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Politics are messy; to say they are complex, or even confusing, is to give them way too much credit. Let’s stick with messy. So we generalize and compartmentalize because it is far easier than attempting to make the far more difficult and detailed argument. We see our adversaries, call them leftists, but most of these folks are not ideological at all, just disengaged, or unwilling to stand out. There is risk when one stands out; real risk, of being seen as one of us, as sympathetic, as conservative, as outside of the intellectual bubble, as a rebel. Cancel culture is real.
There are terms for these folks in Leftist dogma – useful idiots or fellow travelers. Needless to say, if you follow the Marxist revolution to its conclusion, these non-ideological supporters do not fare well, but they do serve a useful purpose in the struggle. They help the left win. But they aren’t Leftists, and we should stop labeling them as such.
There are true Leftists out there, that is for sure; the CPC, Bernie, the leaders of BLM, George Soros to name a few, but most Democrats fall among the Useful Idiots and Fellow Travelers, or as currently called, progressives.
Progressives like to think of themselves as empathetic and altruistic, not ideological. For them, ideology is defined by purpose, to “make a difference”, to “improve the human condition” or to “pursue fairness, equality, and equity”; that is to hijack government, enhance its power and authority and direct it to enact, fund, manage and underwrite an unending series of massive social experiments and counter-experiments.
This purpose is of course, in direct conflict with the limitations placed upon our federal government by our Constitution. I should point out that no such limits are placed upon local and state authority, except by their own founding documents and when in conflict with federal law. So, for example, if Massachusetts wants to enact a health insurance mandate on its citizenry, it can do so, provided it has the continued support of its citizens. They can, of course, change this course by moving to another state with no such mandate or by electing sufficient support for its repeal. That is the beauty of so-called “federalism.”
Conservatives who support a constitutionally limited federal government are at a significant disadvantage when federal courts fail to heed constitutional stop signs and when faced with political opposition to legislation defined within the progressive purpose. Take Social Security and Medicare, for example. The failure of these programs is obvious and predictable; failure is an imminent actuarial fact. And yet, they remain, held up as important and immutable as sunshine. Opposition to these doomed programs is impossible. On the other hand, take global climate change. As much as it has been cited by progressives as an inevitable, existential human threat, the predicted calamities have failed to materialize, the globe-altering changes have not happened and the threat has failed to produce. Progressive purpose, you see, is political. It defies accountability, fact, and reality, at best, a rallying cry and at worst, a means to power and a font for corruption.
The true Leftists (and not the progressives) recognize this and want to ride these corruptible progressive fellow travelers and useful idiots to power. Once all opposition is sufficiently thinned and progressives are no longer useful, they will be jettisoned like so much flotsam.
The last election is evidence that this strategy is gaining. We are all at risk.Published in