Mainline Christianity and Progressive Politics (4)

ManinBubbleThe Consequences of Progressive Bubble-dom

Some may be wondering why I’m not being even-handed about the issue of bubble-dom.  In particular, why focus only on “progressive bubble-dom?”  The answer is that, although it is theoretically possible for a conservative, libertarian or other politically positioned person to live in a bubble, the fact that Progressives dominate our culture (mainstream media, Hollywood, etc.) and institutions (education, unions, high tech industry, professional organizations, etc.) means that non-Progressives have a much more difficult job of maintaining a bubble’s boundary.  Certainly many non-Progressives withdraw into groups that share their beliefs.  However, even within that group it is neigh impossible to avoid the onslaught of Progressive ideas and policies as they move through everyday life.

With regard to consequences, this has been a major theme of this Blog since it’s beginning.  Some of these consequences were introduced in the previous post, including moral contempt for, refusal to engage in discussion with and inability to utilize persuasive argumentation with non-Progressives.  These issues were examined in my recent posts on immigration policy, most directly in this concluding post (emphasis added).

There is, however, a general consideration that may be of use to explore as we exit this particular topic.  Although it has been indirectly referred to, it has not yet been specifically addressed.  That being Progressive Christianity’s all too common presumption of a moral, intellectual and theological superiority that excuses them from engaging as peers with those holding opposing perspectives.  I certainly am not claiming that this problem is uniformly the case as I personally know numerous members of this group who engage on the merits.

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.  Those who have been following this blog will have no trouble recalling cases where senior leaders in the PC(USA) have aggressively utilized these tactics.

It is the accumulation of these defects that has led to our current sorry state, in which any disagreement on policy degenerates into cruel name-calling.

“The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamaphobic — you name it.”

This irresponsible descent into character assassination over the slightest deviation from Progressive group-think has seriously torn our nation’s social fabric.  The recent tragic events in Charlottesville VA laid bare this damage.

There was a time in my (more distant) memory when the epithet “racist” was reserved for application to only those who identified themselves with or vocally aligned their opinions with groups that were openly racist in their ideology.  Yes, it was understood that all people develop stereotypes and preferences that are unfair to or stigmatize others, with the victims most often being black.  However, these moral failures didn’t rise to the level of “racist.”  That is, the assumption was that a person existed within acceptable moral bounds unless something that they said or did clearly proved the opposite.

Although there were steps along the way, the major break in this social assumption occurred with the election of Barack Obama to the Presidency.  For, to our shock and dismay, those of us who opposed his administration’s policies found ourselves regularly accused of racism because the head of that administration happened to be black.

In fact, so out of control did this situation become that the accusation of racism didn’t even have to be connected to a racial issue.  I’ve already documented the use of this vile tactic in writing by a Presbytery of the PCUSA in the debate on the definition of Christian marriage.  I must add that I was personally accused of being a racist (by an Elder in the PCUSA no less) while arguing for the position that Christian marriage is defined by Christ Himself to be the union of one man and one woman.

So, when a few hundred KKK and other white-supremacists gathered in Charlottesville to publicly demonstrate for their evil, hateful beliefs, and, one of these people committed murder, there was great need to discuss the issue of racist ideology in numerous public settings.  Many honorable, well meaning leaders and people did just that.

However, the problem is that, with the epithet of “racist” having been applied so indiscriminately and carelessly to literally millions of people, and, current Progressive leaders explicitly using the tragedy in Charlottesville to do this very thing, when many people heard the word “racist” they reasonably wondered if it was being directed at them.  So, when this topic was discussed, it was done within context of a “poisoned well” situation.

Thus, our nation’s ability to reasonably discuss what is surely an important issue has been undermined by irresponsible use of the very term required to hold that discussion. This is one tragedy among many that have rendered our Republic incapable of making progress in so many areas.

