Leftism wins votes
Earlier today, in a conversation we had via email, Western Free Press writer David Leeper made a series of comments on Obama’s immigration edict that I found trenchant. Rather than reprint the comments, I will instead briefly state some of the conclusions towards which they pointed.
Obama does an end run around the Constitution, violating the co-equality of our political branches.
- Republicans, conservatives, and libertarians have to argue that the rule of law is important; and that it poses a threat to our system to take such actions; that this is the purview of Congress, not a bureaucracy.
- Obama, Democrats, and leftists get to argue . . . “Don’t you care?”
Obama provides this form of de facto amnesty to illegal immigrants. Some number take advantage.
- Republicans, conservatives, and libertarians have to argue that this will have negative consequences on our immigration system and our already strained workforce; and that our immigration situation is a complex problem that requires a broad-spectrum solution developed by Congress, not a cynical quick election-year fix.
- Obama, Democrats, and leftists get to argue . . . “Don’t you care?” Then, they get to scare Hispanics and other immigrant groups: “This nice thing I did for you? If Romney is elected, he’s going to take it all away, round you up, and deport you.” Obama gets their votes out of both loyalty and gratitude, but also out of fear of Romney. (That was the most striking among Leeper’s points.)
Simply put, leftism has an easier argument to make.
- Leftism gets to promise people things.
- Conservatism/libertarianism has to tell people that nothing is free.
- Leftism plays on people’s compassion.
- Conservatism/libertarianism has to be the splash of cold water, reminding people, once again, that NOTHING IS FREE.
- Leftism is for “the little guy” and “social justice.”
- In standing up for the rule of law and equal justice (the only kind of actual justice there is), conservatism/libertarianism is put in the position of having to defend the “rich” and the “privileged.”
At every turn, leftism plays to the heart. Such appeals win votes. The other side is forced to make appeals to the head, and to abstract concepts such as “liberty” and “equal justice.”
As it happens, I saw a video today in which Peter Robinson, interviewing Dennis Prager, uses the phrase “Leftism wins votes.” Prager’s answer is instructive.
Ardently devoted to the cause of human freedom, he has worked at the confluence of politics, activism, and public policy for more than a decade. He co-wrote a ten-part series of video shorts on economics, and has film credits as a researcher on 11 political documentaries, including Citizens United's notorious film on Hillary Clinton that became the subject of a landmark Supreme Court decision. He is the founder of several activist endeavors, including AnyStreet.org (now a part of Western Free Press) and Liberatchik.com. He is currently the managing editor of and principal contributor to WesternFreePress.com.