Thursday, August 4, 2011

Progressivism is Collapsing in on Itself, and it ain't Pretty

Why the irresponsible, angry and hateful rhetoric from the left? Because we are winning! 

Why is the poisonous progressive vituperation aimed primarily at the tea party? Because it is The Threat, the biggest gun in the pro-liberty arsenal, steadily pounding away at the walls of the statist citadels.

Gallup confirms that conservatives are consolidating gains, with an incredible 41% of Americans now self-identifying as conservative, and even greater number than the 36% who call themselves moderate. The ragged, saggy ranks of liberals continues to droop, now at 21%.

We're Killing The Beast

I still can’t believe it, but I think we are actually killing the progressive beast. It’s a long way from its final death throes, but we are slowly choking it, and it is now writhing violently, horned head, spiky tail and taloned limbs flailing mindlessly, lashing out at its tormenters. A wounded animal is dangerous. These are perilous times.

The Washington Examiner reports that as a result of the debt ceiling deal, real discretionary spending will decrease for the first time since the Korean War:
There are many reasons for conservatives to be unhappy with the increase in the debt ceiling, but they ought not overlook the very real possibility that it is a milestone in the recognition of the liberal welfare state's unsustainability. (Washington Examiner)
The editors go on to point out that entitlement programs are the real problem, and more and more Americans are waking up to the fact:
The American people understand that these welfare programs are unaffordable. According to Gallup, two out of three Americans believe Social Security and Medicare costs are either already creating a crisis for the federal government (34 percent) or will do so within 10 years (33 percent) (Washington Examiner)
Liberal Blogger Kevin Drum laments that progressive are losing, badly:
But no matter how many times we try to kid ourselves with one poll result or another, liberals just don't have that advantage.
The public is mostly in favor of raising taxes on the rich — though I suspect its support is pretty soft — but on the bigger issues they mostly aren't on our side. They think deficits are bad, they don't trust Keynesian economics, they don't want a higher IRS bill (who does, after all?), and they believe the federal government is spending too much on stuff they don't really understand.
Conservatives have just flat out won this debate in recent decades, and until that changes we're not going to be able to make much progress. (Kevin Drum – Mother Jones)
Liberal WaPo columnist Greg Sargent agrees, and provides as evidence this polling factoid about the agreed-upon cuts in the debt ceiling deal:
only 15 percent think the cuts go too far. (Greg Sargent-The Plumb Line)
He goes on to cite a fellow liberal blogger:
“We will only find success when a majority of Americans agrees with us that government is something worth fighting for,” wrote Jared Bernstein.
These smart and honest liberals have identified the crux of the progressives' problem:

A majority of Americans now agree that government is Not something worth fighting for, but rather something worth fighting Against

Keynesian welfare states worldwide are now exposed as wealth-sucking failures teetering on the brink of collapse. We’re not going to support more debt to pay for them. Instead we demand a move away from the dark clouds of soviet-style centrally-planned economies, and towards the light of personal liberty and free market capitalism. Here’s a crumb for the anti-war left: We’re done funding costly wars and global community organizing as well.

44 comments:

Always On Watch said...

I still can’t believe it, but I think we are actually killing the progressive beast.

And it is for that reason that the rhetoric on the part of the Left has ramped up.

We bloggers can expect a lot of trolls from now until Election Day 2012.

Jack Camwell said...

I don't want everyone to think the same or have the same beliefs. A country like that is a country that scares me.

There is no room for self-examination in a country full of people who are collectively convinced that they're all right on the same principles. As Socrates believed, when there is no one left to question our motives, and when we stop questioning ourselves, that's when we've ultimately failed.

Ducky's here said...

There's truth in what you write but you go off the trolley when you say "we are winning.

Unless you're a state capitalist, you ain't winning nothing.

Bunkerville said...

Thanks for the lift. It put a spring in my step!!

Silverfiddle said...

Ducky: One thing at a time, my friend. This is where honest liberals like yourself can actually help.

How can we in good conscience shrink government and scale back social programs while leaving stand the rotten structure of corporate welfare?

