Call a Deer a Horse — or, Why I am Not a Liberal

May 22, 2022 | Articles, Issue 1157

by Eric Oppen
[email protected]

Special to L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise

Some people who’ve dealt with me are rather surprised that I’m not a liberal. After all, I support the decriminalization of drugs, I am utterly indifferent to what others do in their bedrooms as long as all parties partipating are doing so voluntarily, and I’m not at all keen on the US throwing its weight around in foreign lands.

Although I will admit that I share some positions with them, I am not a liberal. If anything, I dislike them very strongly. More than I do traditional conservatives, which is saying something. I’ll work with them on projects of mutual interest, but don’t mistake that for liking them. I’m one of the most ruthlessly pragmatic people I know, and am willing to work with anybody to attain my goals.

Modern liberals remind me of a story from Chinese history. After the death of the First Emperor, the imperial court was under the control of a courtier who wanted absolute power. He decided who to keep around and whom to get rid of by a simple test. He brought a deer into court and said “Look at my pretty horse!” Those who said it was a horse stayed, those who insisted that it was a deer … didn’t. The parallel to modern liberalism, which insists that delusional men in wigs are women, is scarily clear.

For starters, I dislike and detest hypocrites, and most liberals I’ve ever met strike me as utterly hypocritical. Many of the loudest howlers in defense of “NAYYY-CHURR” and the ecology live in deep urban areas, and I think that if they were ever more than a mile from a gourmet coffee shop or some other such anchor of their existences, they would shrivel up and die. The celebrities who scream for the unwashed masses to be deprived of the means of self-defense live, themselves, behind screens of armed guards whom nobody proposes to disarm. The ones who rant against “global warming” and carbon think nothing of flying around in private jets. The ones who are most solicitous about “minorities” are very careful to live far from the people they claim to love, and move out fast when such people start moving in, particularly if they have school-age children.

I also hate it when people move the goalposts. No matter what triumphs they score, liberals are never, ever satisfied. The second they get something they say they want more than anything, they’re upping the ante and yelling for more, more, and more. This leads us directly into If You Give A Mouse a Cookie territory. Sooner or later, my patience wears thin. And hilarity ensues.

Another thing I detest about liberals is their attitude toward democracy and rule by the people. To hear them, there’s no louder cheerleaders and no greater fans of those concepts than them. And they do, they really do love democracy and majority rule—exactly as long as the people vote the way they want! The second that the people, those dirty, ungrateful lumpenproletariat dogs, vote something down that liberals want, they run crying to the courts, expecting Uncle Judge to bang his gavel and override those unwashed masses who don’t know what’s good for them.

This may have been justified as a way to blow up the huge legal logjam that Jim Crow had been let become by decades of spineless politicians kicking the can down the street and hoping it wouldn’t become an issue until they’d safely retired. And I emphasize “may.” As a side-effect of getting rid of Jim Crow, we’ve also destroyed the right of free association, the right of business-owners to decide who is and is not welcome in their establishments, and various other things. Looking at the results from the other side of history, I can’t help but wonder if they couldn’t have done things differently.

Part of the problem was that the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which was passed in a spasm of grief over the sainted JFK, was written much too broadly. Instead of saying that this was a one-time exception to the usual rules, to deal with a unique situation, it was written so as to be able to be applied to many situations that the original framers never envisioned. If I could go back to 1964 and show the well-meaning folk who pushed for and passed that law some of its effects, they would be utterly horrified.

Liberals also just about cannot grok that anybody could think differently from them. They’re as encased in an information bubble as the most sheltered evangelical Christians, but their bubble is made up, not of specialized information purveyors, but of the “mainstream” press and media. When Trump beat Clinton in 2016, they reacted as though they’d been told that 2+2=5. Sheer, utter disbelief, followed by howls of outrage and hatred that would have shocked the judges at the Salem Witch Trials. To hear them, Trump was the Antichrist’s meaner brother, as well as (of course) “literally Hitler,” and would bring down on the country a regime that was part Third Reich, part The Handmaid’s Tale, and part 1984 . The fact that Trump was probably the least likely person to approve of any of this stuff was immaterial. They’d set their hearts on “President Hillary,” and anybody pointing out that she’d been an utterly inept campaigner and was deeply unpopular personally, with real unanswered questions about her health, ethics and prior record, was shouted down.

