The whole time that Charles Kesler and William Vogeili were talking about what they would call liberal compassion and that anyone who disagrees with them must be either immoral, ignorant, or hates poor people or something, gave me the idea that they didn’t know who they were talking about. This is why we should never link the Left or the Right under one ideology. That if you are on the Left, you must be a Liberal no matter how far to the left that you are. And if you are on the Right, you must be a Conservative no matter how far to the Right you are.
I wish the Left was just made up of Liberals, well not really, because then it would get kind of boring over on the Left always talking to people on the Left who always agree with me. And we would stop thinking as a result because we always believe we have all the answers and stop coming up with new ideas, because we always agree with each other. You should think of the Left the way you think of the Democratic Party. As a broad coalition of different political and ideological factions. Liberals such as myself and many others who are Center-Left New Democrats. Progressives who are a little further left, people like Senator Sherrod Brown of Ohio. And then you move Far-Left and you’ll find Bernie Sanders Social Democrats and Socialists.
The people who Kesler and Voegeli were talking about are the people who would make of up Far-Left flank of the Democratic Party. Social Democrats who believe government always has the answers to the nation’s problems. “Especially the Federal Government and that nothing else is needed to fix the problems of the country. That is government is not completely running something and that there might be a public/private partnership, or taxpayer subsidization of private sector programs to address certain needs of the country, than those programs don’t go far enough and aren’t substantial”. People who think like this I call Social Democrats or welfare statists, but certainly not Liberals.
I notice you don’t see many books critiquing the Center-Left in America, again Liberals and not people who believe in unlimited government at least as it relates to the economy. Why, because Americans tend to either be center-left or center-right or in some cases dead-center. And like the idea of public assistance, especially education and job training for our low-skilled adults who are currently trapped in poverty, to help people in need get themselves on their feet and live in freedom like the rest of the country. They like public education and infrastructure investment. Americans like smart regulations to protect individuals and consumers from predators that would prey on them. They like both economic freedom and personal freedom. And these are all liberal values that most Americans support.
The people who Kesler and Voegeli were talking about are leftist radicals on the Far-Left in America that came about in the 1960s and 70s. Because they didn’t believe Liberals and Progressives went far enough with the New Deal and Great Society. “And that we needed a superstate that is common in Scandinavia to manage people’s affairs for them so they would make fewer poor decisions with their money and lives that society as a whole would have to pay for”, in their view. And these are the people who watch MSNBC talk, read The Nation, AlterNet and unfortunately now The New Republic since it is no longer a great center-left liberal magazine. Who are part of Occupy Wall Street and want Socialist Senator Bernie Sanders to run for president in 2016.
The American Mind: The Pity Party- A Mean-Spirited Diatribe Against Liberal Compassion