Thersites said...

Jonathan Swift had an answer to that question, sf. The answer was to not allow immortals to compete with mere mortals. Why we feel the need to grant them all the "legal" rights as ordinary mortals is beyond me. At a minimum, we should only grant them a mortal's legal lifespan.

Z said...

Jack, how in the world does Silverfiddle's piece allude to your suggestion that Americans are in such tight agreement now that no self-examination is needed? There will always be different viewpoints no matter if they finally decide this debt ceiling thing was a disaster as it leads us into so much more unfixable debt, etc.
The last thing Conservatives want is no checks and balances. That's why it's beholden on us to get the truth out there and try to get others to read it, since it's often not in the mainstream media.
Some even think that when Conservatives ask leftwingers to stop indoctrinating our kids in school, we mean we want all conservatism taught and that isn't even close to the truth. We want kids to be taught to think things out.

SF and AOW, I think watching the problems in Greece and other parts of Europe has helped to make people realize what could happen here and put the pieces together about inflation, too much debt, etc.........I really think people are waking up, the polls sure support that; I believe Obama's folks thought he could always fight anything in the coming election because he is supposedly so glib and charming in speeches, but this economy's going to be a very hard sell no matter how charming he can be because everybody knows someone out of work and everybody sees what's happening now is not working (and most of those folks were still employed during Bush's time...they're adding things up); this is scary to Americans, not good for Obama and his minions, and people are getting that.
We can only hope, of course!

Anonymous said...

I see your point Jack. It wouldn't be a good thing if "we" won and all opposition ceased to exist. That's the dream an ultimate objective of the tyrant.

Every society needs the dynamic tension generated by polarity.

"Necessity is the mother of invention." Out of tension comes creativity. Out of creativity comes true progress -- the kind produced by Alexander Graham Bell, Edison and the Wright Brothers, etc. -- not the artificial sort generated by Utopian social engineers in leftist think tanks.

Without examining ourselves periodically -- questioning our motives -- testing our hypotheses -- striving always for perfection while knowing it's unattainable -- welcoming new blood into the family, as it were, -- we stagnate, become smug Philistines contented with comfortable mediocrity and lose the ability to see the wonder and infinite possibilities that lie before us.

Instead of succumbing to anger when challenged, we ought instead to try to see if there might not be some merit in what the challenger is proposing.

So yes. Liberalism -- or whatever you want to all it -- will never be completely defeated, and that's good, because if it were, WE would be defeated and suffer moral, spiritual and intellectual death.

Has anyone established National Gadfly Day yet? If not, it might be a good idea.

"We can never be sure that the opinion we wish to stifle is a false opinion; and if we were sure, stifling it would be an evil still."

~ John Stuart Mill (1806-1873)

Enjoy the day.

~ FreeThinke

Anonymous said...

BTW, in my never humble opinion "doctrinaire" anything is undesirable. Mindless adherence to doctrine -- even that containing precepts wholly benign -- is worthless. The Word can only live when we as individuals struggle daily to comprehend how and why it should apply to our daily lives.

Think of it this way: Suppose you had a private library filled with all the great books produced since the days of Plato and Aristotle. All that vast array of knowledge and enlightened speculation would do you no good, unless you'd troubled to read and understand it, thereby making it an integral part of who you are.

We MUST think things out for ourselves.

Life is an unending series of challenges. ENGAGE with them. EMBRACE them. ENJOY them. Otherwise you'll you'll be like the seed that landed on stony ground and never germinated, but just rotted away, instead.

~ FreeThinke

Ducky's here said...

Wheee, another wild day at the track.

Man, cash is king right now.

Double dip recession almost certainly here. Interesting that treasury yields took a dive. There's still faith in U.S. debt but myself, this is bad and if we don't understand this in reference to Ayn Rand's cabana boy Greenspan at the Fed we are going to make more serious mistakes.

It's going to take corporatism's destruction of the economy for anything to rise from the ashes.

Deep, deep sneakers my brothers and sisters in the egg.

