As today's media often uses liberal and progressive interchangeably, a clear distinction may be a little fuzzy . However, I feel the title of Jonah Goldberg's 2008 book on progressives, 'Liberal Fascism', comes as close as any to truly differentiate.
For an article on the differences, check out the Wall Street Journal's article by Charles Murray.
Another way to view this is that liberals feel that the government should offer a whole range of benefits to its citizens. Progressives seek a utopia where the government forces all to have an equal outcome in life or, equality reigns supreme.
But, with all such forms of equality of result (pure socialism, communism, and the like) George Orwell's (from his book 'Animal Farm') famous “All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others.” ALWAYS comes into play. And there is the rub . The progressive elites DEMAND that they be more equal than others.
I am only addressing progressives in this offering.
Many liken the Obama administration to a start of the deconstruction of the very fabric of The American Way . And, he telescoped this in his first run for the presidency. He said, “We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.” Most, I believe, had no true idea what he really meant. Be that as it may be, in fact, his administration offers but a culmination of efforts begun long ago.
Since the inception of our great Nation, The American Way has been evolving. We have gone through a fight for independence, a Civil War, two World Wars, many smaller military conflicts, a movement for civil rights for all; we have been evolving toward unity of peoples and purpose. Of course, during such evolutionary processes there have been many, many disagreements on what is best for our country - and, those disagreements continue. These disagreements are what made and make us strong.
But, when is strong too strong? When all the strength is in the hands of the government. That's when. The methods of the progressives have to do with how people can be controlled . A people who are generally happy with decent housing, good food, and the ability to reap the rewards of their labors are VERY hard to control . What one needs to properly control a population is wide spread dissent, a belief that the rich are out to take advantage of the poor, creating a class of people wholly dependent on the government, and to separate the people into camps of differing beliefs as to what is best for them, personally, etc.
This is where the concept of Divide and Rule (sometimes called Divide and Conquer ) comes into play.
As an aside, conquering is the easy part, ruling is the hard part. It is much easier to control a large number of small entities than it is to control a very large entity. Hence, Divide and Rule . The first documented use of the maxim divide et impera (divide and rule) has been attributed to Philip II of Macedon from around 350 B.C. It has been used successfully by many including Gabinius' parting the Jewish nation into five conventions, Machiavelli, Julius Caesar, Napoleon, Louis XI of France, and many others.
And, it works exceedingly well - just not for the people subjected to it.
But, how does the progressive element of our political spectrum go about accomplishing the goal of dividing ?
Sun Tzu's 'The Art of War', from the 6th century B.C., explains how this may be done and is being done with two simple sounding guidelines: (1) The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting. And, (2) Be extremely subtle, even to the point of formlessness. Be extremely mysterious, even to the point of soundlessness. Thereby you can be the director of the opponent's fate.
When one looks at what's going on today (not from a preconceived notion of one's political feelings , but objectively) with a view from 30,000 feet , one can see many things that fall under Sun Tzu's guidance .
Some examples are political correctness, the demonization of certain religious beliefs, the actions of race baiters furthering a racial divide among our citizens (this issue gains the most news but the others divide just as much), a set of tax laws that allow 50% of our population to pay NO tax to the government, the unequal application of our laws, the encouragement to immigrants to enter our country in large numbers illegally to foster yet more dependence upon the government, and the accusations of racist against anyone who disagrees are just a few.
All of these are meant to divide - not bring together.
So, when did all this start in earnest in our country? Quite a while ago actually.
I have heard some argue that divide and rule in this country started back in and before Abraham Lincoln's time. He and many back then were in favor of what was called colonization . In short, this meant send all the blacks back to Africa. In fact the capital of Liberia is the city of Monrovia - named after our 5th president, James Monroe, who was also in favor of colonization . That specific area of Africa was purchased by the US for the resettlement of blacks then living in the US. In fact, Liberia was founded in 1822 as a result of the efforts of the American Colonization Society which felt that such action was THE answer to slavery and the incompatibility of the races .
By today's mores such feelings and actions would clearly be viewed as racist . However, back then it was viewed quite differently. Far from being derived from hatred of a race, it was fostering the concept of compassion . Blacks had been forcibly taken from their homeland and culture. Their culture was far removed from that evolving in the US. It didn't seem just to force a people to exist in a culture so foreign from their own.
So, no, this in no way would (or did) lead to a divide and rule scenario. This was purely a separation move - not a ruler vs. ruled scenario.
Seems the unofficial title of Father of US Progressivism goes to Woodrow Wilson, our 28th president. As an aside, another well known proponent of progressivism was Carl Marx.
