Making Sense of It All (8)

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What is at Stake?

Our nation is engulfed in an angry, sometimes violent debate about something.  But what is it?

People who think that this all started with Donald Trump are seriously mistaken.  Recall that many in the Democratic party “resisted” the election of George W. Bush in 2000 and then proceeded to destroy his person and administration.  President Bush did nothing to help himself by attempting to “split the difference” between conservatism and progressivism, and, by leading us into a war with Iraq that came to be seen as justified by faulty intelligence and naive expectations.

The nation then traded the “compassionate conservative” philosophy for “fundamental change” progressivism by electing Barack Obama to the presidency.  However, there was no “racial healing” to be found in this historic development but rather increasing racial division.  There was no achieved consensus on health care reform, but rather a solution supported by 51% of the Congress shoved down the throats of the 49% (and the citizens whom they represent).

Many people believe that we have withdrawn into two political camps that share no common ground.  In that scenario there is only the question of who will finally defeat whom.  But, for that to happen a stable “51+%” of the population would have to emerge that lasted for a generation.

Given the disinterest of, say, 60% of our population in politics and policy (a position that I better understand after the past 20 years), one reasonable expectation is that the ideological “20%” on the left and right will compete in an unstable environment.  In this scenario, we would experience huge policy swings as unreconcilable ideologies sequentially gain temporary political power.  This is exactly what we see now, with Donald Trump reversing Barack Obama’s policies.  Were a Democrat to win in 2020 or 2024 we would see the same dynamic.

But although the above scenario seems bad (because it is), I contend that it is the optimistic scenario.  That is, it assumes that, over time, the irreconcilable differences between left and right will be resolved by the working of a stable democratic republic.  Yes, there will be many terrible consequences from the instability.  But the instability will occur because the citizens of the republic can’t make up their minds.  And, even within this instability there will still exist a stable constitutional system that protects fundamental liberty.

The more pessimistic scenario is that we are leaving a constitutional democratic republic behind and heading towards tyranny.  Anyone who has been keeping up with this blog knows that I am not a supporter of Donald Trump.  Nor was I a supporter of Barack Obama.  However, the election of Mr. Trump has, if nothing else, allowed light to penetrate into the dark crevices of our gargantuan permanent ruling class.  And what has been revealed is truly alarming.

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The Nunes Memo

As I pointed out in a previous post, the Obama Administration used its temporary public trust to weaponize powerful law enforcement, intelligence, regulatory and revenue departments of the federal government in order to attack citizens and groups with opposing views.  Since that post was written new information (see here, here, here, here, etc.) has become available that shows the scope and depth of this corruption to be far beyond what I could have imagined.

It has become clear to me that a significant motivation for the violent emotional progressive frenzy over Trump’s election is because what they thought would be forever hidden would now come to light.  It’s not just that they lost a Presidential election.  No, it’s that the people against whom the federal government was being weaponized forced these corrupt practices into the light.  And note well — this reaction does not depend on the personality or policies of Donald Trump.

Under President Obama the Democratic Party was devastated at the federal Congressional, state and local level.  The last bastion of power was their hold on the Presidency.  They thought that hold was unbreakable.  They found out to their horror that the people who had voted against their candidates at all other levels of government would do the same at the Presidential level.

Trump InaugurationTheir response was to “resist” the Trump Administration in all ways imaginable, from violent street riots, to shameless leaking of classified information to publishing unattributed innuendo as fact to ginning up a “Russian collusion” narrative that more than a year later is still without a shred of credible evidence in support.

Does the Democratic Party presume that, while they own the Presidency, they are free to use the overwhelming power of the state to subvert, intimidate and criminalize opposition?  Is the Democratic Party claiming a “veto power” over Presidential elections?  If the U.S. citizenry doesn’t vote the “politically correct” way does anything go to overturn their decision?  I hope the answer to these questions is a resounding No!

Because if the answer is anything less then we are contending between a constitutional democratic republic and naked tyranny.

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Making Sense of It All (7)

2016-09-16-37525587_largeThe Interests of the “Basket of Deplorables”

In 2016 Hillary Clinton, while running for President, insulted approximately one-quarter of the United States’ citizens.

cnn_hillary“You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump’s supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right?” “The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic—you name it. And unfortunately there are people like that. And he has lifted them up.”

By this statement Mrs. Clinton gave voice to the quasi-caste hatred that animates far more of the Progressive program than many would like to admit.

