June 20, 2010
The Most Loathsome Thing
Even as a teenager, I spent too much of time trying to understand why I despise and hate liberals -- though I share some of their beliefs and reject some beliefs of conservatives (which is why I'm not a conservative). In recent years, I've been narrowing down why I instinctively recoil from liberals but not from conservatives, who I rather like. I think I can express my loathing in a single word, albeit with a little subsequent explanation: It's liberal smugness.
I don't mind arrogance per se. Arrogance can spur the arrogant into Herculean effort and Achillean boldness, as they struggle to prove they really are superior to others. The superiority becomes self-fulfilling; arrogance can lead to astonishing scientific breakthroughs, brilliant works of art, and stunning military victories.
Nor do I have a problem with a sincere search for profundity; I engage in that myself (along with arrogance!) virtually every day. But the key word is "sincere": One must be ruthless in rejecting the easy answer, the glib aphorism; the profound can only be uncovered by sweating out the real, no matter how difficult to understand. And one must accept that the final revelation is that there is no final revelation: There is no "theory of everything," there's always more to learn and a better understanding just around the next corner. No loitering!
But what grinds my teeth on edge is smugness -- here defined as "arrogance without effort." Smugness leads to pedestrian profundity, the quotidian "revelation" that is in fact utterly trite. Smugness leads to condescension towards anyone unevolved enough not to share the "vision" that Thomas Sowell discussed in (what else?) the Vision of the Anointed. (Think of Hillary Clinton, Anita Dunn, and Rahm Emanuel. Or the Obamacle Himself, for that matter.)
This is contemporary liberalism in a nuthouse: arrogant, intellectually lazy, gullible to every crackpot "revelation" that fits the Vision, condescending, appealing to self-authority, and smug, smug, smug. See, it's not the beliefs and tropes of liberalism that make my flesh crawl... it's the sense of entitlement, the assumption of received profundity without struggle. Liberals are philosophical coupon-clippers, sitting on their assets and making tedious, tendentious pronoucements.
(There are a few holdout paleo-liberals, defined simply by, e.g., Harry Truman, Hubert Humphrey, and even Sen. Joe Lieberman. I do not abhor these "liberals;" I can get along with them very well. But they are dinosaurs, rapidly approaching utter extinction. They have been evolutionarily overwhelmed by the rise of Homo liberalis superioris.)
With all my years as a wordsmith, I cannot find the perfect phrase to express how I despise contemporary liberals: There is always yet one more lump of anti-liberal bile just around the next corner, too.
Hatched by Dafydd on this day, June 20, 2010, at the time of 11:32 AM
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The following hissed in response by: Bart Johnson
Sad to say that Joe Lieberman is not in same group as Truman and Humphrey. Joe's recent votes reek of partisan politics.
The following hissed in response by: Bob Hawkins
They're the political version of hipsters. I hate hipsters too.
The following hissed in response by: Cain
I've struggled with understanding my revulsion too and I appreciate that you've put some of that into better context for me. For myself, I would add this; the fundamental dishonesty with which modern day liberals (leftists really) package themselves for political consumption.
Conservatives generally are not ashamed or hesitant to pronounce that they believe smaller government is preferred since it helps promote/preserve individual liberty and prosperity for the largest proportion of the population.
Leftists (politicians anyway) on the other hand rarely ever make the argument that government knows best how to run your life for you and should therefore be given a tremendous amount of power over decisions that impact all individuals with even the most basic decisions such as healthcare choices, industry, housing, food, security, national resources, etc... IOW, we know best so just let us take care of you as a child is cared for. Don't worry your little heads about anything.
I could better respect someone like Obama if he'd just come out and be very blunt about this belief such that even the thickest among us would be able to make a clear choice on how they'd prefer to be governed.
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