Liberals just get it wrong

It’s a general trend among liberal authors to portray quality of life in the United States as poor.

I still enjoy walking around a library. I might be old-fashioned, but I do. In a day and age where Internet is king, even for serious research projects, I prefer walking up and down the shelves of books and just perusing. It’s a simple joy. While doing this recently, I stumbled upon a section of books on recent presidents. There was a fine selection: memoirs, biographies, commentaries, even poetry. Among the books were selections of liberal authors on former President Ronald Reagan. Fortunately for me, the cleansing of time hadn’t taken place, and there were still some juicy selections of irrationality and propaganda.

One of my favorites was Jerry Hagstrom’s “Beyond Reagan.” Hagstrom opines a worry about the technology industry being unstable; somehow he links this to Reagan. “For every Reagan success, there is a horrible failure.”

Hagstrom went region to region, describing how every area in the United States was on the brink of economic disaster. “Chicago is a city in search of soul” is proudly stated on the cover. I wonder if anyone told Chicago that.

Another beauty is Barbara Ehrenreich’s “The Worst Years of Our Lives: Irreverent Notes from the Decade of Greed.” I didn’t even open this book.

That idea is just stupid; compared to the unrest of the ’60s, the Vietnam War, bell bottoms and the pure economic malaise of Jimmy Carter’s sweater years, the ’80s should have been a relief.

There is also the Haynes Johnson classic “Sleepwalking through History: America in the Reagan Years.” Unbelievably, Johnson is a Pulitzer Prize winner. Johnson’s outlook is pessimistic to say the least. In this book, he declares the ’80s were “a decade in which America fell from dominant world power to struggling debtor nation losing its productivity and moving from optimism to foreboding.”

I’m sure Saddam Hussein wholeheartedly agrees. It must suck losing to a debtor nation, twice.

Reagan, despite the Iran-Contra mess, was a great president. President George W. Bush, despite weapons of mass destruction, is a good president. We can’t confer greatness on him yet, but his successes lend support to his ability.

Bush is now on the receiving end of the liberal paper mill. There’s the future Jim Hightower dust-collector “Thieves in High Places,” or one can attempt the apocalyptic “Cruel and Unusual: Bush/Cheney’s New World Order” from Mark Crispin Miller. There’s even a fine selection of Nixon-Bush comparisons such as John W. Dean’s “Worse than Watergate: The Secret Presidency of George W. Bush.”

It’s a general trend among liberal authors to portray life in the United States as sucking in general and especially sucking when Republicans are in power.

It’s easy to do. Just collect a bunch of stories about hardships, and blame it on conservatives. Nevermind the successes, nevermind the circumstance, life always sucks when Republicans are in power.

In a comment to a Bush supporter at a rally this summer, Teresa Heinz Kerry called another Bush term “four years of hell.” I find it funny that under Bush, a 5.4 percent unemployment rate is hell, yet the Clinton years were idyllic with similar numbers.

It’s time to stop buying crappy paper mill liberal books. Every year I have spent at this University, I have heard about the intellectual left, the book-writers, the artists, the poets. It’s all crap. It’s been a stereotype for a long time, and it’s not true. Conservatives are on the bestseller lists as much as liberals now. And guess what? Those books don’t spend tedious amounts of time saying how bad the United States is or how wrong we are.

Really, liberals shouldn’t write books. I’m not for censorship or anything like that. I’m just interested in saving trees; most of those liberal books end up, or will end up, on the ash heap of history. The attacks on Bush are just as false as the attacks on Reagan.

But these shenanigans are nothing new; they have been pulled on Republicans for more than a hundred years. The reactions to former President Abraham Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address were very negative. The Chicago Times considered the speech an embarrassing assortment of “dish-watery utterances.”

Marty Andrade welcomes comments at [email protected]