Conservatives are right to be afraid of liberalism. It’s a dangerous philosophy that has no limiting principle: If you can tax the rich 50 percent, why not 75? One complicated pregnancy means that there should be abortion on demand up to and indeed past the ninth month. People in San Francisco should be able to walk around naked, whether there are children around or not. And Obamacare supporters are not happy until the Catholic Church is paying for contraception. Any philosophy that has no limiting principle, nothing that says this far, no further, usually ends in catastrophe.
Worst of all, liberals do nothing but whine, kvetch and complain as they build their utopia. If you gave Obama everything he wanted tonight, Ed Schultz would be on TV tomorrow crying about why we can’t control the weather. Many years ago I became a conservative for several reasons — Christopher Lasch’s book “The Culture of Narcissism,” the mind of Irving Kristol, the reality of what abortion is, G.K. Chesterton, Richard John Neuhaus and watching taxes take more and more of my money. But I also liked right-wingers because they weren’t whiners. In college I had been an intern at the socialist weekly The Nation and written for The Progressive, In These Times and The Washington Post. But when I went to the dark side, I noticed that conservatives were a lot happier. Sure, they were offended by liberals, but it didn’t consume them the way it does now. There was too much good stuff going on in life — family, friends, a great country, homemade beer, culture. By contrast, liberals just seemed angry and resentful about, well, everything.
The other day I listened to a conservative radio host as he launched into a truly epic bawlfest about how Obama’s re-election signals The End of America. His caterwauling — to call it a rant dignifies it with a maturity it lacked — lasted about three hours. It was hysterical, desperate and pathetic. Earlier that day, Mark Steyn, filling in for Rush, had gone on a similar tirade. Raising taxes on the wealthy by four percent equals socialism, Americans have become a decadent people who only want free stuff, the media, schools and Hollywood have brainwashed the people, etc. Steyn announced that the right needs to start making movies, as that’s the only way to change the culture. (Uh, Mark? Shut up and write me a check. I’ve only been trying to do that very thing for five years as one conservative “think tank” after another has turned me down.)
Guys, we lost. Get over it. Of course, nothing is worth compromising first principles. And conservatism should never lose its ballsy ability to tell the truth. Not to mention the fact that the country, illiterate and gorged with Hollywood garbage, may actually be going down the tubes. But to call America “a nation of freeloaders” is to become the irrational anti-American liberals you claim to oppose.
Mark Judge is the author of A Tremor of Bliss: Sex, Catholicism, and Rock ‘n’ Roll.