Barack Obama, Last of the Progressives

From the archive… Ten reasons why progressives’ 100-year ascendancy is about to begin its inevitable decline.

1. Progressives stand firm: “No compromise with voters.”

Neither “tone deaf” nor “out of touch” are adequate descriptions of die-hard progressives. Re-electing Nancy Pelosi to Democratic minority leader is one example and another is Obama’s insistence that he did not spend enough time selling his policy objectives. I mean, really, has any President ever spoken so often, about so little and with so little impact on the electorate?

Obama admitted he took a “shellacking” on Nov. 2 but insists it has nothing to do with progressive ideology. Rather it was just a bad sales job on his part rather than attempting to sell products nobody wants to buy.

Thinking that the same leadership that led to this election debacle (Obama, Pelosi, Reid) is the correct choice to lead them to victory in 2012 is political ineptness of stupefying proportions.

2. The “clingers” are abandoning the progressives in droves and are unlikely to return to the fold anytime soon.

How many times can you demean a group of people and expect them to remain loyal followers? Isn’t “clinging to guns and religion” the same as clinging to the first two amendments of the Constitution? I guess the “living Constitution” progressives believe in includes loping off the first two amendments.

Since there are about 80 million gun owners and a like number of regular churchgoers can progressives continue to scorn that big demographic? Good luck with that.

3. The “ends justify the means” is not only unethical, it doesn’t work.

Imagine if you were an engineer building a bridge and you were out of the specified 12-inch bolts needed to attach the final sections together. However there was a deadline to meet so you used 6-inch bolts instead. That would be unethical and in the long run would not work because the bridge would eventually collapse.

Likewise a 2500-page Health Care Bill jammed through congress with bribes, back room special interest deals and no input from non-progressives was unethical and indeed will not work.

Now that we know what “ends justifies the means” looks like we won’t buy into it anymore.

4. If someone who agrees with you 99% of the time is an enemy then you will have trouble recruiting new members to your ideology.

NPR’s (National Politically-correct Radio) recent firing of liberal journalist Juan Williams is only the most recent example of the progressive thought process that assumes they are right on all issues and those who differ, even one percent of the time, are ignorant, racist, homophobic, islamophobic, greedy or mean-spirited.

Obama’s and the left’s incessant ad-hominem attacks on those who disagree with them are a prime example of this approach to governance and as the recent election shows has been rejected out of hand by the vast majority of American voters. Political independents are leaving his progressive domain in droves. I believe this is a permanent abandonment of progressive ideology as practiced by Barack Obama, Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid.

5. The American madrassas that teach our children to be progressives are slowly being dismantled.

Creating true believers out of children is not limited to Pakistani or Saudi madrassa’s: it happens right here in America as our children “progress” thru our education system K-University. Why do you think Obama spends so much time on recruiting and co-opting the “young people” demographic? Because they have already been trained, as he was, in the progressive ideals inculcated at our education factories. Easy pickin’s really.

But the American education system is under attack and reforms, difficult though they may be, are underway. As educators’ undue influence is increasingly countered by their unhappy customers, AKA parents and taxpayers, changes will come that moderate and eventually reverse the progressive ideology being presented to our children as reasonable and moral.

The most progressive of American institutions, the public school system, is integral to the success or failure of the progressive movement. Its dismantling will be the end of much of the progressive movement’s influence in America.

6. The Founding Fathers didn’t trust anyone including themselves.

On the other hand, progressives don’t trust anyone but themselves. Since most people do not trust politicians of either (or any) party, this proves the Founding Fathers were right.

In the Federalist Papers, Madison, Hamilton and Jay explained in detail why controls and limitations on government were the very basis of freedom and liberty. They realized that the very nature of government is control: control of commerce, control of people and most importantly control of opposing viewpoints. That is why the constitution’s basic construct was to limit control by separating it into units that would naturally oppose each other’s furtherance of government control. Change would be slow and deliberative; legislative inactivity would be the norm; and governance would be modest and restrained.

After the last two years, most Americans now realize they agree with the Founding fathers, not the progressives.

7. The idea that people who have never done anything will control everything scares the bejebbers out of voters.

Progressives think that political control by unelected experts is beneficial to governance not harmful. This belief in elitist expertise is not new; it goes back to at least the Pharos.

Nothing exemplifies this idea more than the bureaucratic control of every aspect of American life by progressives. The idea that people who have never worked in the private sector will be appointed to determine the limits of life and liberty for every citizen frightens most voters.

Americans now understand that college professors and members of left-wing non-profits may have a place in society but it is not controlling other peoples’ lives by dictate.

8. Americans do not like narcissists and will eventually reject them.

American presidents give a speech to the UN every year. Barack Obama’s last UN speech included 33 instances of the words “I,” “me,” “my,” George Bush’s last UN speech contained six. That contrast explains a lot about progressives’ idea of themselves: they hold themselves in very high regard.

The other aspect of this narcissism is their sense of self-righteousness. This can be seen in Obama’s constant attacks on those that disagree with him. In his eyes his positions are moral ones and those that oppose him are therefore by definition immoral or at least amoral. All debates then become moral arguments not policy disagreements. Logic disappears and ideology becomes determinate.

To a progressive, feeling good about a policy is more important than whether that policy actually does any good. This belief, at its core, is narcissistic.

To most common-sense Americans, if it feels good but doesn’t work it shouldn’t feel good. And if you can’t pay for it, it should not feel good either. Both of those run counter to progressive beliefs.

9. The Internet is a conservative medium and the message cannot be controlled.

In the late 20th and early 21st centuries progressives journalists by and large controlled print and electronic media. Their message was often the same as the progressive politicians they covered and this biased reporting reached its apogee during the presidential campaign of Barack Obama.

However now there is another contender for message content – the Internet. And because of the internet’s natural tendency towards anarchy and free libertarian expression, the monopoly major media once held over the “message’ is now out of their control, never to return. All purported claims can now be checked instantly by anyone with an Internet connection. Elitists’ control of the political message borders on the impossible now and that is anti-progressive and pro-democratic. This is bad news for progressives.

10. While most Americans believe in American exceptionalism, Obama and progressives reject it out of hand.

Progressives reject it because it is based upon the supremacy of the individual over the collective, self-governance over regulation and individual decision making over politically-correct groupthink.

And if America is not exceptional why would anyone want to move here? Aren’t we in competition with the rest of the world for the best, brightest and hardest working? America’s freedom, generosity and openness are exceptional and that is why we keep attracting the most exceptional people to our shores. That is a plus not a minus.

And American exceptionalism, disguised as tea parties, is what this election was about.

We should thank Obama for bringing the progressive agenda to the light of day.

It has been flying under the radar for decades but now we have seen it – and rejected it. It has shown itself to be just another elitist attempt at control, no different in concept from that of the communists or the Nazi’s.

Progressivism is on the way out and America will be the better for it.

This article originally posted November 12, 2010.

Bill Zettler is a free-lance writer and consultant specializing in public sector compensation.