"Liberal" and "conservative" have long been used as epithets in US politics. Most often, they’re used by people who really have no clear idea what the words mean, they just use them as convenient insults to throw at persons on the Left ("liberal") and Right ("conservative"). I myself am not always comfortable using them, since, even while I may know what I mean when I use them, I can’t always be sure the other person understands them the same way. As the great Inigo Montoya once said: You keep using that word. I do not think it means what you think it means.
One thing I’m certain of, however: when a politician threatens to nationalize an industry, that person is no liberal in the classical sense, nor a liberal of the post-New Deal, Massachusetts social liberalism and progressivism that’s dominated the Democratic party since the 1930s. No, said champion of the people is a Socialist, flat out. When you look at Hillary Clinton’s stance on corporate profits or Barack Obama’s position on taxes, you begin to wonder how far the Democratic Party has marched down that leftward path. Once you listen to Congresswoman Maxine Waters (D-Liberal Fascist), you stop wondering and begin to be certain:
Here’s a transcript, courtesy of Hot Air:
“And guess what this member* would be all about? This member would be all about socializing — er, uh. [Pauses for several moments] …. would be about … [pause] … basically … taking over, and the government running all of your companies.”
Now, one can argue that Waters is an idiot (she is) and a minor figure in the Democratic Party with at best middling influence (also true), but given the influence of people such as Clinton and Obama, or Charlie Rangel, or the influence of far-Left groups such as MoveOn.org, it’s hard not to observe a strong shift to the Left in the party’s center of gravity.
It also brings to mind again my belief that, to be left-liberal and Left these days, you have to be ignorant of economics. Example after example from around the world testifies to the at best mediocre performance of statist economies and state-run industries – and often their outright failure. Forget the collapse of the Soviet Union, just compare the economic performance of continental Western Europe vs. the US over the last 25 years. If carried out, Waters’ threat to nationalize oil companies would not only cripple the oil industry, but it would do massive harm to untold thousands of middle class investors who either own oil stocks directly or through mutual funds or their pension plans.
And she has the nerve to lecture oil-company executives about good business practices?
Here’s a question for you: Granted its run to the Left since Bill Clinton left office, at what point does the Democratic Party become the Democratic Socialist Party?
(hat tip: LGF)