet another example of the paradox of tolerance.
Another example from modern liberalism is prohibition in the early 1900’s. Drinking was bad and wrong and must be stopped for the good of us all. A more modern example is the so called war on drugs. Use of certain drugs deemed dangerous by those in charge must be prohibited for the good of all. Sin taxes, those taxes specific to vices (alcohol, cigarettes, sugar in drinks, etc.) are another example. Mind you, I am again not making any sort of value statement about these actions, simply that they are examples of the paradox of tolerance. These things are not good for you, so you must stop and actions will be taken to try and get you to do so. If a profit can be turned in doing so, all the better. Think gambling in it’s various forms, and the numerous vice taxes we have.
It is my hope that by now you can see many examples of the paradox of tolerance in your daily life. Everything from local, state and federal government, to your personal interactions, to your life of faith. Some of those examples you will undoubtedly find to be good. Some not so good. Some probably terrible. Think about them, examine them, really completely discount them, but at least understand that they are there and they have become such an ingrained part of our social structure that it is impossible to escape.
Next up, the prevailing political opinion that came before all of this, classical liberalism.
Side: True dat
"To at least this progressive, and it is the attitude of many more, they are doing God’s work, or at the very least the good work. No one else is"
This is not a position isolated to Liberals or Progressives; this is pretty much every politician, or anyone with a political position to hold.
You will be hard pressed to find a single person on this forum on the left or right that thing that their group is not doing at the very least "the good work", and the other side is not.
Side: I object
We are doing the good work. The other side actually is trying to keep Trump from stopping terrorists from entering the country. His 6 nation travel ban had to go to the Supreme Court to get past these mindless lunatics that are more worried about their "obligation" to foreign strangers who have proven to be an infiltrated and dangerous, unvettable group, than they are about the safety of their own neighbors, friends, family and children.
Side: True dat
We notice this same Leftwing hypocrisy and double standards in many areas.
The Left supports keeping even criminal illegal immigrants safe in sanctuary cities. They care notuing for innocent people being harmed or killed by these illegal immigrants.
The Left is having a love affair with Muslims, while Muslims in America and in Muslim nations look the other way when Gays and women are executed on behalf of their religion.
The Left looks the other way when supporting "Black Lives Matter" who chant... "death to cops, when do we want them, Now!"
The Left not only looks the other way when viable babies are being torn apart, they actually support the inhumanity.
The Left never holds criminals accountabile for their actions. They want the tax payer to support criminal drug addicts on welfare, who chose to take illegal drugs while getting addicted.
The Left is very soft on crime because they are indoctrinated into this Liberal no fault any thing goes ideology. Our children are the victims of Liberal extremism.
These Leftwing Democrats actually think that handing out some food stamps to these children in broken homes is being compassionate. ROFLOL, talk about mindless fools.
Never will they actually address the breakdown in moral values in this culture. They just create more social bandaids to cover all the colatteral damage.
Side: True dat
"The Left supports keeping even criminal illegal immigrants safe in sanctuary cities. They care notuing for innocent people being harmed or killed by these illegal immigrants."
This is a grotesque misrepresentation.
For me, sanctuary cities are about harm reduction. Not prosecuting illegal immigrants who aren't doing anything else wrong when they come to the police, makes it more likely that these same people will co-operate with the authorities with more significant crimes including drug trafficking, human trafficking and other major crimes.
The idea, is not to waste time and resources on people who aren't committing the crimes to make it easier to focus on the ones who are.
So what you just said about "the left", is a massive strawman,.
"The Left is having a love affair with Muslims, while Muslims in America and in Muslim nations look the other way when Gays and women are executed on behalf of their religion."
Again, a MASSIVE misrepresentation. In reality, the left tries not to hold innocent people accountable for the crimes of others. For example, I don't think you are a racist because other conservatives are racist; and I think it would be bad treating you as such. In the same way treating people as if they are the problem when they are not; is an easily dependable position.
No one defends violence or extremism; just the people you often blame for it; though they have nothing to do with it.
So again, MASSIVE misrepresentation.
"The Left looks the other way when supporting "Black Lives Matter" who chant... "death to cops, when do we want them, Now!"'
Actually, there is some truth in this. In reality, the issue is that a number of the problems BLM are trying to highlight are critically important, and highly valid. Unfortunately, many (but by no means ALL), are cretins, as you say.
Rightly or wrongly (and I think wrongly, as it is harming the movement); many (but not all) on the left don't criticize BLM to avoid devaluing or appearing to devalue the issues they are standing for.
"The Left never holds criminals accountabile for their actions. They want the tax payer to support criminal drug addicts on welfare, who chose to take illegal drugs while getting addicted."
Actually, again this is a grotesque misrepresentation. It is about harm reduction, and viewing drug addiction as a medical issue rather than a criminal issue. We just have to look at the opiod epidemic to see that.
The left treats addicition as MUCH more nuanced and complicated than you're treating it. It's a realization that poverty and hopelessness drives drug use and addiction; and the harm caused to society by unabridged drug use is mitigated by harm reduction policies.
So no, your argument here is a gross misrepresentation.
"The Left is very soft on crime because they are indoctrinated into this Liberal no fault any thing goes ideology. Our children are the victims of Liberal extremism."
