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Progressivism Isn't Progress, XII

February 20, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 152

America Is Best On A Project Basis

Here's the last in a twelve-part series about progressivism. This century-plus-old movement seeks a slow "evolution" of America from a Constitutional republic to a collectivist authoritarian state (as opposed to the sort of bloody "revolution" which accomplished essentially the same thing in the former Soviet Union and elsewhere). Progressivism is not collective statism itself, but the method being employed to bring collective statism to prominence. And since the American free-market republic has created more worldwide strength and prosperity than has any other system in history (and since collectivism has failed miserably wherever it's been tried), progressivism definitely isn't progress.

As we've shown over the past twelve weeks, progressivism has been successful in slowly changing the average American's perception of what is "normal" and proper. Today, the progressive government can get away with rampant and blatant departure from the Constitution - the bedrock of American limited government and free-market prosperity. Federal incursions, like the recent fiat-proclamation that Catholic institutions must essentially pay for abortions and contraception, would not have been thought possible a couple of generations ago... and that edict is nothing compared to the "health care" and financial reforms pushed through during the first couple of years of the progressive Obama administration. Decades of success in "moving the window" of American perception has emboldened the progressives (they now feel free to try just about anything) and numbed the temporally-sovereign citizenry (they now feel resigned to swallow just about any affront to their Constitutional protections from their own government). The result? Every day, the nation falls more under the control of an increasingly-powerful government. Each day's "daily life" is less free, and less lived at the discretion of the individual citizen. Each day, the government of this nation is less "by" the people, less "for" the people, and adds more emphasis to government "of" the people.

The series has touched briefly on the many ways the progressive movement has brought us here; the short answer, though, is that the progressives have slowly taken over all the institutions which influence the opinions of average Americans. We talked about the lifeblood of progressivism: control of the messages we take in through "infotainment" churned out indistinguishably by the "news" media and Hollywood. We talked about the bureaucratic fortress of progressivism: the "permanent and professional" (but unelected) administrative state that really runs the government, regardless of which letter is found behind the name of whatever politician you elect. We talked about the factory of progressivism: the gradual takeover of educational institutions, now in complete control of what an "educated" American believes to be true, from kindergarten through grad school. Through all these institutions (and others, such as labor union leadership), the progressive movement has succeeded in changing American opinion so much that it's now possible for the statists to achieve their long-sought objective: to have the "sovereign citizens" of the United States willingly hand their hard-won power back to a now-all-powerful government and allow themselves to become part of yet another failed socialist state.

If that happens, the entire world is in trouble. There will be no "shining city on a hill" to which oppressed people from the other "Utopian" collectivist states can flee. There will be no engine of strength and prosperity to protect the world from the aggressive impulses of every would-be dictator from the in-vogue Islamo-fascist to the next collective statist seeking other countries' resources (a la Hitler). In fact, such a dictator might well rise from the ranks of our own nation... and we all know how well that worked out for 1917 Russia and 1930s Germany.

You know you're in the presence of progressives when you hear their universal mantra repeated: government is the answer... the more government the better... grow the government! The Founders thought just the opposite when they drafted the Constitution which brought so much abundance to our nation: government is the problem... a government big enough to give you everything you think you want is big enough to take away everything you have... limit the government! And this is the great ideological struggle of our time.

We do need some government, to be sure. But the Founders sought to limit what that government could do to and for us. They realized that you need a policeman to keep crime down, but you don't want a police state to keep the people down. But the statists, and their progressive soldiers, want you to be ruled by an all-powerful government. And they will be happy to provide such a government.

The Founders set up a nation which performs best on a project basis... the industrial gear-up which overwhelmed Nazi Germany AND Imperial Japan in less than four years is a great example. But the progressives seek to make every "project" a permanent department of an ever-growing government... the Environmental Protection Agency, which was originally intended merely as a project to reduce pollution, is now a prime example of this trend (and there are many others, including the Department of Education, the Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Energy, and NASA). When the free market leads a project, it is wildly successful (the "Axis" had no chance once the first bombs fell on Pearl Harbor). When progressives turn a project into a Department, it slumps into mediocrity (at best) or failure (pollution reduction and other targets of the government's environmental project have never been met, despite the cancerous growth of the EPA into one of the most powerful agencies on the planet). Projects have a goal, even if it's just to make money (which is not evil, as it turns out). Departments have a survival instinct; how much time do government bureaucrats spend blaming each other, justifying their own existence, and cranking out economy-strangling regulations which never "work?"

Taking the country back from the progressives is the biggest project we've ever faced - even bigger than the World Wars and the Great Depression (which many now believe was caused by the very governmental intrusion that purported to "solve" it). In fact, in the progressive movement, America may finally have met her match. We may well end up willingly destroying ourselves, generations after other "super power" regimes learned the same lessons we're about to learn the hard way.

