Sunday, November 9, 2014



In other writing, I have described progressives as having three main characteristics: they see themselves as morally superior, they distort the truth and lie in support of programs based on their moral superiority, and they use government as a cudgel to force people to accept progressive ideas.  Look to Obama if you have any question about how that works.

This makes progressives out as cynical, devious, deceitful people.  Some, like Obama, are obviously devious and deceitful (you can keep your doctor, this debate will be transparent, broadcast on CNN), and that type of progressive is illustrated in example two below; but probably most progressives merely suffer from a habit of thinking that assumes the absolute correctness of moral ideas, often ideas they grew up with.  Such people are immune to logical arguments against their assumptions, for, as Jonathan Swift wrote, "it is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he wasn't reasoned into."  That probably applies to both classes of progressives: those who are deceitful and intentionally lie in support of their ideas, and those who are so enamored by the morally superior idea that they are not able to see the possibility of flaws in their thinking.

Apparently, Swift was right, for progressives are unable to consider the costs or consequences of their ideas.  This is a significant failing, for considering consequences is at the heart of successful policy-making in a democracy.   An example is the progressive defense of the present welfare system as humanitarian.

Having adjudicated more than 10,000 cases of child support involving welfare mothers, I can assure you that welfare in its present form is not a good idea.  Some welfare clients receive two or three welfare grants under different names; some mothers in violation of welfare rules collect child support from one or more fathers and also collect the full welfare check.  Work under the table while on welfare is rampant, as is the birth of out-of-wedlock children by teenage mothers, all of whom get their own welfare grants.  Most damaging of all, the welfare system discourages self-reliance, self-development, independence, work, and education and encourages the production of large families headed only by mothers. This, in turn, results in prisons full of young men who grew up in this system.

So when progressives defend welfare, this is what they are defending.  They refuse to consider consequences of the system as we know it.

A somewhat different example is immigration.  The progressive plan is to flood the country with Hispanics.  Why?  Is there some morally superior idea behind this?  For a few diehard idealists, there may be. For most progressives, the idea is simply to bring in massive numbers of Hispanics, give them government benefits, and persuade them to vote Democratic, thus defeating the Republican power structure.  This is not an instance of fastening on a morally compelling principle and refusing to consider its consequences.  It is deliberate deceit intentionally oblivious to consequences.

It is also potentially a disastrous idea for progressives, for it is altogether possible that Hispanics will find that they have a greater affinity for conservatives than progressives.  But I digress.

Those who oppose this massive influx of foreign peoples are branded racists.  But opposition to overrunning the country by any foreign group has nothing to do with skin color or race, for we are already a people from all over the world with all colors of skin and from all races.  Opposition, rather, has to do with culture.  The legitimate objection is that a culture developed over two hundred years by a polyglot population (European, Asian, African, Australian, South American, North American) should not give up its identity to a Hispanic culture or to any other culture which is unfamiliar to and significantly different from the culture of the majority of polyglot Americans. 

Moreover, the legitimate objection is not to immigration in general, but only massive, unprecedented group immigration of a single nationality rather than the traditional, incremental immigration that is orderly, legal, and fair.

The immigration example looks like the welfare example in that, in both instances, progressives refuse to consider consequences.  However, in the immigration example, they not only have considered the consequences, but are secretly hoping for them.  The immigration example, then, illustrates simple deceit, or the willingness to lie, as I earlier put it, hiding behind the morally superior idea of humanitarianism or some other similar abstraction.

Gun control is an example more like welfare.  A progressive friend of mine argues that, although guns are defended because they are symptomatic of freedom, no freedom has ever been won by a gun. 

He needs to tell that to the Jews who were herded on the boxcars i alt=" YOU CAN’T REASON A MAN OUT OF WHAT HE WAS NOT REASONED INTO " title=" YOU CAN’T REASON A MAN OUT OF WHAT HE WAS NOT REASONED INTO " target="_blank"n World War II and the partisans who fought bravely in the Warsaw ghetto with guns stolen from the Nazis. 

Isn't it a matter of concern for those who would confiscate guns that in the roughly 120 years since 1900, governments of the world have slaughtered at least 170,000,000 of their own people?  Isn't it obvious that a defense against such widespread fratricidal slaughter is being armed?  Isn't it equally obvious that the incremental benefits from banning guns are trivial in the face of an unarmed population helpless against a suddenly tyrannical government

These matters are obvious, but a person who is only interested in certain morally superior ideas (children won't be shot by accident or in crimes and black criminals will be saved from themselves), will promote gun confiscation anyway, regardless of its consequences.  This makes sense to the progressive because the strength of his belief in the idea of gun confiscation prevents him from seeing its consequences.

So long as it is accepted for political proposals to be anything other than rational and transparent, we will be plagued and overwhelmed with irrational schemes which drive the nation into insolvency and have their origin in unexamined emotion and deliberate lies.  For example: I want to help people, so I am in favor of our welfare system; I want to expand diversity, so I support the overrunning of the country by people who have no relationship to it; I want to protect children and discourage crime and so I support gun confiscation.

If politics continues as a kind of carnival in which the truth only appears in the house of mirrors, stretched and bent out of shape, and the consequences of government programs are glossed over because the programs are rooted in morally superior ideas, it will remain a self-destructive game which will finally destroy the society that plays it.


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