A little over a year ago I wrote a piece that was part of my “comedy” posts. It was entitled, “On Thinking You’re Important” and I’ve provided the link below as the introduction to this post.
I hope you enjoyed that little vignette into our perception of ourselves.
Most of my readers, I hope will agree that when examining various issues, I try to take a balanced and a fair approach. Perhaps I don’t always achieve that standard and I would be the first to admit that each of us has certain predispositions which influence our thinking. But I believe that an intelligent person owes it to her or himself to try to arrive at a logical answer to every question based only on the evidence, not on pre-formed personal opinion. It is for that reason that I consider myself a libertarian conservative. I was not always so.
Frankly, whether the label we apply to either a movement or an individual is Republican or Democrat, conservative or liberal probably is inadequate to completely define a person or a group. Some of my conservative friends and I disagree on the way to address a specific problem and I agree with others of my liberal friends on certain issues. But it would be fair to say that it is far easier, if I had to describe myself, to identify with one camp rather than the other – even if that means that we disagree on the fringes. Conservatism offers me the right to form my own opinions – something I see lacking in the liberal camp. Furthermore, while my views might evolve over time, they don’t juxtapose themselves from one side to its diametric opposite overnight with no rational reason to explain this change.
A liberal reader might find it easy to disagree with his conservative counterpart. I understand that. But the reason for the disagreement stems from the fact that most conservatives have a clear and stated position to which they adhere. They have a world view which might be incompatible with the view of others. And that is exactly the point. You know where most conservatives stand on any given issue and it doesn’t change on a daily basis or because it is politically expedient to alter the view to garner votes in the next election.
That is perhaps my biggest difficulty with taking liberalism seriously. What is today in liberalism is just as likely to be what it isn’t tomorrow. How can a reasonable person take any ideology seriously if it is subject to change without notice?
I believe most of us would agree that President Obama has a “liberal agenda.” So as I look at him as the current titular head of the liberal movement in America and review his positions, I wonder how anyone can play follow the leader with him at the head of the Conga line.
Gay marriage – opposed as a candidate – now embraced as the Holy Grail; opposition to increasing the deficit as a U. S. senator – now nearly doubled during his administration; stating that we should close Gitmo during his first campaign – that facility is still open; anger and outrage at the IRS scandal and the promise to get to the bottom of it – now over a year later his administration setting up barriers to those who would investigate it; and, of course, there is Obamacare, touted as the best thing to happen to America since the invention of sliced bread – now in its 35th changed iteration. This list is far from complete. Which brings me to the current rage in liberal talking points – “The war on women.”
Ayaan Hirsi Ali is a Somali woman who is an author and filmmaker. In her homeland she was subjected to genital mutilation and left the country when she refused to become a wife in a marriage her family had arranged. She has written extensively on the way in which Islam treats women and has made a documentary detailing behavior that, if it occurred in America, would subject the perpetrator to a long jail term.
Most Americans would consider public beatings, execution as a result of “honor killings,” even something as simple as the refusal to allow women to drive cars or be seen in the company of male non-relatives to be far more serious than issues of whether women earn the exact same rate of pay as their male counterparts. But apparently, that is not the view that the liberal cause has currently chosen as a basis for their most recent crusade.
A fatwa has been issued against Ms. Ali for her writings and the documentary on Islam that she produced. This gives any faithful Muslim the right to assassinate her should the opportunity present itself. That in itself ought to give any person, liberal, conservative or independent a reason to speak out about this barbaric culture and its proponents. But do we hear that from our liberal friends? Quite the contrary.
Brandeis University, one of the most self-identified “liberal” schools was going to offer Ms. Ali an honorary degree – until a significant portion of its faculty signed a petition opposing the award. That in itself is somewhat confounding since Brandeis has a long history as a school with a large preponderance of both Jewish professors and students. Perhaps they’re unaware that Islam speaks of the Jews in the most derogatory terms and has vowed that it will bring about the end of Israel.
When it comes to the “war on women” there are real issues. And while there may be some inequity in this country, compared to a significant portion of the rest of the world, I fail to understand why there is no outcry from our liberal friends about the sort of medieval behavior to which Ms. Ali and other women in the Muslim world are the victims. Frankly, their focus is similar to that of a doctor who is treating a patient with terminal cancer and is focusing his attention on the fact that the patient has an ingrown toe nail.
That is why, although they speak with fiery rhetoric and great passion, I find it hard to take liberal views seriously. Methinks they do propound too much. But in fairness, I might change my opinion. After all, in liberalism, what is today may not be tomorrow. And tomorrow is another day.