William Tucker is a smart guy and a good writer. I always learn something from reading his pieces. This morning’s New York Post carries his excellent column, “What Dems don’t get.”
In the column, Tucker recounts how he used to be a liberal Democrat until he learned from observations involving his own personal experience. Conservatives generally seem to be capable of learning something valuable from their own lives and from the evidence before their eyes. My paradigm example is Ronald Reagan, a former liberal Democrat who learned a thing or two about Communism grappling with Communists in hand to hand combat as president of the Screen Actors Guild. Similarly, George W. Bush seems to have learned something important personally from overcoming the temptations of alcohol. More important, he seems to have learned something politically from observing the multi-dimensional political success of Ronald Reagan.
Contrast these examples with Walter Mondale. Here’s a guy who has spent a life at the furthest reaches of American politics, and yet seems to have learned literally nothing from the experience. To hear him talk, the catastrophes of the Carter years hit like plagues sent from heaven, having nothing to do with the policies of his own administration.
The relentless liberal condescension first to Reagan and now to Bush seems to me to represent the opposite of the truth. Reagan and Bush share a kind of genius for absorbing the lessons of their experience. Liberals, on the other hand, do not seem to have the ability to learn anything from their own errors.
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