The ‘bleeding heart’ disease

By Justin Doran

Liberalism is affecting the lives of millions of college-age Americans every day, many of whom remain uninformed about the danger of this pernicious ideology. A recent New York Times poll estimates that nearly 54 percent of young voters favor the Democratic Party in the 2008 election. That means that there are at least 30 million young adults who are at a high risk of becoming liberals, and this estimate doesn’t include “big government” conservatism, liberalism’s asymptomatic cousin.

Liberalism’s effectiveness lies in its ability to latch onto the good intentions of college-bound seniors. They want to help the poor, encourage education, promote freedom, stop violence and war; so they attend a few meetings. They go with some friends to a help-the-homeless meeting, sign up for some mailing lists. They rally against the war, and they buy “Save Darfur” T-shirts. Then, they start hearing that a lot of like-minded people are attending the meetings for the College Democrats. “Sure,” they say, “I could see myself being a Democrat.” It’s not at the first meeting that it happens, or even the second, but eventually, someone asks that deadly question: “So, have you read Marx?” After that, it’s only a matter of time before they’re shopping at the co-op, banning smoking in bars and selling their cars to pay for the commune’s eco-friendly tractor. Then, they’re full-fledged liberals for the rest of their lives, and there is little they can do about it.

This turn of events seems innocuous to many, especially to those college students who have friends who are liberals, or whose liberalism has not yet progressed to full-fledged socialism. The consequences are dire. After communism lost its tenability in public discussion due to its large scale failure in the Cold War, it mutated into something far more sinister. Modern liberalism has all the flaws of Sovietesque communism, but without the benefits of a uniform ideology and a sickle to motivate the slackers. Instead, it breeds a parasitic reliance on the government.

Whereas nonliberals see problems in their community and take it upon themselves to cooperate and organize groups to fix them, liberals figure the government will take care of it. The Smiths down the street can’t afford groceries? Well, they can go get some food stamps. There are children in our schools who can’t afford regular appointments with a doctor? Well, they have Medicaid.

After all, when there is a massive incomprehensible government that has the resources to do anything it wants, what problems can it not solve? If they’re having problems making our public schools meet bare minimum academic requirements, then let’s just give them more money.

This attitude infects the minds of college students through their doubts in the ability of independent private citizens and organizations to tackle the problems we erroneously believe the government can fix. The only known treatment is to remind them that the same people who work through the government now would still exist if the government stopped paying attention. Moreover, imagine the resources that will be freed when they no longer have to spend all their time figuring which congressman has the most like-minded constituency, and how much it would cost to buy his vote.

The only way to prevent this degradation of the American spirit is to be wary of anyone who tells you that liberalism is the best way to help the needy. Although they like to imply that they have a monopoly on compassion, libertarians and conservatives care just as much about their fellow man and have the added benefit of pragmatism. Additionally, if American citizens are less willing to pass the buck to the government on every issue, the government will have less resources to squash freedom of speech and to wage unjust wars. So, the next time someone starts equating liberalism with effective domestic policy, protect yourself.

Liberalism is a lifelong disease which will devastate your ability to think clearly about the government.