The Catastrophe of Unaccountability
A primary theme of this blog has been unmasking the moral corruption and intellectual incompetence of the Progressive movement. What’s shocking is the brazen manner in which the members of this movement now advertise these appalling traits. In decades past there was a carefully orchestrated attempt to advance Progressive goals under the cloak of moral seriousness and intellectual superiority.
What is currently occurring in the Progressive movement is the catastrophic success of this strategy. That is, so successfully did the Progressive Left seize the moral and intellectual high ground that they achieved dominance in our nation’s primary organizational and bureaucratic power centers (as they also did in other nations and international bodies). This dominance has allowed Progressives to fall into a state of intellectual and moral atrophy that has led to this current situation.
In the 1940s and 1950s this near dominance gave what we now call Progressives an advantage at the margins of intellectual and moral conduct. However, as far back as 1969 we can find an example in the Chappaquiddick incident of a powerful Democratic politician (Ted Kennedy) getting away with at least negligent homicide due to a news media that was unwilling to demand answers or accountability.
Over time, as the Progressive grip on our institutions increased, what had been a marginal advantage turned into almost total lack of accountability. For, in effect there was no-one in their power-bubble who would ever question their premises or challenge their conclusions.
It is in this environment that the Progressive elite so lost contact with reality that they began to believe that they were the creators of reality rather then subject to it. This is a difficult idea to explain, but one author has made a good start thusly. The specific issue is the recent Robert Mueller testimony debacle, but one can generalize to cover the larger scope of this post.
Todd diagnosed the Democrats’ problem thusly: “The fact is we are living in this 21st century new type of asymmetrical media warfare that we’re in. And you have a propaganda machine on the right. And that’s what it is. It’s a full-fledged propaganda machine on the right that the Democrats haven’t figured out how to combat very well yet.”
I would feel better about the news media if I thought Todd was just a liar, but, no, I think he is actually clueless. Because as an American journalist he is, just like the Democrats, surrounded by people who reflect and echo his ideas. There’s no one near him to ask: What propaganda machine, Chuck? Aside from one cable station — Fox News — what network, what newspaper, what university, what comedian or movie-maker or search engine or social media does anything but spew left-wing propaganda all day every day? There’s no one to demand he produce his evidence. There’s no one to require him to show his work.
Thus Progressives have concluded that they need not do the hard and uncertain work of debate and persuasion in order to get their way. Rather, they leverage their positions of power to intimidate opponents into submission to any idea that they decide to be true. I’ve written before about this situation.
However, I believe the argument can be credibly made that, due to their undeniable success in occupying most key positions of social and organizational power, the Progressive movement has become far too dependent on intimidation at the expense of persuasion.
This strategy is pursued by never acknowledging opposition as being legitimate and by insisting that opposing points of view are motivated by moral defects. Thus they are not seeking to persuade peers to see their point of view, but rather using social and/or organizational force to obtain submission.
And, the most extreme form of this intimidation is the application of the epithet racist to any person who in any way opposes the Progressive project, be it based on criticism of policy or person.
This is simply a special case of the general Progressive position of dehumanizing any person who they consider to be in opposition to their goals, and particularly those who are a a threat. To the radical elite Progressives we nonconformists are only one or two steps above a zombie. They can therefore attack us by any means necessary without shame or human sympathy. Of course most Progressives don’t go to this extreme. However, neither do they generally speak out against their fellow Progressives who do. And, that silence is in effect an endorsement of these vile tactics.
The sad truth is that Progressives have so misused and overused the word “racist” that it has lost all meaning. For when everyone who voted for President Trump, anyone on the Left who doesn’t blindly follow The Squad’s lead, any black, brown, Muslim, queer
or female who doesn’t submit to woke intersectional ideology or anyone else who is insufficiently supportive of Progressive goals is a “racist” then that includes everyone but the most radical of the Progressive elite (and they’re starting to wonder about each other). Thus “racist” has become unbound from any connection to reality to become an all-purpose emotional club by which to beat any opposition into submission.
Perhaps that’s why Senator Cory Booker (D. NJ) had to recently call President Trump “worse than a racist.” For when 95% of the country is already “racist” then a way of proclaiming President Trump to be worse must be found.
But, what a pathetic attempt. If Senator Booker wants to impress The Squad then he needs to at least go with “worse than Hitler!”