The definition of “progressive”: one progressive’s view

I chanced to read a blog post on the Huffington Daily Brief, titled The real attack on the spirit of Christmas comes from the right wing by Robert Creamer.  Hidden within the falderal about how pro-Christmas the White House and Democrats in general are, a few gems reveal themselves:

Creamer’s definition of of what it means to be a progressive:

I believe that progressive values — love your neighbor and empathy — are our greatest evolutionary treasure.

Progressive values: that we’re all in this together, not all in this alone; unity not division; hope not fear; equality not subjugation; the premise that if each of us is better educated all of us will be wiser; that it is not true that for me to be richer you have to be poorer — but rather that if each of us is more prosperous, all of us will have more opportunity; that our success comes from cooperation and mutual respect. These progressive values are the most precious assets that will give human beings the ability to make it through that gauntlet — and to create a truly democratic society.

Let’s dissect that in terms of recent history, shall we?

“that we’re all in this together, not all in this alone; unity not division;”  i.e. “it takes a village”, the individual is worthless, and what they really push, “unity through diversity”, which is practically oxymoronic.  Free will and personal responsibility doesn’t work, according to them.  The individual is nothing without the state, according to their failed mantra.

“equality not subjugation;” In reality, this translates to “equality through subjugation”, the subjugation of an overbearing government, backbreaking loads of regulations, micromanagement by those that have no practical experience in much other than being petty bureaucrats;

“the premise that if each of us is better educated all of us will be wiser;”  I think the relative performance of our liberal dominated educational system compared to China, India etc. is evidence that this premise falls on its face with liberal feel good programs that promote self esteem over competition, never allowing students to fail or be held back, useless majors in college, like “women’s studies”.  In the world marketplace, our self congratulating, self esteem filled students will be crushed.  They are already if you look a the nation’s graduate schools.

“that it is not true that for me to be richer you have to be poorer — but rather that if each of us is more prosperous, all of us will have more opportunity;”  Democrats don’t believe that for a New York minute.  For the “poor” to be “richer”, they believe it is necessary for the government to punish the rich through increasingly “progressive” (read it: unfair) tax policy, not that a good work ethic is the true path to prosperity.  Throwing money at people doesn’t increase opportunity; it just makes people demand more money be thrown at them.

“that our success comes from cooperation and mutual respect.”  More diversity bull feces.  The country’s success came from competition, both internally and internationally.  Oppressive corporate taxes, acts of random stupidity by EPA czars and smothering union contracts are what drove companies offshore.

Naturally, Creamer wouldn’t miss an opportunity to take a potshot at conservatives:

That is just one more reason why at this time of year, we should celebrate these values — the true spirit of Christmas — and defend them from those who want to take society back to a time of social Darwinism, to the law of the jungle, to “survival of the fittest.” Because the fact of the matter is that in the future, if we govern our society by the precepts of selfishness and the survival of only the fittest, we may find that human society is not fit enough to survive at all.

In a typical reductio ad absurdum attack, Creamer equates capitalist competition with the law of the jungle, i.e. “eat or be eaten” and selfishness.   It is not “love yourself above all” as Creamer asserts.  What capitalist doesn’t rely on the prosperity of his clientele?   Competition doesn’t kill people, figuratively or literally; it encourages production of the best services, the best ideas, the least expensive products.  Socialistic, top down, central planning is a historical failure, even though they refuse to recognize that fact.  Compare the U.S. with the former U.S.S.R. at the height of the Cold War: the U.S. was the land of plenty, while the U.S.S.R. was the land of shortages.  The U.S.S.R. had to build walls to keep people in; we are seriously overdue in building walls to keep people out.  In terms of successful societies, “progressive” is regressive and results in failed economies like Greece.

As an aside, Creamer also makes this comparison:

“Though the ethical principle of universally loving your neighbor has only come to dominate moral understandings of human interaction for a few thousand years, it is also deeply rooted in our evolutionary forebears. It has emerged in our evolutionary history because it is a selective trait. Loving your neighbor — empathy — helps species survive and flourish.

In fact a recent study of rat behavior by University of Chicago scientists Inbal Ben-Ami Bartal, Jean Decety, and Peggy Mason published in the journal Science shows that rats exhibit empathy toward each other, even when they receive no reward.”

I don’t know why Creamer thinks that rat behavior is applicable to human behavior, or even explicable in terms of rat behavior, but, all DemocRAT jokes aside, comparing your philosophy to that of rats is not a winning strategy.

So Merry Christmas everyone, and a happy, prosperous, capitalist New Year!


19 replies
  1. Eric
    Eric says:

    I’m not sure what part of left field this guy lives in, but he’s a walking, talking conflict. ?He certainly does enjoy labeling people, putting them in their own neat little box. ?This is classic liberalism… but he seems so dispassionate, which isn’t the norm for one of these people. ?I almost get the impression that he’s trying to sell something to me!

  2. crystal4
    crystal4 says:

    Dimsdale, I guess you are preaching to your choir as if you want to make an argument to sway those who are not in your church… you lose.
    You lose by marginalizing your argument by using the Rush Limbaugh school of debate (I use that term loosely). “DemoRATS”, “RATS”…
    That “success comes from mutual respect” is “bull feces” to you? That says it all.? Just because an idea comes from the other side (even if it is good for the country) is opposed. In a nutshell., this is what is wrong with the country right now.
    I’m not alone. After the take-over of the House by the? obstructionists, congress has the lowest rating in it’s history.?? The pragmatists in the Republican party have also had enough, they’re beginning to fight back the Tea Party ideologues.
    That, and speaking with all my Republican friends recently at parties, gives me more hope..people have gotten the message. …they’re outraged.?
    So, post all the “it’s us versus them” diatribes you want. I want the R’s and the D’s to begin to compromise for the sake of the country.