Yes, there is plenty of blame to go around for this current political and cultural collapse.  Many others have made excellent critiques of conservative and other group’s failings.  They should be listened to and carefully considered.  However, until the Progressive Left, including the PCUSA’a leadership, exits its bubble and rejoins the rest of humanity on terms of mutual respect the healing process cannot begin.

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Mainline Christianity and Progressive Politics (3)

pcusa-bubbleThe Mainline Progressive Bubble

A Revealing Incident

Let me share an experience from the floor of the Presbytery of Chicago.  A large committee had created a draft statement on evangelism that was under review.  At one point we were asked to split into small groups to discuss the draft.  A colleague from my local church and I asked two Commissioners, one younger and the other older, to join us.  They were more than happy to do so, and we started the discussion.

We pointed out that the draft as written seemed to be less about Christian evangelism than it was about multiculturalism.  For, as far as we could tell there were minimal claims to any truth or value for Christianity.  Rather, it appeared to be just about getting along with all other religions and cultures.

This observation elicited an immediate angry reaction from the older Commissioner.  Rather than engaging in debate on this point they walked away while audibly speaking into the air about haters and racists.

The younger Commissioner remained engaged.  However, their response was that dozens of PCUSA elders and clergy of all races, sexual orientations, genders and cultures had come together to generate this text, so, it had to be correct because the creating group was so diverse.  We pointed out that there was also the dimension of philosophical / theological  diversity, which we didn’t see represented in the document.  They responded with the blank stare of one who is hearing something incomprehensible.

The Two Bubbles

Thinking back on this incident years later I realize that the responses of these two Commissioners are representative of the two types of bubbles within which our leadership live.  These bubbles need not be separate, but can be, in effect, two layers that create hermetic isolation.

The Social Bubble

The younger Commissioner was more than happy to continue our discussion to the end of the allowed time.  They showed not the slightest anger about or disapproval of our position.  Rather, they seemed amazed to be speaking with two such strange humans.  We elicited not anger, but rather curiosity.

Surely, even living in Progressive Chicago they must have been aware of people who hold strange, inexplicable beliefs.  However, here were two actual people, on the floor of the Presbytery of Chicago (!?), who were stating these beliefs.  What an unexpected and unique cultural experience!

Thus, we find here the bubble of social isolation, in which a person simply doesn’t interact with anyone who challenges their beliefs.  Everyone, of all races, cultures, sexual orientations and genders, in their wondrous diversity, agrees on the same thing!  It’s not that they aren’t aware that there are strange people who somehow have tragically not been brought into the Progressive fold, it’s that they simply don’t engage with any actual people like that.

The Ideological Bubble

The older Commissioner knew full well that people like us exist.  And, within the hearing of only a few of our words they walked away in utter disgust.  For, in their world, people who were stupid enough to say such things out loud could only be motivated by vile evil motives.  There existed zero intention to engage with such moral and ideological deviants.  So, away they walked, speaking our condemnation into the air as the haters and racists that we surely had to be.

Our Current Sorry State

There may have been a time in our country’s history in which the social Progressive bubble predominated.  I think of that, by current standards, innocent statement by Pauline Kael after the 1972 Presidential election.

“I live in a rather special world. I only know one person who voted for Nixon. Where they are I don’t know. They’re outside my ken. But sometimes when I’m in a theater I can feel them.”

But, after eight years of being accused of voting for someone who was likely the new Hitler (George W. Bush) into the Presidency and then eight more years of being called a racist, homophobe, Islamophobe, totalitarian, etc. for opposing Progressive policies, be they political or theological, the ideological bubble clearly now dominates.

There are so many examples from which to choose, but one that I consider telling fell from the lips of no other than Nancy Pelosi, Democratic leader of the House of Representatives (emphasis added).

“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.”

You see, it takes the rhetorical skills of the highest ranking elected Democratic politican to so seamlessly combine their political and religious bigotry into a single steaming statement of contemptuous hatred.

Of course, former Democratic senator from Wisconsin Russ Feingold (a Progressive favorite!) has made perhaps the most disgusting and definitive statement in this regard (emphasis added).

