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The Case Against the Progressive Plan- Part I

August 30, 2011

In 1961 Ronald Reagan gave a political address detailing the pitfalls of liberal and nationalist ideology. “The more the plans fail, the more the planners plan,” he said.  This timeless maxim holds more veracity and relevance today than it ever has.  Reagan’s campaign effort for Barry Goldwater was diluted by the post-war prosperity of the 1950’s and the Civil Rights movement of the 1960’s.  The sort of socialist statism prescribed by FDR and Lyndon Johnson drew upon the fears of Depression Era elders and the canard of anti-communist rhetoric.  While every politician was pushing to prove how “American” they were in the wake of the McCarthy inquisition, the American citizen refused to believe that their selfish desires for state-controlled entitlements resembled communist or socialist constructs.  After all, we just defeated the German Nationalist Socialists, were embarrassed by the Sino-Korean communists and George Kennan engraved the policy of containment in the pillars of the White House.  Americans simply could not bring themselves to recognize that the ingredients of the statist regimes we fought were becoming the staple elements of the new American Pie.

The decline of the Roman Empire sowed the seeds of the pitfalls of a republic.  Free and prosperous people, when combined in a collective society, will inevitably choose to cherish the wealth they enjoy more than the work and sacrifice needed to create it.  In the case of a democratic republic, the politically ambitious will leverage these selfish predilections to market themselves to the electorate on the basis of guaranteeing the citizens the same level of wealth and comfort without requiring the same level of enterprise and work to maintain its creation.  The United States was founded on the principles of freedom and equality of opportunity to create one’s own wealth and destiny.  Those citizens who exercised those Constitutional tenets of governance continued to covet them as the formula for freedom and self-determination, and they remained vigilant to guard against purveyors of government-promised security.  These vigilants understand that a government big enough to provide anything is powerful enough to take everything.

Unfortunately, hard work and free enterprise sells poorly to the segment of a population accustom to Keynesian government spending, Social Security and the New Deal legacy.  “That which we obtain too easily, we esteem too lightly.”  This notion espoused by Thomas Paine became the dirty little secret of politicians seeking centralized control of the American Republic.  European socialists like Norman Thomas began to exploit Paine’s warning through radical strategies aimed at the uneducated, the poor and the labor union movement (AFL/CIO) in the United States.  To power-hungry liberal politicians, the corollary of Thomas Paine’s maxim proved to be a powerful implement of control and manipulation.  In order for them to secure power through democracy, enough of the population would have to become entirely dependent on those things which are “obtained too easily.”  Social welfare programs were rebounded as elements of social justice in a timeless Marxist strategy of class warfare.  A permanent segment of preordained victims was necessary for socialism to succeed under the new labels of liberalism and progressivism.  The Civil Rights movement provided the perfect population to exploit under the banner of a new perversion of equality – the equality of outcomes, rather than opportunity.

Conservatives use this understanding of liberal philosophy to guard against the usurpations of our freedoms and the US Constitution.  Progressive politicians use the good intentions and naïveté of liberal voters to further socialist policies under the guise of “social equality and justice.”  The obstacle we face now in our modern political debate is the realization of those once-ambitious goals set by Norman Thomas and Saul Alinsky.  A statistically significant portion of the population has become dependant on the spoils of redistributed wealth and they pay nothing for it.  Thus, the United States has become a case study for the Cloward-Piven strategy, which was essentially adopted from Alinsky acolytes, community organizers and socialist activists.  In the infancy of American liberalism, politicians like Woodrow Wilson, FDR and Johnson used this strategy as a means to a political end.  However, Barack Obama is an individual who believes in the principles of socialism and the mechanisms of communism as the ubiquitous foundation for society.  Some interpret his intentions as noble and just, but those who do so are ignoring a critical detail that socialism is quintessentially un-American.  His rhetoric essentially proves my point – “fundamental change.”  His desire to change the fundamentals of this country to reflect socialist notions through central planning are a tacit admission that America is fundamentally not a socialist nation.  While his plans continue to fail, we wait to learn the details of his next plan.  Somewhere, Ronald Reagan is saying, “I told you so.”

In the next installment, I will dissect the elements of the liberal Obama agenda that are systematically destroying the American economy and society, and why none of his plans to fix it will work.

2 Comments leave one →
  1. August 30, 2011 8:47 pm

    To make matters worse, the post-war European socialist model that so many of the “Greatest Generation” apparently favored (albeit discreetly) is completely irreconcilable with the social construct of the United States. That is, it’s much easier to fake the funk when you’re dealing with a relatively small, homogeneous population…humans are much more willing to accept the debts of their parents and the parents of “their kind”…but social entitlements for those “other” folks…that doesn’t wash so well. Just ask ze Germans.

  2. August 30, 2011 10:16 pm

    JB – Excellent Point. You have predicted a key point in Part II. A significant difference in 2011 vs 1961 is that there are 60 million people now living in the US that were born elsewhere. Some came to the US to be Americans. Others came to America to somehow bring their version of “there” here. With that massive immigration came alien notions of government, justice, wealth, poverty, ethics, laws, education and religion. American Constitutional principles were diluted by a panoply of numerical and ethnic minorities. With the exception of the Cubans, these immigrants coalesced naturally behind the political voices that whistled the familiar tunes of the totalitarian regimes or banana republics from which they came. The promise of a handout taken from those who had “too much” earned many a Jimmy Carter a place in political office. Progressive liberals and radicals are vested in the effort to legalize illegals to broaden their voting base in the face of the conservative awakening.

    Initial post of this piece was inadvertantly unedited. That sin has been atoned.

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