Watermelons and Happy Warriors

Conn Carroll /

ATLANTA — Hundreds of conservative activists gathered here in Hotlanta this week to advance free market principles as The Heritage Foundation hosts our annual Resource Bank meeting.

 Resource Bank again attracted more than 500 think tank executives, public interest lawyers, policy experts and elected officials from around the world to discuss issues and strategies.

At an opening luncheon yesterday, author and commentator Jonah Goldberg spoke about his New York Times bestseller, Liberal Fascism.
Jonah has explained many, many times already why he chose to write the book. His message to conservatives and libertarians in Atlanta was upbeat in the face of rising sympathy for liberal social engineering.

Jonah pointed out that American liberals/progressives typically look for war-like justifications for their social engineering schemes, which is what makes global warming the perfect cause for progressives. Al Gore’s $300 million television ad campaign promoting government action on global warming begins with images of Omaha Beach. The current cover of Time magazine features the iconic photo of the Marines on Iwo Jima — altered so that they’re planting a tree instead of the American flag.

Carbon emissions occur in every sector of the American economy. So declaring war on them is the perfect vehicle for extensive government control of the entire economy. Instead of Stalin’s five-year plans, progressives now have 50-year carbon emissions goals. Hence Jonah’s characterization of environmentalists as watermelons: green on the outside, red on the inside.

In the face of traditional media that openly abandoning any pretense of objectivity, Jonah urged conservatives to continue being “happy warriors.” The capitalist principles that conservatives revived in the ’80s, then exported throughout the world over the next 30 years, have lifted billions out of poverty worldwide.

Is the world perfect? No. But unlike progressives and socialists, conservatives do not seek perfection here on Earth. Instead we fight to ensure that free market principles are protected at home and abroad, so that individuals can pursue happiness.