Liberally Conservative

"Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. We didn't pass it to our children in the bloodstream. It must be fought for, protected, and handed on for them to do the same, or one day we will spend our sunset years telling our children and our children's children what it was once like in the United States where men were free....... ~Ronald Reagan~

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Liberal, Left-Wing, and Progressive..What are they? Socialists!

It's hard to tell where people stand with all the terms used to define a political party or segments of the constituency claiming to be Democrat. In fact, there is so much confusion when the term "progressive" is touted frequently one might feel these folks have a plan, which will be "progressive" in nature, as though it will advance our society into becoming better, richer or more educated. Or prosperous through engineered socialization.
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Don't become too excited, it's more smoke and mirrors to make the ill attuned believe the Liberals are on to something. Maybe they are simply attempting to find their roots in FDR's party, a socialist bastion with anti-capitalist programs.
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Liberals blame all their pre-conceived ills on conservatives. The Great Depression, Vietnam, Iraq and the war on terrorism. Liberals never look at history to determine much of what they have done politically. "Progressives" have either been the cause or effect in each instance of war and conflict.
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The Great Depression was prolonged by "progressives" with inadequate policy determined on ill-fated economics, anti-banking and business ideology, and for political gain.
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Vietnam started long before America became entrenched in the "conflict" as it was called. Truman and Eisenhower sent aid and advisors as did Kennedy. Johnson dropped 500,000 ground troops into Southeast Asia and escalated the "conflict" into a war managed in LBJ's situation room, not on the battlefield. It was Johnson's war but Democrats and their hippie brethren managed to turn it into Nixon's war forever.
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Bill Clinton and his band of socialist elite progressives ignored bin Laden, entered our military into more foreign places than all Presidents combined, lobbed smart bombs from ships into Bosnia and set the stage for 9/11 with his ineptness as a so-called leader of the free world. We still have troops scattered across the Balkan region but it's never mentioned by the press.
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David C. Hanson of Virginia Western Community College provides an excellent description of the progressive movements birth. xxx In the early twentieth century a powerful and pervasive shift from laissez-faire to government activism, called the Progressive Movement, swept across the nation. Progressives wanted to rid politics of corruption and inefficiency, curtail the power of the business trusts, and protect the general welfare of the public. They saw government not as only a protector of private property and individual freedom, but as an agent for social justice. Most of the leading progressives were white, middle-class urban professionals who felt alienated and frustrated by the unbridled growth of big business and the widening division between the rich and poor in American society. The challenge for Progressive politicians like Presidents Theodore Roosevelt, William H. Taft, and Woodrow Wilson was the difficulty of walking a political tightrope, balancing the radical elements of socialism and populism on the left (what TR called "the lunatic fringe") and the conservatives who controlled both the Republican and Democratic parties on the right. The Progressive Movement succeeded in transforming the federal government into a powerful agent for economic stability and equality, fair labor practices, management of natural resources, consumer protection, and "good government" [more honest, efficient, and democratic]. None of these objectives were perfectly achieved. This would be an understatement when studying future government action, especially the "New Deal."
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How would "progressive" be described in terms of the politics that evolved from Teddy Roosevelt and his movement?
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Journalist Herbert Croly wrote in The Promise of American Life (1909) "Traditional American confidence in individual freedom has resulted in a morally and socially undesirable distribution of wealth." He denounced "the chaotic individualism of our political and economic organization." Croly went further by warning that control of wealth shouldn't depend on "the accidental good intentions of individual" but "should be efficiently performed by the state."
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Progressive Stuart Chase wrote in A New Deal (1932), communists didn't need "further incentive than the burning zeal to create a new heaven and a new earth." He continued, "Why should the Russians have all the fun of remaking the world."
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Progressives are also known as "New Dealers" and many prominent ones resided in President Woodrow Wilson's administration during World War I. New Dealers believe in laws as a form of control, they are not deep thinkers in economics, and believe social problems are cured by government programs and more control.
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Minimum wage, compulsory unionism and Social Security are all FDR programs which perform welfare functions and fly in the face of individual motivation and free market economics. They are the "progressive", providing immense government control and reject individual wealth and business success.
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Taking a close look at FDR's "brain trust" we see progressives wearing socialist clothing. Adolf Berle Jr., a Columbia Law professor, feared free markets, left to themselves, tend to produce monopolies. He called for government control of the economy. (1)
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Columbia University professor, Rexford Guy Tugwell, an economist interested in agriculture, whose many friends were members of the socialist League for Industrial Democracy. Tugwell expressed admiration for the Soviet Union. He writes in American Economic Life and the Means of Its Improvement (1928), "Soviet central planning appears to produce goods in greater quantities and spreads such prosperity as there is over wider areas of population." He acknowledges, "ruthlessness, a disregard for liberties and rights also exist." In 1933 Tugwell publicly urged large tax increases to redistribute the wealth. (1)
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Marriner Eccles dominated New Deal Federal Reserve policy. He associated his views with British economist John Maynard Keynes who viewed government spending might simulate recovery from depression. This theory proved to be false. Eccles thought the Great Depression happened because rich people controlled too much wealth. (1)
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Supreme Court Justice Louis D. Brandeis a famous advocate of using government power against businesspeople, whom he blamed for social evils. He argued for compulsory unionism. Brandeis wrote a brief with two pages discussing legal precedents and over a hundred pages presenting sociological data that purported to show that women suffered long working hours. He increasingly spoke out against big business. Brandeis consistently defended laws providing more power to government and taxing rich, business and the lessening of dependence on banks. (1)
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Felix Franfurter became an advisor to FDR. Frankfurter gained notoriety by defending alleged communists brought to trial by Woodrow Wilson's justice department. He believed law should go beyond precedents and become a tool for social betterment. (1) We call these judges "activists" today.
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As if describing todays Liberals, who shun that word in favor of Progressives, author Jim Powell has his own version of the "New Dealer."
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New Dealers always seem to be comparing actual capitalism with ideal government. They judged capitalism by it's apparent effects and government by its announced intentions. They like to talk about the good that might result from government spending, and they belittled the harm that might result from government taxing.
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New Dealers assumed that greedy individuals caused the problems of the world, like sweatshops, child labor, and depressions, and that the best remedies would come from government officials who were generally assumed to be serving the public interest.
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Liberals despise the term "liberal", they are using "Progressive" more and more. In essence they are socialists, New Dealers who prefer social controls set for by the government. Progressives have distaste for economies of free enterprise and entrepreneurial endeavors. They favor taxing the so-called "rich" and distributing earned wealth to "less fortunate" individuals, even though this isn't an accurate description of classes in America.
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