The Deep Childishness of Contemporary Liberalism

A 700 billion dollar bailout looms ominously on the horizon, and Barack Obama wants to make sure he can still increase early childhood education funding? Here’s the relevant line from the first presidential debate:

The problem with a spending freeze is you’re using a hatchet where you need a scalpel. There are some programs that are very important that are under-funded. I want to increase early childhood education….

Bill Kristol’s analysis of that gem is spot on, and contains my new favorite description of liberalism (in bold):

We’re in a major financial crisis, and Barack Obama wants to increase spending in an area where there’s notoriously little evidence that spending has paid off, an area that in any case isn’t a primary responsibility of the federal government (or perhaps of any level of government). Obama’s ritualistic invocation of early childhood education as deserving ever more funding is a reminder, one might say, of the deep childishness of contemporary liberalism.

I love that line. It does a superb job of capturing what I’ve discovered as my views have moved rightward. Full acceptance of doctrinaire liberalism requires a childlike shallowness of thought, almost a suspension of disbelief.

As one’s depth of thought about politics, governance, and law increases, there arises a stunning cognitive dissonance. Those who successfully cross the expansive chasm between contemporary liberalism and reality have shed that deep childishness of liberal thought.

Unfortunately, they’re few and far between.


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