Shane Atwell said...

Agree with everything in the post. Especially the wounded animal part. The next decade is going to be ugly. But we have reason on our side and as long as we remain clear in our ideas and goals and can articulate them to the rational, the leftists can sit in their corner and scream all they want.

Jersey McJones said...

Congratulations, Silver, you are "winning." The country is in the losing, but never mind, at least people identify themselves the way you'd like. Congratulations.

Unfortunately for you, it's all just a facade. Though people may identify themselves as "conservatives" or "libertarians" or whatever, issue by issue more people are like me than like you.

So, while most people favor repealing the new healthcare reforms, most people want universal healthcare (more, in fact).

While most people are rather hawkish, most people want a much smaller international military presense.

While most people are convinced social spending is out of control (it's not) and are ignorant of the extent of government borrowing, most people want higher taxes on the rich.

So we can see a pretty stark paradox at play here. It seems to be a disconnect from how people want to identify themselves and how people see issues apart from that identity.

Personally, I find identity to be useless and stupid, flying in the face of how we should be handling real life issues.

JMJ

Silverfiddle said...

Jersey: You should have your own MSNBC show, you'd fit right in with the rest of the delusional crowd.

Silverfiddle said...

Believe it or not, Ducky, I share your pessimism, but I do see a thin ray of hope. Time will tell...

Anonymous said...

Sorry to be the one to have to say it, but it's the OLIGARCHS who are winning. The rest of us are being royally screwed.

A marriage between Big Government and Big Business has taken place. the main mission of this despicable alliance is to WIPE OUT SMALL BUSINESS and destroy even the MEMORY of rugged individualism and INDEPENDENCE.

It isn't Communism v. Democracy after all. It's the INDIVIDUAL v. CENTRALIZED POWER.

~ FreeThinke

Speedy G said...

I didn't know that Snooki's middle name was "most people", did you?

Anonymous said...

Jersey,

You are outstripped only by Obama, himself, in your ability to use a plethora of high-sounding words that say absolutely nothing.

The only thing you posted that makes any sense is this in reference to the differences between yourself and SilverFiddle:

"... issue by issue more people are like me than like you."

I wholeheartedly agree, Jersey, and that is precisely why the entire nations seems to be swirling merrily down the drain as we bruise our fingertips tapping out messages of gloom, doom and false hope.

And please don't take that personally. You're not the first decent, likable, well-meaning person who has a strongly-determined, utterly wrong-headed view of life -- and you won't be the last.

Remember, when all the money's gone, and we're cast out into the wind and weather to fend for ourselves in the coming age of Neo-Feralism (you saw it here first!), we will still have each other -- and Nature.

As irving Berlin said (in Annie get Your Gun)

Got no diamonds; got no pearls
Still I think I'm a lucky girl
I got the sun in the morning
And the moon at night ...
And I'm all right.


Maybe it really is time we got back to basics. After all, how many cups of mocha latte can you swill down at Starbucks while buffing your nails before you start to throw up?

~ FreeThinke

Silverfiddle said...

I agree with you, FreeThinke. Wow, you, Ducky and I all in agreement on the DC-NY Axis of Evil.

I'll reiterate what I said before. The door is now open to demand we slash corporate welfare and cut loose these corporate wards of the state.

That's what I'm telling my senators, what about you?

Anonymous said...

With the DOW down over 500 points today and well over a thousand for the past two weeks, the door should be open to REVOLUTION, SilverFiddle.

These are very dangerous times. Desperation too easily causes men to go mad.

I wish I didn't believe all this destruction has been intentional, but I do. I see it as deliberate move to panic the populace into giving up their liberties in favor of being taken care of by Big Brother once and for all.

But the government won't be communistic, as I feared. It's obviously headed toward something different -- a hybrid -- Government Run of by and for International Bankers and Big Global Corporations.

You don't have to call it a conspiracy. It doesn't matter. Call it whatever you like, but whatever it is, it appears to be a reality.