I am not here to claim that any segment of our population is morally superior.  Those citizens who chose to vote Mr. Trump into the Presidency are all fallen, frail flesh and blood, just exactly as are those who voted for someone else or didn’t vote at all.  I am here to point out that this quarter of the nation’s population has legitimate interests that both the Democratic and Republican parties had ignored for decades.

We must first identify to whom Mrs. Clinton was referring.  We can begin by agreeing that this “deplorable” quasi-caste can be found within that segment of the population who are willing to vote for Republican candidates.  That is, if you are a reliable Democratic voter then in spite of any personal faults or bad behaviors, you are certainly not a “deplorable.”

However, not all people who are or vote Republican are “deplorables.”  If you are in this group but submit in silence to, or better yet, actively support core Progressive policies (e.g., open borders immigration) then you can avoid (as long as you don’t stand between Progressives and the acquisition of political power) falling into this category.  Make no mistake though, you are both stupid and likely evil, but not to the point of being an actual “deplorable.”

The above discussion helps, but doesn’t sufficiently describe the boundaries of the “deplorable” quasi-caste. To accomplish that we must revisit some of the other statements made by the leaders of the tip-top Progressive quasi-caste.  The most useful of these was made by candidate Barack Obama in 2008.

obama-below1You go into these small towns in Pennsylvania and, like a lot of small towns in the Midwest, the jobs have been gone now for 25 years and nothing’s replaced them. And they fell through the Clinton administration, and the Bush administration, and each successive administration has said that somehow these communities are gonna regenerate and they have not.
And it’s not surprising then they get bitter, they cling to guns or religion or antipathy toward people who aren’t like them or anti-immigrant sentiment or anti-trade sentiment as a way to explain their frustrations.

Mr. Obama was right about the economic frustrations experienced by a large segment of our population.  However, note also the condescension and contempt with which he responds to these very real issues.  For, in his mind, these sorry communities are so full of incompetent people that neither Democratic or Republican administrations are able to pull them out of failure.  The reason is that they are bitter, small minded folk who stupidly “cling” to dangerous or irrelevant totems of the past.  Sounds a lot like “irredeemable” to me.

Another boundary setting statement fell from the lips of no other than Nancy Pelosi, Democratic leader of the House of Representatives in 2017.  Joe Scarborough set up the discussion by asking:

But how do Democrats who have the right policies economically, in their minds, how do they reconnect with a middle America who feels like sometimes they are looked down upon because of their faith or their values?

Her answer to this soft-ball question shows the depths of contempt that lives in the Progressive mind towards those who don’t share in their ideology (emphasis added).

Speaker Pelosi Holds Weekly News Conference“And I say, this will be a little not in keeping with the spirit of the day of unity, but I say they pray in church on Sunday and prey on people the rest of the week, and while we’re doing the Lord’s work by ministering to the needs of God’s creation they are ignoring those needs which is to dishonor the God who made them.”

With this material I believe we can identify the boundary between the lowest “deplorable” quasi-cast and all that sit above.  They tend to:

  • live in small towns, suburbs or rural areas;
  • be (but are not all) middle to upper-middle class;
  • have suffered significant, sustained economic frustration and/or decline over the past 30 years;
  • be Bible-believing Christians;
  • own guns or support gun ownership;
  • oppose Obamacare;
  • oppose open-borders immagration;
  • have become suspicious of “world-trade” agreements;
  • not embrace gay-marriage or the other aspects of “queer ideology“;
  • not embrace radical environmentalism in general, or “climate change” in particular;
  • believe that the United States in particular and Western Civilization in general have great value and should be preserved;
  • love their country, believe that it has mortal enemies and honor those who defend it.

As far as I can tell, these are the people who made the difference in electing Mr. Trump to the Presidency.  This is a group who found themselves actively hated by the Democrats or treated like an embarrassment by the Republicans for decades.  The idea that these citizens would forever ignore the fact that neither major political party cared about, let alone addressed, their interests was ludicrous.

Such a situation couldn’t last in a functioning democratic republic, and it hasn’t.  The question that now faces us is will the United States continue to be a democratic republic or is it on the way to becoming something else?

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The 2016 Presidential results by county. A Progressive archipelago in a sea of deplorables.

