Had an interesting e-mail conversation with Dan over at Gay Patriot. During it, I was thinking about the conundrum he’s in — being gay and a conservative isn’t easy because of the identity politics mindset of the left. I never quite understood why being gay (or black or a woman) means you must also be for higher taxes, socialized medicine and government intrusion in your life, but this apparently makes perfect sense to today’s liberals and woe betide those who stray from the “approved” series of positions.
In the end, that’s why I have a bigger problem with liberals than I do with conservatives. Even when I agree with the cause (and when it comes to social issues, I’m pretty damned liberal), I loathe the tactics and the mindset, It’s not that the right doesn’t have lunatics and hatemongers, it clearly does, but it always seems to me like the left’s hate and desire to control others is closer to the mainstream of the progressive movement’s thought than those of the right.
I think that’s part and parcel of the “progressive” cause. When you view government action as an inherently good thing, the question becomes how best to direct that action to ensure the most just and fair outcome. They really believe in using the power of government to order society properly and assume that their opponents do as well. Thus for them the struggle is not between advocates of social control and libertarianism but between two competing visions of an ordered society — one a beneficent nanny state that cares for its citizens, the other a George Orwell “1984” one that oppresses them.
I think that’s why they get apoplectic when confronted with those that try to block their programs. To the people who believe that “If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem,” and “The personal is political,” anyone not down with the idea of using government power to “help” must clearly hate those the program is designed for. It never even occurs to them that conservatives and libertarians might actually mean what they say — that government programs designed to help usually do more harm than good and that the less government, the better. Lets not forget — both “Brave New World” and “1984” were visions of socialism.