The way it is wielded by some on both sides of the political spectrum, bothers me. There are lots of evidence that you should not trust a liberal, for example you can easily find people saying it when they talk about president Obama’s drone bombing campaign that kills so many innocent people.
But what if you apply the same test of trustworthiness to adherents of a different ideology. I do not trust the Right, but here I’m trying out “Never trust a Leftist”, and came up with these supporting examples:
1. Leftist British Prime Minister Tony Blair led Britain to participate in the war on Iraq, and after that was re-elected by the British Left with an increased majority. The British Left clearly don’t care that much about how many people died in that war, and they still feel that Labour is not too morally tainted to carry on. Maybe they even see themselves as generally morally superior to everyone else.
2. The way Leftist Gwede Mantashe treated corruption fighters Alfred Motsi and Moss Phakoe who tried to take a case of serious corruption to him. He ignored them and when they persisted, called them troublemakers. Phakoe’s murder was then arranged by the object of his complaints (a previous Rustenburg ANC mayor, Matthews Wolmarans), while Motsi was suspended as chairman of the MK Veterans Association. See this Max du Preez article for the full story. You can utterly not trust this particular leftist (Mantashe).
3. The way many Leftist or development states dealt with dissidents have often been very brutal. Cuba, China, Libya under Gaddafi are just a few. (I’m not saying the same did not happen in right-wing states as well)
I can carry on in similar vein with names of Leftist like Jeremy Cronin, Julia Gillard, Jack Straw, Blade Nzimande.
When it comes to who to trust, I’d rather stick to my own instinct than ideology. I’d even go further and say that ordinary people are generally more trustworthy than leaders, politicians, celebrities or intellectuals.
What also annoys me about the attitude behind the “Never trust a liberal” – slogan, is the idea of perpetual enmity behind it. To me rich kids joining the Left seem a bit fake at times, while a rich kid joining the Right must be heartless.
A person from a wealthy background who do not bear ill will to the poor do not seem to have many choices other than choosing Liberal politics, especially when the Left disgrace themselves with corruption and violence as in South Africa and elsewhere.