Charles Krauthammer, in his Washington Post column (Aug. 27), said, "Liberalism under siege is an ugly sight indeed," pointing out that overwhelming majorities of Americans have repudiated liberal agenda items such as Obamacare, Obama's stimulus, building an Islamic center and mosque near ground zero, redefinition of marriage to include same-sex marriage, lax immigration law enforcement and vast expansion of federal power that includes unprecedented debt and deficits.
The nation's elite and the news media see being against the Obama-led agenda as being racist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic, mean-spirited and insensitive. Paul Krugman, columnist for The New York Times, has a different twist expressed in "It's Witch-Hunt Season" (Aug. 29). Krugman says that the last time a Democrat sat in the White House, Bill Clinton, he faced a witch hunt by his political opponents. "Now," Krugman says, "it's happening again — except that this time, it's even worse," asking, "So where is this rage coming from? Why is it flourishing? What will it do to America?"
Professor Krugman and others among America's elite blame some of the rage on talk-show hosts such as Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and Sean Hannity. They are only partially correct. What talk shows have accomplished is they've ended the isolation of many ordinary Americans. When the liberal mainstream media dominated the airwaves, Americans who were against race and sex quotas were made to feel as though they were racists and sexists. Americans who were against big government were portrayed as mean-spirited and uncaring. What talk radio and the massive expansion in non-traditional media have done is not only end the isolation, but more important, the silence among ordinary Americans.
Krugman says that what we're witnessing is "political craziness." Therefore, the overwhelming majority of Americans who think our borders ought to be secure and think we should have the right to determine who enters our country are politically crazy. Americans who can find nothing in the U.S. Constitution granting Congress the power to take over our health care system are politically crazy. Americans who think a mosque should not be built in the shadows of the Muslim-destroyed World Trade Center are simply religious bigots. By the way, those who oppose the building are not saying there's no legal or constitutional right to do so any more than they would say a person has no legal or constitutional right to curse his parents, but neither is a good idea. In Thomas Sowell's column on the topic (Aug. 31), he reminds us that "If we all did everything that we have a legal right to do, we could not even survive as individuals, much less as a society."
Krugman predicts that political craziness and, by inference, crazy Americans, will result in a Republican takeover of the House of Representatives and play chicken with the federal budget. Chicken with the budget is precisely what Defundit.org has called for. Already they've obtained the pledges of 165 congressional candidates not to fund it.
While America's liberal elite have not reached the depths of tyrants such as Lenin, Stalin, Mao and Hitler, they share a common vision and, as such, differ only in degree but not kind. Both denounce free markets and voluntary exchange. They are for control and coercion by the state. They believe they have superior wisdom to the masses and they have been ordained to forcibly impose that wisdom on the rest of us. They, like any other tyrant, have what they see as good reasons for restricting the freedom of others.
Their agenda calls for the elimination or attenuation of the market. Why? Free markets imply voluntary exchange. Tyrants do not trust that people behaving voluntarily will do what the tyrants think they should do. Therefore, they seek to replace the market with economic planning control and regulation.
Why liberalism has become an ugly sight, as Krauthammer claims, is because more and more Americans have wised up to their agenda.
Walter E. Williams is a professor of economics at George Mason University.