The Audacity of Progressivism
by Andrew Mellon
Recently, I got into a big fight with my cube-mate. After attacking him for his listening to Bill Maher during the workday, he shot back and mocked my Glenn Beck listening. As if there was some moral equivalence between the two.
“But Beck’s predictions have been right throughout the last two years. Why would you not at least give him a listen?” I questioned. My Georgetown-educated cube-mate shot back: “Because most of the people that listen to Glenn Beck are uneducated mid-westerners.”
Infuriated, I protested “Do you have any idea how arrogant and elitist you sound right now?” Leave aside the irony that I was attacking his condescension while as a colleague of ours pointed out, showing beneath my loafers were our company holiday gift socks dotted with various currencies.
As my cube-mate went on to say, though he conceded that government should not be all-encompassing, “I want smart people to make decisions for people.” In other words, us silly hicks are incapable of governing ourselves. This is the fatal conceit of which F.A. Hayek wrote that reflects the attitude of the intellectual class today.
Why is it fatal? First, the “highly educated intellectual” today routinely receives a subpar education. Believe me, I went through it at Columbia, one of the few remaining schools with any semblance of a valuable curriculum. A real education is about teaching the pupil to think critically. Routinely, education today is more about spending time in science classes listening to professors talk about the merits of joining the Peace Corps (yes, this happened to me), iconoclastic gender, race and political studies courses and cultural Marxist programming of the heirs apparent of the political, economic and cultural hierarchy of the country.
Of those who graduate from these institutions and matriculate to the political realm, the progressive ethic pervades. And what is this ethic? The elite must decide for the sheep.
Progressivism argues that man should play G-d, organizing society as he sees fit, “nudging” people as Cass Sunstein advocates towards making the right decision of a governmentally-defined set of choices and socially engineering swaths of society.
Never mind that central planning fails given that the planners can never make the decisions that self-reliant and self-interested individuals acting freely would make, and that central planners lack the specialized information of the millions of actors that make up the economy.
Never mind that even if you don’t buy this argument on theoretical grounds, every nation guided by central planning has ended in mass poverty, mass genocide or both.
The manifest defects of central planning are not nearly as bad as its dehumanizing nature. For the progressive central planner is a regressive tyrant. What he seeks to do by regulation is only different than what the master does by the whip in his coyness.
The progressive enslaves as he believes that there is no value in the individual — there are only masses of malleable animals that must be shaped and coddled by paternalistic wise men in government.
Egalitarianism must reign. Natural differences, desires and ambitions must be discarded for the greater good. Social welfare is but a small price to pay for the fat cat, selfish innovators, entrepreneurs, job creators and investors who subsidize it.
Forget about the fact that practically every good and service around us was provided by the very system the progressives seek to destroy, to the disproportionate detriment of the lower classes.
Yet the question is never posed, is such a system moral? Should you by virtue of living in America be forced by law to live to support your fellow man through government? Should you be an indentured servant for months each year in effect working for the government middle man so that he can bribe and satisfy his constituents? Should the politician be able to compel you by law to plan your retirement by paying into an insolvent Ponzi scheme like social security; to at the point of the gun make you cut a check each year for failing public schools that teach the very principles to the nation’s youth that most disgust you?
And is it moral that these progressives who would be the first to attack religious advocates impose their own leftist religion through the involuntary mechanism of brute government force?
The progressive philosophy, an economic failure, is also a massive blight on our souls. For it enchains man to his fellow man and impoverishes all of society by taking away man’s individualism, his sense of responsibility and his self-worth. The progressive state dehumanizes and demoralizes man, leaving him an apathetic and impotent slave.
There is no compassion in such a system. There is no morality in such a system. All that there is is man ruling over his fellow man, throwing bread crumb benefits at various faceless voting blocs unable to see through such a scheme after so many years of socialist ideological subversion.
Shame on the progressives for their disdain for their fellow man, their hubris in thinking that they are right to rule over him and their disgusting glee in molding society for their own political gain. And shame on us for sanctioning such a system.
