Liberal Truth and the First Rule of Pretzels

You know the First Rule of Holes, don’t you? Put down the shovel.

For those of you who don’t know the context of that one, think of the term “digging yourself into a hole” by talking more when you should just shut up. Officer, this is why I was speeding……. Honey, that’s not lipstick on my collar….. It depends on what the meaning of “is” is……

Today, we introduce another rule. I call it the First Rule of Pretzels: If you find you are twisting yourself into a pretzel in order to assimilate increasingly contradictory data points into the premise you are ardently defending, perhaps it’s time to re-examine your premise.

To go through life claiming that liberal governance leads to a better result than conservative governance is to daily experience the pretzel effect. The re-examination part of the rule? Nah, not so much. On pretty much every front at which they do battle, liberals do so facing a strong headwind of truth. So they must counter it by denying the obvious, embracing the impractical, preaching the lie, and accusing the righteous. Just to name a few:

  • Global warming is real, it’s bad for the planet, and we did it
  • Keynesian economics is good
  • Make love, not war, unless the Democrat needs a ratings boost
  • Anarchy – good plan
  • racial preferences improve the lot of minorities
  • unions are good for America
  • appeasement of militant Islamism is good foreign policy
  • acceding to China is only fair
  • government spending is good – cutbacks are evil and draconian
  • military ROE motivated by political correctness is good because those Afghani barbarians will love and respect us for it
  • leftism is compassionate, while conservatism is cruel and unjust
  • removal of any semblance of Christianity from public life is good so that nobody will be offended
  • rich people are evil and got rich by exploiting and oppressing the masses — except for left-wing rich people like Soros and Buffett

Really?
Each of these is a disaster, a lie, or obvious tomfoolery to any reasonably intelligent average citizen with no particular ax to grind. However, for the person on the Left who is dug in on his position, each pillbox on the Island of Colossal Liberal Stupidity must be defended to the last man.

Their daily lot is to have to defend the indefensible, finesse away obvious difficult points (like, for example, that the earth is not actually getting warmer), falsify scientific research, project onto their opponents their own sins, suppress dissension, and astroturf an imagined groundswell of public (or academic) support. They know they look stupid to anybody who is intelligent, but they know their intended audience is the dumb, the gullible, the uninformed, and those already sucking off the government teat.

No wonder liberals are such bitter, venomous snakes.

The real truth of liberalism, and the real enemy
I understand why they do it. There is one fundamental real truth of leftism — the end is the acquisition, securing, and maintenance of power over the people. To rule, not to govern. Every other truth serves that one.

Their true enemies are freedom, knowledge, information, economic independence, and communication of truth. Their near-term enemies are those who would govern justly, given the chance, because to rule, you must first have the authority and the trappings of legitimacy. Think about all that. If you are ruling over and imposing your will on intelligent, freedom-loving informed people who are in communication with each other and are self-funding, you are going to have an SOB of a time keeping your thumb down on them. You are, in fact, doomed. You will never pull that off, and you will die ingloriously for trying.

How leftism must win
You defeat these people and these ideas generationally, a bit at a time. You dumb down society, you take over by creeping, slowly increasing regulation, bureaucracy, by indoctrinating their children, by demonizing them, by curtailing their means of communication and public discourse, by using entertainment media to mock and marginalize them. You rig the election game, you rig the congressional game, you rig the courts, the arbiters of the game.

In the meantime while freedom still walks, if hobbled, and while vast segments of the sweating masses are still intelligent and well-educated, and they still have an underground press, you have to make some kind of attempt to compete in the arena of ideas and truths. Until such time comes that you are no longer required to justify what you do and how you rule, you have to make an argument.

Since all your positions are inherently stupid and wrong, so are your arguments. Thus, the pretzel.

California Dreaming
This whole thought came to mind and caused a great deal of chuckling last week when I noticed on Drudge Report two stories on the same day about the economic situation in the California Soviet Socialist Republic. In the first story, Governor Jerry Brown admits that California will suffer a $16B deficit this year due to severely underestimated revenues caused by a terrible economy.

State officials said the shortfall was a result of disappointing revenue collections in April as California continued to struggle to pull out of the recession. “We are still recovering from the worst recession since the 1930s,” Mr. Brown said.

The second story observes that in California, long-term unemployment benefits are being automatically cut from 99 weeks to 79 weeks due to an increasingly robust economic recovery.

The end of the extension is actually good news for the state because it means California’s economy is getting better, said Loree Levy of the California Employment Development Department.

Before ObamaWorld™, that might have sounded strange.

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