What "no fault anything goes ideology", you seem to be confused. I suspect you are confusing treating the liberal approach which is to focus on the DRIVING forces of crime; poverty, lack of education and access to education etc, as more important factors to deal with than the crime themselves.
Indeed, the nature of the US criminal system right now, is effectively broken; and that needs to be dealt with.
Perhaps either that, or you are confusing the ingrained bias in the criminal system; or the fact that the US incarceration rates are the highest in the world (or were), is not something to be proud of, but indicative of it's own separate problem.
Either way; again, a MASSIVE grotesque misrepresentation.
"These Leftwing Democrats actually think that handing out some food stamps to these children in broken homes is being compassionate. ROFLOL, talk about mindless fools."
Wait... what? Are you arguing that paying for human beings to eat when they have difficulty affording food is.... not compassionate? or wrong?
That doesn't even appear to be incoherent.
"Never will they actually address the breakdown in moral values in this culture. They just create more social bandaids to cover all the colatteral damage."
I don't think it's possible for the government address the breakdown in moral values in this culture and still be a democracy in any meaningful sense of the word.
Without having full state control of the media, draconian morality and speech laws to enforce a state approved moral code (who's moral values do you mean, btw? yours? mine? I can assure you they aren't fully the same), the state would need unprecidented powers over individuals in school and throughout society to address the breakdown in moral values.
That's the reality of what you're saying, to truly address the breakdown of morality; or at least to the degree you need; you'd need to turn the US into Saudi-Arabia.
And I'm sorry, but that doesn't interest me; and thus, my main interest is to limit the harm, and to use government means not to enforce or mandate morality, but to help prod people in the right direction and away from behaviors that measurably harm the citizens of it.
So please; Stop the grotesque misrepresentation of the people you don't agree with; it's pretty obscene, as you are not accurately portraying the left; you are simply parroting the caricature you have built.
Side: I object
The only person being grotesquely deceptive around here is you.
"Without having full state control of the media, draconian morality and speech laws to enforce a state approved moral code (who's moral values do you mean, btw? yours? mine? I can assure you they aren't fully the same), the state would need unprecidented powers over individuals in school and throughout society to address the breakdown in moral values."
So you are saying that America 50 years ago was like Saudi Arabia? Are you smoking something? We had no state sanctioned moral thought police 50 years ago. We had common sense values that did not hide from saying it like it is for fear of offending some irresponsible selfish idiot.
Guess what? We shamed selfish idots having one night stands and then walking out on their child for tax payers to support. SOCIETY, PARENTS, ALL SAID IT LIKE IT WAS BACK THEN!
But that's no longer politically correct in your no fault ideology.
Liberals such as yourself treat morals as a dirty word. You are the exact people who decided to censor any speech dealing with moral values from our pubic, and replaced it with your Leftwing political correct values.
So tell me in all your grotesque deception, whose political correct values do you mean? Mine, yours? I assues you we don't agree.
You are too much a fool not to see your hypocrisy. It's ok to push your Political correct values on America, but those old fashioned traditional values are NO LONGER ALLOWED!
Side: True dat
A common form of argument and is an informal fallacy based on giving the impression of refuting an opponent's argument, while refuting an argument that was not advanced by that opponent.
The typical straw man argument creates the illusion of having completely refuted or defeated an opponent's proposition through the covert replacement of it with a different proposition (i.e., "stand up a straw man") and the subsequent refutation of that false argument ("knock down a straw man") instead of the opponent's proposition
Side: I object
I can't "strawman" you. You never made an argument to strawman in the first place. A strawman is when you make a point and I take on another point. You never made a point to strawman.
2)I haven't made any argument. I simply described a logical fallacy that the left is known for using.
3)A strawman is taking on an argument that is easy to knock down, thus you have admitted that this liberal position is easy to knock down.
Side: True dat
1.) Is the first "Islam" or "Woman wearing Hijabs"?
No liberal ever says Either Islam, or Woman wearing hijabs is "liberation"
A woman being free to chose to wear (or not) rather than be forced to wear them by religions nuts; or forced not to wear them by secular nuts.
So; the point was misrepresented.
2.) Is that a woman cooking? Or in the kitchen?
No mainstream liberal (maybe some nutjob feminists rather than "liberalism as a whole") that I am aware of ever says woman chosing to say home is oppression.
There is (or was) a male dominated culture that taught at every level that the womans place is in the home, rather than to be free to do whatever they want.
3.) Christianity is homophobia.
No. It's not Christianity that is homophobia. It is the homophobic christians who claim 9/11 was caused by acceptance of Gays, or who ostracise their gay children.
4.) Violent islam is okay.
No liberal argues that the violence of Islam is acceptable.
So yeah; every single one of your asinine points grotesquely distorts liberal positions.
You are effectively lying about the nature of liberalism and commiting a strawman as a result.
You say you can't be engaging a strawman, because I haven't made an argument.
In a curious twist of irony; that itself is a strawman; as my point is that you are misrepresenting LIBERALISM not my own position.
So, in a case of strawmanception: you just strawmanned me pointing out your strawman was a strawman.
Side: I object
But if someone is more like a hipster and just wants to go try out some used classic liberalism from Goodwill then you don't see any harm in that?
Or hey, what if they got some hand-me-down liberalism from an older relative? Can't they walk around in it some, or should they just throw it in the trash?
Side: True dat