Conservatives: Carrying the Water for the Progressive Agenda
Americans have the impression that conservatives and progressives are opposites. If this was ever true, it no longer is. Today, both sides want the same thing - more power in the hands of the state.
As much as most Progressives would protest, if one diligently digs beneath the surface of history, it becomes apparent that the "progressives" are hooked to the totalitarian idea. Their propensity toward totalitarianism is also reflected in their desire for a strong and charismatic leader who supports the "National Interest" rather than the protection of individual liberty. From personal decisions to business and property, progressives desire a strong central authority. They seek a mysterious all-wise and all-knowing leader and a body of ever just administrators who will expertly direct all activities for the "lesser folks." Whether they are more benign with a welfare or communitarian bent or openly supportive of leadership such as Stalin, Mussolini and even now what Obama openly represents, there is no denying that Progressives have a default to a totalitarian, central control, philosophy.
It is not as apparent, as some of the rhetoric is contradictory, but, nevertheless, the Conservatives are now carrying the water for the Progressives. Conservatives are now not just acquiescing but in several instances, hysterically insisting on many of the agenda components the Progressives promoted for years.
The Bill of Rights: In their desire to have The State control the personal activities of other people, the conservatives have been as ignorant as the Progressives on what Freedom of Speech, assembly and religious neutrality really mean. Both have begged The State to grasp even more power. While the Progressives want to control “hate speech” the conservatives want to control any speech that does not reflect their religious values. Both sides are grasping for control of the government schools, but the end result is the same; more power to The State.
The Conservatives point to their support of the Second Amendment, nevertheless, they applaud firearm registration and, further would support the right of The State to deem who is fit to possess arms. Since control over the populous was really the end game, how much more cooperation could the Conservatives give.
The Fourth Amendment? Both groups would allow it to be trashed as we have seen with the Snowden situation and earlier whistleblowers who were prosecuted. Neither Progressives nor Conservatives can imagine that Snowden or any of the truth tellers are, indeed, heroes to those who treasure the Fourth Amendment. They excuse and even support the power to usurp rights with a thoroughness never before imagined until the advent of recent technology.
Both groups eviscerate all of the Bill of Rights but excuse it as necessary for the "National Interest." If anyone protests, they are accused of being not just unpatriotic but traitors deserving of immediate hanging.
Imperialistic adventures are excused and even welcomed now by both groups. Progressives only disliked war when a Republican was President. Obama can claim we are leaving Iraq, yet private groups will stay behind to manage affairs. Meanwhile, other hot spots beckon. Our military might will prevail. Progressives see no fault, now. Conservatives argue methods, not principles.
Conservatives see no problem with an extension of Empire and will argue that we are so exceptional it is, indeed, our duty as a Nation to spread democracy. The military is sacrosanct as to budget and behavior (of course the injured and maimed are discarded after they have served their purpose) but War itself is glorified and again, our "National Purpose" is a priority for both groups.
War on Drugs? Conservatives excuse police excess, home invasions, unwarranted stop and seizure, asset forfeiture actions and cheer police costumed in military attire and exhibiting military behavior. Our internationally largest prison population is a disgrace, but conservatives say that is necessary as it is in The National Interest — to put all pot smokers in prison?
Further, conservatives are indifferent to any pain relief unapproved narcotics may provide for debilitating disease and injuries. Individual misery is not important. If sick people disobey the drug laws set by the bureaucracy, they deserve to be put in prison.
Progressives excuse Obama’s own drug use and worse, his jokes about it. They look the other way while his policies of attacking and shutting down dispensaries contradict his campaign promises. Obama’s supporters ignore his ignoring of throwing ever more people in prison for the same (or lesser) drug use in which he indulged.
What neither Conservatives nor Progressives ever want to talk about is that the War on Drugs also has been a large part of CIA and FBI covert operations as well as local police efforts. Our "War on Drugs" has led to extreme interference in other countries and corruption among all those entities. Both Progressives and Conservatives, however, continue to ignore the proof of these operations and the great harm they have spawned.
As to the rest of the Bill of Rights, those have fared no better. On one of the defining issues of our time, immigration, Conservatives have indeed "Carried the Water" for the Progressives.
Image Credit: CC BY-NC-SA 2.0 (Flickr)/thisisbossi
- Tags: Bill of Rights | conservatives | First Amendment | Fourth Amendment | Obama administration | politics | progressives | Second Amendment | socialism
About the Author
Lynn Atherton-Bloxham has been an enthusiastic pro-freedom activist for many years. As a former registered commodity and stock broker, her work has included conducting financial and economic evaluations for businesses. As a writer and political and social analyst, her work has appeared in many publications, starting with the Johnson County Missouri Conservative Newsletter in 1962 and continuing since with the Kansas City Business Journal, The Heartland Institute, the California Libertarian Journal, and the Oklahoma Libertarian Forum.
Copyright © Lynn Atherton-Bloxham. Used with permission.