Jewish World Review Sept. 11, 2013/ 7 Tishrei, 5774
The grand myth of live-and-let-live liberalism
By Jonah Goldberg
Reasonable people may differ on the wisdom of these proposals, but as someone whose interest in such establishments begins and ends with keeping my daughter away from them, I can't get too worked up either way, save to say D.C. has bigger problems to worry about.
What did catch my eye was this line from the write-up in the metro section of the
As a conservative resident of
There is a notion out there that being "socially liberal" means you're a libertarian at heart, a live-and-let-live sort of person who says "whatever floats your boat" a lot.
Alleged proof for this amusing myth (or pernicious lie, take your pick) comes in the form of liberal support for gay marriage and abortion rights, and opposition to a few things that smack of what some people call "traditional values."
The evidence disproving this adorable story of live-and-let-live liberalism comes in the form of pretty much everything else liberals say, do and believe.
Social liberalism is the foremost, predominant and in many instances sole impulse for zealous regulation in this country, particularly in big cities. I love it when liberals complain about a ridiculous bit of PC nanny-statism coming out of
Uh, sorry to tell you, but you are "they." Outside of a "Law and Order" script -- or an equally implausible MSNBC diatribe about who ruined
Seriously, who else do people think are behind efforts to ban big sodas or sue hairdressers for charging women more than men? Who harasses little kids for making toy guns out of sticks, pop tarts or their own fingers? Who wants to regulate the air you breathe? The food you eat and the beverages you drink? Who wants to control your thermostat? Take your guns? Your cigarettes? Heck, your candy cigarettes? Who's in favor of speech codes on campuses and "hate crime" laws everywhere? Who's in favor of free speech when it comes to taxpayer-subsidized "art" and pornography (so long as you use a condom, if liberals get their way) but then bangs their spoons on their high chairs for strict regulations when it comes to political speech? Who loves meddling, finger-wagging billionaires like
At the national level, who bypassed
Did legislative and bureaucratic gremlins sneak into government buildings at night and pass all of these rules and regulations while the social-liberal free-thinkers were off not judging people and refusing to harsh anybody's mellow?
Sure, today's liberalism does carry within it some genetic lineage to the classical liberalism -- i.e., libertarianism -- of
Social liberalism -- better understood as progressivism -- is a worldview that seeks to use the state to support its preferred values and culture. That isn't libertarianism. Support for abortion rights does not make you a libertarian; it makes you someone who wants very lax regulations on abortion for ideological reasons. Which is why socially liberal bureaucrats in D.C. want to make you wait 24 hours to get a tattoo of a baby on your arm, but there's no waiting to have an abortion.
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