I've always thought of Walt Whitman (1819-1892) primarily as a poet, but he surely was a prophet when he wrote these words back in the late nineteenth century:

"Once fully enslaved, no nation, state, city of this earth, ever afterward resumes its liberty."

Yes, we should contact our senators and representatives, but their powers were usurped by the Oligarchs long ago, and all their posturing and speechifying is a sham. They've been bought and paid for by the Moguls. We are not represented at all -- or so it would appear.

The game seems obviously rigged so that it won't make any difference who wins the elections anymore. We've been had -- and it's all been done out in the open, so you can't properly all it a conspiracy, but we can't avoid calling it piracy, so the conspiracy theorists are at least half right, aren't they? ;-)

Time now to tighten our belts and keep a stiff upper lip. We've been through worse before. We'll get through this too. Evil can't win for long -- at least from God's eternal perspective.

~ FreeThinke

Mark Adams said...

"go off the trolley when you say "we are winning."
"Though people may identify themselves as "conservatives" or "libertarians" or whatever, issue by issue more people are like me than like you."

You're both wrong. One word to ponder... "Independents."
Winning the debate.
And they are no longer 'like you'. The left, once again has shown their true colors, like the Carter years, and Independents are walking away from liberalism because of the action the past 2.5 years in Washington.

Ducky's here said...

@Freethinker -- A marriage between Big Government and Big Business has taken place. the main mission of this despicable alliance is to WIPE OUT SMALL BUSINESS and destroy even the MEMORY of rugged individualism and INDEPENDENCE.

--------------

Don't forget that they can crash markets and pick up quality assets at 50 cents on the dollar or the like.

Anonymous said...

Ducky,

I do realize that, and think it very wicked. I live entirely on investment income. I've been damaged by these machinations like everyone else. If the system under which I grew up hadn't been hijacked, I wouldn't have to worry. As things stand now, God alone knows what will happen. With the value of my house abruptly cut in half four years ago, and a sudden drop of 20-25% in the portfolio in a few short days confidence is definitely on the wane.

What would be your remedy for the situation?

We may not be as far apart as we've both thought all these years. If business has co-opted the power of government and vise versa, what chance could the individual possibly have? And how could we ever trust the machinery of government not to betray us as it obviously has?

Did you ever read The Machine Stops? It's a disturbing futuristic novella by E. M. Forster first published in 1909 -- predating Huxley and Orwell by at least two decades. very unpleasant, but compelling. Don't know why Forster never got credit for his round breaking work in the realm of dystopian prophecy.

~ FreeThinke

Bd said...

Man, you're full of shit. Conservatives are dying off like dinosaurs.

Trestin said...

Holy cow, I'm actually agreeing with Ducky.

It is a combined problem of big government and big capital that has caused this mess. And I'm not sure if we are winning.

Most Rev. Gregori said...

While I can hope and pray for the best, a smaller government with a citizenry that believes in self-responsibility, I am smart enough to know that a the Keynesian welfare states are on the brink of collapse, that is when the really diehard progressives, socialists, Marxists,communists are the most dangerous because they will hesitate to pull out all of the stops in their fight to survive and remain in control.

Ducky's here said...

Odd that we can't seem to agree on much but we see state capitalism as the enemy.

Myself, I don't believe any change comes till there is a quantum change in the media (Please: Do not tell me the current travesty is progressive) and we start getting hard news.

Until then it's just going to be "liberals suck" and "right wingers are brain dead" ... the enemy laughs.

Anonymous said...

Ducky, I think we do agree mirable dictu.

I would never cll the media "progressive." I call them the ENEMEDIA. They are the lap dogs and lackeys of the Oligarchs -- a bunch of fawning, cringing lickspittles. But they are also the enemies of the people. Too bad the people are ill-equipped to notice, isn't it?

~ FreeThinke

Anonymous said...

HEY! I've finally got it! Shame in me for not realizing much sooner.

BD stands for BRAIN DEAD

A self-parodist no doubt.

~ FT

Finntann said...

I was impressed by two sort of complete sentences.

Jersey McJones said...

