The finest trick of the devil, Baudelaire once wrote, is to persuade you that he does not exist. Modern liberalism, being far less devilish, has pulled a lesser, but still effective, trick: It has convinced Americans that conservatives don’t care. In fact, the left has made “caring” their exclusive prerogative and successfully framed most political debates as pitting compassionate liberals against heartless conservatives. Along the way, liberals have built a remarkable edifice of government programs that are justified by appeals to citizens’ compassion.
In The Pity Party: A Mean-Spirited Diatribe Against Liberal Compassion, Bill Voegeli offers a scathing critique of the politics of liberal compassion. Voegeli chronicles how liberal compassion ultimately fails to deliver on its promise to help others, although it never fails to make liberals feel better about themselves.
William Voegeli is a Senior Editor of the Claremont Review of Books, a Visiting Scholar at Claremont McKenna College’s Henry Salvatori Center, and the author of Never Enough: America’s Limitless Welfare State (Encounter Books, 2010).
More About the Speakers
Senior Editor, Claremont Review of Books
David Azerrad, Ph.D.
Director, B. Kenneth Simon Center for Principles and Politics and AWC Family Foundation Fellow