It’s Time to Put an End to Progressivism
By: Craig Chamberlain
The American people have an opportunity this November, not just to elect a new President, but to completely change the direction of the country and restore it to its constitutional republican past. We’re at the end of the progressive century. Starting with Woodrow Wilson’s election in 1912 progressivism has been the official ideology of the American government. All of the Democratic Presidents of the last hundred years have been enthusiastic progressives, the Republicans have been either unwilling or unable to push back against progressive policies. Presidents Harding and Coolidge had the majorities in Congress to repeal the amendments ratified in 1913, and to repeal all of the progressive legislation passed by Wilson. They chose not to, instead settling on a policy of modification rather than outright repeal. Hoover, though a Republican, was a progressive who bought into the big government philosophy. Eisenhower made no attempt to put an end to the New Deal. Goldwater wanted to put an end to the welfare state, instead the voters went with Johnson in a landslide giving their approval to a massive expansion of the progressive state. Nixon built upon it as did Ford, and Carter. Reagan tried to reform things but a Democratic House of Representatives blocked him. G.H.W. Bush made no attempts to end progressivism as the main line of thinking in Washington. A Republican Congress forced President Clinton to accept some reforms, but the progressive ideas were still entrenched within the White House. G.W. Bush expanded the progressive state in many ways, and now, President Obama, the most avowed Progressive since Johnson or maybe even Wilson himself, has done away with even the modest reforms passed in the mid 1990′s.
At the heart of progressive thinking we have a contempt for democracy, and especially the constitution. The constitution is, at heart, a minimalist document committed to the idea that government should be limited and well defined. The constitution keeps government in its place. For a progressive that is neanderthal thinking. There is no place government can’t, or shouldn’t go. No place they shouldn’t be allowed to regulate or legislate. After all the masters know how to manage things better than the serfs. President Obama has taken this line of thinking, this elitism and contempt for the constitution to its highest levels ever. Just think of his health care law, and then Speaker Pelosi’s incredulous response of “are you serious?” when a reporter had the gall to ask her if the bill was constitutional. To a progressive such a question is the height of stupidity. To say a bill is unconstitutional is to say that there are things that government is not allowed to do, and no progressive thinks that.
We are finally starting to see some cracks in the dam of progressivism. The American people are less and less supportive of it. The health care bill was never supported by a majority of Americans, the Republicans are talking about not just cutting spending, but eliminating whole departments of the executive branch. More and more people want less and less government. There is a growing demand for a return to constitutional principles, and that means getting rid of progressive principles. There has even be talk of having the state legislatures elect senators rather than the people. Instead of a demand for more spending, we’re aghast at the waste and fraud of the stimulus. Instead of more oversight from Washington there are more voices about the importance of the tenth amendment and a return to state rights.
Progressives know they’re in trouble, that’s why they’re fighting so desperately. It’s why President Obama is using class warfare so openly. The beneficiaries of progressive largess must be made to feel threatened by anyone who points out the truth that we are going broke. Anyone who opposes the President will be labeled racist or an opponent of the working class. It’s a sign of desperation, and a silent acknowledgment that a majority of the people don’t approve of his policies.
We’ve tried progressivism in the laboratory of the real world and the results of the experiment are less than promising. Want further evidence? We shouldn’t have to look any farther than California or New York. They were the poster boys of progressivism. Power was centralized in the hands of the state, and just a few people within the state at that. Money was spent on every conceivable project. Massive spending on a state university system, salaries and pensions for government workers, and as long as the economies were going along, as longs as Wall Street, and Silicon Valley were humming at high capacity they felt that they could keep the Ponzi scheme going forever. But as Thatcher said “the problem with socialism is that you always run out of other people’s money.”
The American people are finally realizing that we’re running out of money. The progressive system has become so large, so pervasive that there is no way that it can be sustained much longer. The entitlement programs will bankrupt us within the next 20 years unless something is done soon. The left doesn’t want to hear this and insists that the Titanic is fine after it hit the iceberg.
The American people have a choice between progressivism and its champion, and the GOP nominee that will want to bring an end to the progressive way(whoever that nominee is). If the people choose to reelect President Obama then progressivism will be here to stay until the entire systems comes crashing down to its inevitable end. If the American people choose the eventual Republican nominee then it’s the beginning of the end of progressivism, and an end that is long overdue.