Hysterial Statement of the Day

And it’s only 10:37 a.m. EST. From Andrew Sullivan:

Liberalism believes in punishing hard-working successful people in this manner – and the more you succeed, the more they will punish you.

I wonder what Andrew says about the redistributionist tendencies of conservative economics to give money to the wealthy, who make up a much smaller segment of society. Does he think that people who are poor or middle income don’t work hard? That they don’t try to succeed? Not everyone can be or wants to be a lawyer or banker or a journalist paid to opine on things that they may not even understand all that well, but does that mean that those people should be left with the short end of the stick?

Update: Sullivan responds to a reader who pushes back against his hyperbole:

A reader writes:

I thoroughly enjoy many aspects of your blog and find it to be very largely informative. However, I have to take exception with your description of the aims of liberalism – I believe you know perfectly well that liberalism doesn’t believe in punishing success/wealth-creation any more than conservatism believes in perpetuating the wealth of the rich on the backs of the poor/middle-class. These are the types of lump descriptions that just drive me wild; everyone agrees that this country would be better if more of its people were successful. So, we disagree on the manner of achieving that outcome. Big Deal. Let’s have the argument about the specifics of that, and refrain from silly/rote/easy demonizations.

Yeah, that kind of rhetoric isn’t very helpful.
But it does express my irritation with the way some liberals – and only some – assume a kind of nefariousness among those who have actually made a material success of their lives, and see no real loss in expropriating their moolah. I have a visceral reaction to that assumption. Which is why, I guess, I’m still a conservative.

The reader makes good points and Sullivan kind of addresses them, but the first sentence of his response is the important one:

“Yeah, that kind of rhetoric isn’t very helpful.”

Well, then, why use it? Sullivan is a in a place to actually influence the tone of the political discourse in this country and it’s distressing when he relies on lazy statements to make his points.


~ by uvasig on February 28, 2009.

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