Making Sense of It All (6)

trump-inaugrationWhere We Are Now (1)

If nothing else, the election of Donald Trump to the Presidency has clarified what was before a murky situation.  For, prior to this event it appears that the Republican elite’s top priority was to conserve the idea that beneath all of our policy differences there existed a common creed spanning the Progressive-Conservative divide.  Yes, we may disagree vehemently on means, but, so they believed, we were all pursuing common ends, and valued our common heritage.

Thus, for the past thirty years Republican elites have stressed their willingness to “cross the aisle” to work with their Democratic opponents.  There is nothing inherently wrong with this idea.  However, so determined were they to preserve the idea of national cohesion that they actively refused to notice that “compromise” usually meant conservatives compromising their core values to move towards progressives.  As I have previously noted, even the most ardent Republican “bi-partisaners” suffered vile political and personal attack if they were contending with an accredited progressive in an election.

mitt-romney-newsweekThe patience of non-progressives towards “bi-partisanship” likely ran out with the 2012 Republican nomination of Mitt Romney for President.  For, here was a man of manifest good intentions and manners who had successfully governed a “blue” state (Massachusetts) as a Republican.  Yet, this man was systematically slandered in the Presidential campaign to such effect that he ended up reviled by a plurality of the population.

Why then shouldn’t citizens who opposed the progressive project conclude that it was a losing proposition to nominate nice, bi-partisan guys for the Presidency.  For, as I have previously pointed out:

No, after eight years of abuse the electorate that opposes Progressive policies decided that only a bare-knuckled street fighter was capable of winning back the Presidency.  They nominated Mr. Trump, supported him through thick-and-thin and turned out to vote him into office.

So, if you are wondering how we ended up with a man of Donald Trump’s character in the White House, my above answer holds.

cruz-trump-attackLooking back on the 2016 Republican primaries, it’s clear to me now that Mr. Trump won by sequentially exposing each opposing Republican candidate as a wimp.  Thus, what I and many others saw as cruel, uncouth behavior actually had a rational purpose.  Most of the other Republican candidates said that they were tho one who could effectively oppose the progressive movement.  By showing that they would wilt under cruel attack Mr. Trump demonstrated that they, like Mitt Romney, would collapse under the far more powerful attacks of the Democratic media-political machine.

trump_mirror_largeIf progressives and Republican elitists are appalled by Mr. Trump’s victory then they need only look to themselves for the reason.  For, they had built a culture in which progressives were free to engage in the most savage and dishonest attacks on their opponents while elite Republicans cowered in fear before them.

This is the description of an unofficial quasi-caste system (based on family, education and outlook), where the progressive left sits at the absolute top and elite Republicans get to occupy (as long as they behave properly towards their betters) the next lower rung.  Far, far below them sit the unwashed masses of citizens — ignorant, stupid and immoral.  How dare this low caste rise up and elect someone who intends to represent their interests!

What are the interests of those who elected Donald Trump to the presidency will be discussed next.

Making Sense of It All (5)

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Architect of the Fundamental Transformation Debacle

How We Got to Here (4)

The Progressive Left

The progressive left is absolutely certain about and united on what they want.  That being the “fundamental transformation” of a nation founded on evil and made powerful by plunder.  There is precious little from our founding and history that merits preservation.  No, the whole nation is so corrupt that the only reasonable and moral choice is to burn it down to the bare earth and start afresh.

But it is this very certitude that has led to madness.  So certain is the progressive left of its moral perfection that it has justified and used corrupt means to achieve its chosen ends.

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Lois Lerner: IRS Agent of Fundamental Transformation

And so, our institutions have been weaponized against anyone who dares to dissent.  Thus, the IRS is turned into a tormentor of “right-wing” groups seeking to organize and speak.  The DOJ and FBI conspire to protect their ideological friends and destroy their enemies.  The “Intelligence Community” leaks anything, regardless of damage to the nation, that undermines their perceived political opponents.

