Don’t get offended at the party of principles

“Liberals claim to want to give a hearing to other views, but then are shocked and offended to discover that there are other views.” —William F. Buckley, Jr.

On a fairly routine basis, I get letters from readers who try to pigeonhole Your Host into something he’s not.

Recently, they’ve come from readers who accuse me of being a Rush Limbaugh wannabe who only recycles conservative talking points. I presume these letters are meant to be insulting—I mean, if you ignore that this is print, and Limbaugh’s a broadcaster, or that this is my hobby, while it’s his livelihood—OK, so I’m a wannabe.

I suppose this Place would be considered a bastion of intelligent discourse if I were channeling Al Franklin instead. Or perhaps not.

Another reader dismissed me as just another “evangelical Christian.” That surprised me because I’m not that, either. More to the point, the saying “heaven doesn’t want me, and the other place is afraid I’ll take over” could have been written specifically about me. Given a choice, however, I’d prefer to be in the company of people who believe in the 10 Commandments, rather than those who think such principles are only relevant when placed in a “situational context.”

I don’t get offended, though. In fact, I see the hypocrisy of liberals and Democrats (or progressives or whatever label they’re hiding behind) as comical.

You see, the difference between conservative Republicans and liberal Democrats is that Democrats make distinctions between politicians’ (and others’) personal and professional lives, whereas Republicans think what a politician does in private is a direct reflection of how they’d behave in office. Let’s put it this way: If a politician is willing to cheat on his wife, why should I believe he has the character or ethical fortitude to do the “right thing” in his professional life? His professional life, incidentally, involves complete strangers—like constituents. (It’s easy to snipe at those who break principles when your side doesn’t have any, huh?)

Liberals love to preach tolerance at the altar of diversity and yet are perhaps the most single-mindedly intolerant people on the face of the planet. A fundamental symptom of this is that they are always running around perpetually offended.

For example, they’re offended by discrimination (ask the Boy Scouts of America) and yet laud affirmative action.

They’re offended by the word “God” in the Pledge of Allegiance. (Actually, they’re offended by the Pledge all by itself.)

They’re offended by racial profiling. They can actually point to the fact that two homegrown terrorists—Terry Nichols and Timothy McVeigh—were white and yet conveniently ignore all the empirical evidence that 99.9 percent of the rest of terrorists are Muslim males.

They’re offended by the PATRIOT Act as an unreasonable intrusion into our personal liberties but then run around outlawing smoking on every corner of the planet. (But only after they’ve taxed the be-Jesus out of smokers and Big Tobacco.)

They’re offended that 2,500 soldiers died in Iraq over a six-year period, but the abortion of 1.3 million kids a year is a cause for celebration.

They’re offended by successful businesses like Wal-Mart but can’t fathom why it’s the single, largest employer in the world.

I once used the term “hapless” when referring to the young Democrats at UNR. A reader took me to task for having the unmitigated audacity to criticize young people who were simply trying to make a difference. While I’m always a big fan of people trying to make a difference, I’m not exactly crazy about how they do it—particularly when they’re wrong. Rather than “hapless,” I suppose I should have used the term “clueless.”

Which perhaps brings us back to Buckley’s assertion?