'Bumps on the Road'
The choice is more jobs reports like Friday's or a growth agenda.
You've got to hand it to President Obama and his White House economic team. Faced with yesterday's dreary May jobs report, they did their best and rolled out the old "bump in the road" analogy for comfort. As chief White House economist Austan Goolsbee put it, "there are always bumps on the road to recovery, but the overall trajectory of the economy has improved dramatically over the past two years."
Nice try, but there's no way to spin news that the economy in May created only 54,000 new jobs, which is about one-third the number necessary to keep up with the growth in the labor force. The jobless rate rose for the second straight month to 9.1%, which is especially depressing nearly two years after the end of a very deep recession.
At this stage in the Reagan expansion, after a comparably deep 1981-82 recession, the economy was growing by 7% a year and the jobless rate was plunging. This time the economy is growing by less than 2%, and we still have 6.8 million fewer jobs than when the recession began in late 2007.
In other bad news, the average duration of those out of work jumped by 1.4 weeks to 39.7 in May, and the percentage of those jobless for at least six months climbed by 1.7% to 45.1%. The overall labor participation rate stayed the same at 64.2%, but as the nearby chart shows that rate has now fallen to its lowest rate since the mid-1980s.
This is an important economic measure because it reflects the opportunities that Americans perceive in the marketplace. In the long boom from the Reagan years through 2000 or so, the labor participation rate took a historic leap upward as women, immigrants and others entered the job market. The rate dipped after the 2001-2002 downturn, and we recall the media giving much attention to a Federal Reserve study raising alarms even as the rate began to climb again in mid-decade. It has now fallen off a cliff, and we doubt this is what Mr. Goolsbee means when he hails the "trajectory of the economy."
Chances are that job creation will improve in future months after the effects of Japan's earthquake and Midwest tornadoes and if oil prices level off or fall. But the longer the jobs slowdown continues, the greater the danger that the U.S. settles into a new normal of high "structural" unemployment, with employers reluctant to hire workers until they absolutely must. This is a symptom of Eurosclerosis.
The same economists and pundits who promoted the economic policies of the last four years are now lamenting the jobs bust and demanding that Washington double down: More stimulus spending, more Federal Reserve easing, more temporary tax rebates. They can't explain why these policies have failed to date, but we are supposed to rinse and repeat.
The real "bumps on the road" to recovery are these policies and the larger climate of hostility toward job creators that still prevails in Washington. A National Labor Relations Board that wants to stop businesses from moving plants; a $20 billion political raid on banks over foreclosures; hundreds of major new regulations from ObamaCare, Dodd-Frank and the EPA's war on carbon energy; federal deficits that Mr. Obama says require higher taxes; near-zero interest rates for 30 months that have sent commodity prices soaring, and so much more.
The economy doesn't need more of this. It needs a return to the growth agenda that created the long post-1982 boom.
Liberal vs Conservative: A Spiritual Battle
Without beating around the bush, I believe the battle being fought in America today goes beyond politics; right vs left. It is a spiritual battle; good vs evil.
“For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” -- Ephesians 6:12
The mindset of the American left is a spirit of Antichrist which is man making himself God.
Before writing me off as a Bible nut, please hear me out. Understanding this reality will explain much of the left's behavior. Because they believe man is God, in their insane arrogance, the left think they can fix everything; legislate equal outcomes and even save or destroy the planet.
Make no mistake about it folks, we are in a spiritual battle. Ask yourself. Specifically, what about Sarah Palin inspires such visceral hatred from the left? The word is “wholesome”.
For the most part, Palin promotes love for God, family and country. She is passionately determined to thwart Obama's plan to “fundamentally transform America”.
While realizing Palin is human and does not walk on water, Palin epitomizes heartland principles and values embraced by most Americans. Thus, we are Palin and Palin is us.