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Peter Strzok: FBI Agent of Fundamental Transformation

Individuals and businesses are randomly destroyed by braying mobs in order to induce terror in all the rest of us.  Professors in “institutions of higher learning” teach irrational, failed ideas as vanguards of an achievable utopia.  The “mainstream media” descends into ideological conformity and political partisanship that would make Pravda proud.  Sexual predators are protected because they support the “correct” political positions. This just scratches the surface, but I trust that my point is made.

obama-messiah-BA5fuj6CQAAvSE9So certain were they of the permanence of their political power that all pretense of respect for our nation or its “unwoke” citizenry was dropped.  Their Alinsky law-giver, Barack Obama, had led them out of slavery to our founding ideas and institutions.  All their political opponents had been decimated when the Marxist Red Sea came crashing down upon them.  hillary-clinton-bad-copAnd then, power would certainly be handed to Hillary Clinton, who would lead the progressive left across the Jordan River.  Once across they would finally obliterate their political enemies and build their utopian “promised land” where everyone would be equal, but some would be permanently more equal than others.
But something else happened on the way to progressive utopia.  It turns out that when many citizens saw the progressive left’s true beliefs, behaviors and intentions they recoiled in horror.  Many of them had assumed that the progressive left was a force for reform and renewal.  What they actually began to see was something completely, and disturbingly, different.  And so, they began searching for someone, anyone, who could stand against this rising tide of political correctness and corruption.

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We couldn’t have lost because the voters didn’t see our moral and intellectual superiority!  It must have been stolen by the Russians!

Thus, when Hillary Clinton inexplicably lost the Presidential election all of their fantasies  came crashing down upon them.  How could they have possibly lost a fair election?  How could the citizens of Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Ohio have failed to vote in the correct manner?  It couldn’t possibly be because history wasn’t on their side, or because they had governed in a corrupt manner, or that the populace failed to see their moral superiority.  NO!  It could only be because Donald Trump conspired with Russia to steal the election!

Yes, rather than do any soul searching about their own beliefs and behavior, the progressive left apparently descended into a state of madness (or madness like a fox).  But hey, if you can’t fundamentally transform this vile nation by winning elections then other means must be found.  After all, comrades, the ends justify the means.




Debacle Bonus Material: Pure Tragicomic Gold Edition

The Tragedy

The Progressive Left’s enthusiastic embrace of deceit.

The entire menu of race, class, and gender identity politics, lead-from-behind foreign policy, political correctness, and radical environmentalism so far have not won over most Americans.

Proof of that fact are the serial reliance of their supporters on deception, and the erosion of language on campus and in politics and the media. The progressive movement requires both deceit and euphemism to mask its apparently unpopular agenda.

The Comedy

We can get away with it! Those stupid, bitter gun and religion clinging, racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic — you name it, citizens will never remember how we coddled the Russians for our eight years in office!  Trump-Russian collusion full speed ahead!

The Gold

Clinton-Russian-Reset

What! A Democratic Secretary of State making nice with the evil Russians!  Look away, look away, nothing to see here!

Obama-Medvedev

What! A Democratic President of the United States colluding with the evil Russians! Look away, look away, nothing to see here!

clinton-uranium-0ne-scandal1

What! A Democratic administration selling 20% of U.S. uranium to a Russian company controlled by the Russian state!  What!  The Clinton Foundation received tens of millions of dollars from evil Russian sources while the Uranium One deal was in progress!  Look away, look away, nothing to see here!

Romney-Obama-2012-Debate-Russia

What! President Obama mocks Mitt Romney for saying that the Russians are a geopolitical foe!  Look away, look away, nothing to see here!

I’ll stop here, but there’s so much more…wait, what!

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LOOK! AN EVIL RUSSIAN SQUIRREL STOLE THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION FROM HILLARY!




 

Making Sense of It All (4)

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The Architects of a Conservative Political Debacle

How We Got Here (2)

The Conservative Right

The primary source of confusion within the conservative movement has been just what to conserve.  The inability of conservative politicians to answer this question within the bounds of successful politics created deep antipathy between themselves and those whom they presume to represent.  The consequent disgust and distrust has risen over the years to the point that conservative politicians sometimes appear to have disowned their voters, and the voters have disassociated themselves from the politicians.  That this was allowed to happen is one of the greatest feats of political madness in my living memory.

Where to start?  Were this a less contemporary meditation I’d go way back to 1990 when President George H. W. Bush broke his solemn promise of “read my lips: no new taxes!”  Rather I’ll begin with his son, President George W. Bush.  Mr. Bush ran for President in 2000 on the slogan of “compassionate conservatism.”  It was only after his election that we found out that “compassionate” meant:

  • Signing into law the McCain-Feingold Campaign Finance Reform Bill that substantially diminished the freedom most necessary for a healthy republic, that being political speech
  • Prosecuted a war in Iraq that a majority of citizens came to believe was an utter failure
  • Continued the increase in governmental spending that was in indifferentiable from that of a progressive leftist
  • Enthusiastic support for a “comprehensive immigration bill” that was supported by the business community and the Republican donor class but that was anathema to a majority of citizens
  • Refused to defend himself, his administration or his philosophy from vile assaults by the political opposition
  • Standing idly by, or even encouraging (i.e., easy loans to bolster home ownership) government policies that caused the 2008 financial crisis.

