Feb 10, 2006

The Wisdom of Bill Part II: Inequality

Bill Clinton's second big concern for the world is "inequality". This is such an interesting and revealing worry for the Left. I remember being drawn toward liberalism for the passion it held for "equal rights". And I know many well-intentioned liberals who, still, in their 40s and 50s, rationalize their liberalism based on the Left's attention to "inequality". So, it seems worth some examination of Bill's use of the term "inequality".

First it is instructive to consider the terms Bill didn't use. He didn't say "equal rights". And, despite all liberal characterizations to the contrary, I think us conservatives would put "equal rights" in our top five concerns for the world - at least as part of our overall concern for freedom and human dignity.

Isn't it interesting that he didn't say "injustice"? Injustice is such a good term because it covers so many other concerns. Denying someone his or her "equal rights" is an injustice. Stealing and murder (defined as the intentional killing of an innocent) are injustices. Bearing false witness, or in other words, lying about someone's character, actions or intentions is an injustice. The Democrats might also call this "exploiting Republican vulnerabilities". But, no, Bill didn't say "injustice" so we must assume that is not what he meant.

What did he mean by inequality? Did he mean, say, that Americans just have way too much materially and should equal things out with the rest of the world? For example, the Bolivians are muddling through with high rates of poverty and subsistence living. Should American workers hand over more of their wages to the Bolivians to equal things out? We all know that the world is way too big and too many people are living in poverty for the first world to be able to support the third world. And while Bill may characterize himself as an idealist, he is not stupid. So, no, I don't believe this is what he meant.

Did he mean that it is unfair that Bill Clinton and Bill Gates have so much and therefore, should pay higher taxes so that poor Americans become "more equal" through the government dole? This might be closer to his intended meaning. It is my understanding of Marxists that they believe government should provide for the material well-being of its citizens. This idea is essentially communist/ socialist and is antithetical to what conservatives believe about government. The fact that communism has proven to be evil (more people slaughtered under communist regimes during “peacetime” than in any war, including WWII) and socialism is dying a slow death in Europe does not sway Bill’s outrage at the unfairness of inequality.

Conservatives believe that the unfairness of life (inequality) is rightly addressed through the expression of Judeo-Christian values, not the tax code. We believe the government is too powerful and too corruptible when it becomes vested in the material well-being of its citizens (see Tocqueville’s highly accurate predictions). We believe government is most effective and efficient at defending the nation and delivering the mail (Thomas Jefferson). We believe, like the founding fathers, that our nation’s vitality and continued success is dependent on a virtuous citizenry and a constitutionally limited government. We believe that, while our nation’s values and morals are expressed in the statutes, societal virtue cannot be legislated. People can only be credited with virtue when they are free to choose sin (think Afghanistan under the Taliban as the negative example).

So, what does Bill mean when he talks about “inequality”? He may mean to promote Marxism, but I think he and other liberals haven't fully formed their thoughts on "inequality". He is simply engaged in an act of moral preening. And unfortunately, liberals are slavering over the show.

Part III will address Bill’s concern with “culture divide”. We may have some agreement here, but I’ll use the politically incorrect term “cultural conflict”. Stay tuned.

(Also see part 1 and part 3)


Oh Mo said...

I love your obsession with Slick Willy. You know - the left throws those phrases around and nobody parses them the way you just did.That is just excellent Western Chauvinist.

S11 Republican said...

Thank you for telling it like it is, Western Chauvinist. Marxism is the word that best describes Bill Clinton's Utopia. He and his followers either don't realize it, or don't want to admit it.

NewEnglandWarriorPatriotPhase2 said...

Great article again. Don't forget the other die hard Marxist core belief, that private charity, and private worship of religion needs to be banned, and replaced in terms of the citizerny worshipping the state. So when these leftist judges want God out of the pledge, ot in God we trust out of the coins, they want private religious freedom (and the military for that matter) replaced with a state worshipping pacifist utopia.

Anonymous said...

Well thought out & said as usual.
It is true these phrases do get thrown around & little thought is given to the intent & deeper meaning. Someone should be paying this writer.