Guys, the point I was making about the paradox of identity and issues is that we are not a bichromatic people. We are not all Republicans or Democrats, Conservatives or Liberals, Libertarians or Mommy/Daddy Statists.

Though in large groups we will tend to focus on common issues, with "common sense," and "group think," and of course, stupidity, each individual usually holds a unique amalgam of different opinions about different issues.

You guys just got me thinking...

You know what I think?

Maybe we really should, as some have proposed over the years, Constituionally outright ban political parties entirely.

You run as your own man or woman, period. You have to raise the money to do it, but it can be no more than ten bucks, or maybe a hundred, a pop. And finally, only individual citizens can donate, not corporations or unions or any other groups.

As for issue advertising - FULL AND OBVIOUS DISCLUSURE OF THE FUNDERS. None of this 'People for America' or 'Concerned People' nonsense.

That'd do it.

JMJ

Z said...

Finntann said...
I was impressed by two sort of complete sentences.


Too good :-)

98ZJUSMC said...

I'm not so sure we are killing Progressivism as much as reality is.

Either way......Cool!!

98ZJUSMC said...

till there is a quantum change in the media (Please: Do not tell me the current travesty is progressive)

Then, you must not watch it very often.

Silverfiddle said...

Bd's comments rarely contribute anything useful, or even understandable, but I let them stand as totems of stupidity.

Anonymous said...

"I am smart enough to know that a the Keynesian welfare states are on the brink of collapse, that is when the really diehard progressives, socialists, Marxists,communists are the most dangerous because they will hesitate to pull out all of the stops in their fight to survive and remain in control."

Maintaining their grip on Power and Control is undoubtedly the name of the game, Father Gregori, but I'm not as sure as I used to be that it really is the Marxists and the Marxlings who are in control. I have come to believe that they -- along with everyone who opposes them -- have been used by the gaggle of international bankers, financiers and industrialists over whom we have no jurisdiction who really do decide our fate behind closed doors.

Everyone "hates" conspiracy theories, and so do I. It's not a "conspiracy" when it's being done quite openly, as it has been for the past 100 years. Americans were perfectly aware when the Federal Reserve was created, and perfectly aware when the income tax was instituted and perfectly aware when the New Deal was perpetrated, yet no one stormed Washington, DC shouting protests with pitchforks in hand.

Why do you suppose the public has been so docile in embracing their own enslavement?

I believe it's because no one in the media did one blessed thing to warn and inform the public about the significance of these dirty deeds. No one in the media questioned, criticized, complained, or did anything but roll over and play dead for the Oligarch's Agenda.

Hear once again the words of David Rockefeller:

“Some ... believe we are part of a secret cabal working against the best interests of the United States, characterizing my family and me as ‘internationalists’ and of conspiring with others… to build a more integrated global political and economic structure -- one world, if you will.
If that is the charge, I stand guilty, and I am proud of it.
 
"We are on the verge of a global transformation. All we need is the right major crisis and the nation will accept the New World Order."



~ David Rockefeller speaking at a UN Business Conference, Sept. 14, 1994
 

David Rockefeller on control of the media:


"We are grateful to the Washington Post, The New York Times, Time Magazine and other great publications whose directors have attended our meetings and respected their promises of discretion for almost forty years. It would have been impossible for us to develop our plan for the world if we had been subjected to the lights of publicity during those years. But, the world is now more sophisticated and prepared to march towards a world government. The supranational sovereignty of an intellectual elite and world bankers is surely preferable to the national auto-determination practiced in past centuries."

~ David Rockefeller Baden-Baden, Germany 1991

Of course David Rockfeller isn't anybody -- just another man on the street with a big mouth and a small brain, right? Why should anybody believe what he has to say? After all these quotes were taken out of context and obviously couldn't possibly mean what they appear to mean now, could they?

Meanwhile, it's so much easier and so much more enjoyable to snicker and poke fun at poor, pathetic Bd, as if he mattered, -- and to disdain one another -- than it is to grapple with reality, isn't it?

