Monday, July 7, 2014

Why Liberals Can't Govern

John Hawkins at explains the reasons behind what has become increasingly obvious to even the most myopic observers - that liberals are terrible at governing. He gives six reasons and his elaborations on those reasons are important. Here's part of what he writes:
When you think poor governance, you think liberalism. Barack Obama could fairly be called the worst President in history and one of his biggest competitors for that crown is Jimmy Carter, whose name primarily brings to mind the words "malaise," "hostage crisis," and "liberal peanut farmer." Lyndon Johnson? Other than the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which more Republicans voted for percentage-wise than Democrats, his presidency was a complete disaster.

Of course, liberal incompetence isn't just confined to the White House. Who botched the hurricane preparation for New Orleans so badly that tens of thousands of people were stuck in a city built inside of a geological soup bowl when Hurricane Katrina rolled in? Liberals. Who bankrupted Detroit? Liberals. Why are states like Illinois, Michigan, and California on track to default on their debts in the next few years? Liberals.
Hawkins goes on to give six reasons why the record of liberal administrations in our nations cities, states, and federal government is so poor. His reasons are these:
  1. Their political alliances require a lot of corruption.
  2. Their close-mindedness keeps them from getting feedback.
  3. They don't care if their policies work.
  4. Their strategy is centered around amassing government power.
  5. They don't like America very much.
  6. They believe the ends justify the means.
Hawkins defends each of these allegations at the link. I think a couple of other points could be made on this. For example, another reason, in addition to those Hawkins discusses, that liberalism makes for a poor governing ideology is that to be a liberal is to be in favor of change for the sake of change. Thus, even if a circumstance is as good as it can humanly be, it's never good enough if it's not perfect and it needs therefore to be changed. Changing an optimal situation, however, always makes it worse than it was.

Another problem is that for liberals the answer to every problem is for the state to create a right, a tax, a law, to impose a regulation, or to spend money. When the state does everything for people the people grow dependent upon it and demand that it do even more. They lose their initiative, their sense of self-reliance and personal responsibility. They grow passive and indolent. A disaster strikes New Orleans and the citizens wait for the state to rescue them and to rebuild their community. A similar disaster strikes a town in the mid-west and the people don't wait for the state to help, they rebuild it themselves.

Indeed, one of the worst indictments of liberalism, in my opinion, is that it punishes initiative, ambition, and hard work and rewards lassitude and self-indulgence. That's no way to produce a vibrant society.