Think of a project you can undertake to do your part. Me? I'm using my gift for sarcasm to write what I call my "Friday Funnies" which ridicule progressivism (though not in the sort of viciously-hateful way progressives wield ridicule and "humor," as exemplified by the f-word venom they hurled at President George W. Bush). I refuse to yield all of the humor space to progressives such as Jon Stewart, Bill Maher, and "The Onion." I've created something of a firestorm by submitting my Friday Funnies to my hometown paper as letters to the editor... and though there is nothing the slightest bit hateful in my glib work, a handful of readers have lambasted it as "hate speech." That's progressivism. Their side can hurl any nasty f-bomb at people like Bush, and call it "humor." But any message with which they disagree, or any criticism of their beloved Barack Obama, is "hate speech." The movement has changed the definition of every word, including "hate" - kinda like George Orwell's "Ministry of Truth."

Speaking of truth, the truth is that I'd just-as-soon not read personal attacks and criticism from my progressive neighbors. But I think it's important. It's my project. And if I get through to just a couple of young people, attracted by the humor and amusement to a message quite different from what they've heard in school and on Comedy Central, my project is successful. Maybe a handful of young Americans are out there reading my stuff, reconsidering the veracity of the messages they get from those who seek to make "Obama Zombies" of them. And, to my surprise, I'm happy to report that not all of my pen-wielding neighbors are statists... the letters in the paper supporting me are about equal in number to those attacking me. (Just an aside: the supportive letters are generally better-written, too.)

What's your project? If you're a young person, go back to your high school and visit with your teachers. Don't waste your time with committed socialists... but many of your old teachers are too overworked to fully realize the degree to which progressivism permeates their curricula. You'll think I'm nuts, maybe, but try this: pick a national radio host (Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Laura Ingraham, or Mark Levin, for instance) who's committed to putting out messages you won't hear in the progressive mainstream media... listen to that person's show every day for three weeks... and see if you don't look at the world differently. Read "A Patriot's History of The United States," and see if your perspective doesn't shift from the opinion you were issued in school. If it isn't - if you're still convinced by the progressive message - you've lost nothing. But don't cheat yourself out of the other side of the story. If you believe you're a rational, open-minded person, prove it; you have nothing to fear from any of the information sources I've mentioned, and you might just have a lot to gain. Listen for three weeks, read different books, and do your own thinking. That's the American way.

They say it's a bad time to be your own boss; but maybe that's your project. Start a business anyway. Start with an online business you can run on the side, and see if you can't become the next great American entrepreneur. See if you can ignore all the propaganda about how the government is creating jobs (it can't; it's destroying jobs, daily), and see if you can create a few yourself. It's tough - the progressive tide is against you - but if you can build your entrepreneurial muscles these days, you'll be part of the free-market leadership that eventually pulls us out of the progressive mess we're in.

Maybe your project is to get in shape, and take at least one person (you) out of the muck of dependence on government medicine. Start with the five key daily health habits I call "The NEWSS" - Nutrition, Exercise, Water, Sleep, and Supplements - and again, take three weeks of daily dedication to see just what you might be able to accomplish. You'll need all that new energy and vitality to resist the coming storm of statism.

Whatever other project you pick, make it your foundational project to re-examine and strengthen your personal values. Be a leader, at least in your own home, at least of one family that truly stands for something. Ask God for help. You will need absolute conviction to withstand attacks from the statists, which will definitely come your way once you stand in opposition to the progressive movement. For example, I know my own values, and I know I'm not a hateful person (far from it). So when I read attacks that accuse me of vending hate speech, I know better. They will call you a racist, an elitist, a wealth-monger, a greedy person... every name in the book. When they do, make sure you've done your values homework, and make sure you know better. And know that, when you've become the target of such name-calling, you'll have confirmation that you're on the right track.

Progressivism is a word that makes you think of progress. But not all progress is good. Progressives want to progress you away from the America you know and love, and toward a willing forfeiture of your freedom and prosperity. If, instead, you want a nation that is great because it's good, that leads and protects the world, that feeds the world's children and comes to the rescue of the world's victims, you want a different kind of progress. You want restoration. You want your country back. And you want to bear in mind that, no matter what the word sounds like, progressivism isn't progress.

Michael Hume is a speaker, writer, and consultant specializing in helping people maximize their potential and enjoy inspiring lives. As part of his inspirational leadership mission, he coaches executives and leaders in growing their personal sense of well-being through wealth creation and management, along with personal vitality.

Michael and his wife, Kathryn, divide their time between homes in California and Colorado. They are very proud of their offspring, who grew up to include a homemaker, a rock star, a service talent, and a television expert. Two grandchildren also warm their hearts! Visit Michael's web site at

Source: EzineArticles
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