In Friday's NYT: "Liberals Are Ruining America. I Know Because I Am One." Excerpts:
This, to be blunt, is the tragic flaw of the modern liberal. We choose to see ourselves as innocent victims of an escalating right-wing fanaticism. But too often we serve as willing accomplices to this escalation and to the resulting degradation of our civic discourse. We do this, without even meaning to, by consuming conservative folly as mass entertainment.
If this sounds like a harsh assessment, trust me, I’m among the worst offenders. Yes, I’m one of those enlightened masochists who tune in to conservative talk radio when driving alone. I recognize this as pathological behavior, and I always make sure to switch the station back to NPR before returning the car to my wife. But I can’t help myself. I take a perverse and complicated pleasure in listening to all the mean, manipulative things those people say.
So why do I do this?
The first and most damning reason is that some part of me truly enjoys resenting conservatives. I know I shouldn’t, that I should strive for equanimity. But secretly I feel the same helplessness and rage that animates the extreme right wing of this country. I see a world dangerously out of balance — morally, economically, ecologically — and my natural impulse is to blame those figures who, in my view, embody the decadent ignorance of the age. They become convenient scapegoats.
Rather than taking up the banner and the burden of the causes I believe in, or questioning my own consumptive habits, I’ve come to rely on private moments of indignation for moral vindication. I fume at the iniquity of Pundit A and laugh at the hypocrisy of Candidate B and feel absolved — without ever having left my couch. It’s a closed system of scorn and self-congratulation.
This is just another thinly-disguised call for "civility" in our political discourse, something that reoccurs regularly when the Left either suffers a major defeat (Wisconsin, this time) or is down in the polls. I agree with Mr. Almond on his titular point: Liberals ARE ruining America, but not for the reasons he states. No, it has more to do with profligate spending, nanny-state regulation, bloated bureaucracies, public-sector unions, teachers who don't/can't teach, and tree-hugging do-gooders of various and sundry stripes, all tilting left. THAT'S why Liberals are ruining America.
In other news... Panic in El-Eh! Them Debbils brought the Stanley Cup Final to 3-2 by winning again last evening. Game Six is tomorrow night in El-Eh, and the hand-wringing has already begun. Things are getting very interesting.