When Mr. Bush left office in 2009 he had managed to utterly discredit the conservative political philosophy, thus paving the way for a disasterous experiment in progressive leftist rule.

jillgreenbergatlanticcovIn 2008 a demoralized Republican Party managed to nominate for President the man least able to challenge the ideology and policies of the Democratic nominee, Senator Barack Obama.  That man was Senator John McCain.  Here we had a man who had sought to gain favor with the Mainstream Media as a “maverick” by gleefully and sometimes savagely attacking more conservative members of his own party.  He was a champion of  “bi-partsianship,” which in practice meant caving to the progressive left on core issues such as freedom of speech and illegal immigration.  Finally, he was one of the most “hawkish” national politicians at a time of extreme war-wariness in the nation.  None of this created much enthusiasm in the Republican base or in the general population.

And, just as with George W. Bush before him, his bi-partsianship counted for less than nothing when confronting the Democratic machine.  All of his former “friends” in the Mainstream Media turned on him once the candidates were in place.  He could not draw credible, clear distinctions with the ideology or policies of the most leftist Presidential candidate in American history because he didn’t appear to have a philosophy other than pragmatism.  He wasn’t trusted in judgement, temperament or philosophy by a large portion of the Republican base.

Perhaps no-one could have beaten Senator Obama.  However a political party picking the candidate least likely to, when his deficiencies were clearly apparent, can only be judged as terrible political malpractice.  And so, after the 2008 election Barack Obama was President and the Democrats held large majorities in both the House and Senate.

The Republican Party had utterly failed to earn the respect of its opponents and the trust of those whom it presumed to represent.  The only term that approaches the truth is “utter political debacle.”




Debacle Bonus Material: Trifecta Edition

  1. Win: The Bush family utterly confuses and discredits political Conservatism over three teams in the Presidency.
  2. Place: In 2008 the Republican Party nominates for President the man, John McCain, who is least able to oppose the Progressive Leftism of Barack Obama on principle, and, who is disliked and distrusted by a large segment of the GOP base.
  3. Show:
quote-obamacare-modeled-almost-precisely-on-romneycare-is-wrong-it-was-bad-medicine-it-s-bad-mitt-romney-141-32-87

The Republican Party completes an unheard of “political debacle trifecta” by, in 2012, nominating the man least able to effectively criticize ObamaCare for President – Mitt Romney.

Making Sense of It All (3)

The Shortest WayHow We Got to Here (1)

Setting aside our ideological leanings and personal preferences, can we all agree that “here” is legitimately described as a nation suffering a schizophrenic nervous breakdown?  Need I describe the behavior of our elected political leaders, the media, our clergy, professors, bureaucrats, lawyers, business leaders, celebrities, etc., in detail to support this point?  If I do than you must have just recently awoken from a decade long coma.  If you think that one of the sides is behaving reasonably then you are so far down some ideological rabbit hole that there is no hope of reaching you.

I am not here pretending to be some wondrously moderate soul who stands above the fray tisk-tisking at all those foolish others.  No, I am way down there in the fray, driven by my own set of ideological leanings and personal preferences.  However, if we believe that there is something called the truth which exists beyond leaning and preference, then we must acknowledge the sad, pathetic state into which we have led this nation.

Any nation will be riven by powerful opposing forces.  The issue is wether those forces can be accommodated within the bounds of civilized politics or will burst forth into chaos, violence and disaster.  At this point it could go either way.

Although both the progressive left and conservative right appear to be suffering from schizophrenia, the underlying reasons differ considerably.  Therefore, in the following posts I will discuss these specific cases within this context.

 

Making Sense of It All (2)

chasmA Deep and Dangerous Divide

Anyone paying attention to politics knew that there was a growing divide between “Left” and “Right” long before the emergence of Donald Trump.  However, by his winning of the Presidency in an unexpected and stunning upset, it became apparent that another fundamental divide had occurred: between those who consider themselves to be the “ruling class” (Republican and Democrat) and those whom they presume to rule.

