Wisconsin rebellion reveals the “contemptible nature of progressivism”

Arnold Ahlert, whose mini-columns in the New York Post over the years have been characterized more by amiable wit than burning indignation, writes this blistering piece in the Canada Free Press (a publication, by the way, which seems to be solely about America):

Progressivism Has Been “Outed”
Friday, February 25, 2011

Many Americans, perhaps for the first time in their lives, are beginning to recognize the contemptible nature of progressivism. How does one defend the total abandonment of the democratic process, occurring first in Wisconsin and then in Indiana, where Democratic legislators have literally run away from their responsibilities? One can’t—without revealing the bankruptcy of one’s own convictions. The most satisfying aspect of it all? Americans are getting a daily dose of progressivism’s only unalterable tenet: the ends justify the means.

For those of us who have long been paying attention, this isn’t news. Yet plenty of Americans scoffed at the idea that those who have long engaged in class warfare, stoked racial divisiveness, and fanned the flames of national self-loathing were anything more than people expressing a different viewpoint. When push came to shove, the Constitutionally-founded restraints of the rule of law would eventually prevail, right?

Wrong. Public sector workers have willingly abandoned the jobs they’re paid to do. Unscrupulous doctors have written notes filled with lies to protect them. The mainstream media has referred to runaway, anarchist legislators as heroes, and deliberately ignored the same hate-filled rhetoric directed at Republicans they declared unseemly and dangerous after the shooting of Gabrielle Giffords. Rhetoric that reached a low point on Wednesday, when Rep. Michael Capuano (D-Mass.) told a group of union supporters that “[E]very once in awhile you need to get out on the streets and get a little bloody when necessary.”

Really, Mr. Capuano? Doing battle with whom, the taxpayers who underwrite union wages and benefits? Shame on you. [LA replies: Exactly right. People might think that Capuano was only paraphrasing Jefferson’s famous dictum that the tree of liberty is watered with the blood of patriots; but the liberty Jefferson was speaking of was a liberty won from tyrants. Here the public union members and their Democratic supportors are defying the taxpayers who support their lifestyle and pensions, and who by a majority of the popular vote elected a governor and legislature pledged to reduce union perks and power. So what’s happening in Wisconsin is not an uprising of the people against the tyrants, but an uprising of the tyrants—the public unions—against the people.]

None of it is flying. It’s not flying because most Americans are finally beginning to understand the unholy relationship between the Democratic party and their union benefactors. Benefactors who contribute well over ninety percent of their campaign contributions—funded almost exclusively by mandatory dues required of union members—to Democrats.

How unholy is this relationship? Perhaps nothing speaks to it better than a unionized New York school system in which “passing” a 2009 third grade math test constituted getting 11 points out of a possible 39—which is a score of 28 percent. Was anyone fired for such child-abusing, blatant corruption? Quite the contrary. New York City paid $100 million in bonuses to teachers and administrators for their fine work in “raising” test scores. The kids? 75 percent of them need remedial instruction if they choose to attend college.

New York is not alone. Union-controlled public schools across the country, especially those in inner-city America, have been cheating kids for decades, and the Democrat party has defended them at every turn. Consigning millions of innocent kids to lives of under-educated mediocrity? A small price to pay for “solidarity.” A solidarity which has turned one of the finest educational systems in the world into a worldwide laughingstock. [LA replies: Here, unfortunately, Alhert falls into the false conservative line that the poor academic performance of urban black and Hispanic pupils is caused by poor schools, rather than by low IQ and fatherless families, neither of which the schools can do anything about.]

How many American parents know their own children have been sacrificed to subsidize such an arrangement?

Perhaps more now than ever before. Every day the teachers in Wisconsin stay at the demonstrations in Madison—illegally—is another reminder that some group of children is being short-changed. Every day these public sector unionists whine about having to shoulder more of their own benefit costs—even as private sector Americans struggle to get by on far less—another dark corner of progressivism is illuminated for all to see. Every day Democratic legislators demonstrate their unbridled contempt for the rule of law and the foundations of our democratic process, more Americans are witnessing the end game of an ideology which can no longer hide its corruptive, anti-democratic foundation.

In short, progressivism has been “outed.”

That’s a good thing. For far too long these socialist/marxist wealth-redistributors have cloaked themselves in a media-abetted mantle of “social justice,” which is now revealing itself to be little more than an organized shake-down racket in which any taxpayer resistance is characterized as “mean-spirited” or “heartless.” They have sold entitlement as a right, even as that “right” crushed the housing market, destroyed state and federal budgets, and created a subset of Americans without an ounce of dignity or remorse—on both ends of the class spectrum. Even now, most Americans would be completely surprised to discover that the crony capitalists in the banking industry and on Wall Street are as progressive as their union counterparts. The legal profession? Ask yourself why a 2700 page health care bill passed exclusively by Democrats contained not a single word about tort reform.

The walls are crumbling. Americans are beginning to grasp the insidiousness by which one part of government negotiates with another part to fleece the public without restraint or remorse. They are beginning to understand that the self-anointed “party of the people” is really the party of the “special interest people” and everyone else be damned. And, as the sordid episode in Wisconsin repeats itself in state after state, more and more decent Americans will reject a fundamentally indecent ideology which reveals that while all Americans are “equal,” some, such as gimme-more public service unions, those “waived” from healthcare requirements, crony capitalists, trial lawyers and thoroughly compromised community organizing groups, are “more equal” than others. As more and more Democratic legislators abandon their posts, more and more Americans will reject a political party which has been hijacked by radicals who have now revealed that power is their sole ambition, even if the bedrock principles of our democratic republic must be sacrificed to achieve it.

The ash heap of history awaits. It’s only a matter of time.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at February 26, 2011 09:44 AM | Send

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