There is ignorance, and then there is invincible ignorance. So far Progressives are putting on a remarkable display of the former. How else are we supposed to interpret the behavior not only of progressive backbenchers, but also the political positioning of the major Presidential nomination contenders and their cultural cheerleaders?
Consider one of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s latest pronouncements at the SXSW festival, namely that “Capitalism is irredeemable”. Remember that Cortez, at least for the moment, is setting the agenda for the Democratic Party, a significant chunk of which has demonstrated its unwillingness to condemn anti-Semitism among the Party’s ranks. It seems that the Party does not object to racism per se; its concern is with the object of bigotry.
And then there is Actress Deborah Messing, a prominent member of #the Resistance. Just the other day, in celebration of International Women’s Day, she reposted an Instagram photo of cupcakes, the tops of which were sculpted with replicas of women’s vulvas. Messing apparently decided that reducing women to their genitals was an act of liberation, pretty much like every 15 year old boy. She quickly issued a self-abasing apology once the social justice warriors pounced. Not, mind you, because of the idiocy of the post. She apologized for insulting trans people, her “sisters” with penises.
Lest we be tempted to think that these are just fringe elements of the progressive movement, let’s consider the broad outlines of what the Presidential contenders have actually endorsed in one form or another.
“Free” college for all. Medicare for all. The Green New Deal (GND)…
By the way, here below is how the GND is described by its proponents.
“To promote justice and equity by stopping current, preventing future, and repairing historic oppression of indigenous peoples, communities of color, migrant communities, deindustrialized communities, depopulated rural communities, the poor, low-income workers, women, the elderly, the unhoused, people with disabilities, and youth (referred to in this resolution as “frontline and vulnerable communities”);”
Throw in the abolition of private health insurance, the requirement that doctors register with the government in order to be legally allowed to provide medical services and be compensated by the government (the “single payer”). In the recently introduced health care plan there is a proviso that doctors may accept no private payments for services rendered if said doctor wishes to provide any state compensated services. Add to that a broad assault on free speech (in the name of campaign finance reform), an attack on religious liberty and freedom of association (in the name of equality) an encroachment on the right to self-defense (by attempts to weaken or abolish the right to bear arms).
By no means should we ignore the Progressive enthusiasm for abortion up until the moment of birth, not to mention refusing medical care for infants born alive after a botched abortion attempt. This is of a piece with “assisted suicide” which, as in Amsterdam, will quickly morph into “involuntary euthanasia”. Which effectively means that Progressives have already adopted infanticide, likely to be followed by other forms of killing, as a means of population control, in the true spirit of the Eugenics movement. In Progressive circles, depravity has apparently displaced what were formerly unalienable rights to life, liberty and happiness, endowed by the Creator.
Let’s not ignore the administrative side. There is, for example, the strengthening of the confiscatory state through civil asset forfeiture that doesn’t even require a criminal charge, much less a conviction. (To be fair this has been a bipartisan atrocity). It represents another example of the weakening of due process protections to ease the way for the state to seize private property. That is what you would expect when “independent” agencies act as judge and jury in cases where the agency is a beneficiary.
On top of that we have a proposal for asset taxes, the implementation of which would require citizens to turn over to government agencies a periodic and detailed accounting of everything they own. Capping that off are proposals for marginal tax rates as high as 70%. And those who don’t feel like working will still be subsidized by the state, compliments of the GND.
Inevitably the question of how “we” will pay for all this arises. Progressives have come up with two solutions for that problem. Solution 1: The “rich” will be “asked” to “contribute” a little more. When confronted with the fact that we are talking about scores of trillions of dollars that “the rich” simply do not happen to have lying around waiting to be taxed, they roll out Solution 2. That solution is: “Modern Monetary Theory” which despite the name is as old as the hills. It is to run the printing presses. That was the solution adopted by the pre-Nazi Weimar Republic, Mozambique, modern Venezuela and so on.
We have seen variations of all this before. There was the relatively minor disaster of the 1970s in the U.S. with wage and price controls, oil market regulation and a politically subservient Fed. Those disasters were quarterbacked by Richard Nixon and Jimmy Carter. Then we have the big examples of North Korea, Cuba, the former Soviet Union, and every other socialist paradise in human history. And yet, our Progressive saviors who are still in denial about those abject failures, still can not find a way to utter a word of criticism of Venezuela’s Maduro, and before him, Chavez.
Socialism, along with its cousins communism and fascism, has an unbroken track record for the production of human misery and suffering—for all but the leaders of the revolution. There are a few examples of countries (e.g—the nordic countries) that have been able to turn back and reverse course before it was too late. But that is the exception, not the rule.
Republican strategists are laughing up their sleeves as they watch the Democratic Party head toward what Republicans predict will a Democratic electoral disaster similar to George McGovern’s in 1972. But before they laugh too hard they ought to remember that Democrats were universally gleeful when the Republicans ran an unelectable extremist candidate in 1980. Ronald Reagan carried 44 states with 489 electoral votes. He won 51% of the popular vote beating incumbent Jimmy Carter by 10 points.
Be careful what you wish for.