Liberals are happiest when they can use the power of big government to punish those whom they perceive to be more successful than they are. The current fiscal cliff negotiations are a glaring example of this statement. Sure, the Liberal goal is for them to appear to be equalizing an unfair system, where disparate groups of victims have been taken advantage of by those on the top rung of society. But at the very core of their beings, Liberals feel they can only be relevant and matter by mitigating the success of others. So they not only want to redistribute wealth, but achievement as well.
To understand what makes Liberals happy, one must first understand what makes them unhappy. The greatest enemy to the liberal ideology is self-reliance, so all institutions and habits which foster independence must be mitigated, if not outright eliminated. This is the driving force behind the Lefts obsession to destroy the foundations of liberty, such as strong families, churches and communities. The Founding Fathers understood that liberty is best served by strong involvement at the local level, and there is nothing more local than the family. I think it was Jeane Kirkpatrick, the first U.S. female ambassador, who said the family is the original departments of education, health and human services and welfare.
One would be hard-pressed to find a Liberal initiative which doesn't weaken, if not completely obliterate the family. The late Democrat Congressman, Daniel Patrick Moynahan, argued against Lyndon Johnson's great society by saying that once the government replaced the husband and father in poor families, the destruction of those families would be imminent. Never was an assessment by someone in Congress more accurate, for today we see the harvest reaped by those Liberal policies of 50 years ago. An inner-city out of wedlock birth rate that was less than 20% prior to the Great Society, is now over 75%. And high school drop-out rates and unemployment rates have suffered dramatic and similarly negative effects from the welfare state. But Liberal policy makers have as their goal, not to make the poor more independent, which would go a long way to repairing the problem, but to increase dependence on the Federal government. Their unstated reason for this is twofold, one is to make sure those people keep voting for them in every election in perpetuity, and secondly is to use them as an excuse to confiscate wealth from the more successful.
The very idea of limited government is anathema to the happiness of Liberals. At their core, they don't feel as capable of making decisions as the more successful they see around them, therefore they desire to use the power of government to make those decisions for everyone. This is why they want to tell everyone what kind of light bulbs to use, what kind of car to drive, how big a soda you can drink, where and when you can smoke, what you can do with your own land and a thousand other areas of life that free people should decide for themselves. What makes Liberals happy is making other people unhappy. But they fail to understand that once they have eliminated the successful class that they envy so much, there will be nothing left for them to rule over except an empty shell of a once great nation.
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