“The lesson from Charlottesville is not how dangerous the neo-Nazis are, … It is the unmasking of the Republican party leadership. In the wake of last weekend’s horror and tragedy, let us finally, finally rip off the veneer that Trump’s affinity for white supremacy is distinct from the Republican agenda of voter suppression, renewed mass incarceration and the expulsion of immigrants.”

Yes, indeed, “finally, finally” the vile evil motives of all Republicans, hidden for generations, have been revealed for all to see!

Finally, lest you imagine that our PCUSA leadership is not within this same ideological bubble, consider the actions and statements of our current Co-moderators  and the Senior Pastor from one of our largest churches.  I should also point out that most of the cruel name calling referred to above was done in person by members of the PCUSA (see here for one written example).

The consequences of this ideological dominance in Progressive thought have been a major factor that has led to our current sorry state.

Mainline Christianity and Progressive Politics (1)

religion-politicsOpening Thoughts

Religion and politics can’t help but mix.  In fact, it is inconceivable that the committed follower of a bona fide religion would be able to completely isolate their faith beliefs from their political beliefs.  So, I will not be arguing for a separation of religion and politics.  However, this doesn’t mean that the mixing of these domains is without challenge and outright danger.

In what follows I will focus on this issue at the scope of my actual experience, that being a mainline Protestant Christian.  Even here the scope will often narrow to my specific denominational experience, that being a member of the Presbyterian Church U.S.A. (PCUSA, 1983 to present) and one of its predecessors, the United Presbyterian Church in the United States of America (UPCUSA, 1958 to 1983).

As the title of this series clearly implies, my experience of Christianity and politics has led me to an uncomfortable place.  For, although I fully support our Christian faith as the authoritative wellspring of political thought, I also find that this relationship has been undermined and, more recently, utterly reversed.  This excerpt from An Anxious Age: The Post-Protestant Ethic and the Spirit of America by Joseph Bottum provides a concise summary of the modern beginning of this religious/political ideology.

Formed in the victory of civil rights activism, a new version of the social gospel movement became the default theology of church bureaucrats in the Mainline.  The churches “increasingly turned their attention to the drafting of social statements on a variety of contemporary problems,” as the religious historian Peter J. Thuesen has noted, and their statements “revealed a shared opinion among Mainline executives that the churches’ primary public role was social advocacy.”

Note well — not the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but “social advocacy” of a particular secular stripe.

When the then General Assembly Moderator, Heath Rada, addressed the April 18, 2015 Presbytery of Chicago Assembly meeting he had precious little to say about the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  However, he had a lot to say about the effectiveness of the PCUSA’s social advocacy.  In fact, I’d say that the central theme of his “pep talk” was something to the effect of ‘Rejoice sisters and brothers!  The PCUSA is a highly regarded little cog in the Progressive political machine!’

Most recently (July 28, 2017), the Wall Street Journal published an article by Libby Sternberg titled “Why Not a Day of Rest From Politics?”  She wrote from the perspective of a member of the Episcopal Church, another mainline Christian denomination.  The first paragraph describes the deep roots of faith and fellowship that she experiences at her local church.  But the second paragraph well states the issue that many non-Progressive Democrat members of mainline denominations are now facing at an unprecedented level.

Yet I do all this knowing that my church is effectively a political adversary.  I am a Republican.  The Episcopal Church, like many mainline Protestant denominations, supports a “social justice” agenda that reads as if it were pulled straight from the Democratic National Committee Platform.

The same thing can be rightly said about the PCUSA’s focus and supported political positions.  And, due to the exodus of hundreds of thousands of members since the PCUSA’s decisions to allow ordination of practicing homosexuals and same-gender marriage, the aggressiveness and pervasiveness of this ideology is clearly on the rise.

I have covered this rise throughout this blog’s existence.  I’ll try to link back to relevant posts as I discuss this sorry state of affairs at greater focus and detail.

