The President of the European Commission, Jean-Claude Juncker, made a remarkably frank and honest statement in 2015 when, in response to a reporter’s question, he stated with a grin on his face: “We (politicians) all know what to do, we just don’t know how to get re-elected after we have done it”. Some politicians act out of expediency (go along to get along), others seem to really believe what they claim, perhaps only because they reside in an echo chamber and keep hearing the same message from colleagues, so it must be true. Of course, Liberals claim the Right is living in an echo chamber. The difference is that Conservatives are people of conviction via the path of discovery and analysis, whereas Liberals rarely know why they believe certain things, but they are sure that those beliefs are absolutely true. How often do Liberals respond to a Conservative explanation by saying that if only they knew as much about the topic as the Conservative does, they could make a better argument against the other side? How would they know without knowing what they don’t know? Speaking from my own experience, I changed my mind when I finally understood some important truths while I was still a believer in JFK Democracy. Yes, converts tend to have stronger and more well-founded opinions than others who are simply born into a particular belief system.
To forestall Conservatism, Liberalism had to redefine itself as Progressivism which then had to redefine the terms of our political discourse. Words like diversity no longer mean “dividing into categories”, but unifying diverse people. The problem arises when people realize the unnatural if not contradictory application of “diversity” which collided with the old truth that people of a feather flock together. This is the phenomenon that Professor Robert Putnam described in his book “Bowling Alone” wherein he explains that society has integrated neighborhoods with diverse people, but they did not assimilate nor socialize together. So, Progressives found this term “inclusion” as a fix, albeit a weak one, necessitating another oxymoronic notion found in the expression “unity in diversity”. Instead of promoting the brilliantly apt original motto for America E PLURIBUS, UNUM (from many cultures, into one American culture), they unraveled basic American cohesion, as evidenced by racial and ethnic strife everywhere. At least the European Heads of State had the courage to admit that their policies of “multi=culturalism” have failed. Europe is suffering the unintended consequences of those policies, as America has begun to suffer the same pain. You cannot expect diverse immigrants to become American when government encourages them to live their ancestral ways within our borders. It is the seed of America’s, and the West’s, demise..
Fairness is another one of those favorite concepts that Obama and his Progressive band of community organizers love. In response to press questions about the application of lower tax rates to actually improve the flow of taxes to the federal government, as happened during the Reagan years, the President responded by saying that it is a matter of fairness to keep the rates high. Where was that logic born? what is not fair about reducing tax rates and actually ending up with more tax dollars in the federal treasury. Not fair to whom? Fairness or spite?
Equality, Justice, and Equity are the holy grail for Progressive pundits. Like the other “words” they sound good, so they must be good. And of course, intent is what counts, not results. In the world of philosophy, the means justify the end, provided of course that the intended end is just if not pure. The US Constitution guarantees “equality before the law”. Progressives ignore that fundamental right and construct new equality and demand social justice, economic justice etc…. why? they simply want a new conversation with a new lexicon. Equity is something that most of us know as being earned over time, such as equity in a property, equity within a social group based on past performance or at least reputation. But in the Progressive world, like the monopoly game, we start out with a certain amount of equity, so as to equalize performance and results. What they do not realize or understand is the individuals thusly given “equity” will expect that assist throughout life, making them dependent on government or other people for their advancement. No incentive to improve one’s own efforts and results. Surely they will tell me that I “simply do not understand” the issue. It is not fair that some beings are born into poverty while others are born into wealth or talent. They want to change what God has created. Just like environmentalist Quijote taking on the biggest boldest windmills and changing the world’s temperature, although they do not know whether the temperature should go up or down.
The re-ordering of values does not stop there. The biggest Progressive machine in the world is the UN which has the ultimate windmill to tackle: human society, and underwritten to the extent of 75% by American taxpayers who do not want the UN to be giving orders to the United States. Its Agenda21 has detailed templates for all communities around the world to live as dictated by UN’s people-controlling standards in the social, environmental, economic and even cultural domains. Our international poster child in the Midwest is Dubuque, getting medals and recognition for its “sustainability” program. After 5 years of formal procedures, they still do not know what it is costing its taxpayers and what exactly the return on their tax dollars has been or will be…Sustainability, equality, equity, diversity, multiculturalism, climate change are all in the newly revised edition of the Progressive mind.