So, I was re-reading the Progressive Party platform of 1912. Following which I took a nice hot disinfecting shower and brushed my teeth thoroughly. So, a couple of more points to make about Progressivism.
Progressives did not win that election. Progressives have never had enough support to be their own successful party, so they have had to leach off of both parties. Compassionate Conservatives are Progressives. And unfortunately the Democratic party is riddled with Progressivism. What I wouldn't give for some real Democrats these days.
How in the world has a party that did not win the major election guided so much of our national policy in the last century +? It's beyond ridiculous.
Some of the things that the Progressive Party platform called for :
- Fundamental alterations of the law and the Constitution. They pledged themselves to "provide a more easy and expeditious method of amending the Federal Constitution."
- Social Justice. According to Progressives "The supreme duty of the Nation is the conservation of human resources through an enlightened measure of social and industrial justice." Enlightened of course meaning they themselves get to pick out exactly what social justice means. Yuck!! I kind of think the supreme duty of this particular nation is to protect freedom.
- The Direct election of Senators. This was a move to democratize our Republic and also to place more control away from the states. Senators were originally to be named by the states' legislatures. Well, check that one for the Progressives.
- Organization of the workers, i.e. Labor Unions. Check that one too. And what a fine mess they have made.
- Health Care Reform. This started with the demand to unite all existing federal agencies dealing with health. Eventually the goal would be towards a universal healthcare system. That's why you hear Nancy Pelosi speaking fondly of Teddy Roosevelt a Republican (hmmm, Progressivism is the ultimate in bi-partisan. We can certainly all get along, if you are willing to play by the Progressive rule-book).
-Interference with corporations. "We demand that the test of true prosperity shall be the benefits conferred thereby on all the citizens, not confined to individuals or classes, and that the test of corporate efficiency shall be the ability to better serve the public." Thus corporations get dragged into legislative hearings, even while the legislature is boiling over with corruption themselves.
- Income Tax. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, thank the Progressives for this gem. There used to be a time when taxes were easy enough that even the Secretary of the Treasury could handle them without that confusing Turbo Tax deal. As it is now, the income tax is a befuddled mess, and getting messier.
- Parcel Post. Again a big shout and thanks to the Progressives for this one. Hey I use the post office, and use it to send packages often. But, I betcha dollars to donuts the private sector could have come up with a better way. Oh wait. . . even our President admitted that FedEx and UPS are doing better than the USPS.
Anyway that's just a quick roundup. And it certainly seems like the Progressives have done a bang up job. Where exactly are we going again? Progress to what end?
One of my favorite smack downs of Progressivism came from one of my favorite Presidents, Calvin Coolidge. He was President Harding's Vice President. The nation was well aware of how much President Wilson and his Progressive agenda had messed things up so they elected Harding and Coolidge who were decidedly against Progressivism. After President Harding's death, President Coolidge took over. He earned himself the nickname "Silent Cal." Part of that is that he really was just a kind of reserved fellow. But, part of it also was a Progressive meme touting him as someone who just didn't do much with his government position. Well, I say "bully" for Cal. That's exactly what the country needed. And it prospered quite a bit under his hands off treatment. The roaring 20's were roaring in part because he let them. Anyway he recognized that Progressives were denigrating our founding documents. Here is his awesome smack-down speaking about the Declaration of Independence.
"About the Declaration there is a finality that is exceedingly restful. It is often asserted that the world has made a great deal of progress since 1776, that we have had new thoughts and new experiences which have given us a great advance over the people of that day, and that we may therefore very well discard their conclusions for something more modern. But that reasoning can not be applied to this great charter. If all men are created equal, that is final. If they are endowed with inalienable rights, that is final. If governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed, that is final. No advance, no progress can be made beyond these propositions. If anyone wishes to deny their truth or their soundness, the only direction in which he can proceed historically is not forward, but backward toward the time when there was no equality, no rights of the individual, no rule of the people."
For a silent guy he sure packs a punch.
So, here's the deal. Enough with the progress. Government is supposed to exist to protect our right to live and pursue happiness, and frankly to individually progress according to our own free will. Our government is not designed to take away all our boo boos and to make us a perfect society. We need to quit thinking about reforming, and start restoring the principles that already work, and that made us a strong great nation. All those Progressive ideals have just made us dependent and weaker. It's going to be tough to wade through the muck the Progressives have made, but its time to stand up and do it so future generations are not saddled with an even stinkier pile. Our country and the government set up by our Founders was the best form of government for an imperfect people. It did not need the massive changes that have been placed on it. The weight of the changes has been born by the people the government is supposed to represent. Enough already. Let's move forward instead of backwards. Let's restore freedom.