The Metastasizing of Progressivism in America

Townhall –

Derek Hunter –

Culture is the culmination of everything happening in a society, the collective stew of the nation. A good stew, a healthy stew, has all the flavors melting together to create something better than the sum of its parts – garlic is great, but it’s much better on something than simply eating a bulb of it. Our stew, our nation, is reversing course and coagulating to the point that some parts are actively working against the whole and making the stew inedible.

No, I’m not talking about the president as a man, or any elected Democrats. Their tactics sometimes cross the line – up to and including voicing support for fascistic oppression of speech (Media Matters) or violent thugs (the Occupy gang) – but they are hardly the problem.

Political differences are a good thing in a free society, so you’d think people espousing a philosophy they claim to be rooted in “democracy” and righteousness would revel in the opportunity to engage those with whom they disagree on the field of intellectual battle. But for modern liberals, nothing is further from the truth.

Liberalism was once a philosophy based in Constitutional respect and American exceptionalism, but it’s been a long time since that was the case. Perhaps not since John Kennedy has there been a national Democrat who believed in this vision of America, one in which individual liberty and personal responsibility brought about collective greatness, not a partisan legislative agenda and the systematic silencing of dissent. The left says Ronald Reagan could not be elected in today’s GOP; there is no way JFK could be elected by today’s Democrats – not for the U.S. Senate from Massachusetts and especially not as a president. It has changed that much.

The progressive philosophy is based on the idea of the supremacy of a few, a “better class.” It’s history is rooted in racism, eugenics and genocide, but that is for another op-ed. Members of the “better class” are self-declared intellectuals who know your needs better than you. Everyone judges, and it’s normal to feel this way when offering advice to friends. But friends are free to take or reject the advice. That’s not good enough for progressives. They legislate their advice; you have no choice but to take it.

The Democratic Party was infected by the progressive philosophy at the dawn of the 20th century, as was the Republican Party and the world. Republicans largely rejected them (McCain and Dole being noted exceptions), but they found a willing host with the Democrats. The concept sounds great – government can make things better…only it can’t and hasn’t. Soon, they had metastasized through the Democratic Party and won the White House with Woodrow Wilson. Wilson abused his power and sought to imprison opponents whose only crime was criticizing his administration. (On top of his rabid racism, another staple of the progressive movement no one likes to talk about.)

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