~ FreeThinke


 

Ducky's here said...

I'd rather poke fun at fringe right wingers who spend most of their lives so frightened they can't stop pissing themselves.

Watch out! The crack Iraqi spec-ops are going to night drop and sprinkle botulism in your corn flakes boxes.

Watch out! We have a Marxist Muslim in the White House. He must be a Marxist because Bill Ayers, who he never met, hosted a fund raiser.

Is conversation possible with the right? It's pretty to think so.

Silverfiddle said...

You're having one now. Sounds like the ones you converse with where you live are pretty strange. I haven't ran into anyone like you describe, and this is a pretty rightwing place...

MK said...

"...with an incredible 41% of Americans now self-identifying as conservative..."

The biggest problem liberals face is denial. They refuse to accept that it is their ideology that's the problem.

You can take any bunch of ordinary non-partisan group of people who don't even know conservatism, put them into a socialist utopia of liberals making and before long they'll want to leave.

When i first came to the west i had no idea of liberalism or conservatism. My first exposure was to liberalism but pretty soon i knew this wasn't quite right and for most people liberalism will be stupid, illogical and parasitical.

"Conservatives have just flat out won this debate in recent decades..."

It's not even about winning any debates, you ask people who left california for Texas if they moved because they saw some Conservative whip the tripe out of some leftard in a debate.

Like i said, to anyone with half a brain and a bit of life experience, leftism is stupid, illogical, parasitical and ultimately detrimental to them.

If leftards want to draw people to their camp, i suggest changing their ideology or at the very least stay away from the reins of power. That way you won't prove to voters how useless and dangerous we know you to be.

Anonymous said...

Most Americans have no ideology. Their loyalty lies with whomever they think will be most likely to provide them with another six pack, another round of chips and dips, and enough bucks to keep them connected to the cable, so they can watch their giant flat-screen TV while they stretch out on the hide-a-bed in their trailer or state-subsidized apartment.

If they can wangle a gubmint check to keep them going so they don't have to do anything to earn their subsistence, so much the better. Why should they go out and scrub floors, wash clothes, change diapers, mow lawns, trim trees, deliver products, clean swimming pool, lay bricks, hammer shingles, or flip burgers at friggin' McD's when they can stay home courtesy of the US Taxpayer swillin' beer, stuffin' chips, makin' welfare babies, and letting moral and intellectual cancer permeate their minds from the big screen TV?

Read The Machine Stops by E.M. Forster. He saw it coming 100 years ago with chilling clarity. It should blow your mind.

~ FreeThinke

Anonymous said...

Ducky,

It sounds like you'd rather spend your time jousting with creatures of your imagination than in grappling with reality.

How could we hope to effect meaningful change for the better by doing that -- or have you given up all hope for making the world a better place?

Your church once gave rise to a wonderful organization called The Christophers.

Their motto:

"It's better to light a single candle than to curse the darkness."

None of us has the capacity to "save the world," but every one of us has what it takes to "brighten the corner where we are" and to "bloom where we are planted."

We also have the capacity to spout cheery little clichés, don't we? But even that's better than sitting here mentally thumbing our noses or wringing our hands and moaning at everything we don't like.

"This is the day the Lord hath made. Let us rejoice and be glad in it."

Be of good cheer!

~ FreeThinke

Bd said...

Poll: Tea party support shrinks by half since 2010 elections

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2011/08/05/poll-tea-party-support-shrinks-by-half-since-2010-elections/

Silverfiddle said...

Bd:

That poll oversampled democrats, so really it is saying that support for the tea party has fallen among democrats. Big surprise.

This is what you're left with: shifty polls and skewed propaganda.

You really should understand a piece of information before you just trot it out.

Nice try, but no cigar.

Joe Conservative said...

What do you think of Harry Reid's Spectacular Fail. His days as Senate Majority Leader are most certainly numbered, now. ;)

Silverfiddle said...

Dick Turban from the failed state of Illinois is next in line.

Whoever the top dem is, we need to make him the minority leader in 2012.