Prior to Wilson's administration segregation, as we now think of it, did not exist in the government or in the laws of the land - state or local. Wilson, a Democrat, dictated that the US Military be segregated, dictated that all federal government agencies be segregated, and, following his lead, the Jim Crow Laws became the operating standards for the nation. Thus, segregation was born in the US. A none too subtle approach, I feel. It did accomplish the divide part but did little to instill a rule atmosphere throughout the country.
As an aside here and slightly off the main point, is Margaret Sanger, founder of Planned Parenthood. Mainly during Wilson's time through the 1940s, she was a major proponent of Eugenics which has as its main goal improving the genetic quality of the human population. Read this as promoting abortion for the 'undesirables' - predominately blacks. She is a heroine to the progressives.
Some of her most notable quotes are:
We should hire three or four colored ministers, preferably with social-service backgrounds, and with engaging personalities. The most successful educational approach to the Negro is through a religious appeal. We don’t want the word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population, and the minister is the man who can straighten out that idea if it ever occurs to any of their more rebellious members. - She, commenting on her The Negro Project .
Back to the main point -
It would take some 43 years before the Civil Rights Act of 1964 would drive a stake through the heart of segregation. Lyndon Johnson, another Democrat, fought against the vast majority of Democrats to pass John F. Kennedy's desire for civil rights reform.
Lyndon Johnson was viewed as a traitor by his fellow Democrats. But, that did not stop him from doing what was right and fulfilling the wishes of JFK.
Now, LBJ was no angel among demons. He was an avid racist personally as may be evidenced by an interchange between him and his driver:
With desegregation came an underlying, not spoken resentment by many. The resentment was aimed incorrectly at blacks - not the politicians. Many could not come to grips with the undeniable fact that segregation was a very bad thing for all. Some still can't.
While this may have initiated the divide scenario, another critical aspect to the progressive agenda is the creation of dependence on the government. This started much earlier in time.
In 1935 F.D. Roosevelt, a Democrat and ardent advocate of progressivism, brought unto our great land Social Security. It was and is a forced contract between the government and the people of our Nation. It was established to ensure the elderly would not live in abject poverty as they aged. There would be at least a modest fall back financial avenue for them. And, there initially was a provision that all Social Security funds would be in a lock box not useable by any other government agency.
Let's revisit our friend Lyndon Johnson. Starting in 1969 (due to action by the Johnson Administration in 1968) the transactions to the Trust Fund were included in what is known as the unified budget. This means that every function of the federal government is included in a single budget. Say goodbye to the lock box promise.
In the US Constitution is nowhere to be found the authority for the government to initiate such - making the program essentially unconstitutional. The issue was taken to the Supreme Court.
FDR was receiving indications that the Court would not uphold the new law. He, then, threatened the Court with stacking the Court with sufficient additional justices that the Court finally ruled the new law constitutional . I believe the correct term for FDR's actions is extortion.
This, of course, had the desired effect. People, now knowing that there would be something to rely on when they were too old to work, started saving less - and, then, even less. Creating dependence, this is.
Now good ole FDR did something else for us back in 1935. Assumingly because of the Great Depression and the fact that many in our nation were financially depressed, he initiated a National Welfare System. It has grown today to the point that 109,631,000 Americans are receiving Federal welfare benefits. That's almost 35% of our Nation. If this is not creating dependence on the government, I'd like to see what is.
Once accustomed to dependence , the people on the receiving end would - and do - demand its continuance even if the country couldn't afford it - which it can't, even if the national debt skyrocketed - which it has, and even if it meant that the system would eventually collapse under its own financial burden - which it will. After all, one has to eat and be housed.
Further dependence on the government and set up BY the government is the CRA - The Community Reinvestment Act of 1977.
Established by Jimmy Carter, a Democrat, the focus of the act was to provide affordable mortgages to those otherwise unable to secure same. Further, the federal government via threats to banks forced them to grant loans where clear evidence existed that the borrower would in all probability fail to meet their obligations. The result? The burst of the housing bubble in around 2012. Yes, it took that long. But, it was devastating to rich and poor alike.
And THIS was not just a Democratic party issue. Every administration from 1977 on stood behind the viability of the CRA - Both Republican and Democrat alike.
A couple of more dependency issues before we move to the progressives methods :
First, there's the tax code.
Our current tax code allows 50% of the people in our Nation to pay not a single dime of taxes to help defend and run our country. Not only that, but this same tax code permits the payment of funds to many of those who do not pay taxes. So, not only are these people not paying their fair share , we the tax paying people of this great land are paying them to not support our country.
