THE LONG FAQ ON LIBERALISM

Part of the Liberalism Resurgent web site
© Copyright by Steve Kangas, editor

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Welcome! You have found my encyclopedia of liberal arguments on politics and religion. My goal is to build a one-stop reference source that uses all the latest studies, statistics and arguments. If you’d prefer a shorter treatise, then visit my Short FAQ on Liberalism. As for this document, read About This FAQ to discover its stated goals. And feel free to send your comments to me at [email protected] — if they prove helpful, you’ll win public praise on my credit page.

IN DEFENSE OF DEMOCRATIC GOVERNMENT — A classic starting point for the debate:

Part 1: The Best Distribution of Power
Part 2: The Proper Size and Role of Government

DEFINITIONS AND SPECTRUMS

A definition of “Liberalism” and “Conservatism”
A glossary of political and economic terms

Spectrum 1: Individualism vs. Altruism

Spectrum 2: Anarchy vs. Organization

Spectrum 3: Democracy vs. Constitutionalism

Spectrum 4: Equality vs. Merit

Spectrum 5: Competition vs. Cooperation

COMMON POLITICAL AND RELIGIOUS MYTHS

Myths about democracy and the constitution:

Rights are natural, inalienable and self-evident.

No one has rights to my property.

There’s no such thing as a “social contract.”

The U.S. is not a democracy.

We should return to the original intentions of the Founding Fathers.

The Founders should be revered as secular saints.

The government violates the plain meaning of the constitution.

Current federal powers violate the 10th amendment.

Democracy elected Hitler to power.

Myths about society, individualism and collectivism:

There’s no such thing as society… only individuals and families.

Early Americans built this land on rugged individualism.

The world is going to hell in a hand basket.

Myths about abortion:

Abortion is murder.

The Bible forbids abortion.

Personhood begins at conception.

Most women feel depression and trauma after an abortion.

Myths about affirmative action:

Affirmative action means quotas.

Affirmative action denies jobs to the most qualified.

Affirmative action hasn’t worked.

The end doesn’t justify the means.

Affirmative action is reverse discrimination.

We should compensate specific individuals for specific wrongs, not entire groups.

Affirmative action is like setting quotas for white guys in the NBA.

Asian-Americans are a model minority.

Myths about The Bell Curve:

The Bell Curve is a top-level work of science.

IQ best predicts if you will succeed or fail in life.

Social intervention cannot raise IQ.

Some ethnic groups have genetically inferior IQ’s.

The black/white IQ gap is largely genetically caused.

The black/white IQ gap is 15 points and growing.

Myths about Bill Clinton:

There is no “vast right-wing conspiracy” to get Clinton.
Clinton is thoroughly corrupt.
Ken Starr’s investigation was ethical and fair.
Starr’s crooked investigation doesn’t invalidate his findings.
Clinton committed perjury.
Clinton’s alleged wrongdoing rises to the level of impeachment.

Myths about Christian conservatism:

The Bible is morally pure and free from atrocity.

The Bible is conservative.

The basis for all morality is found in the Bible.

Moral relativism is wrong.

The Founders intended the U.S. to be a Christian republic.

Myths about crime:

The criminal justice system isn’t biased against the poor.

Poor people and minorities are committing the most crime.

Getting tough on crime reduces crime.

We shouldn’t waste tax dollars keeping murderers alive in prison.

Murderers deserve death.

Guns don’t kill people; people do.

Gun ownership is not the cause of America’s high murder rate.

Gun control laws won’t reduce the murder rate.

A gun in the home increases personal safety.

The Second Amendment guarantees the individual right to own a gun.

Switzerland proves that high gun-ownership doesn’t increase murder.

Myths about economics:

The gold standard is a better monetary system.

The Austrian School of Economics is “apart and above” mainstream economics.

The Chicago School of Economics is a leader in the field.

The rich get rich because of their merit.

Unregulated capitalism does not exploit workers.

Income mobility makes up for income inequality.

Car salesmen are the scum of the earth.

Deregulation promotes competition.

The government’s services should be privatized.

Presidents are responsible for the economy’s performance.

Homo economicus is a valid assumption of human behavior.

Growth is good.

Myths about the economic history:

Carter ruined the economy; Reagan saved it.

The recession of 1982 was Carter’s fault.

Forty years of liberalism have ended in failure.

Democrats in Congress created the deficit.

The U.S. has the world’s highest standard of living.

Myths about education:

The high school dropout rate is climbing.
American test scores have fallen in the last 30 years.
Doubling the money spent on public education hasn’t improved it.
American graduates don’t have the skills needed for a high-tech economy.
Vouchers will improve our schools.

Myths about the environment:

Capitalism is the most environmentally friendly economic system.

Humans are not causing global warming.

Humans are not causing ozone depletion.

We cannot possibly cause harm to God’s most magnificent creation.

We shouldn’t worry; the environment will heal itself.

Liberal doomsday scenarios have always been proven wrong.

Myths about evolution:

“Creation science” is science.

There is a conspiracy among scientists to suppress “creation science.”

Life obviously had an intelligent designer.

Evolution defies the Second Law of Thermodynamics.

Evolution is only a theory.

Myths about health care:

The U.S. has the best health care system in the world.

Myths about inequality and poverty:

Income inequality is not the cause of this nation’s social problems.

Lots of poor people are fat… they’re not suffering.

Myths about liberalism and leftism:

Liberalism is socialism, and socialism is big government.

Hitler was a leftist.

The U.S. has a liberal media.

Political Correctness makes liberals inconsistent on free speech.

Myths about science and common sense:

Scientists lack common sense.

Scientific consensus is not the best way to discern truth.

There is no war between science and Christianity.

Intelligent people tend to be more religious.

Conservative think tanks are the answer to liberal academia.

Public polls are generally inaccurate and untrustworthy.

Myths about taxes:

Taxes are theft.

I earned that money; it’s mine!

Tax cuts increase tax collections.

Tax cuts spur economic growth.

Tax cuts for the rich shift the tax burden upward.

A capital gains tax cut will spur economic growth.

A capital gains tax cut will help the little guy.

Myths about welfare:

There are Welfare Queens driving Welfare Cadillacs.
The poor receive the most welfare.

Welfare is to blame for runaway government spending.

People on welfare are lazy and stupid bums.

People on welfare are usually black, teenage mothers who stay on ten years at a time.

People on welfare should just find jobs.

Welfare gives people an economic incentive to avoid work.

Welfare gives mothers an economic incentive to have more children.

Welfare gives women an incentive to have children out of wedlock or break up marriages.

Welfare can be replaced by charity.

Welfare increases poverty.

Welfare traps people in poverty.

The U.S. has wasted over $5 trillion on the war on poverty.


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