Progressive is a good thing, right? We are practically destined to be progressive in this modern world. We're surrounded by innovation and technological advances; science cranks out new inventions daily. We've found cures for disease and illnesses, we can communicate electronically in dozens of ways; we've been to the moon and back, explored near and outer space. The earth's population has more than doubled to 7 billion in the last half century to reach 10 billion by 2050; we must be "progressive" mustn't we? Well, not necessarily.
Our attitudes certainly have changed about religion, morals, national pride and freedoms among other things. Marriage is less revered than 50 years ago; premarital sex is commonplace and unwed mothers more numerous. We have huge substance addiction, mental illness and homeless problems which manifest in crime and mass murders. We are awash in violent media entertainment filled with torture, murder and other despicable acts.
Political views have changed too; become more divisive (in progressive speak it's pronounced "divissive") and a whole lot more confrontational and downright dishonest. The divide between "left" and "right" is to the point that the word "progressive" is spoken with the same venom as "serial killer" or "child molester" on some news/opinion TV and radio talk shows. Conversely, in some quarters the words "tea party" or "conservative" are spat out with equal distaste, and "redneck" is used as a synonym for ignorant or to describe anyone who disagrees with the liberal/progressive point of view. You can tell when a progressive is speaking by his or her gesticulation, hand extended with thumb and forefinger exactly 2.3 centimeters apart to indicate the preciseness of the thinking that went into a decision.
The separate political ideological camps are forever at each others' throats, conjuring up half-truths, distorted facts and convoluted lies to do battle with the enemy. As Pogo said, "We have met the enemy and he is us." Leading one to ask, if this is progress, what is the alternative?
You and I, like many other Americans, can probably agree on at least a few things. We'd like to have a peaceful world, we'd like to enjoy this life if at all possible, we'd like to be safe in our homes from any number of threats, and we generally believe that ours is a pretty good country with pretty good people and pretty good values. But, insuring that these goals are achievable is where the conflict occurs; the devil is in the details.
It seems that the thing progressives most want to distance themselves from most is our constitutional republic. Some even question whether we need a Constitution at all, noting that we already have an abundance of laws. It follows that if we don't need a Constitution then we certainly don't need a Supreme Court to decide which laws are constitutional and we certainly don't need a Congress to make anymore laws. An executive branch will do just fine under this kind of thinking; perhaps a benevolent dictator would do the job, as in the counties ruled by Fidel Castro and Hugo Chavez. One branch of government was all that Hitler and Stalin required. Surely progressives don't advocate such extreme measures.
Finding "wiggle room" and deniability are among liberal/progressive favorite pastimes.
For starters, the requirement that an American president be a natural born citizen which the Supreme Court said in 1784 meant that both parents had to be American citizens; Barack Obama and his supporters found wiggle room and moved on. Wiggle room was given by the current Supreme Court in finding that a "fee" in Obamacare was actually a "tax" and therefore constitutional. And the media, with few exceptions, gives the administration abundant wiggle room, not taking note of their screw-ups and lies unless it has to do with one of their own reporters.
The path to deniability seems to work this way -- you take full responsibility for an event such as the disaster in Benghazi, as Secretary of State Hillary Clinton stated, then you totally wash your hands of the whole affair and go along with the administration's "whitewash" of the killing of four Americans in our embassy. Currently, the administration is denying any responsibility for IRS targeting of conservative groups, and government eavesdropping on practically everyone in the country.
This is an administration that consistently bends the facts for its own benefit, perhaps the most egregious being the false narrative used during the 2012 presidential election that the war on terrorism was won with the obvious benefit to the presidents' status and electability, a truly progressive act.
The leader of Bhutan, a tiny kingdom in Asia, has a different take on progress; he declared that his country's goal is an increase in GNH, Gross National Happiness. Among other things he put up road signs warning that "life is a journey, complete it." If only life were that simple but it's not. We're not powerless to change our destiny if we progress in the right way.
Reynolds lives in Pleasant View.