Liberals are just as fanatical as they accuse conservatives of being, just in the opposite direction. They’ve decided that abortion—abortion on demand, for any reason or for none, right up to the moment of birth—is a hill they’re going to stand and die on. The fact that most Americans (even most pro-choice types, like my humble self) think this is stupid and extreme is immaterial. The recent Supreme Court vote has sent them into frenzies, which I believe the original leaker(s) hope will be enough to preserve their precious Democratic Party from the shellacking at the polls that it was heading for. They’re doing their best to bring in waves of “undocumented” (read: illegal) immigrants to hopefully vote in their favorite things. And they insist, long and loudly, on meddling with the sexual mores that most Americans hold dear.

If all their favorite sexual minorities wanted was to be left alone to do their thing in peace, I’d have to support them no matter how I felt about them personally. But about five minutes after they’d finished ramming “gay marriage” down the collective throat of the country via the courts (see above about running to Uncle Judge when the mean old voters won’t give them what they want), even though they’d pinky-sworn on stacks of Bibles that the only people to be affected would be themselves, and others need not even take notice, they (or the more fanatical among them) began searching relentlessly for venues, bakeries, and other such people who didn’t want to participate in one of their rituals, and either dragging them into court for “discrimination,” or trying to destroy their lives and livelihoods via social media, Twitter very much in particular.

They also constantly define things down. There was a time when “sexual harassment,” insofar as it was a concept as such, referred to things like “sleep with me or you’re fired.” These days, any interaction between a man and a woman in the workplace that the woman decides she didn’t like can be retroactively recast as “sexual harassment.” Once, “racism” meant hating someone, no matter his merits, because of his race or the color of his skin. These days, it means anything that may hurt the feelings of a member of a politically-favored racial minority.

Of course, this has unintended consequences. I’ve seen reports that women in the workplace are finding that men won’t mentor them or interact with them more than the bare minimum required by their jobs, which often hurts their career prospects. They’re also finding that men who’ve had their fingers burned this way do not react well to women in the workplace, which puzzles them. And members of politically-favored minorities find that their accomplishments in the workplace are treated with suspicion no different than would greeet the triumphs of the boss’s son.

With “racism” defined down as far as it’s gone, I wouldn’t be surprised at all to see people who’ve been adversely affected by the actions of politically-favored minorities saying, in effect: “Evil, be thou my good!” and embracing real racism. Since these minorities are, by definition, outnumbered, and mostly concentrated in the cities, they would be in real danger should things deterioriate to the point that they did in the former Yugoslavia. Even people who have been less adversely affected might shrug their shoulders and say “They made their bed, now let them lie in it!”

The left wing in this country has allowed its most extreme members to take it over, and in my opinion, is heading for a dreadful disaster. They cheated openly, depending on a complaisant and dishonest news media, to win the last Presidential election. Their standard-bearer’s a senile old fool whose son’s record would have sunk the career of any politician less well-connected with his corrupt party than him. Beside him stands a vice-president who couldn’t get elected dog-catcher on her own merits, and the rest of their party’s prominent members are so lacking in talent as to make PDQ Bach look like Johann Sebastian Bach.

There’ve been signs of trouble brewing for a long time. Ambrose Evans-Pritchard, a British journalist, commented, anent the militia movement of the 1990s, that it took very serious trouble indeed for rumblings of armed rebellion to come from Middle America. The Clintons managed to defuse that, largely by unfairly associating the diffuse militia movement with “neo-Nazis” and the Oklahoma City bombing. But people didn’t forget.

When the Tea Parties arose, the government did all it could to destroy that movement through IRS shenanigans and other such underhanded maneuvers. The Tea Partiers were non-violent, and no threat, but their mere existence threatened the liberal worldview, so they had to go. And when Trump got in (largely due to Hillary Clinton being an utterly unlikeable candidate who ran an incredibly inept campaign, ignoring her own in-house experts) the left threw a four-year temper tantrum worthy of a toddler whose favorite toy had been taken away.

People are quietly getting fed up, and more than fed up. The endless howls about “January 6” do not impress those who remember the same people making endless excuses and outright lying about months and months of much-more-destructive rioting in the wake of George Floyd’s death by Fentanyl overdose. Sooner or later, things are going to come to a head.

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