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Friday, January 18, 2013

How the Left Corrupted Liberalism

Leftwing politicians used to be called liberals. But after the failed presidential campaign of Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis, "liberal" became a dirty word, and today no politicians or officeholders want to be labeled liberals. Instead, the leftwingers call themselves Progressives or New Progressives. They inherited the liberalism of the 1960s, and then used the institutions of government, the media, academia, and especially the courts to gain power for leftwing ideas and policies. A new book by historian Donald Critchlow tells the story of how they did it, how they moved America where the voters didn't want to go, a place where collective interests are favored over individual rights. The book called Takeover: How the Left's quest for Social Justice Corrupted Liberalism, is part history book and part social commentary. Critchlow and his co-author W.J. Rorabaugh tell how the radicalism of law schools produced activist lawyers who then used class action lawsuits to regulate businesses and redistribute income.

Progressives achieved some social change through semantic changes. Abortion and euthanasia became "women's reproductive rights" and "death with dignity." Abortion was legalized through the court system. Progressives claimed that our overconsumption is detrimental to the rest of the globe, so Americans need to change our "expectation of the good life."

How did Barack Obama, the most liberal Senator in 2007, ascend to the Presidency? Critchlow says the 2008 election was not a swing of voters to the left. It was the result of Obama's having worked within the system to win, plus the "swooning media" which never questioned his vague policy positions. As President, Obama seems "incapable of grasping the hard truths about the economy, government expenditures, or the political system." This provocative new book by Donald Critchlow is titled Takeover: How the Left's quest for Social Justice Corrupted Liberalism.

Listen to the radio commentary here:

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