The Bullpen

Why I could never be a liberal

I get in fights with my fellow conservatives all the time. But I'm not about to switch sides

For years now, I've been urging conservatives to embrace immigration reform.

It sometimes feels like an uphill battle. Increasingly, bloggers, pundits, and talk radio hosts are decrying the "Gang of Ocho's" attempt at "Shamnesty." Killing this effort could permanently solidify the Democratic Party's lock on Hispanic voters, and potentially render the GOP irrelevant.

What is more, a crushing defeat could also sink the presidential prospects of Sen. Marco Rubio, arguably the most eloquent and visionary communicator since Reagan.

But though my friends on the activist Right may sometimes drive me nuts, I've never ever entertained the thought of going over to the dark side of the Left. David Brock might have garnered a lot of attention and publicity by switching sides, but for me, the Left is never an option.

This isn't just because I believe conservatism will lead to a more prosperous and virtuous society, but also because — in the unlikely event either side were to obtain carte blanche authority — the Left scares me more than the Right.

There's no shortage of examples. Melissa Harris-Perry, for instance, recently revealed a terrifying tenet of the Left, which says our children belong to the collective, not to parents or families. As I wrote, this sentiment was so feared by George Orwell that he included it in both 1984 and Animal Farm. I should have also mentioned Aldous Huxley's Brave New World.

Look at extremists abroad: From Stalin to Castro to Chavez, some on the Left have consistently displayed not just a tolerance for heavy-handed authoritarian regimes (as the Right has admittedly sometimes also done) but also an admiration of them.

In recent weeks, some on the Left have mourned the death of Venezuela's Hugo Chavez, even while cheering the death of Britain's Margaret Thatcher. And a similar sentiment was on full display when Jay-Z and Beyonce, perhaps naively, enjoyed Cuban hospitality — without noticing the dissidents or the gulags they conveniently avoided on their vacation.

I am repelled by the Left's worldview, which implicitly argues that morality is subjective. This is a natural outcome of a rejection of the numinous, but it's an idea that has consequences. When there are no moral absolutes, we make policy decisions based on efficiency instead of compassion. Or we make decisions based on our own individualistic needs, not on what is right or good. Historically, this worldview has led to all sorts of horrific outcomes.

It continues today. The alleged horrific murders committed by abortionist Kermit Gosnell serve as a prime example. The lack of coverage by the liberal-leaning mainstream media, coupled with the absurd argument that Gosnell's alleged crimes happened because abortion isn't available enough, only go to demonstrate that the hard Left is out of touch with American values — even as American values have shifted.

We live in a fallen world. I do not expect any party — or any ideology, for that matter — to have all the answers. I don't put my faith in politics. There will be no utopia on earth. We cannot immanentize the eschaton.

Neither side of the political spectrum has all the answers — and both sides have fringe elements they'd rather not highlight, as well as moments in history they'd rather leave unspoken.

I've probably had more public fights with my friends on the Right than with my adversaries on the Left in recent years. This is probably natural. As Anthony Trollope wrote, "The apostle of Christianity and the infidel can meet without a chance of a quarrel; but it is never safe to bring together two men who differ about a saint or a surplice."

I get in fights with my fellow conservatives all the time. Immigration is but one example. But still, for me, the Left is never an option.

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