Such a system is designed and built to foster further dependence on the federal government. And, with the next issue to be discussed, almost guarantees that these people will never be in a better financial state.
Second, there's the issue of illegal immigration.
There are an estimated 11,000,000 to 30,000,000 people living here who entered our country illegally. Not only are they not being prosecuted for such a crime, the government is providing them and their families benefits including food, shelter, medical care, and funds all at the taxpayers' expense.
These illegals are willing to work at a rate of pay far less than our citizens. And, since minimum wage laws do not apply to them because they are here illegally, our own citizens are denied available work.
Further, as the government is dead set against any laws that would restrict voting to only those who can prove they are citizens, in all likelihood these illegals will cast votes in upcoming elections.
Such votes, of course, will be cast to those politicians who will ensure they can stay here illegally or grant them automatic citizenship while continuing the benefits they so richly do not deserve.
Now, consider some future candidate advocating doing away with Social Security - even if it were for those not heavily invested in it , doing away with federal welfare, relooking at our lax tax codes, and/or cracking down on illegal immigration. Logic would not be in play, panic in the old and young alike of our citizens would ensue, and that candidate would have a snowball's chance in hell of being elected .
This is what dependence on the government for one's well being does. It cements the party who provides as ALWAYS having the best seat at the table .
Now, on to methods being used by progressives. They take their time. Immediacy is not their goal - ultimate success is.
Back in 1971 a man named Saul Alinsky wrote a book called 'Rules for Radicals: A Pragmatic Primer for Realistic Radicals'. It was specifically designed for community organizers; i.e., the job Obama had before entering politics.
Specifically these rules (in summary) are:
1. “Power is not only what you have, but what the enemy thinks you have.” Power is derived from 2 main sources – money and people. “Have-Nots” must build power from flesh and blood.
2. “Never go outside the expertise of your people.” It results in confusion, fear and retreat. Feeling secure adds to the backbone of anyone.
3. “Whenever possible, go outside the expertise of the enemy.” Look for ways to increase insecurity, anxiety and uncertainty.
4. “Make the enemy live up to its own book of rules.” If the rule is that every letter gets a reply, send 30,000 letters. You can kill them with this because no one can possibly obey all of their own rules.
5. “Ridicule is man’s most potent weapon.” There is no defense. It’s irrational. It’s infuriating. It also works as a key pressure point to force the enemy into concessions.
6. “A good tactic is one your people enjoy.” They’ll keep doing it without urging and come back to do more. They’re doing their thing, and will even suggest better ones.
7. “A tactic that drags on too long becomes a drag.” Don’t become old news.
8. “Keep the pressure on. Never let up.” Keep trying new things to keep the opposition off balance. As the opposition masters one approach, hit them from the flank with something new.
9. “The threat is usually more terrifying than the thing itself.” Imagination and ego can dream up many more consequences than any activist.
10. “If you push a negative hard enough, it will push through and become a positive.” Violence from the other side can win the public to your side because the public sympathizes with the underdog.
11. “The price of a successful attack is a constructive alternative.” Never let the enemy score points because you’re caught without a solution to the problem.
12. “Pick the target, freeze it, personalize it, and polarize it.” Cut off the support network and isolate the target from sympathy. Go after people and not institutions; people hurt faster than institutions.
Consider these rules and compare them with what the progressive, complicit media offers us on a daily basis. Consider these rules and compare them with what the current administration does and promotes. Do not pass over these just because you like the current president or another of the progressive persuasion. Consider them carefully.
Consider these rules when examining examples such as:
The former Attorney General refusing to prosecute members of the New Black Panther Party for crimes against voting rights. This AG, during a hearing on the matter, even stated that he had to look out for his people.
This administration employing the IRS to curtail political activities of its political opponents.
This administration running guns to drug lords in Mexico to further its own desires for increased gun control here at home.
This administration stating openly that it desires that American be more like Europe which is heavily socialistic and in the toilet financially.
There, of course, are many more such instances. All of these are not in line with The American Way as we know it. This president's stated goal of fundamentally changing America seems on a fairly decent track to succeed - to the detriment of us all.
Now, consider this president's latest attempt at change . He wishes not only to redistribute wealth from the people who have earned it to those who have not, he now wishes to have the less fortunate moved, at our expense, into more affluent neighborhoods to afford these less fortunate individuals a better life .
