Gabrielle Giffords and the Progressive Creed

Such beliefs need no immutable foundation. In fact, they cannot have such a foundation, and this is a large part of their appeal. Therefore do progressives sneer and scoff at those who would, in the halls of Congress, read the Constitution, and be so simple as to believe that it contains anything other than a meaning -- or lack thereof -- bestowed by a recognized progressive authority. My recent PJM article about Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer illustrates this principle in some detail.  Progressives are free to ignore or use the Constitution, or any other document, precedent, or law, as they please.

Closely allied to this nonfoundational view is the principle that no progressive belief or policy can ever be in error. This, for the progressive, removes much of the complexity of life. Whatever problem exists in the world exists only because of conservative resistance to, or interference with, progressive policy.  This prevents the full and correct application of progressive policy. Therefore, the sole solution to problems, personal or societal, is simple: More and more fervent progressive policy must be applied until perfect social justice, diversity, and peace are achieved. For those who lived through the Cold War, this should sound familiar. It is communist doctrine lite -- for the Soviets taught that only when capitalism was completely eradicated could the ultimate triumph of Communism occur, and perfect peace and social justice would prevail. Until that glorious day, 100 million or so deaths was merely the incidental cost of doing glorious socialist business.

But didn’t Communism collapse because, as an economic system, it was lunacy? Yes, but now you’re dealing in reality. To the progressive, any “reality” that does not perfectly reflect progressive theory, belief, and policy is not reality at all. In fact, whatever it is, it may or may not exist, depending on current progressive political needs. Reality, you see, is a conservative construct, intended only to confuse progressives and Independents and to thwart progress and social justice.

But what about human nature? It too does not exist, as men have no discernible, immutable nature, but are constantly reinventing themselves on the path to becoming the new progressive man, a model far improved over those shallow God- and gun-clinging fools who believe in permanent principles and a Supreme Creator of the universe. Any sufficiently enlightened progressive can see that without progress -- without striving to impose progressive policies on everyone to perfect them and, in turn, society -- life is quite unsatisfying.

Thus do progressives elevate mere politicians to god-like status. If man is perfectible, it follows that some men -- progressive leaders -- are more advanced, more perfect than others. It also follows that such men will, from time to time, fall out of favor to make way for those whose progressive ideas and policies are yet more perfect than the last -- Hillary Clinton falling from Olympian heights to make way for Barack Obama, for example. Therefore were the creases in his pants or his “glistening pecs” heralds of Obama’s godhood. Therefore have countless media outlets depicted Mr. Obama with a halo (Google “Obama” and “halo” -- you’ll be amazed and appalled, unless of course you’re a progressive, in which case you won’t be able to figure out what all the fuss is about), with the New York Times going all out to depict Mr. Obama’s image superimposed over a cross with the White House at its base in time for Easter.