David Harsanyi / July 4, 2013

Liberals vs. Imaginary Monsters

New York Times columnist Paul Krugman recently informed us that a national movement is afoot “to punish the unemployed.” Remarkably, he went on to write, conservatives think the world is far too easy on those who can’t find work, so they’re on a mission to make it worse. The right, you see, is not just perpetuating flawed ideas or misguided policies or dumb economics but driven by an inexplicable desire to inflict pain on the innocent. Now, as it happens, I am acquainted with a few conservatives. And though it’s hardly a scientific sampling, I’ve yet to hear any of them express a desire to punish the unemployed – or minorities or women, for that matter. They may not want to offer the unemployed exactly what Krugman might. They may believe, as Krugman once did, that promising infinite relief isn’t feasible or constructive. But by assigning a fiendish objective to a conservative policy, Krugman, as he often does, takes a deceitful shortcut to play on your emotions.

New York Times columnist Paul Krugman recently informed us that a national movement is afoot “to punish the unemployed.” Remarkably, he went on to write, conservatives think the world is far too easy on those who can’t find work, so they’re on a mission to make it worse. The right, you see, is not just perpetuating flawed ideas or misguided policies or dumb economics but driven by an inexplicable desire to inflict pain on the innocent.

Now, as it happens, I am acquainted with a few conservatives. And though it’s hardly a scientific sampling, I’ve yet to hear any of them express a desire to punish the unemployed – or minorities or women, for that matter. They may not want to offer the unemployed exactly what Krugman might. They may believe, as Krugman once did, that promising infinite relief isn’t feasible or constructive. But by assigning a fiendish objective to a conservative policy, Krugman, as he often does, takes a deceitful shortcut to play on your emotions.

Demonizing your political opponents is nothing new, and it’s certainly not unique to modern liberals, but sometimes it seems as if there isn’t any contemporary debate that doesn’t feature some fabricated moral clash between good and evil.

You may, for instance, be under the impression that anyone who believes immigration laws should be enforced – laws that allow thousands of guest workers and a million new immigrants into the country every year – is only a fear-stricken nativist. Some refuse to accept that anyone could be driven by a genuine anxiety over assimilation or a worry about wage depression or a belief that there are destructive consequences to offering amnesty to illegal immigrants. For some, there can be no other explanation than xenophobia.

Or take abortion. Texas legislator Wendy Davis, as most of you have no doubt heard, waged a heroic battle against some crusty old white men who have it in for all women – because, evidently, crusty old white men in Texas are incapable of being genuinely troubled by the dismemberment of nearly viable and viable fetuses. Creating cartoon misogynists is an effective way to circumvent any prickly discussions about the moral implications of a late-term abortion. It also allows the enlightened to sneer at all those hick reactionaries without ever having to confront their arguments.

And when Catholics and others who still believe traditional marriage is a public good worth defending can’t be browbeaten by Twitter hashtag campaigns into abandoning a few thousand years of tradition, it can only be chalked up to homophobia. Taking the traditional position, a position shared by the progressive president a mere year ago, is now tantamount to supporting George Wallace. That was certainly quick.

But does anyone really believe it’s that simple? Sometimes I wonder. A recent Rasmussen poll found that of those who approve of Barack Obama’s job performance, just 29 percent see radical Muslims as a bigger threat than the tea party. Democrats – if the pundit class is any reflection of the general sentiment of voters – have convinced themselves that most conservative arguments needn’t be confronted because they, nearly always, camouflage some uglier sentiment.

Occasionally, there is an uglier underlying sentiment. And plenty of people on the left do confront the right’s arguments at face value. But too often it isn’t the case. As it goes, I support immigration reform (in concept), and I believe that government should stay out of the business of defining marriage, but surely, how we debate those issues matters.

COPYRIGHT 2013 CREATORS.COM

Start a conversation using these share links:

Who We Are

The Patriot Post is a highly acclaimed weekday digest of news analysis, policy and opinion written from the heartland — as opposed to the MSM’s ubiquitous Beltway echo chambers — for grassroots leaders nationwide. More

What We Offer

On the Web

We provide solid conservative perspective on the most important issues, including analysis, opinion columns, headline summaries, memes, cartoons and much more.

Via Email

Choose our full-length Digest or our quick-reading Snapshot for a summary of important news. We also offer Cartoons & Memes on Monday and Alexander’s column on Wednesday.

Our Mission

The Patriot Post is steadfast in our mission to extend the endowment of Liberty to the next generation by advocating for individual rights and responsibilities, supporting the restoration of constitutional limits on government and the judiciary, and promoting free enterprise, national defense and traditional American values. We are a rock-solid conservative touchstone for the expanding ranks of grassroots Americans Patriots from all walks of life. Our mission and operation budgets are not financed by any political or special interest groups, and to protect our editorial integrity, we accept no advertising. We are sustained solely by you. Please support The Patriot Fund today!

★ PUBLIUS ★

“Our cause is noble; it is the cause of mankind!” —George Washington

The Patriot Post is protected speech, as enumerated in the First Amendment and enforced by the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, in accordance with the endowed and unalienable Rights of All Mankind.

Copyright © 2022 The Patriot Post. All Rights Reserved.

The Patriot Post does not support Internet Explorer. We recommend installing the latest version of Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, or Google Chrome.