Decoding Progressivism (8)

Communism/Socialism must be counted as one of the most tragic, persistent and deadly lies of all time.  Stalinism was just one particularly monstrous phase of the lie that has reaped tens of millions of murdered humans and ruination for hundreds of millions more.  And yet, the elite Progressive Leftists choose to contribute mightily to the keeping of this lie alive.  Here’s what the lie looked like in the 1950s.

It is in the nature of Stalinism for its adherents to make a certain kind of lying – and not only to others, but first of all to themselves – a fundamental part of their lives.  It is always a mistake to assume that Stalinists do not know the truth about the political reality they espouse. If they don’t know the truth (or all of it) one day, they know it the next, and it makes absolutely no difference to them politically.  For their loyalty is to something other than the truth.  And no historical enormity is so great, no personal humiliation or betrayal so extreme, no crime so heinous that it cannot be assimilated into the ‘ideals’ that govern the true Stalinist mind, which is impervious alike to documentary evidence and moral discrimination.

from a Hilton Kramer essay.

Never Give Up on Socialism

The nostalgia for Communism is never far beneath the surface in the Progressive Left, as was recently reemphasized in a New York Times oped (emphasis added).  There could be no better confirmation of my recent condemnation of the Progressive Left’s whitewash of Communist genocide (see below figure from this post) than the statements from this oped.  Here’s how the lie looks today.
communistevil

The top two are just unsuccessful do-gooders while the third is utterly evil!  Let’s keep trying Socialism until we finally get it right!

New York Times Oped:

We can get to this Finland Station only with the support of a majority; that’s one reason that socialists are such energetic advocates of democracy and pluralism. But we can’t ignore socialism’s loss of innocence over the past century. We may reject the version of Lenin and the Bolsheviks as crazed demons and choose to see them as well-intentioned people trying to build a better world out of a crisis, but we must work out how to avoid their failures…

But since Communism doesn’t currently have the power to destroy Western Civilization, other “strong horses” must be used to achieve this fundamental goal.
In a recent Kurt Schlichter essay (emphasis added), Stop Lying to Us, we find that although the specifics of the lie have changed, the destructive civilizational purpose of the Progressive Left remains essentially unaltered.
But for the so-called elite that seeks to rule us, it’s all lies, all day, every day, about everything, since they can’t be honest because we normals reject what they want whenever we are exposed to the truth and are allowed a say. So their go-to move to impose their sick will is to obscure or hide the truth, and try to suppress our voices.
When it comes to terror, they prioritize their cocktail party clichés over our lives. They are willing to accept the risk of dangerous Muslim radicals infiltrating our country rather than admitting the truth and taking action.
Then there are the informal ways the left seeks to protect the lies – the attempts at public shaming, plus the intimidation by political correctness that tells the truth-speaker that his reputation, his job and maybe his physical safety will be in danger if he dares point out that the lies are lies.
No, they would rather you lie and die than tell the truth and live. But unless we choose not to stand up for ourselves, our families and our Constitution, we still get a say.
What is “rather you lie and die than tell the truth and live” other than the purposeful sacrifice of human beings to the idol of their own narcissism?
Finally, closing the circle between idolatry and lying.
Such idolatrous lies falsify a person, obscuring and distorting who the person is.  The lie destroys true relationship as humans stop relating to God as he knows himself to be, instead treating him as they have fashioned him.  Idolatry strongly expresses human sovereignty, but sovereignty at the expense of true relationship.
Passively in the face of lies causes us to become complicit in their evil consequences.

Decoding Progressivism (7)

These poor professors were members in good standing of the “progressive community” right up to the moment when they grasped the last shred of adulthood / common sense (left), free speech / debate (center) or critical thinking / intellectual standards (right).

academic-hyenas

They had imagined that they were running with Unicorns but realized their error too late.

For their loyalty is to something other than the truth.  And no historical enormity is so great, no personal humiliation or betrayal so extreme, no crime so heinous that it cannot be assimilated into the ‘ideals’ that govern the true Stalinist mind, which is impervious alike to documentary evidence and moral discrimination.

