Practical Politics; or, the Liberalism of To-day

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We are faced with a world-wide threat from totalitarian leftist forces.

Liberal politics and liberal literature: Journal of Literary Studies: Vol 8, No

Whether we like it or not, Communist -inspired events around the world have necessarily placed this nation in a conservative position. We find ourselves pitted against the total regimented society. We find ourselves contesting with the all-powerful state. We find ourselves in the role of guardian and defender of a just social system and a decent civil order.

Sophie Smith - The Nature of Politics: Quentin Skinner Lecture and Symposium

In other words, we find ourselves—more than ever before in our history—in a conservative position, defending individual freedom against the threat of collectivist slavery. Now how well are we equipped to take this position? How deeply dedicated are we, in and out of government, to our sacred cause? How well equipped are we to meet and defeat an enemy which brings against us the ultimate in zeal and fanaticism? These are questions that more and more concerned Americans are asking themselves and their national leaders today.

Reclaiming liberalism

The evidence is strong and growing stronger that there is something wrong with the orientation given us by the American liberals for the struggle ahead. There is reason to question whether these liberals fully and accurately understand exactly what it is that threatens our survival and the cause of freedom. We have reason to ask whether dedicated American liberals really have the heart for the kind of effort it will take to win over the forces which are sworn to bury us.

What else are we to think when we consider proposals offered in the field of foreign policy by liberal essayists writing in a recent publication called The Liberal Papers? Founders of the project include Democratic congressmen, former Democratic congressmen, and government officials. I would say that the suggestions made in The Liberal Papers are important both as a warning to the American people and as a guide to where liberal policies would lead the United States if not properly restrained. In a word, they would take us to abject surrender of practically all of our national strategic interests in the present struggle against international communism.

They call, among other things, for U. The weight of the argument presented in The Liberal Papers is to the effect that we have made a bogeyman out of our Communist enemy while, in point of fact, he may be really a nice chap who wants to reduce world tensions. The way we can prove this, the liberal thesis continues, is to take broad unilateral action, sacrificing things like the strength of NATO, and see if Russia and Red China do not reciprocate in kind.

Now this is patent nonsense, and nobody expects the President of the United States to follow any such ridiculous course. But the important point to bear in mind here is that these proposals are advanced from the liberal position in the American political spectrum. They are examples of extremism far more dangerous than the type of anti-Communist extremism that has so agitated the American liberal community. Yet, these proposals have not been the subject of any denunciation by the intellectual community on the left.

They have been disavowed as not representative of their views by some Democratic congressmen whose names have been connected with the Liberal Project. But they have been defended, too, as a type of healthy discussion that should surround the development of American policy in the Cold War.

In their extremism and their complete disregard for the realities of these critical times, these proposals deserve more than that.

get link They require a thoroughgoing discrediting by people of liberal persuasions who today are attempting to convince the American people that their approach to the problems of the United States and the world is the correct approach. To that, of course, must be added the nationwide disenchantment with the economic policies of extravagance and high taxes, policies which have cost the American people billions and billions of dollars and still have left us with a high rate of unemployment and a slow rate of economic growth.

The liberals have had chance after chance to prove their theories of what is good for America. They have had almost carte blanche access to the public treasury. They have had a free hand to test the advantages of the Welfare State. They have experimented with social and economic planning. They have extended American largesse to every part of the world. They have had ample opportunity to explore the advantages of contesting with communism in the world of public opinion. They have exhausted the limits of sweet reason and international idealism in handling the Soviet menace.

They have given full rein to the idea that the way to conduct American foreign policy is through extreme deference to the UN. It has given us one of the highest tax rates any free country has ever experienced. It has given us a dangerously threatened monetary system, an unfavorable balance of international payments, a sorely depleted gold reserve. Learn More - opens in a new window or tab Any international postage is paid in part to Pitney Bowes Inc. Learn More - opens in a new window or tab. Report item - opens in a new window or tab.

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Ideological Competition

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