Joe Sobran On The Question Conservatives Don’t Ask Liberals–“At What Point Would They Be Satisfied?”


Apropos of James Fulford’s post about Lawrence Auster, our late friend Joe Sobran made the same point. We never ask liberals what their principles are, Auster noted, or what end they seek.

Wrote Sobran:

Conservatives rarely force liberals to specify just how far they would push their desires for more government power, higher taxes, and general limits on personal freedom. At what point would they be satisfied? In what kind of society would liberals become conservatives — in the sense of contented defenders of the status quo? What would a liberal utopia look like? Just how would it differ from outright communism?

Like the fisherman’s insatiable wife in the fable, liberals have a new wish every time their latest wish is granted. Conservatives should make them spell out their principles and ideals. Instead of doing this, conservatives allow liberals to pursue incremental goals without revealing their ultimate destination.

So, thanks to the negligence of their opponents, liberals control the terms of every debate by always demanding “more” while never defining “enough.” The predictable result is that they always get more, and it’s never enough. [Unasked Questions, Sobran.com, February 6, 2001]