(from a Hilton Kramer essay)

The tragic truth is that many “intellectuals” realize that they are running with a hyena pack, but lack the decency and/or courage to exit (Jonathan Kay on the tyranny of Twitter: How mob censure is changing the intellectual landscape).

… you will find intellectuals who have made extraordinary financial sacrifices to pursue their artistic or activist passions, and whose entire livelihood hinges on a thin patchwork of government grants, modest book advances, sessional teaching contracts, and honoraria from small journals, websites and magazines. Just one wrong Tweet or misplaced open-letter signature can send these people back to a life working for Uber or foodora.

Sarah Hoyt provides an accurate summary of the current academic Progressive left.

Their behavior is so insane, their on-command ability to jump on anyone or anything who deviates from the now-current party line so absolute, their arguments so ridiculous, it took me a while to realize what they’re doing is the equivalent of Mao’s brigades of aggressive young people fanning out to rural areas to teach the peasants how to think and what to do.

Our colleges and universities are purposefully creating hordes of these cultural revolution goons … tragic credentialed, entitled lives with no actual useful skills but masters of personal and civilizational destruction.  So, it hasn’t stayed on the campus.  Buckle up, it’s going to be a rough ride.

Decoding Progressivism (6)

The science is settled…we just can’t make up our minds about the nature of the global crisis that only we, your Progressive betters, can prevent.Believe-Anything-Climate

Al Gore, Global Warming Con-Man (see middle pane in above figure)

This is only one of the absurd things that Al Gore said when confronted by Chris Wallace about his now falsified predictions of planetary disaster (all, of course, based on the infallible source of scientific “consensus”).

I went down to Miami and saw fish from the ocean swimming in the streets on a sunny day. The same thing was true in Honolulu just two days ago, just from high tides because of the sea level rise now.

However, as reported by a non-anti-science source.

The problem is caused by a naturally occurring event known as a king tide, a rare event when the sun and moon align on the same side of the Earth during a high tide, and the extra gravitational pull produces tides much higher than normal.

The mind boggles at the sight of this supposed super-intellect blathering about a rare tidal event caused by gravitational effects as an example of rising ocean levels due to “global warming” (wait, I’ve been told that “global warming is a dangerous misnomer” by ex-President Obama’s Science Advisor, I’m so confused).  The fact that this was all Mr. Gore had when challenged testifies to the inherent vacuousness of his position.  Yet, he pretends to be a man of super wisdom, knowledge and integrity, a bringer of light to the oh so deplorable masses.

Or, as pithily stated by Peggy Noonan:

we are patronized by our inferiors.

Decoding Progressivism (5)

From the Encyclopedia Britannica:

Projection is a form of defense in which unwanted feelings are displaced onto another person, where they then appear as a threat from the external world. A common form of projection occurs when an individual, threatened by his own angry feelings, accuses another of harbouring hostile thoughts.

What should we call it when the individual in question appears to be perfectly comfortable with their “angry feelings?”  I think that current events create the need to define a more depraved stage of this psychological state.

Assassinate-Porn

King David: Warrior and Poet After God’s Own Heart (15)

knowledge-my-religion

Because I’m the most moral and brilliant person ever!

King Saul and David (1 Samuel 18)

Recall that we’re exploring the issue of narcissism as it relates to outrage over this passage.

27 David took his men with him and went out and killed two hundred Philistines and brought back their foreskins. They counted out the full number to the king

The Delusion Behind Narcissism

I’d like to ask those who believe that they live at (or even near) the pinnacle of human morality to take a leap of imagination.  Imagine if you dare, that it is 50, 100, 200 years from now.  Over this time events have occurred that were unforeseeable from today’s available information.  New generations of humanity have experienced economic challenge, social change, armed conflict, religious transformations and personal trauma.

