“Liberals need a tea party, damn it,” wrote Jonah Goldberg in a recent National Review, and thus “have embraced the [Occupy] movement…with the understanding that they’ll worry about the details later, if at all.”
So why don’t Liberals, generally, or the Democratic Party, specifically, have anything other than the Occupiers and the public service unions that are, more and more, running the Occupy “movement?”
Because, unlike modern Conservatives, generally, or tea partiers, specifically (who, it turns out, are main stream America), Liberals don’t have any tenets that are foundational to individual liberty, to individual responsibility. All they have is a fundamental belief in big government and an equally fundamental distrust of their fellow citizens’ judgment.
Tea partiers, modern conservatives, are whole-hearted supporters of such basic principles of liberty as freedom of speech, freedom of religion (the positive freedom actually to practice their own, not the negative freedom of no one else’s being visible), equal opportunity for all individuals, and most of all, these two things: freedom from government interference with these, and the primacy of individual responsibility. In short, tea partiers hold out for the continued implementation of the Declaration of Independence’s acknowledgment
that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.
Tea partiers, mainstream Americans, understand that they are far better suited to determine how their lives should be lived and how their resources should be allocated than any government can hope to be.
Liberals, on the other hand, are the quintessential big government believers. It’s Liberals who insist on wealth redistribution programs—run entirely by government—as the only legitimate means of leveling wealth and income. It’s Liberals who insist on these equal outcome goals of wealth redistribution, at the expense of equal opportunity for all Americans. It’s Liberals who insist that government must be the means of first resort for those who need a hand up, and not the means of last resort. It’s Liberals, also, who insist that government keep giving those hands up (which can come only at the expense of other Americans) to the point they stop being hands up and become permanent handouts.
All of this flows from that fundamental Liberal distrust of ordinary Americans, it comes from their foundational belief that some Americans are better suited to govern and to make decisions about individual lives than are common Americans.
What kind of grass roots movement might support that?