This plan is called the Affirmatively Furthering Fair Housing Rule . Why is this called a rule ? Simply to avoid having to involve Congress; he plans on doing it by having HUD just declare a rule . Here is how it is to work:
Part of our tax dollars are returned to our local communities in the form of grants for schools and other local concerns. The president's plan is not a forcing action. It is just that if a community fails to comply with the government's neighborhood diversity goals, the federal government will withhold all grants. I do believe this is called blackmail.
So, what would happen is best described by an analogy:
Say the City of Chevy Chase, MD is targeted to diversify its neighborhoods. The government then will require Chevy Chase to build, at their expense, low cost housing to be located among the more affluent, existing neighborhoods.
So, Chevy Chase, not wishing to give up the federal grants (i.e., their own money anyway), builds the low cost housing. The government then relocates people from the inner city portion of Baltimore. (The inner city portion of Baltimore, MD was most visible to all with a TV during the recent riots there.)
One can imagine what the current $1M houses in Chevy Chase would be worth after the relocations. NADA! This is not even to mention the criminal element being diversified . This new plan is certain to bring people together - NOT!
Whenever redistribution is applied on anything the result is always that the lowest common denominator becomes the standard .
A final word or so on the divide part of divide and rule. The first is political correctness. This, perhaps more than any other single thing is responsible for dividing Americans today.
Somehow it has evolved that if one disagrees with a person of color, the person who disagrees is labeled a racist. If a white police officer shoots a back person committing a crime, the police officer is labeled a racist. However, the hundreds and hundreds of blacks shot by other blacks is not given a second thought. If one believes that voter IDs are necessary for a valid voting process, one is called a racist.
What is even more surprising to me is that people truly care about such inane statements. No one likes to be called a racist even if the caller is wrong, it seems. The truth seems to mean nothing these days. Or, as variously attributed to Lenin, Hitler, and/or Goebbels, the adage, A lie told often enough becomes the truth. , seems to be alive and well with progressives. Also, rule #10 from 'Rules for Radicals' is at play as well.
Political correctness as a tool is not limited to race - race was used as the example most often repeated in the news of today. Our university system today seems to be alive with teaching our young the goodness of political correctness. Displays or words of patriotism for our country are derided as potentially hurtfull to people of other cultures. Should people of other cultures want to live here, we should demand they adopt our culture - or, go home. Click Here for an example.
The second part has to do with what is being termed "The War on Religion". There are those who are Theists [those who believe in a Supreme Being], Atheists [those who do not believe in a Supreme being], and Agnostics [those who have no clue as to whether there is a Supreme Being on not].
A strategy of progressives of late is to vilify people of religious conviction. This is just another move by progresssives to drive people apart - and, people fall for it. How much easier would it be to recognize that Theists can't prove there is a God and Atheists can't prove there isn't. So, if one can not prove their belief, then some other person should be treated with an equal respect because they can't prove their side either. Or, live and let live. Seems more and more people are taking this bait and falling into the progressives' game plan; i.e., Divide and Rule .
Divide and Rule - everything the progressives do is to that end. Now, doesn't it seem sort of strange that all the progressives, including our current president, are/were Democrats. Think about it. Think about it when you decide to support a person or party politically. Do your homework and be certain of what you do.
A final word on our current president.
He was a community organizer by profession prior to entering politics. He had no prior management or real work experience - NONE! In fact, his introduction to politics came via the help and support of two persons worthy of note: Bernadine Dohrn and her husband, Bill Ayers. Mr. Ayers co-founded the Weather Underground, is a confessed communist, is a confessed domestic terrorist responsible for the bombing of the Capitol Building and the Pentagon. Ms. Dohrn was a leader in the SDS and a confessed communist.
Just the kind of background and mentors we want for our president.
A final word or two before closing:
The following discussion brought to mind Yul Brenner's famous line from 'The King and I', "Tis a puzzlement."
It is reasonably clear that progressives need a majority to be dependent upon the government. After all, who would vote for someone who promises to "take away their free stuff"? So, the more who are dependent, the better it is for progressives in government.
It is also true that progressives are the main proponents of abortion, wide spread contraception and organizations that promote such.
Therefore, as abortion or wide spread contraception can be reasonably argued to reduce, over time, the very people who would be dependent upon the government and, thus, vote for the progressive political agenda, why are progressives so adamant on their support of organizations like Planned Parenthood, for example?
Could it be as simple as progressives ONLY read or watch progressive media? Or is it that they don't do any research on things that affect us all?
Please remember, be careful in voting. Or, you get what you vote for. Our great Nation deserves much better than what exists.