Prior to President Trump, although Democrat and Republican politicians were separated by differing world-views, they were apparently united by their membership in a “ruling class.”  Within this elite bubble there were shared assumptions about the boundaries of public discourse and policy positions.  Screen Shot 2017-12-31 at 6.53.35 AMThus, when then President George W. Bush supported comprehensive immigration reform in 2007, his administration was participating in a bi-partsian initiative.

The bill’s sole sponsor in the Senate was Majority Leader Harry Reid, though it was crafted in large part as a result of efforts by Senators Kennedy, McCain and Kyl, along with Senator Lindsey Graham, and input from President George W. Bush, who strongly supported the bill.

Both parties were surprised by the vehemence of public opposition, leading to eventual failure of the bill.  In fact, the public opposition to “comprehensive immigration reform” was so broad and deep that President Obama, even with Democratic control of both Houses of Congress in 2009 and 2010, was unable to deliver a bill.

Looking back, “comprehensive immigration reform” was the last hurrah for bipartisan government in the United States.  However, it was only bipartisan in the sense that the “ruling class” had all agreed that their solution was the best that could be achieved for the country.  In real democratic bipartisanship the national leaders convince their respective constituencies that the solution is the best that can be achieved for the country.  In this leadership task they utterly failed.  Consequently, the the voting public simply refused to fall into line.

This watershed event should have been a wakeup call to our bubble-bound elite.  But, so convinced were they of their positional permanence that they thoughtlessly wrote the whole thing off as a strange political outlier.  It turns out that they were deeply mistaken.

Other observers, however, recognized this situation for what is was — a fundamental breach between a country’s citizens and their elected officials.  By their refusal to acknowledge concerns of the citizenry about illegal immigration as legitimate, the bipartisan elite had created a huge political vacuum.  In a democratic republic someone was bound to eventually fill that vacuum.  The only questions were by whom and when.

iBooks Publish Announcement

For those of you living in the Windows and/or Android worlds, you can download the PDF version from my blog site here.

Christ and CorneliusChrist and Cornelius

I have published an eBook on iBooks.

Christ and Cornelius: The Biblical Case Against Christian Pacifism

Is Jesus Christ a pacifist?  Many Christians believe this to be the case.  However, unless this position can withstand careful Biblical scrutiny it cannot be considered true.  I have subjected this claim to that very standard in this book, and, have found it to be unsupported.  Along the way important issues regarding Biblical interpretation, the person and purpose of Jesus Christ, the application of King David’s life to our own times, the first Gentile convert to Christianity and Western Civilization’s crisis, among others, are discussed.

Making Sense of It All (1)

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How hard could it possibly be?

Introduction

The past thirty months have been revealing and clarifying.

image-20161110-26340-16q3pjoOn June 16, 2015 a celebrity businessman descended the escalator in his self-named building to declare himself a candidate for the Presidency.  His name is Donald Trump, and, aside from my shock at the crudity of his language concerning illegal immigrants, I barely took notice.  After all, he was just one more candidate for the Republican nomination, and, so I believed, was just in it for the free publicity.

A little more than thirteen months later, in July 2016, the Republican Party officially nominated Donald Trump as their candidate for the U.S. Presidency.  Four months later, in November 2016 Donald Trump was elected to the Presidency.  And, for the thirteen months since his election we have witnessed a political firestorm that has melted the facades of our society, revealing disturbing and surprising information.

In this series of blogs I will attempt to “make sense of it all.”

Mainline Christianity and Progressive Politics (9)

moral-hazard-ethicsThe Moral Hazard of Intentions Based Policy

Some readers may have been wondering how a series of posts titled “Mainline Christianity and Progressive Politics” could have focused almost exclusively on general Progressives for so long.  The answer is that Mainline Christian politics (from the leadership and organizational perspective) is often virtually indistinguishable from secular Progressive politics.  The only difference is that a sentence here or there in Mainline political statements might mention Jesus or the Bible or something else vaguely religious in origin.

For the last four posts I have been indirectly describing the “moral hazard” associated with the intentions based policy philosophy used (though certainly not exclusively) by Progressives (Christian or otherwise).  A useful definition for this term is:

Moral hazard is a situation where somebody has the opportunity to take advantage of somebody else by taking risks that the other will pay for. The idea is that people might ignore the moral implications of their choices: instead of doing what is right, they do what benefits them the most.

end-poverty-now

Intention: Demonstrate superior virtue.  Result: Assume unbearable moral hazard.

