Back in the calm and collected year of 2016…and nothing has changed except four more years of continuous Progressive rule.
The confluence of two distinct but clearly related events has led to my discovery of common ground with the Progressive elite.
The First Event
The first is the recent outbreak of violent, destructive rioting in many cities across the United States: Minneapolis, Washington, D.C., Los Angeles, New York City, Boston, Louisville, Chicago, Atlanta, Houston, Dallas, Denver, Denver, Phoenix, Charlotte, Columbia, Detroit, Kansas City, St. Louis, Ferguson, Baltimore, Portland, Richmond and Memphis, among others.
The rioters claim that the killing of George Floyd by police officer Derek Chauvin is the motivation for their arson, looting and violence. But more general racial issues have become dominant, with “white supremacy” and “systemic racism” as the most prominent.
Clearly, these rioters strongly feel that they have been the victims of these evils. But the issue becomes far more perplexing when we realize that virtually all of the above cities have been governed by Progressive Democrats, many for literally generations. So then, the leaders who have had by far the greatest impact on the lives of their black residents are Progressive Democrats. This is how one article explained this dichotomy regarding Minneapolis, the epicenter of this current national disaster.
Minneapolis’s municipal government, its institutions, and its police department are what they are not because of the abstract Hegelian forces of capital-H History, but because of decisions that have been made by people. Who these people are is a matter of public record. We know their names: Jacob Frey, Betsy Hodges, R. T. Rybak, Sharon Sayles Belton, Medaria Arradondo, Janeé Harteau, Tim Walz, Mark Dayton . . . the rogues’ gallery is practically inexhaustible.
But, oh, the transmuting magic of partisanship! Minneapolis is a Democratic city, with a Democratic mayor and a Democratic city council (0.0 Republicans on that body), in a state with a Democratic governor and a Democratic state house; these are the people who hire police chiefs and organize police departments, who specify their procedures and priorities, who write the laws that the police are tasked with enforcing — Democrats and progressives practically to a man. (Not every member of the Minneapolis city council is a Democrat — there’s a Green, too.) That’s a lot of lefty power, hardly anything except lefty power — but, somehow, the bad guy in this story must be Donald Trump.
By popular acclamation of the minority community in Minneapolis Minnesota, the party of “SYSTEMATIC RACISM!”
The same two paragraphs could be constructed for virtually all of the cities recently rocked by destructive, violent riots. A recent oped in the Wall Street Journal makes this general case for utter, contemptible Progressive governing failure (emphasis and image added).
It is evident from the coverage that most of the demonstrators were born after 1990. By then, the Great Society programs had been in place for 25 years, and now it is 55 years. Annual budget appropriations totaling multiple trillions of dollars on Medicaid, food stamps, welfare, public housing, rent subsidies and federal aid to public schools have produced . . . what?
Since the 1960s, essentially little has changed in the neighborhoods at the center of those long-ago urban riots. By current telling, they are about as poor, as crime-ridden, as under-educated and in poor health as they were when LBJ said he would change them. That means five decades of stasis and stagnation in America’s most marginalized places, virtually all of it under Democratic—now “progressive”—political control.
The failure of the liberal model is by now so embarrassing that the current owners of that model have created an alternative universe of explanations, such as blaming it on American settlers in the early 17th century or the nonexistence of “justice.” …
This is worse than 1968, because the political system is now engaged in a systemic act of forgetting. Let’s forget that this policy failure has happened or why. Let’s forget, for instance, that the people living in New York’s public housing are overrun with rats, unlit hallways and no heat in the winter. Let’s forget that many blacks have indeed been left behind—by a well-documented migration since 1990 of black Americans out of northern cities and Los Angeles into the South, where they have gone in search of economic opportunity. Let’s forget, despite a massive per annum outlay on Medicaid—some $593 billion in 2018—that black Americans still have a higher incidence of chronic disease.
The unavoidable fact is that it is Progressive Democrats who have created the environments that their black residents describe as “white supremacist and systemically racist.” I’m personally not surprised by this outcome, having written extensively about the racist underpinnings of Progressive ideology (for example see here, here, here and here).
In the next post I will discuss the second event that has finally led to my common ground with Progressives.