Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Glenn's Book of Quotes, Number Ten

“I hate conservatives, but I really fucking hate liberals.” – Matt Stone

Two things you don't see much of here are vulgarities and politics. I don't like either. I might as well get them both out of the way at the same time.

I get some funny reactions to this quote. Some people have wondered what is left if you reject those two positions, which is rather sad. Some people have understood hating the conservatives, but are baffled by the idea of hating liberals. They are, after all, the good guys.

To tell the truth, I don't really hate either group, but I am pretty frustrated. How could I not be?

Conservatism is founded on the idea that government should be small so as to insure greater individual freedom. But conservatives too often seem to want to use the coercive power of government to legislate morality. And while conservatism naturally opposes the idea of the “welfare state,” some conservatives stretch the “rugged individualism” model to the point where the phrase “compassionate conservative” became an instant oxymoronic punchline. Here's a joke that conservatives like to tell: a conservative is a liberal who has been mugged. In other words, the problem with liberals is that they just don't understand reality. There's no point trying to talk to them. They're just stupid. It's the logic of the arrogant.

Liberals hold that the power of government should be harnessed to do good. That's what liberals want. To do good. Who could be opposed to that? Well, evil people, of course. That's how liberals seem to view those who differ with them. There is a car that parks in my neighborhood. It has a bumper sticker that reads “Better a bleeding heart than none at all.” Me, I'd rather a working heart, but the message on the bumper is clear. Liberals see conservatives as being deficient in goodness. If only they were better people, they'd be liberals. It's the logic of the smug.

The arrogant won't work with the fools. The smug won't work with the fiends. Those of us who just want good government with civil discourse must instead suffer politicians who have turned public debate into a zero sum game of us versus them.

A plague on both their houses.

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