End Times for American Liberalism

Anis Shivani in CounterPunch:

Despite the most blatant violations of civil liberties in American history by a Republican Southern evangelical president fighting a never-ending crusade against “evil” itself, the three leading Democratic candidates for the 2008 presidential election, Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and John Edwards make almost no mention of civil liberties as a campaign issue on their websites. The most liberal candidate, the Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich, does include it at the very bottom of his list of issues, just underneath animal rights. Senators Clinton, Obama, and Edwards outdo each other speaking of their faith in their Lord and Savior, without whom they couldn’t have gotten through difficult times, and bend over backwards to “respect” the different opinions of evangelical voters, on such issues as “intelligent design” or the preservation of adult stem-cell embryos. Clinton voted not only to authorize the Patriot Act (which gutted civil liberties in 2001), but to reauthorize it in 2006. The Democratic candidates vow to hunt down the terrorists and kill them, and to show no tolerance for illegal immigrants, as they speak a language of economic populism focused on the anxieties of the declining middle-class. And all this comes at a time when the self-destructive acts of the radical neo-conservatives in power couldn’t possibly have created a more propitious time for the revival of liberal individualism in America.

More here.