Recently I was asked to research and write an article about the Progressive majority in both the California legislature and the US Congress. My initial thought was this is not only a huge research task, but it could fill several months worth of articles. What with the massive debt we have now incurred, unemployment at well above 10%, health care, energy, global warming (oops, climate change), two wars, terrorists getting Miranda Rights and civil trials, never mind the falling dollar and world opinion. My God, who would want to own all that and how do we deal with them? Then it occurred to me that the answer is in the mind set. On one hand, conservatives as well as some center-thinking liberals recognize that as of today we still live in a Constitutional Republic with a representative government. To conservatives, the Constitution is our guiding principle in every matter that is non-spiritual. Every law, regulation or ordinance must pass Constitutional muster.
Several years ago the parents of my daughter’s Australian friend stayed with us for a couple of days while on vacation from down under. One morning over coffee and politics, the husband asked me, “What’s with you Americans and this Constitution thing?” I had never been asked that, but I told him that’s who we are. Our Constitution determines our form of government and who we are as Americans. It is our founding document and we have fought and died for it. It is the Law of the Land. He just could not understand that devotion to a document. So then, here is how it breaks down, Constitutional Americans, regardless of what letter they put in front of their political affiliation, believe that the Constitutional guarantees of freedom and the placement of the ultimate power in the hands of the people, is the reason for this country’s wealth and success. Progressives do not see it that way. Progressivism is a political movement that believes in political or social reform by continuing steps or stages or degrees (Webster). They look way into the future and see the world the way they think it should be according to their beliefs and then, by incrementalism, set out to create that world. It makes very little difference whether or not their methods are Constitutional. The fact of the matter is they see the Constitution as a dusty old document that has out lived its purpose.
Look at our recent history; seat belts, every year here in California after every holiday weekend the CHP publishes the number of traffic fatalities that occurred over that weekend. Invariably, the percentages are that 49 to 51% or so were not wearing their seat belts. Sounds like a significant percentage until you flip it and realize that 49-51% of those killed were wearing their seat belts. Smog control, as I recall it, was 1967 when the first smog devices were put on our vehicles. Since that time we have put more and more vehicles under mandated smog control as well as paid more for expensive smog devices and smog checks. Certain vehicles that were said to produce no hazardous smog in 1967 (diesels) are now being required to retrofit at a very outrageous cost to the owner. Certain engines are not sold in California (lawn mowers and tractors) and still we are told we need more. I submit that if our air is still that bad, then just maybe all we have done since 1967 hasn’t worked and maybe we should scrap it. Global Warming (Climate Change), we were told that there was a hole in the Ozone layer, then it got smaller, then the earth was heating and the glaciers were disappearing and we were all going to drown because some scientists said it was so. Well it is getting colder and the glaciers aren’t disappearing and the polar bears aren’t endangered and the earth has warmed and cooled many times in the past and man’s contribution to the so-called green house gases is less than 1/3 of 1% or .028 hundredths for those “Spocks” out there. Logging, we were told that all logging was bad and we would denude our country and create an environmental catastrophe. People were sitting in trees, the Sierra Club was challenging every logging plan and mills were closing left and right. The result was that our forests became, in a short time, overgrown and a fire hazard. Witness the catastrophic fires of the last two decades. Oh! Don’t forget the spotted owl fiasco, water shortages, gas shortages, power shortages and the medical scares, ad nauseum.
The point to all this was that each time the progressives find any imagined catastrophe, they exploit it for all it is worth and we lose a little more of our rights as individuals. Whether it is your house, your vehicle, what you wear, what you eat or how you care for and teach your children there is a progressive telling you that he or she knows better. Never mind that they have never succeeded at anything they have tried. They still know better than you. We need to change our mind set.
I read an interesting set of statistics the other day about oil. Of all the oil pollution in the world, 47% of it is natural seepage, 2% is from drilling off shore, 4% is from pipelines and the remaining 47% is from oil tankers. Considering that the majority of our oil comes to us in tankers and we have ample supplies right here off shore and inland, maybe we ought to rethink that offshore drilling ban. Furthermore, considering that gangs, recidivists and illegals commit a significant percent of all violent crimes, maybe we ought to rethink our intelligence gathering, parole and immigration policies. Considering that the Department of Education and the Department of Energy, both established in 1979 under the Progressive Administration of Jimmy Carter have both failed in their mission for 33 years and cost the taxpayer approximately 100 billion per year, maybe we ought to reconsider the necessity of these two departments. Considering the billions of dollars we give in foreign aid to countries that hate us and use it to fund terrorist activities, maybe we should stop doing that. And finally, considering all the federal grants that go to progressives who don’t work and use their grants to slander and bite the hand that feeds them, maybe they should just do their progressive, anti-capitalist, anti-American, pro-socialism handy work on their own dime and not ours.
In California, we can’t drill off shore or anywhere else, we can’t build refineries, our cars cost more because of smog devices that don’t work, our gas costs more because of special treatment, our state is controlled by political correctness, illegals cost us 14 billion each year, the Department of Education in California consumes more than half the total budget and produces a student in the bottom of the 50 states, the Police and other EMS personnel are understaffed and underpaid and over-worked, our logging and mining industries have all but disappeared, businesses suffer from over-regulation and are leaving the state in droves and as a result, state revenues are down and the state can’t pay its bills. Oh! By the way, did I mention, the California legislature (both houses) has been under total liberal, progressive control for the past 30 plus years? The same is true for the Federal Government. Liberal Progressives with an R or D in front of their name have controlled Congress for at least 50 out of the last 54 years that I can remember. They own today’s difficulties.
The problem is we, the people, must change our mindset and vote for those who respect our roots. We must defeat those who don’t. By the way, did you know that a one-term member of either house in the Federal Government does not pay social security and gets his full salary and benefits for life? We need to change that. We need to remind ourselves that our votes do count, that we can be an informed electorate, that we need to get involved and stay involved and that our Constitution is the Law of the Land. We, the people, need to speak up and confront progressives at every opportunity, letting them know that we know their plan, and it ain’t going to happen not on our watch. Otherwise, they’ll fix it till it’s broke.