It’s now time to directly call out the key dimensions of moral hazard into which Progressivism has fallen headfirst.

Votes and Political Power

In the recent presidential election candidate Donald Trump asked black voters: “What do you have to lose by trying something new?”  Candidate  Hillary Clinton wasted no time in answering that question: “What do black people stand to lose under Trump? Everything!”  Her response adds additional evidence to the conclusion that Progressives literally believe that Republican’s “bad intentions” will inexorably lead to “bad results.”

However, this incident also illuminates a massive moral hazard for Democrats.  For, given that they depend on 90%+ of black votes for continuance of their political power, isn’t it far more certain that the Democrat Party would lose “everything” were the black community to lessen their level of support?

So, given that current welfare, education and crime policies (among others) have created this massive block voting by the black community, the downside to any reforms that might lead to improvements in their lot could be political death.  Given the stakes, is it really credible that Democratic politicians, bureaucrats and supporters are so morally superior that they are immune to such a temptation?  I say absolutely not.

Codependent Relationships

If your self-image is that of a Progressive “hero” who delivers the best possible results to the designated “beneficiaries” because of your “good” intentions, then it could become acceptable for those beneficiaries to remain in need.  If you have been a “beneficiary” and become dependent, then you also could come to desire that the Progressive “heroes” remain in power.  This codependence can tempt both sides into supporting a failing status quo.

Hate-Based Self Esteem

If your self-image is that of a morally superior “hero,” then besides the need for “beneficiaries” there is the need for “villains.”  However, beyond providing “proof” of your own moral superiority, “villains” also can become objects of hate.  That’s because the “heroes” can begin to believe that “villains” exist not because they make honest errors or hold mistaken beliefs, but because they harbor “bad intentions.”  So, the Progressive moral model demands that the world be split into “heroes,” “villains” and “beneficiaries.”  Thus, our shared humanity can be denied, creating a world with greater strife and violence.  And so, Progressives obtain their fraudulent fantasies of moral superiority at the expense of other human beings and create a debased culture in the process.

Works-Based Salvation

If you are a Christian who erroneously seeks a works-based mark of salvation, you might well be drawn to the easy moral superiority promised by adherence to Progressive politics.  “Evidence” for a works-based salvation can be most easily found by comparing oneself to others.  Is there currently a more potent, visible ideology that allows the manufacture of accredited “heroes” and “villains” than Progressivism?  And, if you are a Mainline Progressive Christian leader, might the temptation to encourage such false belief in order to advance your preferred political policies be strong?

There is another dimension to this theological error, that being the narrowing of Christian virtue and vocation to only those acts directly associated with Progressive sources.  Thus, for example, were a person in their private-sector job to enable creation of many well-paying jobs (through honest, hard work) throughout the world, it may not count as “good works” in the Progressive Christian worldview.  That’s because, by their blinkered definition, these works were not motivated by approved “good intentions.”

Therefore, those of us who define our Christian vocation as encompassing all of our lives are yet regularly harangued by believers who only allow their pet Progressive Christian projects to be included in “good works.”  They literally don’t appear to care that we are generating good results outside of their narrowly defined domain.

Of course, I am not here thinking of good works as having anything to do with our salvation in Christ.  Rather they are thank-offerings for that undeserved grace by which we have been saved through Christ Jesus.

Finally, trusting souls are told that slavish adherence to secular Progressive positions makes them into “super Christians.”  That is, because of their superior Progressive-derived “good intentions” they hold a special place of authority in the church.  From that fraudulent perch they decide what works are actually Christian.  They also sometimes imagine that they are free to misinterpret the Bible as necessary to bring its teachings into line with the positions determined by the secular Progressive elite.



This analysis may explain why Progressives have such a powerful compulsion to claim moral superiority.  For, by virtue of the scope and aggressiveness of their ideology they unavoidably place themselves in positions of great moral hazard.  Only by presuming that they have moral purity and perfection far beyond that of normal humanity can they convince themselves that their power will not result in bad, even evil results.  Of course, this presumption is built from pure fantasy, as they are made of the same fallen moral material as is everyone else.  However, the fact that they so convince themselves of falsehood makes them far more dangerous when in power, and far more fragile and unstable when they are on the outs.