David Brooks, writing for the New York Times laments, Where Are the Liberals? “This should be the golden age of liberalism” he says. And yet, declared conservatives outnumber declared liberals by a factor of two to one. “How can that be?” he asks.
“The Republican Party is unpopular and sometimes embarrassing” says Brooks, inferring that conservatives and the Republican Party are one and the same. The author is perplexed as to why the foibles of the Republican Party don’t lead more conservatives to join the liberal camp. One has to wonder what he thinks the Tea Party is all about.
Brook’s reasoning is also myopic. The relative popularity of the two philosophies was put to a test in the 2010 elections. The rest of us know who won that popularity contest. And embarrassment? What could be more embarrassing than having to grant waivers to more than 1,200 companies and over 4 million employees to excuse them from compliance with a law that was so poorly constructed there was little other choice? The answer is granting waivers to a law your own Party rammed through Congress against the will of the people; that’s what could be more embarrassing!
“Over the past 40 years, liberalism has been astonishingly incapable at expanding its market share.”
Now I ask what is astonishing about the fact that something that doesn’t work, doesn’t sell very well? Mr. Brooks thinks he has the answer.
The most important explanation is what you might call the Instrument Problem. Americans may agree with liberal diagnoses, but they don’t trust the instrument the Democrats use to solve problems. They don’t trust the federal government.
You can bet your belly button they don’t! And it is not just the instrument they don’t trust; they don’t trust the players either. Holders of the liberal point of view put their faith and trust in the wisdom, integrity and leadership of an elite few, oblivious of the fallibility of man. When it fails they blame the few. Even after it became obvious that the Soviet Union was failing the Russian people, the left didn’t find communism to be at fault. The problem was simply that Stalin was the wrong man for the job.
Finding a better instrument to play the liberal theme isn’t the answer to the problem. The liberal theme itself is the problem.