The large number of Christians in the Tea Party believe in right and wrong. The left has a huge problem with the concept of right and wrong. Their religion of Liberalism embraces Moral Relativism.
For these reasons, Palin and the Tea Party are as repulsive to liberals as showing Dracula the cross.
There is definitely an anti-wholesome, anti-goodness vibe coming out of Hollywood. Hollywood leftists are vehemently anti death penalty. They rally around convicted murderers. They think anyone harming a puppy should be beaten within any inch of their life. These Hollywood libs pride themselves as being Lords of Compassion and Tolerance.
And yet, these same libs have a cow whenever someone merely suggests to a woman that she think twice before aborting her baby. Tell me there “ain't” something spiritually wrong with such a mindset.
Because liberal elitists think man is God, they assume moral authority to confiscate as much control over our lives we simple minded god fearing peons will allow, including procreation.
I picked up a government funded brochure at my local library which basically said birthing babies is an irresponsible abuse of the planet.
Folks, this is leftist control freak hogwash! The seven billion people who live on the planet could fit in Texas enjoying about the same amount of living space as residents of New York.
God said be fruitful and multiply. But then, what the heck does God know?
In her book, “Godless”, Ann Coulter said, “If a Martian landed in America and set out to determine the nation's official state religion, he would have to conclude it is Liberalism, while Christianity and Judaism are prohibited by law”.
I concur with Ms Coulter. The mainstream media is controlled by zealots of Liberalism who I believe are driven by a spirit of Antichrist; man is God. Thus, only man can and will fix everything.
Why does the left aggressively demand that we show utmost respect for every religion under the sun except Christianity? Remember when libs Whoopi Goldberg and Joy Behar stormed off the set of The View TV program when they concluded Bill O'Reilly dissed Muslims?
And yet, Rosie O'Donnell outrageously stated “Radical Christianity is just as threatening as radical Islam in a country like America”. Not one peep of disagreement or disapproval from the left.
Islam suppresses women. And yet, liberal self proclaimed feminists Goldberg, Behar and O'Donnell illogically defend Islam. These three feminists despise the extraordinarily successful Christian liberated woman, Sarah Palin. Rosie O'Donnell even lamented that Osama bin Laden did not get a fair trial.
Unquestionably, these women have issues with America and Christians; a spirit of Antichrist. At the center of Christianity is a divine Jesus. If Jesus is God, the left is not.
Even our most liberal president ever, Obama, dissed heartland Americans for “bitterly clinging to their god and guns”. Would a true Christian berate folks for finding security in trusting God?
Like an episode of Star Trek, the left believes universal peace can be achieved via America apologizing and admitting to the world that “we suck”, surrendering our power, signing treaties and singing a few verses of“Kumbaya”.
They believe the greatest source of evil in the world is warmongering Christian white guys like George Bush. If only Bush had, “Given peace a chance”.
Liberals always cater to man's lowest base instincts. They hate standards for behavior, labeling all rebuke of bad behavior as being intolerant and judgmental. And yet, they believe without divine influence, man is capable of someday achieving universal peace. Totally absurd.
Christians believe that though we strive to do the right thing, the heart of man is critically flawed which is why we were in need of a savior, Jesus Christ.
Obama's promise to “fundamentally transform America” is a spiritual attack on our freedom, liberty and culture.
Despite the left's relentless attempts to ban God from America's public square, the emergence and power of the Tea Party tells me God is still on our side.
Mr. Obama, though your liberal zealots perceive you to be “the messiah”, God is still on the throne. Come November 2012, you're fired!
My Twitter.com identity: jonjayray. My Facebook page is also accessible as jonjayray (In full: http://www.facebook.com/jonjayray). For more blog postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, EYE ON BRITAIN and Paralipomena
List of backup or "mirror" sites here or here -- for readers in China or for everyone when blogspot is "down" or failing to update. Email me here (Hotmail address). My Home Pages are here (Academic) or here (Pictorial) or here (Personal)
The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)