- The Washington Times - Sunday, November 23, 2008

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

COMMENTARY:

Conservatives tip their hat to Barack Obama’s achievement.

First, he ran an impressive campaign. Second, and historically, his being the first African-American to be elected president should give conservatives reason for satisfaction, despite our concerns about how he will govern. Conservatives believe anyone born in America can become president. Any individual’s potential is boundless. Our system worked.

Perhaps the tears of African-Americans on Election Night are a sign of some absolution for our great nation’s stain on our quintessential purpose, freedom, by its remarkable sin, slavery.

In light of the historic moment, we offer our conservative observation: We have a long way to go to overcoming bigotry - liberal bigotry, that is.

It should not be lost on any observer that, as this election drew nearer, many liberals began discarding the term “progressives” and reverted back to calling themselves “liberals.” We give liberals credit of sorts for re-acknowledging their long-ago discredited brand name. Big government is big government. You can’t change stripes on a skunk, as the old saying goes. Big-Government Republicans learned that the hard way. Republicans destroyed their brand by calling themselves Ronald Reagan conservatives, but governing more like Democrats.

The truer nature of liberalism was on display this last election, after years when liberals chose to cloak their views with more moderate-to-conservative speak. Liberals continued to campaign more to the right of their true agenda, but when caught off-guard, liberals were heard speaking of their spread-the-wealth socialism, their desire to bankrupt industries, and their genuine contempt for rural Americans, especially those of faith.

Many liberal bloggers, less guarded about their agenda, demonstrated the bigotry of liberalism. In this election, we witnessed the nasty bigotry of sexist liberal feminists, directed personally at Sarah Palin and indirectly at working conservative Christian mothers, with extra objection to mothers who don’t abort children with special needs. That probably came as no surprise to conservative African-Americans, such as Clarence Thomas, Michael Steele and Ward Connerly, who have been subjected to the vitriol of liberal bigotry.

A 1993 article titled “Black Conservatives” by one liberal says, “For most African Americans the notion of a Black conservative is an oxymoron.” She writes that both conservative policies and conservatives themselves are racist. This, sadly, is the bigoted worldview of too many liberals: You are defined by your race or ethnicity and aren’t allowed to think for yourself.

Liberalism’s underlying premise is the superiority of government power over individual freedom. The worst regimes in history - communist, Nazi, fascist - were the combination of bigotry with government power. No such regime comes to power without using deceptive promises that government will take care of people better than freedom will. Their leaders manipulate people to support them often by accusing their opponents of the same form of treachery they seek to impose.

The worst liberal politicians employ deception both to gain votes and to intimidate critics. Race-baiting is a favorite bigoted tactic of many liberals.

For example, when Barney Frank was confronted about his support for Fannie Mae contributing to the financial market meltdown, he resorted to calling those who questioned his positions “racist.” How desperate and pitiful. But worse, it was the policy of bigotry in the first place that forced banks to make bad loans to uncreditworthy people.

Conservatives were called racist for opposing immigration policies pushed by the Bush administration, other Big-Government Republicans and Democrats. The wrong immigration policy, under which people here unlawfully would receive benefits at taxpayer expense, would also allow them to steal jobs from low-income Americans, and would be a slap in the face to immigrants who came to America legally through a long and sometimes expensive process.

Conservatism is a threat to liberalism because bigotry is counterproductive to conservatives, but is a cornerstone of liberalism. Economic conservatism values the productivity, work, intelligence, integrity, motivation and other virtues of the individual. Religious conservatism is based in the fundamental premise that we are all born of equal value in the eyes of God.

Liberals who evade the merits of policy arguments by resorting to calling white conservatives “racists” or African-American conservatives “Uncle Toms” don’t merely demonstrate their own ignorance, they cheapen the cause against real racism.

America is a center-right country not because of any particular ethnicity but because we are a unique assimilation of individuals from different walks of life, cultures and perspectives. Our greatness does not depend on any one group succeeding or holding anyone back, but precisely is due to allowing individuals to rise above the circumstances into which they were born. Americans still by and large understand our country is the land of opportunity, not the land of guarantees. America has far more Joe the Plumbers than Peggy the Moochers.

As with most things in life, those who struggle to obtain something often understand better the value of those things than those who have been given them. Perhaps that is why conservative African-American thinkers and leaders - Walter Williams, Thomas Sowell, J.C. Watts, Star Parker, Armstrong Williams, Herman Cain, Jay Parker, Bishop Harry Jackson, Jr., Alan Keyes, Larry Elder, etc., are among the most articulate proponents of free markets, faith and other tenets of conservatism.

They were proud of their country long before Barack Obama was elected president. We’re sure they understand that liberal bigotry remains a great barrier to overcome so all individuals have a greater opportunity to achieve their hopes, dreams, desires, ambitions and aspirations, no matter how simple or how grand.

Richard A. Viguerie pioneered political direct mail and has been called “one of the creators of the modern conservative movement” (The Nation magazine), and one of 2008’s “top 25 influencers’ among Republicans (NewsMax magazine). Mark Fitzgibbons is president of corporate and legal affairs at American Target Advertising Inc., Manassas, Va.

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