Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A "right liberal" in action

A "right liberal" -- the term was invented by Lawrence Auster, if I'm not mistaken -- is someone who bashes liberalism while accepting the premises of the liberal worldview. Usually this involves claiming that liberal policies actually harm not Americans in general, but the liberals' own pet subcultures.

An example is "professional blogger" (which I suppose means he is a penny-a-line paid writer) John Hawkins at Townhall.com.

In a column headed "5 Common Political Beliefs That Simply Aren't True" he says:
The sad truth of the matter is that most Americans don't pay much attention to politics and those that do often just parrot doctrine instead of investigating issues with an open mind. This allows lies, myths, and dubious assertions to live on long after they should have shriveled and died in the light of day. Here are just a few of those diseased assertions that have continued to circulate in the body politic long after they should have been cured.
John, my good man, your metaphors are running wild and need parental discipline. "Shriveled and died in the light of day"? ""Diseased assertions that have continued to circulate in the body politic long after they should have been cured"? Please. 

But to the message. His examples of untrue political beliefs include: "Affirmative Action is a pro-black policy." "Being for illegal immigration is a pro-Hispanic policy." Then a couple that are defensible, although it's dubious that many people actually believe that "the more money we put into education, the better our schools will perform." 

Finally, "Being tough on crime is a racist policy."

In his backhanded way, Hawkins is saying affirmative action is bad not because it's anti-white discrimination but because it's unfair to blacks. Illegal immigration should be opposed because it's not really pro-Hispanic. As for being tough on crime, "If racists really were in charge of our justice system, being soft on crime would be one of the most effective ways that they could hurt black Americans." 

Everything has to be calculated in terms of its benefit to "persons of color" or whatever the current politically correct expression is.

And this Hawkins customer thinks he is "right wing," or so one might gather from the title of his (paid-for?) blog, Right Wing News.

I offer another common political belief that isn't true (John, you or your copyeditor will notice I omitted "simply": intensifiers are usually a crutch used by weak writers; take it from an unprofessional unpaid blogger). That is the belief that the Left owns the mainstream media but the Right has the Web. No. The mainstream media has the left liberals, and the Web -- with some honorable exceptions -- has the right liberals.

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12 comments:

Stogie said...

Well said. I too am getting a bit sick of "right liberals" who masquerade as conservatives. These are the ones who tow the PC line, avoid controversy and secretly hope they will be praised by the NY Times.

Rick Darby said...

Thanks, Stogie.

I regret the condescending tone of my posting. Pseudo-conservatives who try to curry favor (or, if they go in for Indian food, favor curry) with the Establishment by pandering to minorities irk me no limit.

Still, I let my anger get the better of me. It was unnecessary to personalize the posting the way I did.

I stand by my scorn for "right liberalism."

Lawrence Auster said...

"Right-liberalism" was coined by the Australian traditionalist conservative Mark Richardson. Many years ago, when I was looking for a way of saying something like "liberal conservatives," I came into contact with Richardson's term and instantly adopted it. I've given him credit for it many times.

"Right-liberal" is a sibling of the already familiar term (at least in America) "left-liberal."

Right-liberalism is the older liberalism which believes in equality of rights among individuals. Left-liberalism is the newer form of liberalism which believes in equality of material and social outcome among groups. When President Lyndon Johnson said, shortly after the passage of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, that equality of rights was not enough and that what America must achieve is "equality as a fact and equality as a result" (basically a socialist formulation), and when, further, the Equal Opportunity Commission, which had been established by the 1964 Civil Rights Act, defined discrimination as any racially disparate result in hiring, which made it necessary for employers to adopt racial quotas in order to clear themselves of the charge of discrimination, these developments signaled the transformation of right-liberalism into left-liberalism.

There are other aspects to the right-liberalism / left-liberalism distinction which I have discussed many times, for example, "natural rights liberalism" (right-liberalism) versus "openness liberalism" (left-liberalism), as discussed here and here. But the distinction discussed in the previous paragraph is the key one.

Lawrence Auster said...

As for Rick Darby's definition of a right-liberal, "someone who bashes liberalism while accepting the premises of the liberal worldview," neither Mark Richardson nor I have ever defined the term that way. The behavior Mr. Darby describes is basically the behavior of most mainstream conservatives. Now, most mainstream conservatives are also right-liberals, but that's a separate point.

Rick Darby said...

Lawrence,

I have misunderstood "right liberalism" as Mark Richardson and you use the expression. I will look more carefully into this before writing about it in the future.

Maria said...

Right liberals tend to apply conservative thought to the economic sphere only; they definite convervatism in solely economic terms.

yih said...

Well you can now see why I quit paying any attention to Hawkins years ago.
That was back when the only site he was involved in was ''Right Wing News''. Although somewhat in defence of him, the site is 'paid for' in the sense that he pays for his domain and hosting fees then sells ad space.
Having read him for a few years the sheer vapidity of his writing plus his penchant for TV shows such as 'South Park' and featuring porn 'stars' (in bikinis at least) who happen to be gun fans or running for office (or both) inspired me to come up with the phrase 'junk food conservatism'.
BTW as you can likely guess, to him Bush was the most perfect man to occupy the White House other than Reagan.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Darby,

If you really want to get a rise out of a lefty, tell them you don't listen to Rush because he is too liberal. This tactic (which is actually the truth in my case) works especially well on womyn that have nose rings and are dying the grey out of their hair.

God Bless,

MDR

Stogie said...

Rick, I didn't notice any condescending tone in your article. I thought it was spot on.

I will admit, though, to be a curry-favoring conservative. I love Indian food!!

Maria said...

works especially well on womyn that have nose rings and are dying the grey out of their hair.

I dye the gray out of my hair, and I am more conservative than Rush, in most things.

Van Wijk said...

I always get a chuckle out of "person of color." I appreciate its audacity. I wonder if Caucasians are "persons of pallor" or something.

Pseudo-conservatives who try to curry favor (or, if they go in for Indian food, favor curry) with the Establishment by pandering to minorities irk me no limit.

There should be an internet law (in the vein of Godwin's Law) that once a liberal brings up ethnic food as a reason for maintaining immigration, he has conceded the argument.

Anonymous said...

Ms Maria (BTW, I love the name Maria) the gist of my dig is the nose ring in conjunction with the dying of the grey hair. I'd suspect, if you are married (assumption here but not necessarily conclusive for my point), dying your hair and reading Mr. Darby you would be more to the right of Rush. Now if you have a nose ring, well then, consider yourself a very great exception.

Dye on!!!

MDR