The Pity Party
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The Pity Party : A Mean-Spirited Diatribe Against Liberal Compassion

3.79 (44 ratings by Goodreads)
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Description

In the vein of Jonah Goldberg's Liberal Fascism comes a scathing and reasoned critique of the politics of liberal compassion--and why liberals' lack of interest in the results of their policies renders them unfit to govern.

For decades, conservatives have chafed at being called "heartless" and "uncaring" by liberals, without ever challenging this charge. Instead, they've spent their time trying to prove that they really do care. Now, political scientist William Voegeli turns the tables on this argument, making the case that "compassion" is neither the essence of personal virtue, nor the ultimate purpose of government.

Liberals have built a remarkable edifice of government programs that are justified by appeals to compassion. Yet as Voegeli shows, they are indifferent whether these programs fail or succeed. Instead, when the problems these programs are created to solve fail to disappear, they propose to fix underperforming programs with more money, or more programs. Meanwhile, conservatives who challenge their effectiveness on practical grounds are met with charges of being "heartless right wingers."

Voegeli explores various programs that have become battlefields between Conservatives fighting for more efficiency, and Liberals fighting for the status quo. Along the way, he explains the philosophical underpinnings of the Liberal project that created and reinforce this misapplied ideal of compassion, and why, without a major change, Liberals must be considered unfit to govern.
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Product details

  • Hardback | 289 pages
  • 153 x 230 x 30.48mm | 544.31g
  • HarperCollins
  • New York, United States
  • English
  • 0062289292
  • 9780062289292
  • 1,313,730

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Back cover copy

When liberals don't have reason, authority, or the American people on their side, they turn to the one thing they never run out of: Pity.

For decades, conservatives have chafed at being called "heartless" and "uncaring" by liberals who maintain that our essential choice as a nation is between the politics of kindness and the politics of cruelty. In The Pity Party, political scientist William Voegeli turns the tables on this argument, making the case that "compassion" is neither the essence of personal virtue nor the ultimate purpose of government.

Over the years, liberals have built a remarkable edifice of government programs that are justified by appeals to compassion: Head Start, immigration reform, gun control, affirmative action, and entitlements, to name only some. As Voegeli amply demonstrates, the liberals who promote these massive programs are weirdly indifferent as to whether they succeed. Instead, when the problems they are intended to solve fail to disappear, liberals double down, calling for yet more programs and ever greater expenditures in the name of "compassion." Meanwhile, conservatives who challenge the effectiveness of these programs are slandered as "heartless right-wingers."

Yet rather than challenge this tendentious liberal argument, the many conservatives it intimidates feel it necessary to insist that they really do "care." However, liberal compassion's good intentions consistently fail to translate into good results. Voegeli walks the reader through a plethora of programs that have become battlefields between conservatives fighting for more efficiency and liberals fighting for more budget-busting federal programs to address an ever-expanding catalog of social ills. Along the way, he explains the underpinnings of the liberal philosophy that reinforce this misapplied ideal and shows why today's self-described compassionate liberals are ultimately unfit to govern.
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Review quote

A brilliant turn of a phrase with every turn of a page. Literally.--Randy E. Barnett, Professor of Legal Theory, Georgetown University, and author of Restoring the Lost Constitution
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Rating details

44 ratings
3.79 out of 5 stars
5 27% (12)
4 34% (15)
3 30% (13)
2 9% (4)
1 0% (0)
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