In my last post I talked about the Orwellian logic that allows big-government liberals to describe themselves as “pro-choice.”
Truth be told, every benefit that liberals claim to offer society depends on taking choices away from people. Every once in a while, in an unguarded moment, a liberal will admit this.
Feminist Simone de Beauvoir once opined that no woman should be allowed to be a stay-at-home mom. “Women should not have that choice,” said de Beauvoir, “precisely because if there is such a choice, too many woman will make that one.”
Earlier this month The New York Times printed a guest editorial by a left wing college professor who applauded Mayor Bloomberg’s recently announced ban on large soft drinks. Government needs to protect the people from their own bad judgement, says Professor Daniel E. Lieberman, because “We have evolved to need coercion.”
When he was President, Bill Clinton expressed a similar distrust in the decision making ability of ordinary Americans. During a period when the government was running a small surplus, and the idea of a tax cut was being discussed, Clinton addressed the American people about the extra money that the government was taking in. “We could give it all back to you and hope you spend it right,” said President Clinton, but “If you don’t spend it right, here’s what’s going to happen…”
Speaking of the New York Times, recently retired Executive Editor Bill Keller complains about the choices that have opened up to news consumers since the government’s so-called Fairness Doctrine was repealed in 1987. Before 1987 good Democrats like Keller were pretty much the only source of news for the American People. By dominating the three TV networks and the major newspapers, liberals controlled everyone’s access to political news. Today, much to Keller’s chagrin, the audience has choices.
“In the digital era of do-it-yourself news consumption,” says Keller, “it is easier than ever to assemble an information diet that simply confirms your prejudices. Traditional news organizations, for all their shortcomings, see it as their mission to provide — and test — the information you need to form intelligent opinions.”
Keller saves his sharpest criticisms for the Fox News Network, whose conservative anchors and pundits frequently air information that would never have seen the light of day in old “Fairness Doctrine” era. Fox airs stories that might make the viewer less likely to form what Keller considers “intelligent opinions,” by which he obviously means liberal opinions.
It shouldn’t surprise anyone that Democrats and other liberals are always trying to promote government-knows-best policies that take choices away from the individual. A belief in benevolent government coercion underlies every other left wing idea.