    • Dimsdale
      Dimsdale says:

      You should really read more carefully.? I dissected a lefty diatribe, full of invective and “mistruths” designed to feed the delusions of the Huffpost readers.? The reference to “DemocRATS” was partly tongue-in-cheek, given that Creamer was using rats to represent what he considers good behavior.? “Mutual respect” are diversity code words, and hence, bull feces.
      “Obstructionist” Republicans?? LOL!? Did you chance to view the link I gave you in another post in response to the Speaker turning off the microphones for Hoyer?? Where was the “mutual respect” when the Dems, in complete control of the Congress, physically locked out Republicans from conferences on ?bamacare?? Turned out the lights in the House?
      Please, enlighten us.? And tell us how a two month extension in the payroll tax “holiday” is preferable to a one year extension.
      Congressional approval ratings are for BOTH parties and BOTH the House and Senate.? The Dems have nothing to crow about, i.e. from Gallup:

      “But that era of goodwill did not last, as approval ratings of Congress gradually descended — following the same general pattern seen for George W. Bush’s presidential job…

      • Dimsdale
        Dimsdale says:

        “… approval ratings. By October 2005, congressional job approval fell below 30%; it was 26% in the fall of 2006 when Americans transferred party control of both houses of Congress to the Democrats in that year’s midterm elections.
        The change in party control only had a very short-lived positive impact on Congress’ ratings, which improved 16 points from December 2006 (21%) to February 2007 (37%) after the transfer of power. By August 2007, approval had dipped to a record-tying low of 18%, and the following year, Congress’ ratings established a new historical low of 14%.
        The new Obama administration helped to boost ratings of Congress again in 2009; congressional approval went from 19% in January to 39% in March. But again, those higher ratings did not persist, and at the end of the decade, Congress’ job rating stands at 25%.”

  3. JBS
    JBS says:

    After subtracting out everything that Creamer has to say, it remains that he is an elitist through and through.
    While he may write the words, I don’t believe he really believes them. He is talking in the theoretical. What would a good progressive sound like? What would a good progressive espouse to? Creamer loves portraying anyone who philosophizes differently than he as a Scrooge. But, didn’t Scrooge have a heart without abandoning his capitalism?
    In the end, Creamer has money accounts that he only wants to see grow larger and larger. He takes no vow of poverty, he doesn’t renounce taking more that his citizen’s share. Socialist’s grandiose rhetoric sounds good in the abstract; examine the individual lecturing us and you will find just another creature looking out for his or her own cheese. And, we, as a country, have to move past partisan politics . . .

    • JBS
      JBS says:

      Please remember: those haranguing you about the glories of socialism don’t embrace their own precepts for themselves, it is for you to toe their philosophical line. While you are digesting their Marx, they will be on vacation.

  4. crystal4
    crystal4 says:

    Sorry approval is 11%…article is 12/21/2011
    To answer your question (which I know you really know the answer insist on parroting the house talking points of “we want a year and the dems want 2 months” that a child can see through.
    The year extension had a bunch of riders that they knew the dems and the prez wouldn’t approve.
    BTW, remember when the Tea Party R’s ran and promised no riders or earmarks on bills???
    That went the way of their other promise: “Jobs, jobs, jobs”.
    On a lighter note, my fave tweet today is “NOW Boehner has something to cry about”

    • Lynn
      Lynn says:

      All the “We the People” have something to cry about. Please read the post about the Unions forcing a couple to “join” a Union and having dues deducted from their pay. Is this the Progressive United States that you REALLY want? For me, I want one thing for Christmas and the New Year…. Freedom of Choice to choose my religion, my choice of words, the food I eat, the light bulbs I use, the gas, without ethanol I may use, the healthcare I buy, knowledge that the votes cast at polls are by LIVING breathing US citizens, etc. etc.? Merry Christmas to ACLU

    • Dimsdale
      Dimsdale says:

      That’s is precisely why the Senate should have come back and negotiated.? They didn’t have to accept the riders etc., they just had to come back from yet another “recess”.? I think riders are acceptable if they DECREASE the spending.? How is ?’s “laser like focus” on jobs doing, by the way?
      Now THIS is something to cry about: the US/?bama debt is $15, 123,851,000,000.00 and counting!?

      • Dimsdale
        Dimsdale says:

        I stand by my statement: “I think riders are acceptable if they DECREASE the spending.”? Even at about 1% of the bill total it is unacceptable, both from the Republicans and the Democrats (Bennett, Nelson and Udall to name a few) that both put them in, and squawked about earmarks.? I am absolutely sure if the Senate came back, the Dem leadership would have quashed those earmarks, yet another reason they should have come back.
        Parkman makes the classic mistake of assigning spending etc. to presidents, not congresses.? Must be one of those WHMP (pronounced “wimp”) Pioneer valley radio shows.? What he lacks in details, he makes up for with vitriol.
        Now howsabout addressing the increases in the debt since 2007?? Or the “laser like focus on jobs” statement?

  5. JBS
    JBS says:

    “Laser-like focus” just cracks me up!?
    Whatever is said by the MSM about the Regime, you can bet the opposite is actually what is happening.

  6. JBS
    JBS says:

    Merry Christmas to all.
    Happy Holidays to everyone, short or tall.
    May the New Year bring needed gifts.
    Hope to heal our many rifts.?

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