Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Liberals vs. Liberty

What’s in a name?

As Canada is about to rediscover good and hard, “Liberal” has precious little to do with “Liberty.”

You know the story. If there’s someone telling you what you can say, what you should eat, what car you’re allowed to drive and where you can smoke (answer: nowhere, you racist!), chances are they’re a liberal.

It is possible the starry-eyed younger voters who allegedly propelled Liberal leader Justin Trudeau to victory in last week’s federal election might not mind so much, being the generation of playdates and bicycle helmets and having everything planned and monitored for them. Then again, as always with these things, it is a matter of degree, and experience.

Justin’s priorities read like a liberal Luther’s list of approved pieties, with the sanctity of gay marriage and abortion on demand prominent among them. True to leftist form, there is no tolerance for dissent, either within his party or, increasingly, in the country at large.

On gay marriage, one can hear the squeals already: “It’s the law of the land! Don’t tell me who I can love! Go back to Alabama!”

Fair enough. But what is significant about this issue is the revisionist history and totalitarian mindset it represents.

What is most Orwellian is not the redefinition of marriage, but the way in which we are all obliged to pretend this was always the way of things. Twenty seconds ago, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, and even Canada’s two previous Liberal prime ministers, Jean Chretien and Paul Martin, assured the public that “gay marriage” was something they opposed.

Now, we are all meant to pretend this was a ceaseless, decades-long struggle for “equality” in which the forces of darkness were, at long last, defeated in the Supreme Courts of Canada and the United States.

That Twilight Zone aspect to the gay marriage debate (as much as there is one anymore) is peculiar enough. But then we get to the liberty-squelching overreach at hand.

What is gay marriage, really, other than the government dictating to religious people and institutions the new terms of their most important sacrament?

Spare me the silly-bears about about “telling people who they can love” (the disingenuousness of that plaint only slightly more grating than its dreadful grammar). Love whomever you like, it says here.

Like most limited government advocates, I concur with Dennis Miller’s philosophy on sexual matters: I don’t care if you enjoy stuffing an armadillo down your pants, just don’t ask to borrow my armadillo.

Indeed, having experienced the bureaucratic nightmare that attends even traditional marriage, I propose that government should get out of the nuptial game altogether. Where are the “separation of church and state” warriors on this one?

Marriage does not belong to government – or at least, it should not – but, in the liberal mindset, everything does.

This is why they gush molten idiocy like, “Government is just another word for the things we choose to do together.” No it isn’t. “Government” is a word for the next thing liberals want to control.

If you oppose, or even question, the liberal agenda, you are plainly corrupted by bigotry, or Big Oil, or the Koch brothers or, of course, the Bible (Incidentally, is the Koran okay with gay marriage? Could someone please check?)

But oh, yeah – “love wins.

Speaking of which, the Bible comes in for a lot of grief from people who haven’t read it (conversely, the Koran gets Spartans at Thermopylae-type defence from people who haven’t read it, either).

Differ even slightly from politically correct orthodoxy and some liberal theologian with a nose ring will be right there to tell you to keep your Bible off her body.

And yet, there are more rules in a campus conduct code than in the entire book of Leviticus.

Even Moses came down the mountain with only Ten Commandments. Thanks to liberals, there are more than that for putting out your trash.

Jesus had two main instructions: Love God and love one another.

Liberals are at their insufferable, preening worst when lecturing Christians on what Jesus would do. These are people who embrace and proclaim the caricatures of Christians as either paedophile priests or the town elders from Footloose.

Return to the topic of abortion from my previous column, and the comfort of men like Justin and Obama with ending the life of a fully formed baby, or leaving it to die on a table if it survives an abortion attempt.

On whose side do you think Jesus would come down – that of the wealthy, well-fed doctors and their liberal enablers, or the mewling infant, struggling for life?

Jesus was on the side of the powerless. In our culture of victimhood, the powerful are those who can accuse others of bigotry. That option is unavailable to speechless infants, in a world where we are ordered to declare an unborn child’s life is “between a woman and her doctor.”

Justin defends his abortion stance as wanting “to protect people from having the beliefs of others imposed upon them.” But how is ending a baby’s life in the name of extremist ideology not precisely the opposite?

Liberals want to take away every liberty that little person will ever have.

Jesus had a temper, and he hated some things – lies and hypocrisy come to mind (wealthy environmentalists who fly around on private jets while lecturing others on how to live might consider how this is applicable).

But being as they are so often in error yet never in doubt, I swear, if he were around today, liberals would accuse Jesus of not being Christ-like.

To be sure, Jesus loved his fellow man (so much so, he gave his life for them), but that didn’t mean he went about grinning like an imbecile, bro-hugging everyone like a Burning Man hippie no matter what they did.

He didn’t tell the adulterous woman, “Keep up the good work.” He said, “Go, and sin no more.”

But sin, to the liberal mindset, is very much as Obama defined it: “Being out of alignment with my values.”

Nice work, if you can get it: You get to decide what’s right and wrong, both for yourself and, if you are fortunate enough to achieve high office, for everyone else as well.

Speaking of Obama, a mantra of American liberals is that his presidency failed because Republicans fought him on every issue. Lost on them is that this is precisely how the government is supposed to work. Congressional Republicans were also elected, by the half of America who do not share Obama’s worldview.

Justin will have no such institutional impediments, as a Canadian prime minister with a majority is not inconvenienced by the checks and balances of the American system.

Even so, those of us who speak out against him know we will be labelled enemies of “progress.”

Again, liberals are unacquainted with liberty, benighted to the notion that other visions might hold merit, and therefore all opposition is considered insolence, if not blasphemy.

“Conservative” is similarly a misnomer, by the way, albeit less significant at the moment, as Justinian the First takes up the seat of St. Pierre.

We who aver that government should play a smaller role in daily life, colloquially and as a matter of party affiliation, are termed “conservative.”

In fact, rather than wishing to conserve old systems, we are eager to engineer new ones, part of which involves getting government out of things they have controlled for some time (and for many of us, this includes decriminalizing marijuana and ending America’s idiotic “War on Drugs”).

We believe your property should be yours to do with as you see fit, that your words should be your own to speak and defend, that all lives matter, no matter what colour or how small, and that you, as Thoreau articulated, should be free to live the life you’ve imagined and go confidently in the direction of your dreams.

But again, it is liberals, not conservatives, who hold power today. And don’t they know it.

Liberals are the speech police, the diversity enforcers, the abortion absolutists, the peanut allergy pantywaists, the no-smoking scolds, the conformity Cosa Nostra, and the environmentalist goon squad. But they are not champions of liberty.

Theo Caldwell is a quiet man who’s had enough. Contact him at theo@theocaldwell.com