Pajamaboy_2

Wow, I’m so awesome!  Everyone else will have to agree when I’m deciding who lives and dies under single payer health insurance!

Thus, these future people, who have no connection with or allegiance to you, occupy the social commanding heights.  They therefore may well independently assess the policies that you pursued, the opinions that you voiced, the ways that you lived and the real world consequences that flowed from them all.  Do you really believe that they will certainly conclude that yes, your generation did indeed occupy the pinnacle of human morality!

SWW-Look

You dare to disagree with ME!

Or, might these future generations look upon you like you look upon David or our founding fathers, or any of the other past and present humans that you so contemptuously judge as evil and moronic?  Let me explain why you might be wise to learn a little humility.

Abortion

There is already a very large number of people (women and men, including me) who consider abortion to be the outright killing of another human being.  If you test the DNA of a brand new fetus it won’t come back as a salamander or tomato, but as human.  With the advancement of ultrasound technology parents are seeing at an early stage of development that the fetus is a tiny human being.  And, since Roe v. Wade, approximately 59 million of these human beings have been killed in the United States.

There’s also, for Christians, the unavoidable fact that God sees the fetus as a valued, beloved human of His creation (Psalm 139).

13 For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.

And yet today’s Progressive elite considers abortion to be their ideology’s “holy of holies.”  Thus, all aspects of abortion on demand are enabled, supported and protected with unmitigated fierceness.

Therefore the powers that be ensured that the sickening, murderous (of grown women and their babies) activities of a psychopath like Dr. Kermit Gosnell were allowed to go on for years, and then be utterly ignored when they finally come to light.  Although the 200 foreskins acquired by David in open warfare is roundly condemned, Gosnell’s collection of jared baby feet is demurely uncommented upon.

GOSNELL

Look away, look away…nothing to see here!

PlannedParenthood

She didn’t really say this…disjointed words were just spliced together to make it appear so!

Or take the case of Planned Parenthood’s practice of selling aborted baby parts.  Yes, the legions of like-minded reporters, editors, celebrities and politicians will keep alive the fairy tale that these admissions from the mouths of Planned Parenthood executives were the product of falsification through editing.  However, anyone who has the interest to check will find clearly uncut videos covering tens of minutes in which these Planned Parenthood leaders speak without the slightest shame about doing these horrors.

But that’s not the end of it by a long shot.  Perhaps our elites should consider the implications of their beloved “disparate effect” theory of racial discrimination.  By this theory, if any statistical deviation between a race’s proportion of the population and any measure of social benefit can be found then the prima facie explanation is the existence of racial discrimination.

Screen Shot 2017-04-23 at 6.29.59 AM

No “disparate effect” to be seen here!

But what if we look at abortion rates through this lens?  The undisputed fact is that black babies are aborted at almost five-times the rate as are white babies.

Given all of the above, what if, say 50 years from now, an entirely new group controls our media who have no interest in protecting the institution of abortion on demand?  Perhaps there have been such massive civilizational changes that a completely new set of issues has top priority.  Might not these media gate-keepers take a critical view of those who so enthusiastically enabled and protected abortion on demand?  Might not black scholars and reporters begin to ask just why the elites of the early 2000’s made such stinks about university admission rates but covered up abortion rates?

Perhaps, in shock and disgust at this sordid behavior, portraits will be taken down, building names will be changed and past champions of virtue will be converted into current examples of the evil past.

Just some food for thought.

Genocidal Totalitarianism

communistevil

The top-two are just unsuccessful do-gooders while the third is utterly evil.  Let’s keep trying socialism until we finally get it right!  Go Venezuela!

I have already made a comprehensive case concerning the support of our elites for genocidal totalitarian ideologies (see here for a summary).  At some future time the flimsy excuse of “good intentions” may have been so throughly discredited that the general public takes notice of the enablers, supporters and “useful idiots” who ensured that these ideologies were free to wreck havoc on humanity for far longer than should have been the case.

