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The Left: Wrong, Wrong, and Wrong Again By: Larry Elder
FrontPageMagazine.com | Friday, March 18, 2005


Thirty-five percent of Americans, according to a 2004 Pew Research survey, call themselves conservative, while only 22 percent call themselves liberal (43 percent call themselves moderate) -- a 3 percent increase in conservatives since 1992. There is a reason for this -- liberals keep getting it wrong.

The war in Iraq: "Week after week after week after week," said Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., in October 2003, "we were told lie after lie after lie after lie." Kennedy called Iraq a "quagmire," predicting it will turn into "Bush's Vietnam." Now what?

Eight million Iraqis voted in their election over seven weeks ago. Protesters in Lebanon demanded the withdrawal of Syrian troops and agents. Egypt committed to, and Saudi Arabia conducted, elections, however flawed. Elections in the Palestinian territories produced a new leader who -- at least for now -- speaks of a peaceful two-state solution. So what does Sen. Kennedy say now?

"This Week's" George Stephanopoulos asked Kennedy whether President Bush deserves credit for democratic developments in the Middle East. Kennedy replied, "Absolutely, absolutely, and I think . . . what's taken place in a number of those countries is enormously constructive. It's a reflection the president has been involved." Well, well. Oh, sure, Kennedy talked about the number of Americans killed every day in Iraq, and that we need to figure out a way of withdrawing U.S. troops, but nothing about "quagmire."

Add another notch to the belt of discredited liberal policies. Let's go to the videotape.

Ronald Reagan's tax cuts: Critics claimed the Reagan tax cuts would stunt economic growth, while triggering inflation and higher interest rates. Inflation fell from 12.5 percent in 1980 to 3.9 percent in 1984, interest rates declined, and economic growth went from minus 0.2 percent in 1980 to plus 7.3 percent in 1984.

Race-based preferences: The Detroit News examined seven Michigan colleges and universities. They found that -- within six years -- blacks graduate at a rate of 40 percent compared to 61 percent for whites and 74 percent for Asians. Lowering admission standards indeed boosted racial diversity, at the expense of a greater possibility of minority students dropping out. "The state's universities have special programs aimed at helping black students meet financial, social and academic challenges," wrote the Detroit News, "but graduation rates for blacks haven't improved consistently. . . . Universities knowingly admit students who have a high chance of failing. . . . The 10 years' worth of data analyzed by The News shows that the more selective a university is in choosing its students, the more likely its students are to graduate."

Strategic Defense Initiative: When President Reagan first proposed SDI, the media called it fanciful, dismissing it as "Star Wars." According to Accuracy in Media, "During one six-month period commencing in December 1991, the [New York] Times ran 17 anti-SDI articles, op-ed pieces and editorials denouncing SDI as, among other things, a 'bizarre, costly concoction . . . science fiction . . . lunacy . . . sheer fantasy . . . ' The Times gave front-page space to Teddy Kennedy's Senate speech deriding SDI as 'Star Wars,' likening the idea to a science fiction movie or a video arcade game, and providing SDI foes their slogan-of-choice." Yet, of the last six Interceptor Missile tests, five successfully intercepted another missile. Parts of SDI have already been employed in Japan, in a cooperative U.S.-Japan Theater Missile Defense program.

Welfare reform: In 1996, President Clinton signed the Welfare Reform Act, after twice vetoing similarly worded bills. Presidential adviser Dick Morris warned Clinton that his 1996 re-election turned on signing this bill. Marian Wright Edelman, president of the Children's Defense Fund, castigated welfare reform, calling it, "the biggest betrayal of children and the poor since the CDF began." Congressman John Lewis, D-Ga., said it is "mean, it is base, it is low-down." In the following years, welfare rolls fell by 50 percent

Charity: In "The Tragedy of American Compassion," author Marvin Olasky writes that charity works best when done by people rather than by government, and that government programs foster dependency rather than self-reliance. Olasky writes that unemployed workers often tried seven alternatives, sequentially, before applying for government aid, including private benefits, credit, savings, loans or gifts from friends and family, and so on. As far back as 1766, Ben Franklin said, "I think the best way of doing good to the poor, is not making them easy in poverty, but leading or driving them out of it . . . the more public provisions were made for the poor the less they provided for themselves, and of course became poorer. And on the contrary, the less was done for them, the more they did for themselves, and became richer."

Minimum wage: These laws destroy jobs. Nobel laureate economist Milton Friedman says about the minimum wage, "Minimum wage laws cost jobs. Employers cut out, or mechanize, jobs that are not worth the minimum rate to them. Worst affected are the inexperienced young people, those with poor skills, and minorities."

Of the major domestic and national security issues of the last several decades, liberals consistently got it wrong, wrong and wrong again!


Larry Elder is the author of the newly-released Showdown. Larry also wrote The Ten Things You Can’t Say in America. He is a libertarian talk show host, on the air from 3-7 pm Pacific time, on KABC Talkradio in Los Angeles. For more information, visit LarryElder.com.


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