Vital Signs

Up From Objectivism

It was sort of like being caught in a raging stream, and swimming hard against the current, inch by inch, to reach safety.  The time was many years ago, when, as a college freshman, I fell into the currents of liberalism.  And they were powerful.  Just go with the flow, and you could get approval, a trendy sense of superiority, and—if you were a Southerner like me—some degree of redemption from the original sin of Southernness.

But being of a stubborn temperament, and a nominal Christian, I didn’t like the flow at all.  In the back of my mind I recalled Sunday School stories about prophets who stood against the crowd, and the lesson that fashion and numbers don’t decide what is right or true.  Nevertheless, my greatest aversion to liberalism was liberals themselves.  They were sometimes bright, and their arguments were sometimes compelling, but their schoolmarmish moral arrogance was pretty hard to take.

How often I listened to their passionate ice-cold professions of love for “the poor,” haughty confessions of guilt, and barely concealed malice toward anyone who dared to disagree!  We must create a new society, they intoned in so many words, and we as superior people must spare no sacrifice to make all men equal.  Many had disturbing sympathies for Uncle Ho, Che Guevera, and the other fashionable...

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