The article misses a critically important point. This is that the liberal movement has historically been a moral movement. Over the centuries the best in moral philosophy has, drop by drop, been consolidated into a stalagmite called Western Civilization.
In the past 40 years the moral fiber of liberalism has decayed. Its place has been taken by a presumptuous intellectualism. The new liberalism is actually quite ancient, as it controls by the imposition of arbitrary, amoral standards. Ironically, this is the very thing from which Western Civilization had freed us.
It is bemusing to note that it is the conservatives of today who have taken on the mantle of Jeffersonian liberalism, and the liberals who have become reactionaries. In abandoning its moral foundation, contemporary liberalism has become a complete perversion of all that the great liberal tradition of the Western world upholds.
The American public, while not necessarily mindful of the illustrious background of liberalism, senses that the moral base line of society has been badly disrupted. They are instinctively reacting against liberalism's latest "forward steps"--sexual license, abortion, gay liberation, criminal rights, pornography, soul-crippling welfare, and white paternalism, to mention some of the more offensive developments. The public knows in its gut that this is not the liberty for which Patrick Henry was willing to die.
In the final analysis, the reason that liberalism has lost its lure is that it has lost its moral vision.
DONALD S. SMITH