They might point to the current economic and social collapse of socialist Venezuela into  wanton violence as a “red flag” that should have, finally, cured the Progressive elites of their fantasies.  But, the fact that they continued to soldier on in behalf of this murderous, failed ideology may someday count against them.  After all, covering up for tens of millions of corpses and hundreds of millions of ruined lives can be unsustainable in the long run.

The Welfare State

After abortion on demand, the current institution with the most support from our Progressive elite class is the welfare state.  It has, over the generations, grown into an interlocking complex of governmental programs (with the associated army of bureaucrats), non-profit organizations, political parties, religious denominations and community organizers that is all focused on one thing: continuance of the welfare state exactly as it is.

Screen Shot 2017-04-23 at 7.57.47 AMBut, future generations, after having possibly experienced a financial catastrophe brought on by unsustainable government spending (certainly not just on the welfare state) might look back on these programs with a more critical eye than is today allowed.  For example, they may look at the nearby graph, on which is plotted the national poverty rate and total anti-poverty spending, and be appalled.  Note also that the 1964 start of “the war on poverty” is shown.  There are three characteristics of this figure that is of primary relevance, those being:

  1. The poverty rate was already falling quickly for at least 15 years prior to the start of “the war on poverty”
  2. The slope of the decline of poverty was not increased by the “war” (i.e., the new anti-poverty spending didn’t significantly improve an already occurring process)
  3. Since 1970, there has been no appreciable change in the poverty rate despite trillions of dollars spent by the “best and brightest,” “morally superior” poverty industrial complex.

Pov-spendingThis discussion hasn’t yet included the human and social wreckage wrought by the Welfare State, where entire communities descended into generations of broken families, hopelessness, violence, addiction, and yes, poverty.

One would have thought that our moral betters would have been so appalled by this situation that a massive effort at reformation and renewal would have been pursued.

Nothing could be further from the truth.  Rather, the poverty industrial complex has been on a unending campaign to prevent any reform and to expand failed policies to new areas of our society.

What if, after a couple more generations of soul crushing hopelessness the supposed beneficiaries of the Welfare State reject both the policies and motivations of the Progressive Left (or perhaps it’s already beginning)?  Or, what if the response is massive civil unrest and violence?  Might not those who today appear to be unassailably moral tomorrow be seen as incompetent fools or heartless hypocrites, or worse?

Isn’t it also possible that the consequences of these decisions will be reappraised in a negative light by the general population?  After all, the money borrowed by the government to fund these and many other ineffective, unsustainable programs are nothing other than promises that future generations will pay for our present excesses.  Regardless of if you are upper middle class or poor in the future, the weight of that massive debt will constrain (or destroy) economic opportunity.

The only hope may be for the Progressive Left to continue blocking education reform to the point that no-one in the future knows how to count.



Berkeley-Then-and-Now

The progressive advance of our moral and intellectual “betters!”

I know that you too can play this game against me (actually, you have been all my life).  The difference is that I already know that, as a sinner, my thoughts and actions, despite my best attempts, will fall tragically short of moral perfection.  And, since I know this about myself I understand that it’s essential that my ideas be subjected to critical appraisal for anything approaching “the good” to emerge.

Without the constitutional right of free speech there’s no hope that all ideas will be subjected to this essential process.  I guess that’s the reason that it so terrifies our supposed moral and intellectual “betters.”

For there is nothing so frightening to a narcissist than the possibility that their presumed perfection will be exposed as a folly and fraud.  There is simply no length to which they will go, including shameless physical violence, to repulse that threat.  Yes, narcissism permeates every crevice of our society.  But its demons have found a particularly hospitable home in the radical Progressive Left.  Most people today are too intimidated to say this out loud, but in the future that protective cloak may have dissipated to the point that the full force of judgement may be applied.

Perhaps you condemners of David, our Founding Fathers and all the rest of us “deplorables” should begin the painful process of climbing down from your false presumptions of superiority.  Then we can once again begin to address together those intractable issues that so bedevil this fallen world.