Whereas conservatives have become more visible in recent times, it's getting harder to find a liberal these days. For years, the left and the right sparred frequently and mercilessly. This was perhaps best illustrated by the legendary debate between William F. Buckley and Gore Vidal during ABC's coverage of the 1968 Democratic convention in Chicago. Buckley, the conservative, and Gore, the liberal, both held their ground even if it potentially meant a round of fisticuffs. If you've never seen it, you should look it up on YouTube. I remember ABC anchorman Howard K. Smith had has hands full refereeing the brawl.
The liberals certainly haven't disappeared, but they have gone into their respective closets. For example, I have plenty of friends who are clearly liberal, yet adamantly refuse to admit so. In a strange way, they seem to be ashamed of the label and, instead, insist on being called a moderate or, my favorite, "progressive" which was derived from the Progressive Party of the early 20th century. As an aside, the party was a spin-off from the Republican party. Regardless, a liberal by any other name is still a liberal.
The terms "liberal" and "conservative" or "left" and "right" are perceived as extremist positions which can be somewhat intimidating to the masses. Being "moderate" sounds more reasonable. Because of this, there is a concerted effort by the left to replace the moniker "liberal" with "moderate" in order to give the illusion their ideas are more mainstream with the public thereby cultivating mindshare (and inducing votes). This shift is becoming increasingly visible in the Main Stream Media. For example, following the Supreme Court decision regarding the sex discrimination case against Wal-Mart, which was rejected, Justice Ruth Bader-Ginsburg wrote the dissenting opinion. In reporting this story, the "New York Times," which is regarded as an organ for the liberal media, referred to Ginsburg and her wing of the court as "moderate" as opposed to "liberal." Interestingly, the media has no problems referring to the other judges as "conservative."
On television, comedians such as Jon Stewart and Bill Maher steadfastly reject the "liberal" label and sincerely believe their opinions and editorials represent mainstream America. It is their contention that anyone who doesn't agree with their point of view is intellectually inferior and therefore deserving of ridicule. This pseudo intellectual perception of themselves, their belief in their intellectual superiority over all others, particularly "conservatives," is their Achilles' heel as it gives them a false sense of superiority and arrogance which turns a lot of people off. Whereas they desperately want to convince the public their political positions are mainstream, the reality though is they are not.
While conservatives proudly proclaim and embrace their ideology, liberals are running away from theirs, preferring instead a covert operation of referring to themselves as anything but "liberal." We saw this in Obama's presidential run in 2008, the Congressional races of 2010, and it is becoming more glaringly obvious as we approach the 2012 elections. They are hoping to confuse voters by suggesting their choices will no longer be "conservative-moderate-liberal" but rather "conservative-moderate." This is an intriguing political strategy by the Democrats, and it will be interesting to see if it is successful. Actually, I believe they are making the delineation between ideologies more apparent and, in the process, by eliminating moderate positions, they are forcing people to choose sides.
So, beware of people touting themselves as "moderate" or "progressive"; in reality, they are nothing but liberals in sheep's clothing. If the product doesn't sell, you repackage it.
Keep the Faith!
Note: All trademarks both marked and unmarked belong to their respective companies.
Tim Bryce is a writer and the Managing Director of M. Bryce & Associates (MBA) of Palm Harbor, Florida and has over 30 years of experience in the management consulting field. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
For Tim's columns, see:
Like the article? TELL A FRIEND.
Tune into Tim's THE BRYCE IS RIGHT! podcast Mondays-Fridays, 7:30am (Eastern).
Copyright © 2011 by Tim Bryce. All rights reserved.