Head to Head - with Gary Hart

Gary Hart's article, "Liberal is...Evil" (Huffington Post)," begins by providing clear examples of Orwellian thought control: "War is peace. Freedom is slavery. Ignorance is strength." He then states an universally accepted maxim, which argues the aim of totalitarians is "to reverse the meanings of words," and that "totalitarianism begins with the perversion of words." 
Two Views - World's Apart

However, no sooner does Hart cite the conspicuously unassailable, than he commits a presumptuous leap in logic: he asserts that the sole instigators of such doublespeak are none but the political right: "the new right began with demonization of perfectly sound words like liberal." 

Now then, were Hart's premise an ironclad fact, so be it. However, except for the demagoguery, what scintilla of evidence does Hart provide? As we shall see, absolutely none.

Please hear me, I am not talking here about Hart producing a thorough, systematic examination of the matter in which he contends the "far right...reverses the meanings of words." Not by any stretch. I understand the limits of Hart's article, both in terms of intent and editorial space. I am merely asking that Hart offer us a single sample or instance where the far right has "reversed the meaning" of the word "liberal." I know of none.

From my perspective, "liberal" is a far more damaging appellation than any Orwellian replacement. Why on earth would any right minded soul wish to substitute a missile for a peashooter? Defeating the loony ideas that the left perpetrates on America is best accomplished by merely declaring them as "liberal" - it's the matchless weapon of choice for the "far right," and is employed at every pertinent opportunity.

No one is saying that "liberal" does not embody the more enlightened qualities that Hart associates to liberalism. Liberals, to be sure, intend the best. But here is also a catch. I cannot think of a solitary example in history where the simple desire for a "magnanimous, benevolent, open-minded, generous and unselfish" society naturally guaranteed it. 

When the "far right" encounters the tenets of liberalism and overwhelms them with reason and wisdom, it's not a liberal's noble intentions that are assailed, but rather the disastrous consequences of their good intentions and what they wreak upon people. Their good intended policies have caused untold suffering and there doesn't seem to be any end in sight. Mind you, this is coming from a recovering liberal - I believe I know from where I speak.

Regardless of whether my opinion of the "liberal" is accurate or not, is immaterial - I can find no rationale for Hart to blame the "far right fulminators" for "perverting language" - even more so as it relates to the term "liberal." For decades, the "far right" has not fought against the benevolence of the liberal's charge, but rather how they go about effectuating their good intentions. 

Admittedly, the liberal picture the "far right" attempts to paint can at times be struck with too wide a brush - I may have been guilty of this myself. However, such exertions speak more about endeavoring to have one's voice heard amid a sea of competing prescriptions than it does for "totalitarianism." Not to mention that only an abject zealot would maintain that the use of hyperbole is the exclusive ammunition of any singular political faction. I am not excusing contentious amplification but only acknowledging it - and no one side owns the market in this arena.

Hart continues: "It is understandable that the far-right fulminators begin by perverting language." Again, we understand Orwellian thought and appreciate Hart's ability to cite examples of such, but since when does simply quoting the philosophical ruminations of another automatically make it analogous to the target of one's objection?

Considering that it was effortless for Hart to specify Orwell's paradigm (and Orwell's novel is not the issue in question), how much more elementary would it have been for Hart to simply supply not one or two examples, but a host of specimens? How else is the inquisitive, fair-minded reader to best comprehend the precise transgressions of the "far right"? However, my objection is not that Hart failed to offer a host of examples, but rather that not a single illustration is presented to support his contention. None.

Strangely enough, Hart persists and throws yet another low-blow at the "far right" by venting: "The values of magnanimity, benevolence, open-mindedness, generosity, and unselfishness are anathema to them." I know I shouldn't be thunderstruck, but I am. 

Hart predicates the thrust of his diatribe on the evil of those on the "far right," who Hart accuses of "demonizing" other philosophical perspectives, while simultaneously expressing his own demonizing interpretations of the "far right's" point of view. In other words, Hart furnishes the lexicons at Websters with the quintessential definition for hypocrite.

Hart's false professions serve to illustrate my conviction that while conservatives address ideas, liberals attack people. After all, Hart does not discuss the merits of conservative ideals but only that they are without "the values of magnanimity, benevolence, open-mindedness, generosity." And let us not forget that "unselfishness are anathema to them." 

So much for arguing substance, more over establishing which faction actually inhabits the "perversion of words"?

If Hart's doublespeak is not dizzying enough, he then levels yet another punch to the solar plexus's of the "far right": "Totalitarianism has always wanted to control science for its own purposes." Yes, I kid you not - I've quoted him verbatim. Hart accuses the "far right" with "controlling science" - proving once again that those who point a careless accusatory finger routinely have three fingers pointing right back at themselves.

Rarely has mankind witnessed a more concerted effort to alter the course of humanity solely predicated on the "data" of science than today's liberal coteries. A "science" that has been touted as "conclusive" and "moral" long before the scientific method has been applied and tested. A science, we are now discovering, that has been increasingly adulterated by personal aspiration and political agenda. A science that has been politically wielded to transform, regulate and control social systems all across the globe - all "for its own purposes." Regardless of the left's incontrovertible abuse of science, Hart boldly fingers the "far right."

You see, here we are again, exposing the liberal's most frequent tactic of choice: diverting attention from their own perky subterfuge by zealously denouncing it in others. While our dear liberal friends draft wide spectrums of regulations ranging from "Hate-speech Legislation" to "The Fairness Doctrine," the "far right" is actively engaged in fending off a barrage of unfounded attacks  - attacks against our inalienable liberties and the constitutional rights granted therein.

As fervently as Hart contends, the truth of the matter is, it is not conservatives who employ Orwellian phrases. Were Hart's citations bona fide and material, he would have uttered every degree of evidence to support his position - plainly and openly. That he did not, speaks volumes. 

Far from the "demonization of perfectly sound words like liberal," conservatives do not and cannot coerce Americans into viewing "liberal" as anything other than it primarily deserves. Both sides of the political equation simply present their case and await the verdict - a verdict that fair-minded, freedom loving Americans are equipped to make. 

I am genuinely elated that Hart desires to cease employing the newly adopted term, progressive, and "restoring the true meaning of important words like liberal." As a conservative man, I welcome the opportunity to debate him and anyone else who is not "afraid" of who they are and is able and willing to do battle on the field of competing ideas.

Just come prepared - nothing would please me more than to present my case of liberalism as a philosophical virus, infecting body and soul. I would expect Hart to do hist best to place his punches where it would do me the most harm. 

Let the clash of ideas begin! But please, can we not agree to dispense with the childish invectives? I have no need to contend liberals are dirty rotten scoundrels simply to justify my position. Isn't it relevant enough to prove liberalism is merely a bad idea? Why should I also have to destroy the confused adherents? I don't. 

Both sides on this political merry-go-round have a point of view and each is compelled and justified in doing their utmost to win. This is adequate enough for me.

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